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Press > Works of art evoke late spring stillness in new PS: Gallery show Jill Renae Hicks. May 8th 2011Blood, sweat and meditation by Jill Hicks. Sunday, May 6, 2012

Works of art evoke late spring stillness in new PS: Gallery show Jill Renae Hicks. May 8th 2011Blood, sweat and meditation by Jill Hicks. Sunday, May 6, 2012

Entering the gallery, the immediate emotion evoked is a sense of calm; curators Jennifer Perlow, Chris Stevens and Sager filled the front part of the space with thoughtful, wistful, peace-filled paintings by Sager and Jenny McGee, interspersed with white wood-and-metal sculptures by Chris Teeter. “I think people could spend an hour just in the front third” of the gallery, Perlow said. Those who were in PS: for its last show will notice another difference: The movable walls, set on tracks, are tilted to create “little spaces within the big space,” she added. “We certainly put a little more time and attention into making sure the pieces play well together. … There’s kind of this feel or this little conversation that’s going on amongst them.”


“After six years of working through a 20-piece mixed media series,” McGee said in an email, “I began experimenting with a technique that invigorated me: the tactile nature of ceramics, the methodical and systematic process of printmaking, and finally a spontaneous technique of painting. This is where I am at today, fine-tuning and experimenting with my process.” The experimentation McGee speaks of certainly displays her proclivities and distinguishes her new work as a sustainable body of its own.

In the past, McGee has painted extensively over stretched canvas and wood frames. Her work exhibited in the new show reaches even further — she has painted a door frame with silhouetted leaves and a lone butterfly; part of a series titled “Old Shelter, New Life.” McGee’s signature is literally carved into the wood. A window frame echoes the themes of the door with even more intricate branches etched into thick sandy paint, with a small, winged insect gracing the center right of the window canvas and a “ground” of textured crusted pearl and paint peeking over the bottom edge of the frame, as if one were truly looking out of window itself.

McGee’s painted doors and windows speak of renewal and reimagination of the world as perhaps it should be. The theme of birds, insects and trees wanders throughout the front of the gallery. For McGee, “trees represent living, breathing communities,” her artist statement said. Her hope “is that each community is deeply rooted in something greater than itself.”

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