Negative Space Gallery
"Landscape #1: Whale Waters" by Tessa LeBaron
is hosting socially-distanced events this weekend with the opening of two new exhibitions along with a holiday art sale.
In the Annex Gallery will be the work of Troy A. McCall, “Compa De Arte: Expressions by A Conscientious Dreamer.” McCall, who currently resides in Wheelersberg, OH, was an athlete, martial artist and a self-proclaimed MMA enthusiast who made art throughout his life who then decided to revisit this passion after being diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis in 2013. With his limited capacity, he makes painting using napkins and a credit card to apply the paint. McCall’s work is abstract and reminiscent of abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock.
“Sometimes my hands work and sometimes they don’t,” says McCall. “Before I work I say a little prayer then it’s out of my control, and from there I get into a flow space.”
The main gallery will feature the latest series by Cleveland artist Tessa LeBaron in “Landscapes,” a solo exhibition featuring paintings created during the time period since the COVID-19 outbreak. I spoke with LeBaron about this latest series.
In March of 2020 LeBaron visited Bainbridge Isle, WA, and was struck by the jagged mountains, the lush green ferns and the tall trees which inspired her.
“Our environment is a living synthesis of people and history whether it be mountains, rivers or lakes and soon a feeling is inherent to that place,” explains LeBaron. “When I got back, since everything was shut down due to COVID-19, I decided to paint a series of landscapes with an imaginative twist. I wanted my paintings to convey a variety of moods; like I have a painting where the clouds look like they are weeping and I have another one which I made use reds and oranges which conveys a sense of power and energy.”
Her work makes use of a fantastic pallet of vibrant colors, which emote a range of feeling from fervent to tranquil. The use of seeming ‘psychedelic’ pigment can transmit a sense of joy and whimsy.
“I want the viewer to feel as if they are in the scenery and to be transported to an atmospheric place," explains LeBaron. “I also want them to focus on what nature has to offer us; things like growth, progression and healing. I’d like for my illustrative style and use of color to depict a sense of serenity and tranquility. Lastly I want people to examine how environment can elicit a certain thought or feeling.”
LeBaron, 26, who is originally from Ashtabula, OH, has been a resident artist at Negative Space for the past two years and says that having her workspace at the gallery has allowed her to sell and showcase her work as well as to establish herself in the artistic community in Cleveland. She continues to network and connect with many developing artists and musicians through Negative Space, which normally hosts a gamut of events and exhibitions. Both of these exhibitions are free and open to the public from 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 6 p.m. Negative Space will also be hosting a holiday sale with discounted pricing featuring clothing by Yuval Zamir, jewelry from Cara Romano, artwork, prints and books by Gadi Zamir as well as art by Jessica Kramer of Rust Belt Artists.
With so much going on this weekend I wanted touch base with Gadi Zamir, the guiding force behind Negative Space. Zamir is originally from Jerusalem and came to the United Sates in 1999 where he studied Psychology during the day and made art at night until receiving his BA from Ursuline Collage in 2004.
“Growing up in Jerusalem impacted my work in many ways,” says Zamir. “My earliest memories of working were drawing “murals” in the apartment complex’s abandoned hallways. I would find pieces of charcoal on the ground from bonfires and draw upon the outside walls of the estate’s laundry rooms. We grew up in a housing project, surrounded by love, friendships, poverty, and working-class parents. I also grew up surrounded by violence, and terror, and loss. I used art to create my own imaginary world.”
Zamir works mostly on wood where he uses wood-burning tools such as soldering irons and butane torches. He colors the pieces using fabric dye, stains, and, at times, even makeup to create large 2-dimensional as well as 3-dimensional pieces which are festooned with traditional, non-traditional and symbolic imagery.
Negative Space, like many art venues, is feeling the strain from the COVID-19 pandemic, yet remains committed to its mission to serve as a platform for artists and a gathering place for the community.
“We would love it if you can come and enjoy this weekend’s art shows," says Zamir. “We are following the pandemic CDC requirements. Please ware a smile a smile under your mask and keep social distance. See you soon and all my love to you.”