Art Social and Exhibition Set for Saturday


July 29, 2020

On Saturday, August 1, three local artists will be hosting an Art Social and

Exhibition at 223 Indiana Street, the former location of the Impact Zone in Chinook. The work on display will be that of Adrianna Standiford-Reid, Jenna Fox, and Elizabeth Finley-all recent magna cum laude graduates of the University of Montana-Western (UMW) visual arts program. Because Finley and Fox had to cancel their art thesis exhibitions due to COVID-19, the trio is looking forward to displaying their work together.

An opportunity to promote and support the arts, the Exhibition will feature a selection of pieces, varying from pottery to painting to mixed media. Some of the art will be for sale, if anyone feels inclined to make a purchase, but the principal purpose of this event is to showcase the talent and creativity of these local artists.

Standiford-Reid, whose parents are Melody Sand and Leland Standiford, received a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Art Education and a Bachelor of Art (B.A.) Degree in Visual Arts with a minor in Drama this past May. Her art on display will include a signature piece entitled "Purpose." Originally made for the 2019 spring student art show at UMW, it is a 2' x 4' mixed media piece on a wood panel, featuring six hands grasping at the ability to create.

When asked about the role art plays in her life and what inspires her most to make art, Standiford-Reid responded: "It is the fluidity and boundlessness of exploring materials and learning their languages. The role art has played in my life is difficult to confine. I have studied many of the philosophical and technical aspects of the arts in school, but creating has been and continues to be an evolving experience for me."

Another exhibitor, the daughter of Cory and Beth (Stegmeier) Fox, graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration and a B.A. in Visual Arts. For her Senior Art Exhibition this past spring, Fox chose the title, Time Capsule. However, because of the Stay at Home Directive issued at the time, she had to present her work in a virtual format. To explore her early life and to capture unique moments and scenes from her childhood memories, Fox used a series of fourteen pieces in acrylic on canvas.

"My grandparents' kitchen, my dad's slippers, and the hibiscus flowers that are always in my living room window are some of the things I want to remember as my life progresses and changes. Although my dad's slippers sitting on the floor might not seem like a special or uncommon memory, I am the only one who has the image of those tan, moccasin-style slippers at the foot of a green recliner permanently etched into my memory. They have always been there, and it seems like they always will be," Fox explained.

About Time Capsule, Fox went on to say: "This kind of memory seems so familiar and so permanent, but someday my life will be different. I don't want to remember my early life, wishing that I had appreciated it more. The series of pieces in Time Capsule was an attempt to hold on to the constants that have formed the backdrop of my life and an encouragement to others to be grateful for the small, familiar things in their lives."

Although not part of her Senior Art Exhibition and not for sale, one of her acrylic paintings that will be in Saturday's show as a signature piece is titled Seven Pears.

In many cultures across the world, from ancient to contemporary times, we find references to the pear, signifying abundance and sustenance. For some, the shape of the pear may represent the female form-fruitfulness, femininity, and grace. For others, it represents the human heart and a symbol for life.

Giovanni Bellini, Georgia O'Keefe, Vincent van Gogh, and Paul Cézanne all painted pears. Fox's Seven Pears explores color, light, shadow, and individuality. Set against a dark maroon backdrop, each pear boasts unique blemishes, curves, and colors.

"The inspiration to make art can come from anywhere," Fox claims. "I am often inspired to create when I see work that other artists have made. Furthermore, art is one of my creative outlets. I often get into really creative moods where I don't have a specific idea but I just need to make something. That is when I am most productive."

The third exhibitor at Saturday's Art Social and Exhibition followed the same degree path as Fox. Earning a B.S. in Business Administration and a B.A. in Visual Arts, Elizabeth Finley is the daughter of Jeff and Lynette Finley. Among her featured artwork will be her signature piece: a photograph collage of her niece playing at the park.

"It was a college assignment focusing around the concept of time and movement," Finley explained. "I wanted to create the illusion of both by taking photographs and arranging them in a specific way that would display motion and bring energy to the still images."

The majority of Finley's work on exhibit focuses on the technical aspects of how art is made. "Having a strong idea or concept but being unable to properly execute it is a common struggle for artists," Finley stated. "Spending the last five years as a visual arts student has allowed me to become proficient in a variety of materials. That way, when I have a message I want to bring forward with art, I will have a better chance of clearly bringing it across to viewers. Overall, my art says that possibilities open up with practice."

One of Finley's primary inspirations for her art is the work of others. "Sometimes I catch myself in a creative block that is caused by limitations that I bring to mind. This stops my thought process dead in its tracks. Seeing other people create reminds me of what is possible. I often remind myself that the only way to get anywhere is to start somewhere."

Finley, who has plans to work at a ceramics studio in Helena, described the roles that line, color, shape, form, value, space, and textures play as major components in art. "In one way or another, those elements play a role in all of our lives. I have always had an interest in these elements and how much of an impact they have on us and the world we live in. That interest is what drove me to become an art student. I will use the knowledge and techniques I've learned through college for both art and for business to make, sell, and teach ceramics in a pottery studio in Helena."

The community is invited to browse the artwork and to enjoy light refreshments from 5:00-7:00 in the evening. Anyone desiring additional information about the event is encouraged to call Standiford-Reid at 406-945-5097.


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