Arts & Entertainment

Taking on Travel in All Members Show, Falls Church Art Gallery

The All Members Show at the Falls Church Arts Gallery continues May 27—June 25, this time around covering artists whose surnames begin L-Z.  Artworks have been executed in various media, and there is no one theme.  While we noted in our previous tour of the A-K artists this spring a particular preponderance of works within the topic of the beach and ocean, this time a running theme seems to be one of travels—traveling in terms of exploring different lands and different cultures.  Four works in particular which caught our attention were “Swiss Alps,” “Newport,” “Angus YinYangus,” and “Diagonal Chai.”

Tony Neville’s watercolor “Swiss Alps” depicts a beautiful snow-kissed mountain scene. Though the painting is deeply realistic, the shape of the trees gives the painting a surreal feel. The artwork consists mostly of cool colors, creating a peaceful ambiance for the viewer. This entrancing work invites one into the beautiful world of the Swiss Alps, or perhaps even conjures up traveling to a Shangri-La which might be imagined at the other end of the summit in this utopian landscape. 

“Angus YinYangus” by artist Ernie Sanders is a piece created with pen, ink and digital color. (Photo: Ernie Sanders)

Next we journey to the State of Rhode Island:  “Capturing a scene during my cliff walk along the shore of Newport,” says Randa Fakes LoGerfo of her acrylic “Newport.”  This painting opens a small window into the glory of summer:  there is a suggested sandy beach just beyond the yellow stone wall which dominates most of the painting. On the left side of the painting, a brilliant aquamarine blue blends sea and sky almost seamlessly. Meanwhile, at center and right, vibrant oranges, yellows, greens, and whites form the stone wall. Atop the wall, yucca shrubs sprout upwards into the light, a further reminder of summer travels to seaside settings.

In “Angus YinYangus,” artist Ernie Sanders combines traditional (pen-and-ink) and digital media in order to take the viewer on a journey to classical Chinese philosophy.  Mr. Sanders provides a unique take on the traditional Yinyang symbol, “a serious yet whimsical presentation,” as he terms it.  There is here a focus on the Taoist union of opposites but also a playful and fun image of two pets, the same but drawn in opposite shades within the circle.  

Traversing again various cultures, we come to Naomi Lipsky’s “Diagonal Chai.” In 23k gold leaf on quilling paper, the Hebrew word יח (chai), meaning “life,” is presented—a word connotating such notions as a life full of meaning, living life to the fullest, and how precious life itself is.  We see in this unique three-dimensional artwork multitudinous warm colors full of life, unfurling like plentiful springtime flowers in differing shades of pink and red. Here and there among the bursts of orange, pink, and red we espy the shapes of flowers blooming out at us. Looking more closely, the Hebrew word “chai” appears. Artist Naomi Lipsky explains: “‘Chai’ means ‘life’ in Hebrew, and life often takes us in surprise directions.”

“DiagOnal Chai” by artist Naomi Lipsky will be featured at the Falls Church Arts Gallery until June 25. (Photo: Ernie Sanders)

This exhibition does well in displaying many styles, including the realistic still-life (Brittney Stafford’s “The Peonies  in My Dining Room”), photography (“St. Patrick’s Cathedral,” Midtown Manhattan,” in which the Gothic is dwarfed by skyscrapers), and even the “collage” in watercolor (Craig Wright’s “Bottle Caps,” suggestive of travel through German, Dutch, and Mexican beer). 

Like its predecessor last month, the new All Members Show again clearly has something for everyone. It is well worth a visit during one’s “travels” through downtown Falls Church.