Art can be an inspiration, a distraction, and an interaction. Studios on the Park's first show since being closed for nearly three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Reweaving Our Social Fabric, will offer all three.
Featuring four diverse female artists, the show aims to provide "a ready backdrop for reflection, reckoning, and recalibration in the midst of the continuing global health crisis," Artistic Director and Chief Curator Henry A. J. Ramos explained in press materials.
He added added via email in the aftermath of the June 10 murder of James Harding Watson and shooting of Sheriff's Deputy Nicholas Dreyfus, "Given yesterday's disturbing events in Paso Robles, the show content takes on still new meaning. Our local community is badly in need of opportunities and spaces to reflect on the disturbing events of recent days and months in ways that help us heal and do better in the future to come."
Santa Margarita-based stitch and mixed-media artist Peg Grady often infuses her art with humor. My wife and I have a piece of hers called "I can see by your outfit that you are a cowboy," which depicts a full-frontal naked man wearing nothing but a cowboy hat. She operates under the sage advice to "paint as if it were your last gig."
Atascadero-based multi-media artist Judy Johnson-Williams uses "fantasy characters to explore women's issues and the ordinariness of otherness." Her work can be figurative or abstract, but always expressive.
"The subject of my work is our roles and how we fill them, our roles as parents, as women, as partners," Johnson-Williams notes on her webpage. "All of us fill multiple roles, and I like to explore the slippage between them."
Los Angeles-based collage and fabric artist Corinne Lightweaver explained, "Making art provides the opportunity for me to process and understand my experiences, often leading to unexpected imagery or unexpected conclusions when I finish the piece. I've learned that beauty can arise from chaos, and that is what I hope visitors to Studios on the Park will take away from viewing my art."
Marsha Shaw, a talented San Francisco-based printmaker, collage artist, and book binder, said in her artist's statement, "This work focuses on repurposing discarded printmaking and drawing paper and became very important as I was sheltering in place. For the last 10 years, I have been managing a printmaking studio. I was shocked how much paper waste was occurring due to students and artists throwing away or abandoning their prints, drawings, or end cuts. These collages reference quilts that were made out of discarded or used clothing."