Soltyk has two new pieces on display that reference ancient Greece’s
culture and history. One painting is based on the legend of Icarus, who
flew with wings attached to him by wax, journeyed too close to the sun
and then fell to his death when the wax melted away.
Her piece doesn’t depict Icarus in a traditional vein. Instead, the
work shows waves of sunlight wrapped around a shadowy figure. By moving
away from direct representation, the artist frees herself to address
issues raised by the legend of Icarus: notions of freedom, personal
choice and decisions’ consequences. In addition, Soltyk has created a
visually compelling artwork.
A second piece interprets the Trojan War, specifically strategies
the Greek army used to enter the city of Troy. Again, the work eschews
direct representation. Soltyk has created a piece that looks like a
mosaic. Soldiers’ images are obscured, and viewers will have to look
at the piece several times to grasp every detail.
While these two artworks stand out, they aren’t the sum total of
Soltyk’s art. She also has a mix of oil and mixed-media works on
display. “The Other Creature” presents pebbles on canvas, lining up the
pebbles to form a pattern. Another piece mixes in leaves that the
artist found outside her house.
Wendy Harris, meanwhile, continues doing upstate landscapes in
pastel or mixed media. As in the past, she avoids tight grids, with the
feel of geometry, or emphasizing one element such as a fence or barn.
One work sweeps from gray sky to green hills, on to a field and
roadside vegetation with orange and red colors. A second piece depicts
a landscape with abundant colors; indeed, those colors are so bright
and vibrant that they dominate the artwork. And yet there’s no sense of
excess; Harris is simply interpreting a landscape.
At Edgewood, she shows other pieces with a different sensibility.
“Swirl,” which portrays a winter scene, is stark, even morose, well
removed from the mood of an autumn day. “Fons Reflection # 3” certainly
uses colors but in a different context. Here light reflects on a pond’s
surface with a split effect: The reflection at one edge is very
different from that just across the water. There’s also a sense of
water’s flow and nature’s own rhythm.
Phil Austin continues to create glass works, and the Edgewood
exhibit has ample room for a varied selection of his bowls and vases.
Those pieces focus on key aspects of his work. For example, he clearly
has an affinity for amber and green colors, resulting in several works
that are delightful to look at.
The show also takes a full look at the patterns Austin uses to
decorate some of his pieces: tiny circles, lines that look like a mark
or even brush strokes. And he’s created several bowls with a twist; the
color of the bowl’s exterior contrasts with lush colors within the
vessel. Those pieces are distinctive and merit extended viewing.
Horizons does a nice job of connecting the artists’ past
artworks and more recent creative developments. Although Edgewood is a
relatively small gallery, there’s enough space to give a sense of each
The exhibition is on display through June 18. Edgewood Gallery is
open Tuesdays through Fridays, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays, 10
a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 445-8111.