Locused by Matt Pulford in the Quad City Arts Center's "Breathe" and "The Graying Air" exhibits -- August 24 through October 12

Friday, August 24, through Friday, October 12

Opening Reception: Friday, August 24, 7 p.m.

Quad City Arts Center, 1715 Second Avenue, Rock Island IL

Encaustic pieces and mixed-media works by artists from both sides of the Mississippi River will be on display August 24 through October 12, as Rock Island's Quad City Arts Center presents Breathe, a collection of works by Carol Hamilton of Harvard, Illinois, and The Grayed Air, a creative assemblage by the Davenport-based Matt Pulford.

The encuastic works in Hamilton's Breathe are inspired by the artist's practice of mediation, with each of the elements in Hamilton's work symbolizing or representing an element of the meditation experience. The horizontals in Hamilton's pieces symbolize balance and/or clarity, and the artist's luminous work, which invites close examination of its details, contrasts deep textural and sculptural treatment of the wax with extremely smooth, glossy surfaces. Saturated colors and the ability to see layers provide additional treats for the viewer. As Hamilton shares in her Artist Statement at CarolJHamiltonArtist.com: “It is the plasticity and luminosity of the wax that draws me to it. The marks an artist makes on the canvas are a type of journey, and at the same time, a historical record of that journey. Working with beeswax and pigments evolved out of my love of process and materials and nature. I work in encaustic because there is nothing I want to say that I can't say with it.”

Portal by Carol Hamilton

The Grayed Air exhibit delivers new works by Pulford, a mixed-media artist and Moline native whose interest in painting and installation work is inspired by the great outdoors. In Pulford's Artist Statement at MattPulford.com, he writes: “There is not a more dominant inspiration behind my work than the open, expansive landscape. I long for escapes from our modern, cluttered everyday, seeking wide-open areas where I immerse myself within the sensory stimuli of natural light, sound, and other such ephemera. My yearning for these experiences manifests itself in dissimilar yet intertwining styles of work. There are whimsical abstractions where elements such as quilts and trees fly through the sky, and there are darker narratives touching on ritual, lore, and death.”

Both Hamilton and Pulford are concerned with the senses and the way we experience our environments. Whether they involve actual texture in the form of beeswax or implied movement within abstract environments, the pieces encourage viewers to become aware of, and appreciate, the objects and spaces around them.

An opening reception for Carol Hamilton's Breathe and Matt Pulford's The Grayed Air, featuring meet-and-greets with the artists and complimentary food and beverages, will be held on August 24 at 7 p.m., and the Quad City Art Center's gallery hours are Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free, and more information is available by calling (309)793-1213 or visiting QuadCityArts.com.

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