Philadelphia Inquirer 2007

Posted on Sun, Jun. 24, 2007 by Inquirer art critic Victoria Donohoe.

Wayne Art Center - 'Focus is on the figure at Wayne'
The figure is a touchstone of the Wayne Art Center's 39-artist "National Spring Open Juried Exhibit" curated by Mark Van Proyen, Art Critic and Associate Professor of Painting and Art History at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Just now, we're beginning to see for the first time a more instinctive grasp and knowledge of the figure in lively, broad-based shows like Wayne's annual painting/sculpture event.

Consider one of this 48-item show's pictures: Grace, a respectful, larger-than-life pastel of a courageous Lancaster County Amish girl painted by Teresa DeSeve of Collegeville. For DeSeve, this heroic child who protected other children in the tragic schoolhouse shootings last year is a lens through which the world is focused and comprehended.

Several other pieces functioning similarly as a lens are a pair of vibrant oils of children at play by Lin Xia Jiang of Buffalo, a meditating standing figure in charcoal by Justin Nostrala of Iowa, and a snappy and environmentally savvy clay sculpture, The Teaching Gore, by Cheryl Harper of Paoli.Other figure works of note are by painters Eleanor Day of Philadelphia, Ed Watson of Illinois, Glenn Harren of Holicong, Peter Smith of West Chester and photographers Jim Stogdill of Wayne and Deborah Hamon of California.

Memorable abstractions, though few, are by painters Marc Salz of Philadelphia, Steven Altman of Colorado, Elisa Root of Rochester, N.Y., Victoria Webb of West Chester, Yudith Segev of California and Paul Gorka of Philadelphia.
A strong show.

Wayne Art Center, 413 Maplewood, Wayne, PA 610-688-3553.

Contact art critic Victoria Donohoe at The Inquirer, 800 River Rd., Conshohocken, Pa. 19428.