Color is in absolutely every aspect of life. We live in a technicolor world, which is quite a beautiful thing. As an art historian, when I look at a work of art, I examine technique, style, shadows, content, meaning, context, form and materials. There are many times the overwhelming presence of color almost gets overlooked. So used to it, my quest to dig deeper in each work of art to find what lies beneath almost becomes an afterthought. The current exhibition at the MC Erny Gallery reaffirms the importance of color not only to art but to life.
After having gone through a juried process to exhibit at MC Erny, the panelists combined the artwork of Cammeron Alekzandra Batanides, Mark Weber and Heather Divorky in the latest show, “Dreaming of Color.” Although the inspiration and themes of their works differ, they share a vibrancy of color.
“We decided to title the exhibition ‘Dreaming in Color’ because we found it is what we have in common,” Batanides says. “Although we differ in subject matter and the meaning behind our work, we share a brilliant palette, which really makes this exhibition stand out.”
A well-known local artist originally from Charlotte, Batanides moved to Wilmington to pursue an art degree. Falling in love with the town, she made the Port City her home. Making our lives colorful, fun and more enjoyable, her work has been exhibited in a variety of venues across Wilmington. Most recently, she was one of 14 artists from around the world to be chosen to display on a billboard and group exhibit in New Orleans for the Jazz and French Quarters Festival. She has recently returned from Los Angeles, CA, after doing a solo exhibition at the Los Angeles Fine Arts Building. Her work aims to create a world of harmony, peace and beauty, and even uses artwork as a way we can find and center ourselves.
“I will be exhibiting some new work [at MC Enry Gallery,]” Batanides states. “There are pieces that haven’t been shown before, so this is their debut. Some of the other pieces in the exhibition haven’t been exhibited anywhere but the Los Angeles Fine Arts Building.”
Mark Weber features a trove of color and texture in his purely visual artwork. Also an illustrator of children’s books, he worked on “The Pirate Princess” (2005, Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic) and the entire King School series of books (90 in all; Townsend Press) for young readers. Since moving to Wilmington in 2010, Weber maintains a local studio working as an illustrator and fine artist. He lends his talents to a variety of newspapers and magazines and even contributed to the International Herald Tribune in Paris from 2003 to 2005. As a pop-cultural snippet of interest, he created a portrait of Ol’ Dirty Bastard, which was featured in a 1999 edition of Rolling Stone.“Mark’s work is illustrative and very colorful,” Batanides ponders. “You can see that he allows the media to be free in his work, seeing the washy characteristics of gouache and watercolor in some areas, while other areas remain more tight.” His style relates to his extensive work as an illustrator of children’s books and posses a whimsical, playful element to his work, almost as if each piece is on the verge of telling us a great story.
A Wilmington native who graduated from Ashley High School and studied at Appalachian State University in art history, Heather Divoky is furthering her education at the University in Netherlands. Currently she’s working toward her masters in art history, with a concentration in museums and collections, as well as world and contemporary.
“I love art history,” she says, “and consider myself a scholar. But I also consider myself an active participant in the art world as well as a traditional artist.”
Divoky’s aesthetic philosophy, often informed by history, contains whimsy and magic, uniquely her own. Inspired by Mesoamerican art, Outsider Art and Art Nouveou, she draws every day.
“Heather’s work is also illustrative,” Batanides notes. “She really incorporates the aspects of design; you will notice very intricate line work within each piece. She builds characters with her subjects. Her work is also very colorful.”
Paired together randomly as part of their group showing, the work of all three artists revels in expressive and unique luster. Batanides has enjoyed meeting her fellow colleagues and sharing in ideas.
“My work is very colorful but is not illustrative, even though the allusion of being such is there,” she continues. “My work portrays and preserves the world of the creative soul and how things are viewed from our eyes. If you’re a musician, everything is a note or sound; if you’re a visual artist, everything you see is broken down into shadows, highlights, colors, etc. “
A closing reception for this exhibition will be held on September 27th in conjunction with the Fourth Friday Gallery Walk downtown. The MC Erny Gallery is located at WHQR on the third floor of the Warwick Building at 254 N. Front Street. The gallery walk is free.
Dreaming of Color
Featuring art work of Cammeron Batanides, Heather Divoky and Mark Weber
Closing reception Sept. 27th,
6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
MC Erny Gallery, WHQR
254 N. Front Street