This week’s Art Talk Monday is written by Jess VanAlstyne, NCLAC Gallery Intern.
In a quaint coffee shop on Trenton Street hangs local artist Julie Crews’ yearlong labors of love. These twenty, square paintings vary in size, but all represent the artist’s attempt to join together her roles: mother, wife, and artist.
After choosing not to apply to a call for entries because she didn’t think her work possessed “challenging concepts with innovative use of materials,” and after asking herself “OH NO! Do I [just] paint pretty pictures?”, Crews began making new work after being away from the studio for a year. She decided to focus on painting the very scenes of domestic life that had pulled her away from painting. Here, she discovered her theme – a theme that combined “challenging concept with innovative use of materials” and “pretty pictures.”
Squared begins on the left side of Crescent City Coffee with a large 24” x 24” painting of Crews’ husband lounging in a chair. The emotional brush strokes and the attention to detail of the figure convey a very special connection between the artist and the subject. This special connection is a common thread throughout the series and suggests a glorification of the mundane.
Crews’ smaller paintings invite the viewer in, and share a little sliver of the artist’s life that is both intimate and relatable. Scenes of car pool lines, Ruston landscapes, and quiet moments with her children allow the viewer to see a glimpse into Crews’ life as well as reflect upon his/her own. These smaller paintings are grouped into threes on Crescent City’s walls, and are strategically placed in the booth spaces so that the viewer, or Crescent City regular, may view them personally.
Squared is a very rewarding show for any audience, and every piece has a relatable quality that the viewer will enjoy. I had the honor of hanging the show, and have walked away with a fresh outlook on “ordinary” life. Julie Crews’ beautiful paintings teach us that every aspect of our lives can be extraordinary, and that we should take notice.
Squared will open on Saturday, June 1, 2013 from 2-4pm at Crescent City Coffee, located at 1007 N. Trenton St. The show features twenty works by local artist Julie Crews and the opening reception will include coffee and sweet treats. The exhibit will be on display until August 27.