a regular gallery visit

Regular Gallery, Greg Esser’s new art space, is small and intimate.  Artist Lisa Marie Sipe’s new work, is personal. Combine the two, and you have a perfect match.

The show resulted from the very personal experience of losing someone you love, to cancer.  This is not the subject Lisa planned to deal with, but it’s the matter that presented itself.
She includes titles like…”The tumor is VERY little,”  “It started with a backache,” and “Size of a pea, top of the brain.”
I find the work rich and full. And as I move from piece to piece, I wonder if Lisa immersed herself in trying to make sense of it all. I’ve visited a cancer research lab, and I recall slides of the various cancers where color is added and images appear beautiful. But it’s cancer. I find myself talking to Lisa about the experience that led up to making the work for the solo. She shares some thoughts, and I do too.  No answers, no philosophical draws, just human exchange. Her work is  key for that door.

“Boo…they wouldn’t put on the sirens for me!”
mixed media and encaustic on wood
20 x 10 inches

One is not supposed to touch things in a gallery setting, but I do want to touch.  Things are bright, delicate, and so richly textured. I get very close to the work, to see it. I ask Lisa about her process and materials.  She gathered images and printed them out on paper, using both sides of the sheet in some instances.  Then she began construction. If you are familiar with Lisa’s work, you know she works in encaustic. But this is all very different. There is the wax, and color, and fluid design usual in her art, but these are more than 2 dimensional pieces. Though most of them hang on the wall, they have form, depth, and illusion of movement. She speaks about finding the new approach freeing. She shares how normally she has end result clear in mind, and knows what things will look like. This time, she wasn’t certain about anything. The comment  brings back the subject at hand.

 Size of a pea, top of the brain
mixed media and encaustic on wood
20 x 10 inches

As I’m getting ready to leave the gallery I note a bright yellow bucket in the corner. Is that a piece? I ask.  Yes it is. Like all children, my aunt played with buckets of dirt, Lisa says. The mixed media on found object is titled “We’re rooting for you kid.”
Go see Girl Plays in Radioactive Dirt.

Visit Lisa’s website for complete artist statement and some great shots of her work and the installation.
LISAMARIESIPE.COM/

Outside I chat a bit with artist Kate Timmerman, who is also visiting galleries this afternoon. Kate quickly says, I’ll be making phone calls soon, and this saves me a phone call!  Do consider voting for Greg Stanton. She talks about several of his causes including funding for the arts. Very good, Kate.
I drop into a few more galleries, talk to a few more artists…and now as my day comes to a close, I still feel invigorated by our artist community.

WHO:              LISA MARIE SIPE

WHAT:           GIRL PLAYS IN RADIOACTIVE DIRT

WHERE:         REGULAR GALLERY
918 N. 6th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004-1918
(602) 614-8727

WHEN:          May 20th –  June 11th, 2011   

The space is off the beaten path, so be sure to look for the entrance at the back where there’s plenty of parking.

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