exhibition slideshow
"Perspectives" PHD Gallery's 2nd Annual Artist Showcase

Mark Weber
Ruth Reese

On View
May 12 through June 16, 2012

Saturday, May 12, 2012
7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.

See Mark Weber's Limited Edition Print

"Perspectives," PHD Gallery's second annual artist showcase, highlights the work of two artists with a unique point of view. Functioning as two solo shows in one, "Perspectives" affords artists an opportunity to exhibit a singular body of work representative of their current career arc.

The two artists selected for this year's "Perspectives" are Mark Weber and Ruth Reese. Though different in medium and style, both artists' work is a collision of seen and unseen forces displayed in visual terms. "Perspectives" is on view May 12 through June 16, 2012 with an opening reception on Saturday, May 12 from 7 to 10PM.

About the Artists

In Ruth Reese's work, the human unites with the animal; flora grafts to fauna. Through her whimsical collection of mythical creatures, identity is constantly shifting through a succession of the real and imagined. In her pieces, the Chimera is reinvented through a contemporary lens. Very dreamlike, her work exists on the edge of a known humanity, reaching a tentacle farther out, stretching into its new skin. As viewers, we evolve and morph with these fantastic beings and are carried along on their surreal journey.

Ruth Reese holds an MFA in Sculpture (2002) from Washington University and a BA (1997) from Loyola University. She currently teaches at Maryville University and St. Louis Community College. She has been published in "500 Plates and Charges", "500 Raku" and "Mourning: A Buddhist Ritual Comes to America."

Mark Weber continues his "Special Intentions" series of paintings that originated after a trip to New Mexico. He visited Santuario de Chimayo Church in Chimayo, where visitors would weave and attach branches into the chain link fence that surrounded the back of the church. No one talked about them but everyone respected them as important objects. From this experience came the first group of "found-object" paintings. Weber reconstructs discarded objects by gluing or wiring them together until they seem to drop into a locked position - almost like they were designed to fit at that spot. These objects become the subjects of paintings whose backgrounds morphed from textured surfaces to theatrical draping. Now, with objects rendered against jet black, they seem to glow like neon lights. Ironically, the dark emptiness of the black backgrounds seems to make the paintings feel more positive and uplifting.

Mark Weber received his B.F.A. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and his M.F.A. degree from Washington University in St. Louis. He has participated in 22 solo exhibitions and over 50 group exhibitions. His work is in numerous public and private collections including the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, Ralston Purina, Southwestern Bell, and Hunan Normal University in Changsa, China. Weber served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Art at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park for thirteen years prior to his current position as Professor and Visual and Performing Arts Department Chair at St. Louis Community College-Wildwood.

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