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Current Exhibit

Rebecca Crowell Ceide Fields

David Longwell Speedway Boogie Woogie #2

Katey Monaghan Backbone

Mark Pack Sublimity

Kathleen Velo Morales Dam

Rebecca Crowell, David Longwell, Katey Monaghan, Mark Pack, Kathleen Velo.
Feb. 2 through March 13, 2015

Mon.-Thu. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.,
Fri. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 
Closed rodeo break Feb. 26-27
Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery

Reception: Thu., Feb. 12, 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Artist Lecture: Rebecca Crowell, Feb. 12, 6:30 p.m., Recital Hall
Cold Wax Workshop: Rebecca Crowell, Feb. 13-15, reservations required

The gallery is under the direction of David Andres. According to Andres, “The title BREAKING DOWN SURFACE TENSION comes from many conversations with artist Nancy Tokar Miller (1941–2015) about the abstract art movements of the 50s, 60’s and 70s that spoke about flatness and juxtaposing medias. The five artists included in this exhibition use the concept of tension to move the viewers’ eyes from one location to another in their compositions. They use movement in different ways to bring together elements of paint, photography or mixed media; and yet all break down the understanding of tension uniquely in their art. The Bernal Gallery is honored to host three artists from the Tucson area—David Longwell, Katey Monaghan and Kathleen Velo; Mark Pack who recently moved from Tucson to St. Louis; and Rebecca Crowell who resides in Wisconsin, but just returned from a residency in Ireland.”

Crowell is known for her innovative painting techniques involving cold wax medium and mixed media, and is represented by a number of fine art galleries in various locations including Dublin, Ireland; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Telluride, Colorado; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Columbia, Missouri. Her representation with Gormley’s Fine Art in Dublin has recently led to international exposure, including several European art fairs. Crowell uses a kind of "memory mapping" to create her works, which, although visually quite abstract, often still retain faint echoes of landscape and nature—its plant life, earth and rocks. For Crowell, rugged textures, earthy colors and a feeling of light, open spaces reveals her subliminal interest in the colors, mark making and abstraction of at least a "memory" of landscape. She earned her MFA in painting from Arizona State University.

Longwell’s work is one of action/reaction, a building up of surface tension, then breaking it down, building again, and then breaking, on and on, until a balance is found. His paintings feature thick impasto gestures over automatic drawings that are an intended fusion of ground and line, with knotted webs, skeins of paint and linear movements. He attempts to tap into both the unconscious and conscious mind where the process allows emotion and intellect to co-exist. Longwell considers himself part of the art world’s wave of third-generation abstract expressionists. He comments,” My approach is organic, sometimes mired in disorder, sometimes overlaid with sweeping arabesques. Abstract expressionism is emblematic of the time of my birth and I sense meaning and purpose in this fact.”

Monaghan transforms thousands of small, rusted cast-off reinforcements of construction to create a rich tapestry of pattern and color in her large format alternative works on paper and canvas. She has found the process of oxidizing different metals both challenging and surprising. Monaghan remarks, “Unlike traditional printmaking, the tools I use to create theses tapestries and mosaics have a life of their own.” She received an MFA in printmaking for the University of Arizona. Monaghan teaches color rendering and theory at Pima Community College.

Pack believes, “Growing is the word that best describes my primary concern while painting. Growth happens in all living things. If something grows, it is not made. To make a painting is to not make art, but if one lets that painting grow, then art is made.” He received a M.F.A in painting from, Rhode Island School of Design in 2004. His work has been exhibited in galleries all over the country including in Santa Fe, New Mexico; Indianapolis, Indiana; Philadelphia, PA; Dover, Delaware; New York City; and Richmond, Virginia.

Velo makes photographs using pinhole and plastic cameras, as well as other varied mixed media images. The camera-less photographic images in her series, Water Flow, capture the essence of water from below the surface. The concept of water quality in the Southwestern United States, and the inherent alchemy that occurs as a result of it, are the foundation of her current work. These photograms were created in remote rivers and streams, arroyos and water recharge basins in the dark of night. In many of them, the Colorado River is a direct or indirect water source. Velo has a BFA in sculpture, an MA in art education and an MFA in photography; and has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. She teaches traditional and digital photography classes at Pima Community College in Tucson and pinhole workshops locally and nationally.

The Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery is exhibiting several art pieces, submitted by BREAKING DOWN SURFACE TENSION artists at the Tucson International Airport Feb. 4 through April 8, 2015. 

above images: 

Rebecca Crowell - Ceide Fields, oil and mixed media on panel

David Longwell - Speedway Boogie-Woogie #2, oil on canvas

Katey Monaghan - Backbone, rust on En Tout Casse

Mark Pack - Sublimity, acrylic on panel

Kathleen Velo -- Morales Dam, Arizona: Colorado River #15 from the series Water Flow Under the Colorado River, archival ink jet print, from C print camera-less capture.