Heidi Lingamfelter & Winter Rusiloski: Sky Water Leaves Grass
Mokah Art Gallery
December 2, 2009- January 2, 2010
Post by Michelle Townsend Wallace
Although winter is setting in outside, the walls of Mokah Art Gallery are bursting with color and life. This newest exhibit features two female artists, Heidi Lingamfelter and Winter Rusiloski. Both artists’ work centers on nature, however, each uses a distinct approach with the subject matter.
“Nature is the constant and I am the engineer,” says Lingamfelter.
Lingamfelter collects samples of the outside world, puts them on a press with colorful ink, and then turns the old fashioned crank to create a stunning piece of art. The result is a calming, meditative experience. Instead of using art to shock or push an agenda, Lingamfelter tries to recreate a moment, a simple scene of nature the observer can relate with.
Lingamfelter’s love of texture is apparent in each piece she creates. On the press plate, the ink seeps into the grooves between the grass, bark, or stones. As a result, each collagraph has a unique pattern and texture. Lingamfelter admits to her tactile obsession. She has always been very active and enjoys the physicality of the artistic process- going outside and collecting pieces of nature, then lifting the heavy machinery to create her images. In contrast, she often uses smooth brush strokes to paint the backgrounds for her collagraphs. The combination of lively textures and calming natural elements produce introspective pieces of artwork.
Winter Rusiloski needed a challenge. Having grown up in an artistic family, she was familiar with most basic art forms. After doing mostly abstract paintings, Rusiloski decided she wanted to branch out a little. During a trip to the Canadian border, she was overcome by the beautiful symmetry of the horizon. The connection between the lake and the sky was captivating. Afterwards, Rusiloski decided to take pictures of these images to use in her artwork.
At first taking pictures of found objects, Rusiloski then asked family members to send her images of the surrounding land in Pennsylvania. The quaint farms, haystacks, and trees provided inspiration for her abstract paintings. She challenged herself to match the colors in the pictures, and to continue the images with abstract lines and forms. Rusiloski works to unite the photographs and the abstract images, to cause them to integrate together seamlessly. As a result, her pieces are vibrant patches of color with hidden images of landscapes and nature.
Both Lingamfelter and Rusiloski use the outdoors as a springboard to create a unique outlook on nature. Their distinct approaches of collagraphs and abstract paintings form visual representations of natural elements. Although each piece is distinctive to its maker, the overall result is a colorful and textural experience.
Heidi LIngamfelter & Winter Rusiloski: Sky Water Leaves Grass is on view at Mokah Art Gallery through January 2, 2010.