By Alessandra Stamper
Sherry Giryotas’s abstract paintings are full of vibrant colors that elicit a journey of sorts, particularly those that are predominately blue and green with pops of red overlaid throughout. The journey she takes her viewers on harkens back to her extensive travels in various continents. The deep blues amidst the bright reds draw your eye into the painting, and as your eye follows the blues throughout, you are taken on this journey that Giryotas is aiming for. One could imagine each color representing one of the many places Giryotas has lived in around the world, and the mixing of colors together signifying the influence that each of those places has had on her being and consciousness.
Her abstracts that are more subdued in tone are reminiscent of Paul Klee’s paintings with orange hues and geometrical shapes. Some of Giryotas’s abstract paintings in this tone almost take on the look of a landscape. Every year Giryotas takes a repose in the country, which inspires her more realistic landscapes. These landscapes are grey in tone and she makes a point to include real natural artifacts in these paintings, such as fern stems. She then paints over the stems to embed them into the painting. When looking at her body of work as a whole, one gets a sense of a migration process from place to place, which reflects her life, past and present.
Taking a look at Phillip Shore’s mixed media sculptures you may glean an organic vision. This is because Shore is very much influenced by and connected to the natural world that surrounds us. The inspiration he finds in nature is not as bystander, but rather as an active participant within nature. He spends a great deal of time gardening and collecting things such as firewood, leaves, dead insects, etc. when he is out in the wilderness, all of which are later incorporated into his art. This process does not happen intentionally though, meaning he does not see something in nature, or several objects, and immediately know how to combine them. It is a more of a stream of consciousness process where he begins working with a particular object and allows it to evolve into a piece of art as he works with it.
Shore’s emphasis on the natural world not only fulfills a passion of his, but he also means to say something about how interconnected the developed world and undeveloped world are; that is, constructed civilization and nature. Contrary to what most might assume, he is of the opinion that they very much work in unison. Organic forms are central to his sculptural works, as insects, branches, and twigs are a recurring theme in many of his works. Also common in his works are arms outstretched to the air with hands either grasping something or open-faced and reaching upward, perhaps symbolizing man reaching out to nature.
They will also both be exhibited at the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at Midwestern State University February 3 – April 8, with an opening on February 3, 6:30 p.m. 8:00 p.m.