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‘Above and Beyond’

The artists of Art Beyond Tradition

Story by Carolyn Males

To walk into an Art Beyond Tradition show is to be dazzled by bold color, dynamic lines and patterns. On one wall you might discover a collage fashioned with bits of paint, rice paper, images ripped from magazines, and embedded objects like buttons and lace. Turn around and you might spot a brilliant geometric painting with shapes that seem to pulsate off the canvas. Across the room, a whimsical painting might flirt with perceptions of reality. Sure you might recognize it’s a boy and girl, but hey, they may be in the form of stick figures prancing through an urban streetscape. Or… wait, are they playing the xylophone in a street band? Just as you’re puzzling that out, out of the corner of your eye you catch sight of a tall metal sculpture sitting in the middle of the floor with mobiles dangling from its outstretched “arms.”

In other words, before entering the gallery at the Coastal Discovery Museum to view the ABT’s newest show “Above and Beyond,” shake off any expectations of walls of marsh scenes with strategically placed white egrets. Nor should you plan on viewing anything resembling an Old Master unless it’s been twisted like a piece of saltwater taffy, blown apart, or splashed with neon hues.

The Shallows by Cindy Chiappetta

Or not…

That’s because you never know what will show up at an ABT show. And this year’s exhibition , the ABT’s eighth biannual event, promises yet another intriguing round of abstract works by artists who love playing with imagination and experimenting with materials –– paint, paper, metal, stone, and who-knows-what-else? –– in unusual ways.

What’s more, the artworks even will surprise the artists themselves since choosing what pieces go on display is up to each individual creator. This year’s show includes works by Earline Allen, Joanna Chalson, Cindy Chiappetta, Margaret Crawford, John Crum, Jo Dye, Vickie Jourdan, Mark Larkin, Sharon Collings Licata, Mary Sullivan, Donna Varner, Arla Crumlick Wible, and Irene K. Williamson.

So come take a quick escape above and beyond the everyday. Immerse yourself in vibrant colors and unexpected ideas. And you may find yourself considering the world around you from a very different perspective.

River Flow by Sharon Collings Licata

Art Beyond Tradition’s “Above and Beyond” runs from March 1 through April 30 at the Coastal Discovery Museum. Admission: Free. coastaldiscovery.org



 Local Art

I Want to Take You Higher by John Crum

Local Poetry

Your easy chair doubles as a flotation device

It is said a good poem opens your eyes.

But let me tell you, a really good one closes them.

You put back your head and you travel,

all the packing taken care of by the poet.

No e-ticket needed. No “Please remove your shoes”

(though it’s highly recommended),

and more than likely you’ll be back today,

so there’s no need for extra underwear 

(unless, of course, it’s a very scary poem).

A million miles can be crossed, yet it’s only a few inches

to Mary Oliver’s pond or Donald Hall’s gold

or Billy Collins’ wet dog of the future.

My eyes have been open all day

I’d like to close them now and go away.

Hop aboard, my love! I understand

that there’s a poem

leaving soon for Mandalay.

— Barry Dickson