The Southside Art Gallery here in Oxford will be premiering work from artist Anne Strand’s new collection, “Shattered Silk,” and a reception recognizing her work will be held Thursday at 5 p.m.
Having exhibited at Southside for more than 15 years, Strand has a wonderful relationship with the gallery.
“She always approaches us with a new concept for a show,” Southside Gallery representative Wil Cook said. “It’s exciting to see what her idea is. She really puts a lot of thought into her art and how it all relates as a body of work.”
When Strand brought “Shattered Silk” to it, Southside “immediately made plans to have an exhibition.” This much-anticipated exhibit will focus on her new mixed media collages and paintings, as well as beautifully intricate patchwork quilts. Her work can be found in homes and galleries across the country.
Best known for her work as a painter, Strand studied in both New York Studio School and Paris with acclaimed expressionist artist Elaine de Kooning, wife of art icon Willem de Kooning.
After years of multimedia experimentation, Strand settled on quilts as a way to incorporate the preservation of history into a new work of art. Influenced by two quilts made by her grandmother long ago, she sought to portray the subtle way a simple quilt can capture absolute elegance and beauty.
“They came from both sides of my family and called me to recognize that my grandmother and great-grandmother had been unsung artists,” Strand said about the original inspiration behind the exhibit. “As a result, I became enchanted with aging quilts and their fragments as an expression of a neglected feminine art form.”
Her quilts depict various, diverse feminine forms and faces that have been separated from their corresponding mouths. This powerful imagery is meant to represent the silence countless women have been forced to suffer both now and throughout history.
For this particular exhibit, Strand has described her work as being “a tribute to icons of the feminine visage,” which “symbolize the artistry of the feminine eye as set forth in quilt form over the ages.”
In her artist’s statement, Strand said this is meant to “invite the viewer to look beyond for the rebirth beneath the brokenness or neglect.” While this started out as an unconscious theme, the realization of such a message spoke to her so clearly that it became a running theme throughout the collages in her exhibit.
“I am excited to have an airing of these forgotten fabrics,” Strand said. “Taking what had been folded away out of sight and bringing its aging beauty into a new light and presenting it in a new way.”
“Shattered Silk” will be on display starting Thursday until March 31 at the Southside Gallery on the Square.