Karen Braun Malpas is a volunteer with the Frank Bette Center for the Arts.
Forces of Nature Converge at Frank Bette Center
The rotating shows at the Frank Bette Center for the Arts have themes and artists submit work they feel reflects that theme. This time, with the title Surface Tension, the show’s theme references: inertia, forces of nature, resistance, undercurrents, speaking the unspoken, justice, honor, courage and opposite attraction.
Given this range, which could probably include everything from birth to death and taxes, it is interesting that so many showed work featuring water in one of its forms. Interesting and welcome because in the recent heat spell, all these watery images remind the viewer of running through the sprinkler to cool off, squirt guns, loosing fire hydrants, pools, rivers and skinny-dipping at night.
Photographer Amy Patick shows a closeup photo of a blade of grass bowing heavily under the weight
of myriad water droplets which resist the inevitable slide due to surface tension.
In contrast, David Howard’s three photos of waterfalls do, in fact, yield to the inevitable by falling, cascading and rushing in a beautiful display of torrents of water being a force of nature.
Stephen Elbert and Patick both show lovely nearly monochromatic photos of the undulating forms left in the sand by undercurrents of the tide.
Charles Lucke photographed a bufflehead breaking the glassy surface of the water on its determined course leaving a trail of broken reflections.
Although Howard’s “Forest at Play” depicts a scene on dry land, the light moving through it seems liquid and creates dancing, fool-the-eye reflections over and between the tree trunks. The viewer senses magic at play.
Surface Tension hangs through Sunday, Aug. 4.
Frank Bette Center for the Arts is located at 1601 Paru St. at Lincoln Avenue. The gallery is open Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Learn more at www.frankbettecenter.org.