Exploring the World of Dawn Gilmore

I was fortunate to be able to view Contradistinct while it physically hung in our gallery. Dawn Gilmore’s artworks are very personal, full of emotion and color. They reveal an expression of herself and her relationship with the world. She does acrylic paintings on Plexiglas, conte crayon and charcoal drawings on Strathmore 400 series drawing paper, photography, and construction. The first 3 were represented in this exhibit.

Dawn uses the creative process as a way to work through personal problems and feelings.

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She states “My paintings tend to deal with relationships ranging from crushes, falling in love, to break-ups, while others are about loneliness, longing, and changes in life.” The small acrylics are vivacious and colorful while her large paintings have an African Art feel about them. She uses plexiglas as her substrate because she loves the effect, never really liking canvas. 

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Her conte crayon and charcoal drawings of faces, on the other hand, are dark and brooding. “My drawings are all self-portraits about identity and the struggle to feel comfortable in ones own skin”. She is currently moving into using color conte crayons, experimenting with the emotional effects she can produce.

The series of photographs, shot with a Pentax K-X digital SLR camera, is the most fun and spontaneous form of expression that she chooses to use. Each image is something that she had the pleasure of stumbling upon, exploring, and then shooting up close in natural lighting. Some photographs make you look twice to discover exactly what the image contains.

“I’m really a quite shy person but I love to create work that is bright with color that is ‘in your face’!”

Dawn has been inspired by contemporary artists Margaret Keane, Keith Haring, Frida Kalo, and Barbara Kruger.  

She attended DuCret School of the Arts, Plainfield, New Jersey Majoring in Fine Art, and received her Bachelor of Arts from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, New Jersey where she majored in Electronic Filmmaking and Digital Video Design Documentary-Feature-Corporate Track.

She has exhibited at the Ceres Gallery, New York, New York, Watchung Arts Center, Watchung, New Jersey, Barron Arts Center, Woodbridge, New Jersey, Arts Guild, Rahway, New Jersey and has done window displays for Gallery U, Red Bank, New Jersey and  for the Juror/Window: The No Show – Show / No Lines, Art Alliance, Red Bank, New Jersey.

 You can view her work at http://www.dawngilmore.com
                      
Painting With Words” – Leona M Seufert

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Virtual Galleries

Since we have been closed for repairs/renovation, I’m giving a lot of thought to “virtual galleries” because we’ve chosen to continue to display on our website the artwork of the artist whose show was cut short. Many of these virtual galleries exist in cyberspace where art is displayed only in the 2D world of your computer screen. Are these a good substitute for the bricks and mortar gallery?

Many galleries, the Les Malamut Art Gallery included, not only have a physical space but also a website where a sample of each exhibit artist’s work is posted. Basically, these types of virtual galleries are promotional “teasers” showing only a few pieces, hoping to entice the viewer to come in and see the “real” ones. However, over the last few years, with the advent of high definition flat screen displays, many virtual galleries have popped up on the internet that have no space in the physical world.

That got me to thinking: can a virtual, internet only based, gallery do justice to a work of art? Well, virtual galleries have existed prior to the internet in the form of high quality glossy art books. Once printing techniques and cost went down, these books proliferated the art market and allowed anyone to be able to view historical or current art works from the comfort of their home. The internet based ones of today are no different. But the question that needs to be examined is whether artwork viewed in a flat environment, not the environment the artist intended it to be viewed in, really does justice to the piece. After all, we see things in stereoscopic 3D, not flat on paper or pixels on a screen. 

As an example, I recall my experience with a piece of art that I love dearly a large one from the “Water Lilies” series by Claude Monet (you can read all about his life and work on Wikipedia). All my life, the only versions of it that I had viewed were small printed copies. Then I had a chance to see it on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC. I was floored by the size (never realized it was that large) and the fact that I was standing IN FRONT OF IT IN PHYSICAL SPACE! Of course, I couldn’t touch it but I was there, it was there, it was the real thing and I could get close enough to see his brush strokes! Now tell me, can anyone have that experience viewing a work of art on a computer screen? 

However, even though a virtual gallery can’t really do justice to the physical presence of a work of art, it has its place. It helps people get an overview of an artist’s body of work (and, as an artist, I’m grateful I can have such a presence with my website), for those who physically can’t go to great museums and galleries it gives them the opportunity to experience what is happening in the art world from the comforts of home. And lastly, it is a way for artists to cheaply and conveniently promote their artwork, which in this economic climate is definitely a plus.

So I’d like to hear you weigh in on this. What has been your best and worse virtual gallery experiences. Would you like to see more of them or are you of the old school, where standing in front of a work of art in a gallery is the only way you want to experience art?
                           “Painting With Words” – Leona M Seufert