|Solo Exhibits 2017
Eli Baxter, Jean-René Leblanc, Margaret Shields
Solo Exhibits 2017
February 16 – March 31, 2017
Kohala & Hamakua Galleries of the Kahilu Theatre
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 16th, 2017 4:30pm special preview for Kahilu Theatre members, 5pm - 7pm for general public. No host bar and light pupu will be on offer.
Eli Baxter will be exhibiting a series of sculptures entitled Dancers in the Kohala Gallery. Baxter is a sculptor and installation artist. Her inspirations often come from discarded materials, both organic & inorganic, found in the streets. Whether rusty metal straps or pieces from worn leather couches, she enjoys transforming them into something else, or suggestive of something else. Over the years recycled bicycle inner tubes became her dominant media. Her first encounter was from an Amsterdam road where nearly everyone bicycles. Drawn to its contrast of being gritty, dirty, black, and industrial, yet sensual and skin-like, Baxter began gathering inner tubes easily found from the streets. Out of this accumulation Baxter crafts immersive environments, fetishized objects, and protective amulets. By contrasting the worthlessness of the material with her painstakingly detailed handwork she comments on the gluttony and waste of consumer culture and the ways in which desire is manufactured.
Eli Baxter lives in Honolulu where she works as an artist as well as a curator for the Hawai’i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. She holds her Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and has exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the state.
Jean-René LeBlanc will be exhibiting a series of infrared photographs entitled Chasing the Light of Pele in the Kohala Gallery. Shot in Hawaii in the context of the Artist in Residency Program at Volcano National Park in December 2015, the series of images explore contemporary photographic representations of the myth and stories of Pele. LeBlanc says, “As an artist, I generally use the camera as a means to connect with my social and cultural environment, in order to express something personal. In Chasing the Light of Pele I am using a digital infrared camera to capture and reveal conceptually Pele’s spiritual beauty that is invisible to the naked eye.”
Jean-René Leblanc is a visual artist engaged with digital media, cultural issues and critical theory, who uses a variety of media to express the concepts with which he works. His artistic research uses photographic imagery, video, interactivity, sound, and visualization to discover and explore new ways of making the invisible visible. He currently lives in Calgary, Alberta and in 2006 completed his Ph.D. in study and practice of art from the Université du Québec à Montréal. He is an Associate professor of digital arts at the University of Calgary in Canada.
Echoes of a Habitat reflects Shield’s current studio explorations that center on finding ways to process the experience of observing and inhabiting the precarious environments of the industrial and the natural world. The clash of human Industry with the wild, and also the instances of hopeful co-existence are investigated through abstraction and the use of unconventional materials. Also of ongoing interest is a blurring of the boundaries between painting and printmaking as separate disciplines. Painting on prints and embedding prints into paintings, experiments like these are an integral part of her process.
Margaret Shields studied Fine Art and Art History at Portland State University from 2002-2006 and then completed a study abroad in Italy in summer 2006. She has been painting and printmaking since that time and has participated in many shows and collaborations in Oregon and Hawaii. Since 2014 Margaret has had the good fortune to be mentored by, and assistant to, master printmaker Hiroki Morinoue, Artistic director of the Donkey Mill Art Center. She assists him in the print studio and in Moku Hanga workshops. Margaret also teaches printmaking and painting classes at the DMAC.
The Kahilu Galleries are free and open to the public, Monday through Friday, from9am to 1pm, and during all performances. For more information, visit www.kahilutheatre.org or call (808) 885-6868.