“Dimensional Wonders” Exhibit

What art offers is space, wrote American novelist John Updike – “a certain breathing room for the spirit”. Visual artists then become the choreographers of this space of mind and spirit – whether meditatively drawing us into an experience of untold dimensions or creating protected physical spaces to hold our precious thoughts, papers and worldly treasures.

The Red Brick Gallery’s Exhibit, “Dimensional Wonders”, presents such a refreshing space in which to catch your breath with paintings of Steve Hindman and fabric-coiled baskets of Linda Thompson from Friday, June 2 to July 9 at 17 Main Street, Foxburg.

Meet the Artists at an Opening Reception on Sunday, June 11, from 4 to 6:00 PM when when musicians from CARNIVAL OF SOULS will match the inspiration of Steve Hindman’s Celtic interlace art with spirited music.  

Red Brick Gallery is located at 17 Main Street in historic Foxburg, PA. Gallery hours are Fridays, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Sundays, 12 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Painter Steve Hindman

Since his retirement as an educator in the Philipsburg-Osceola School District of Pennsylvania, Clearfield artist Steve Hindman has been working on a series of paintings taking the Celtic interlace art of his ancestors and adapting it to abstraction and color field painting. Inspired by the Book of the Kells, his technique begins by painting layers of transparent and opaque paint stains to create an ambiguous background for the viewer to explore. He then overlays a Celtic grid pattern and illuminates with double knot-work, to create a level of iridescence. The grid layer creates a fluid moving layer above the colored background and adds a shimmering effect.

Viewers have described the surface beauty and unfolding dimensions of his paintings as mesmerizing, inducing a kind of meditative state. Hindman says, “Each artwork I attempt invites the viewer to experience new relationships of movement, pattern, and color. I present a new vision beyond the basic Celtic knot-work into manifestation of feeling, creativity, and technical skill. It is my intention to take the viewer on a journey into my work, assist them to understand and acquire a new language and see abstraction as something insightful in its own right. All painting is in its simplest form just paint on the surface of a support. The artistry comes in how the work draws the viewer into a sense of wonder. My work is an attempt to give form to that innermost creative impulse.”

The fun part, according to Hindman, is the constant experience of expanding and stretching as an artist. From looking at topography maps, it occurred to him that he could create a grid and interlace the Celtic knot-work over a landscape. A painting coming over from the Winkler gallery in DuBois has mountains in the foreground and background and a bright sky, overlaid by Celtic knot-work.

Busier than ever in his retirement, Hindman serves as President of The Susquehanna River Art Center of Clearfield and oversees two galleries and local arts programs.   In 2015, Steve Hindman art was displayed in the juried Allied Artists of America Exhibition at the National Arts Club Gallery in New York City.

Linda Thompson’s Fabric-Coiled Baskets

Linda’s fabric-coiled baskets are each uniquely contrasted in color, texture and decoration. Formerly a professional Gifted and Talented coordinator, Linda first discovered weaving when she and her husband spent five years in Brazil during his tenure as a corporate executive with PPG Industries.  While there, Linda found an English speaking weaving teacher from whom she learned the language of warp and weft as a calm pursuit in the midst of the turmoil of living far away from family and trying to fit into a new culture.   Returning to the U.S., her weaving led to her chosen artistic pursuit: “When I discovered fabric-coiled baskets, I knew I had found a great creative outlet!

As each row spirals into existence, there is surprise and fulfillment, color-play and texture, whimsy and structure. What is a basket? …a vessel… a pleasing shape… a means of self-expression.” Erik Wahl’s quote rings true with her: “The secret is not the mechanics or technical skill that create art–but the process of introspection and different levels of contemplation that generate it.”

An organized and structured person, Linda finds pleasing the repetitive motion of basket making and the tactile touch of the fabric and cord. She also enjoys finding beads to decorate her baskets, shopping at an annual quilting convention in Cleveland. Sometimes a fabric inspires a bead and sometimes the other way around. What gives Linda great satisfaction and relaxation is learning something new with each creation, unique in its own way. Part of the fun is the magic of not knowing what she is getting as baskets emerge from the sewing machine often not exactly as planned.

The mystical aspect, says Thompson, is that she will never know how the baskets will be used. “People who buy my baskets complete the project for me. The baskets aren’t finished until they are put to use by the people who purchase them. I create a vessel – and they fill that vessel or choose to leave it empty on a shelf as a decoration.” A blue and yellow fabric-coiled basket in one friend’s kitchen is filled with lemons, and the same basket perfectly matching French kitchen tiles in another’s home gives order to chaos, holding invitations and bills to be paid. Baskets made from camouflage fabric hold men’s keys and coins.

With the proceeds from her creations, Linda sponsors a program she calls “Baskets for Books” which provides easy readers to ESL (English as a Second Language) students in two elementary schools. As students improve their new English reading skills, they may choose one of the donated books and practice reading it with the teacher or volunteers. When they master it, they may take it home and keep it to proudly demonstrate their new reading skills to family and friends.

Red Brick Gallery is located at 17 Main Street in historic Foxburg, PA. Gallery hours are Fridays, 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Sundays, 12 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.