is gearing up for its first exhibit of the 2019 season, which will open on Friday, May 24. The gallery will celebrate Exhibit I with an artist reception on Saturday, May 25 from 4:00 to 7:00 pm featuring glass artist Wesley J. Hunting, Fish Creek painters Liz Maltman and Shelby Keefe, and fiber artist Martha Fieber. Shelby Keefe will be on hand the following afternoon, Sunday May 26 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, for an artist demonstration focused on how to create great paintings from photographs.
Wesley Hunting didn’t have an early or particular interest in glass — but he always had an interest in creativity. Having taken what he calls “the scenic route” when it comes to glassblowing, his career began with a chance encounter while working a summer job at a historical village in Kent, Ohio. He went back to school at Kent State University, enrolled in the school’s glass art program, and has been creating glass work ever since. These days, he works side-by-side with his son Wesley in their Princeton, Wisconsin studio, and is known for his skill with cane and murrini techniques in addition to his intricate, abstract patterns drawn on hot glass. “There’s no other material like glass,” Wes says. “The way the light passes through colored glasses adds a third dimension — one that can’t be duplicated by any other material.”
From her first Door County job as the manager of The Hardy Gallery in Ephraim to her ownership of The Magic Jacket, a women’s “art-to-wear” clothing store, art has always been in constant in pastel artist and painter Liz Maltman’s life. Another constant for the past 15 years is Liz’s love of plein air painting. Door County’s “Polar Vortex” this winter made en plein air painting a little difficult, so Liz summoned up the next best thing: her imagination. Her theme for this year’s Fine Line show is “Woods and Water,” and leans on her memory as well as the view from her window. The “woods” theme of Maltman’s body of work consists of acrylic paintings, while the “water” pieces are reserved for her pastel work. Throughout all of the work is her bright and innovative use of color, technique, and pattern — showing that winter in Wisconsin, both real and perceived, is equally inspiring.
When you look at the work of fiber artist Martha Fieber, it might take a moment to realize that you’re not looking at a photograph, but what she refers to as “landscape in thread.” Fieber relies on layer upon layer of hand-stitching as well as subtle color and intricate details to create her complex compositions. “There are several layers to everything we see in the world, and I enjoy creating depth and perspective in my work,” Martha says. “It encourages an even closer look.” Fieber’s works for the Fine Line show are inspired by the beautiful garden she and her husband have cultivated at their new home, and it also includes two pieces that she worked on at her Fine Line artist demonstration last year.
Oil painter Shelby Keefe’s biggest passion is drawing and depicting her subjects with honesty and expressiveness, and says her goal is “creating a fresh perspective to the recognizable world without being predictable or mundane.” To reach this goal, she focuses on tackling complex subjects in her work, such as cityscapes and human figures, and rendering them with the “alla prima” — or “wet-on-wet” — paint technique. In addition, a vibrant underpainting technique to give her paintings a feeling of complexity without being overly-worked, which also fulfills Keefe’s desire to say more with less as a representational painter. The result is a bold, realistic style that is completely her own.
Fine Line’s Exhibit I will run through Monday, July 8, with Exhibit II beginning later that week on Thursday, July 11.
Fine Line Designs Gallery, located in scenic Door County, is housed in a 1950s chicken coop that was renovated in 1999 and turned into a multi-level gallery space. The gallery showcases seasonal, monthly rotating exhibitions, highlighting the works of selected artists along with the general display of works by over 100 regional and nationally-acclaimed artists. The gallery features original paintings, glass, jewelry, clay, custom wood furnishings, sculpture, and fiber rich in color and texture in addition to a two-acre sculpture garden adorned with pieces created from bronze, stone, metal, copper, and stainless steel. For more information, please visit www.finelinedesignsgallery.com or call (920) 854-4343.