This month’s Pioneer Square Art Walk, held on Thursday April 2, packed the streets with joyous supporters of the arts. Longer days and warmer weather definitely helped draw the crowd out as well. Art Walk commonly brings out a variety of people, from artists and patrons to first-time attendees. The three shows that caught my eye this month mimicked this natural diversity—Cara Jaye at PUNCH Gallery, Bent + Haygood at G Gibson, and Ryan Sarah Murphy at Platform Gallery. The unifying theme between these three shows is the term assemblage—a collection or gathering of things or people and/or a work of art made by grouping found or unrelated objects.
Cara Jaye at PUNCH Gallery
Dramatic Play Area is a collection of colorful and playful water-based pieces—each inspired by Jaye’s daughter’s early drawings and doodles. These works are interpretations and collages of her daughter’s drawings, and in some cases are even a collaboration. The pieces are layered with recognizable imagery—teddy bears, cookies, flowers, ice cream. The swirling daydream of an everyday child. Jaye’s work provides an adult’s insight to the realm of the child—the joy and fascination with the everyday, indulgent sweets and cute curios. While the majority of us have lost our childlike zest, Jaye’s swirling pieces highlight the power that the lens of the child still has in our adult lives.
Blake Haygood at G. Gibson
This month’s show at G. Gibson is a joint presentation of Blake Haygood’s and Gala Bent’s work. The deftly crafted works are vastly different, but the two artists’ works stand beautifully together. Haygood’s simplicity of form and color yet allows for ambiguity, a unity of opposites, starting with creation and destruction; geometric fragments on a solid block of color can be blowing apart and/or coalescing. In his artist statement, Haygood explains, “My work is about entropy, disorder, randomness, decline, and unpredictability but also hope and humor.” Haygood’s work is a beautiful rendering of the juxtapositions and contradictions on encounters day by day.
Ryan Sarah Murphy at Platform Gallery
Ryan Sarah Murphy’s exhibit at Platform Gallery features the New York-based artist’s latest collage work, which as a medium is the epitome of uniting disjointed and distinct elements. Murphy states, “My current work consists of wall-mounted, collaged constructions made of found cardboard, a highly utilized, indispensable and yet seemingly valueless component of daily life.” The majority of Murphy’s pieces for this show are brightly colored, abstracted forms with a strong sense of geometry. The conventional perception of cardboard as trash is circumvented in Murphy’s Site Lines. The presentation of these cardboard pieces in a gallery setting changes the viewer’s perception of the material. Murphy states, “I am interested in how this simple, abundant and inherently impermanent material can be structured into quiet surfaces conveying both formation and dilapidation simultaneously.”