What is love? The Harmony Collective Artists Gallery's February Group Show "All Hearts" explores the many facets and meaning of love through the works of 13 artists.
Some, such as Kay Curtis, often use hearts as a theme. She explained in a news release that, in her work, a heart "does not always signify a love between individuals. It is just as likely to represent a love of the planet, or all people or of the work we choose. Exploring what a person loves is the first step in understanding (one) another. I love exploring life through whimsical characters and paint, the brighter the better."
Others, like Kate Greenough, do not often involve heart symbols in their art, so they have explored the shape and concept for this show. She explains that she spent the month of January incorporating hearts into her daily art practice, "playing with their overt sweetness, and their ubiquity as a shorthand for 'love' and 'caring.' The shape has a compelling sensuality and is simply fun to draw," she says, "whether as a sincere or an ironic shorthand for one of our deepest emotions."
Julia Sorensen also explored hearts for the first time for this show. "I have tried to imbue honesty into my work, 'Love Shines Through.' Valentine's Day is generally about celebrating romantic love, but love can be about strength, tenderness, pain, grief, and loss, as well as euphoria." Her heart series attempts to represent romantic love, she says, "while also reflecting the depth of what love can mean."
Ruby Rice approached the concept of love differently. "The question I try to remember to ask myself in any situation I may be struggling with is, 'What Would Love Do?' Employing the quote from Maureen Kennedy's The Path of Remembering is a practice for Rice that she says guides her focus. It's a reminder to continuously come from a place of love.
Rice describes the healing process she was in while creating her fiber piece, as including grieving, weeping, laughing, and "remembering a precious marriage lost to the opiate epidemic."
A conversation hearts photo booth installation by Rose Watson will also be part of the exhibit. While conversation hearts - the heart-shaped candies that are a Valentine's Day staple - are typically a half an inch in size, Watson's conversation hearts are oversized at nearly a foot and a half wide. She says her favorite creations take the form of bigger-than-life-art installations. "This one is bound to elicit happiness," she says, and includes a "Marry Me" conversation heart.
The All Heart show opens Thursday, Feb. 8, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and will be up for the month of February. Learn more at HarmonyArtsBrattleboro.com.
This The Arts item was submitted to The Commons.