Abstract Art lovers’ Alert!

The current exhibit featured at the Phyllis Weston Gallery in O’Bryonville will thrill you.

Kathy Salchow: “A-Bomb”, “Early Bird Tobacco” 6.25 x6.25 Mixed media collage

The benign art of collage is taken in several engaging directions in Kathy Salchow’s multi-element collages. Natural and textural elements assembled in fanciful combinations engage the viewer’s imaginative interpretations and enjoyment. “Early Bird Tobacco Bag” is comprised of a small tobacco icon and a real feather in beautiful shades of parrot green, accented with a brilliant cadmium. A second feather shape with brown spotted patterns is sharply slashed and completed with a desiccated leaf, hinting at the classic cycle of life motif. A contemporary bird stamp completes the composition. The playful innocence of the series is jolted with an incendiary device in the work entitled “A-bomb”. The disarmingly charming graffiti of a comic strip bomb a big “A” and a lit fuse seems about to challenge the integrity of the 4″ square format and uniform black block framing.

Holly Schapker exhibits several works including a series of small painted surfaces exhibited in a large scale grid format. Holly’s artist statement discusses her explorative approach to traditional painting techniques, underscored by her personal openness to the creative process.

McCrystle Wood: ” Waiting” numbered edition print


McCrystle Wood continues her fascinating work with manipulated collages of nature and bio based forms in the format of beautiful numbered print editions. Both unique iconic cutout  shapes and multiple fragmented movements are presented.

“Waiting” invokes the insect chrysalis motif, with insect-like tentacles and antennae attending the cocoon-like abstract from the torn edges of the freeform collage image. Neutral mothy colors and patterns alluding to natural camouflaging solidify the entomological connection. Other works are titled “Desert Rose”, “Nesting”, and “Gravel Pits”. Wood’s originality does not disappoint.

Connie Sullivan’s stunning pieces, combining photography and graphic elements, are fascinating multi layer configurations interacting in black deepspace backgrounds. The shapes in the images seem to have a constructed spacial relationship and hover illusionally on a two-dimensional format.

Connie Sullivan: “Abstract from Eternity” series photograph in 3D
“Ripples through Time” series photograph in 3D

In one abstract from the Eternity series, a planetary icon is encircled with a whimsical circular scrawl that unwinds in windless space as a tethering lifeline. In a piece from the “Ripples through Time” series, Sullivan’s scrawled central figure projects a neo-dadaist inclination, revealed in neon-bright primary colors. Suspended in the deep black space, the big-head-small-body figure, realized with an artless childlike naiveté, is central to a geometric construct with a solidifying slinky toy base. The light projecting forms are accompanied by various shades of black and grey shadows that enhance the formal illusion and infinite space in this work. Disguised completely is the technology used to generate its presence which leads this writer to posit that these works exhibit another tenet of dadaism, that of absurdist contrast. The phenomenon of the medium that produces the work is celebrated without being encumbered with the necessity of a communicated message content.  Each of her archival pigment prints with 3D illusion can be described as an hallucinatory vision-altering experience while providing no clue to technology or messaged content.

Sullivan had her first solo show at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati in 1983.

Not surprisingly, the resume of this northern Kentucky resident boasts of international multi-media exposure for her visual experiments.


Marlene Steele, painter, lives and works in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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