featuring Allison McElroy and Bryce Lafferty
November 4, 2011 - December 3, 2011
“common things”, featuring the work of Jacksonville-based artists Allison McElroy and Bryce Lafferty, opens at Walnut Gallery in Downtown Gadsden Friday, November 4. A gallery talk and reception will be held that evening at 7 pm. Admission is free and open to the public, though a $2 donation is suggested. Allison McElroy and Bryce Lafferty, both of whom also teach at Jacksonville State University, will be showcasing some of their more recent mixed-media and three-dimensional work and installations.
About the Artists
Bio: Mixed media artist Allison McElroy received an MFA in Painting at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where she was awarded the Lacoste Graduate Residency in Lacoste, France, and a BFA from the Atlanta College of Art. Her work has appeared in solo and group exhibitions in Atlanta and Savannah, GA, and elsewhere in the US. Allison McElroy’s work explores a wide range of materials and media ranging from painted surfaces to photography to found and natural objects; her study of foundry, stone carving, and welding techniques are evident in her assemblages and sculptures. McElroy’s artistic exploration is motivated by her interest in human relationships with and understandings of the natural world, interests that intensified after she survived a near fatal car accident as a young woman. McElroy currently resides in Heflin, Alabama, where she works in a studio tucked away in the woods surrounded by what inspires her most; nature and animals. Her recent work incorporates natural materials found in the woods around her studio, including spider webs and wasps’ nests.
My visual language is the collection of materials too small to merit attention.
My form of drawing is the process of grouping, handling, and arranging collected objects.
Nature reduces itself through the changing of cycles and I am interested in documenting this natural process of deconstruction.
Elemental objects are chosen for the belief that their weakness has the ability to open a viewer’s eye to what is magnificent.
Bryce Lafferty grew up in Litchfield County, Connecticut. He received a BA in painting from Central Connecticut State University and his MFA from the University of North Texas. His artwork has been exhibited in regional, national, and international exhibitions, including locations in Dallas, TX; Washington, CT; and Niigata, Japan. He currently teaches drawing and painting at Jacksonville State University. He lives in Jacksonville, Alabama with his wife and four young children.
My three-dimensional watercolors and installation combine color, pattern and negative space. Raising young children has influenced my outlook on art making. In some ways, my art is an attempt to elevate the experiences of fun, naivete, day dreaming and discovery to the level of fine art.
I also enjoy the language of abstraction and I have a classical approach to the fundamental appearance of my work, but I hope it doesn’t end there. Though I rely on basic design principles, like harmony, variety, direction and color theory – what I really want is to confront an object in evolution – something outside conventional classification. To me this better represents reality.
My most recent drawings and wall paintings playfully combine architectural forms with abstract themes and are dually inspired by “Green Design” and bomb shelters. I am interested in how we perceive patterns in everything (the weather, current events, personal relationships, etc.) and how we generate narratives from those patterns to explain collective uncertainties.