APRIL 16 – MAY 22, 2016
Opening Reception Saturday, April 16, 2016
6:00 – 9:00 PM
Exploring notions of water and the oceans as both source and resource for all living beings, Margaret Smithers-Crump presents Vital Signs, an exhibition of installations and paintings on plexiglas created specifically for the Galveston Arts Center. As a port city with an often turbulent relationship with the sea, Galveston makes a perfect setting for this body of work. Like many artists who were exhibiting or living in Galveston during Hurricane Ike, Smithers-Crump suffered the loss of damaged artworks that were submerged in water. Salvaging these paintings, the artist restored, edited and created new artworks to be exhibited for the first time in this exhibition. Painted and drawn on both the front and reverse sides of plexiglas sheets, luminous translucent surfaces depict water as both tranquil and threatening.
The three dimensional artworks in this exhibition expand upon these approaches to water, providing a very different experience.Utilizing both wall, ceiling and floor, these installations are made with hundreds of hand cut, shaped and painted plexiglas forms that are chemically bonded together. Often evoking vast ecosystems and life forms such as coral, kelp, plankton and algae, these glass-like artworks also underscore the fragile state of all living things and the vital necessity of healthy water on our planet.
Born and raised in Chiba Prefecture, Japan, Mari Omori is a multi-media artist, art educator, and curator who received her MFA from UCLA and BA from California State University Northridge. She is currently a Professor of Art at Lone Star College-Kingwood, Kingwood, TX, a position she has held since 2002, teaching Design, Drawing, and Painting.
Her awards include the Mino Culture Art Project AIR, Mino, Japan (three months), in 2008 in conjunction with her Sabbatical Research Leave with the International Faculty Exploration Grant from Lone Star College Systems, and the Palm Beach County Cultural AIR Grant in 2007 culminating a solo exhibition at the Morikami Museum, Palm Beach, Florida. Her recent Artist-in-Residency experiences are Hilmsen, Germany in 2012 (five weeks), and COLLAGE: Art for Cancer Network with MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, on-going since 2007.
Her works have been widely exhibited internationally in Japan, Germany, Taiwan, and Thailand, as well as in one person and group shows in the US, California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Texas. Omori’s curatorial projects include “Plurality: Paperwork” (LSC-Kingwood, 2012), “Washi 5: International Handmade Paper Exhibition”) LSC-Kingwood and LSC-Montgomery, 2010), “Kyomei: Resonance” (Poissant Gallery, Houston, 2007), “crossroads: aisa/America” (Galveston Arts Center, 2006), and “affinities” (Heritage Gallery, JP Morgan Chase, Houston, 2005).