They’ve got rhythm: WALA hosts holiday exhibition

The Wilson Avenue Loft Artists (WALA) have chosen “Rhythm” as the theme for their annual exhibition which runs Nov. 30 through Dec. 2 and includes open studios on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 1-2.

The exhibit will display 16 WALA artists from Darien, New Canaan, Norwalk, Rowayton, Wilton and Westport and Westchester County and it will explore rhythm in a variety of intriguing ways at 225 Wilson Avenue, South Norwalk.

A visual work of art can be a symphony of color, form and rhythm, just as a musical symphony has a variety of different tempos and moods. Some rhythms are very tranquil or dreamlike, encouraging quiet contemplation while others are dynamic, bursting with energy and creating passionate responses. Some are intricately detailed; others are broad expressive strokes. Some are serious; some are playful, yet several different rhythms can be combined in a single work of art — whether it is musical or visual.

Heide Follin, a new member of WALA, is inspired by nature, “finding rhythm and movement that translates directly into my works,” she said. “Escargot Begonia is one of my favorite plants. I took a photo that had red stems and used this as a jumping off point, then put the photo away and let the painting tell me what it needed next. It is a long process of back and forth, but in the end, my imagination and personal sense of what moves me takes over.”

Nancy McTague-Stock’s paintings, drawings, prints and photographic studies “explore the rhythms of the environment through observation and experience, capturing perceptual illusions in the environment through movements, patterns and light.” Her print “Micro Grasses” is a one-of-a-kind, solar intaglio with monotype, using multiple plates which are reprinted numerous times on a single sheet of paper to create a larger, more complex image. She said, “It is a compilation of individual images created from my observations of differing growth structures of grasses.”

Lori Glavin creates her playful images by “using repeating forms and colors to set up expectations. I establish a rhythm through a pattern or rule — then disrupt and break with what’s expected. Shapes tilt and colors shift in value and hue. This change is definitely more interesting to me than the original pattern.”

Farnosh Olamai Birch blends the heritage of her native Persia with the dynamic energy of the United States. She said, “I think Farsi script and musical notes have something in common! These Farsi words seem to literally dance across the painting — all sunshine and light with a little red for passion. Beatles fans, the word spells LOVE. Michael Jackson might say, ‘Can’t beat it!’ That’s Persian Rock and Roll!”

Erin Dolan is an abstract painter, collage artist and sculptor whose work often begins with patterns, rhythms, textures and colors found in nature. She is often inspired by the contrast and connection between the natural and the urban expanse.

Claudia Renfro works intuitively, making art from common everyday objects, creating unique combinations which reflect her total creative freedom “to laugh at life, the good, the messy and the ugly. The images are like a bizarre dream pulled from memory and my perverse sense of humor.”

A portion of proceeds from the sale of art during the exhibition will be contributed to the Grace Shanley Scholarship Fund for high school students at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking in Norwalk. For more information, visit wilsonavenueloftartists.com.