The bathroom wall at Hollingsworth Gallery is cluttered with words. In the top left corner, a phrase has been inked that is echoed in what hangs on the walls throughout the gallery. It reads: “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”
This phrase may resonate with artists or with anyone who has experienced the one-of-a-kind art that is known to the gallery. The current show, “I Decided Not to End the World,” inspired by the end of the Mayan calendar, may have disturbed some residents. But to Curator J.J. Graham, the show was an opportunity to get artists thinking about concept.
“It’s very important that you know that it is not me personally talking in the title of the show. It is as if there was a malevolent being looking down on us. It’s funny to think that we could’ve changed his mind,” Graham said Saturday afternoon during an artist talk held at the gallery.
The session, hosted by the Gargiulo Art Foundation, was the first time the foundation had hosted artists to discuss inspiration in an open format.
For Graham, thinking about what he would paint as his final piece, it came down to the simple fact that he loves to paint.
“If I had one last day to paint, I would probably just do what I do,” he said. “The only thing that I hope through my art is that my love and struggle comes through. If I can transfer that to the viewer, I believe I have succeeded.”
But everyone has something different they want to show through their art. For Petra Iston, children were the focus. Her project of painting the gallery floor inspired her to use it as the background of her photographic portraits of children, who were the reason to keep the world turning, she said.
“Could you imagine if every child had the chance to fall in love with creativity?” Graham said.
But the floor project did not stop there. It became the soil out of which the show grew, with images from the floor being used as the advertising poster and eventually blacking out the gallery windows while the show was still a work in progress. It was taken even further when children in the S.E.C.C.A. art classes used the images to create their own projects.
Painter Peter Cerreta, who is known for his narrative paintings, said that it’s important not to teach children how to, when it comes to art, but rather teach how to explore. And that’s what he has been doing for several years.
“To make your mark you have to pace yourself. Art is a process. The end product is really and truly meaningless in the long haul,” Cerreta said, admitting that his work is getting more bizarre as he gets older.
The process is something artist Diana Gilson talked about.
“The important thing when you’re an artist is that you are living this art all of the time,” she said. “The way that we express it is getting very quiet into ourselves — cutting out everything. We try to make that communion with ourselves and find out what we really want to say inside. It’s a wonderful and pacifying experience.”
Gilson’s painting, “The Glass Woman,” symbolizes a woman who will break if you try to make her yours.
An encore reception of the show, which artist Christine Sullivan called one of the most inspirational shows she has seen at the gallery, will be 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at 160 Cypress Point Parkway, suites 209B and 210B.
FCAL TO OPEN JURIED PHOTOGRAPHY SHOW
The Flagler County Art League will open its second-annual Juried Photography Show 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at its gallery, 160 Cypress Edge Drive, Suite 207C.
All entries in the show have been hand-selected by jurors Carol White and Jim Hughes. The show will be judged by Patrick Van Dusen and awards will be presented at 7:30 p.m.
Both the juror's and judge's work will also be displayed.
The show will run until Feb. 5.