Arlene Solomon: From Philly to the Shore
Exhibition closed: July 28, 2021
Arlene Solomon‘s Artist Statement:
I am a collage and mixed media artist. I began studying art about 15 years ago, while working full time as Director of a program for individuals with mental health and other challenges seeking employment. I took advantage of the excellent teachers in my own backyard. Mixed media and collage became my passion. Collage making is like solving a puzzle: the pieces and elements have to fit together to make an image that works. It’s always a thrill when I feel like I hit the right combination. I use bright, vivid colors that resonate with me and draws the attention of the viewer. Composition is paramount and I most often use rectangular shapes and strong angles that overlap and intersect each other.In my photo collages I often raise sections of the piece giving the work a 3-dimensional quality. I work on a small scale, the largest pieces being 11 x 14, with much time devoted to little details.
My collages have a definite sense of playfulness. In one series, I used museum guides with bright colors and glossy paper that I used to create galleries in my own fantasy art museums. My work has been nostalgic, creating memory collages on personal themes such as my parents’ honeymoon in Atlantic City or my experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I also create assemblages in boxes containing altered objects combined in unexpected ways. I use themes having personal significance including physical wellbeing and sewing, and tea drinking. I always leave the top of the box, slightly ajar, to invite the viewer in to see what’s inside.
While looking at one of my pieces at a recent show, a patron commented that she really couldn’t tell that the scene had been created although she said she knew that the buildings in the piece were not really near each other. Success!