‘Faces’ examined in mixed mediums

10-12-09 Faces
The art displayed at the Tempe Center for the Arts celebrates the many ways artists have portrayed faces throughout history.(Nikolai de Vera| The State Press)
Published On:
Monday, October 12, 2009
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“Faces” is the latest exhibition on display at the Tempe Center for the Arts’ art gallery and sculpture garden, featuring mostly Arizona artists’ wide-ranging depictions of faces.

Arizonans and out-of-towners took in the art Saturday afternoon, and for a portion of those people, the gallery was a pleasant discovery because it was their first visit to the Tempe Center for the Arts.

Lee Truong, a 2007 MBA graduate, said he wandered into the gallery on a whim and was pleasantly surprised with the artwork and laidback atmosphere.

Truong took time to sit down in the chairs facing a glass alcove overlooking Tempe Town Lake to sketch.

At this location in the gallery, local artists come and treat the space as their studio, allowing the public to observe them while they work.

This is a part of the “Faces” exhibition called “Studio in the Gallery,” and Linda Tracey Brandon will be the next artist to showcase her creative process on Oct. 24 and Nov. 7.

Truong said he was impressed by the diverse mediums of artwork at the gallery, which displays photographs, paintings, sculptures, carvings and masks.

“I think just the face in general is really dynamic, so you can show it in so many different ways and with all the different expressions,” Truong said.

Madoka Atsumi traveled from New York City to the Tempe Center for the Arts to participate in Desert Dance Theatre’s Arizona Dance Festival.

Atsumi, a former artist and daughter of a painter, said she gave up art to pursue dancing. Having worked with charcoal, Atsumi was drawn to Bailey Doogan’s self portraits “Four Fingered Smile” and “Five Fingered Grin,” in which the artist’s face is manipulated by a set of hands.

Atsumi also enjoyed David Mathis’ “David Mechanica,” one of the moving pieces of artwork with rotating gears that Atsumi interpreted as what goes on behind a face.

“It’s just interesting how all the faces and focuses are so different,” she said.

Irwin and Eleanor Light, art gallery enthusiasts and Paradise Valley residents, made the drive out to Tempe to experience the art and architecture because of recommendations from other Arizona art galleries.

After viewing the gallery, Irwin Light said he had never paid much attention to the details of someone’s face.

“You realize there’s so much in the individual’s face,” he said.

Matt Chandross, a 1997 geography graduate, was at the center with his son to attend the production of “Honus and Me.”

Chandross was surprised by Dan Collins’ mixed media video sculpture titled “I Cannot Tell a Lie,” in which a white sculpture that resembles a jagged rock dangles from the ceiling, and a video camera positioned at the longitudinal end of the sculpture projects the image from that angle onto a nearby monitor revealing the face of George Washington.

“I’ve never seen anything like that before,” Chandross said.

Chandross said he was particularly intrigued by Alfred J. Quiroz’s “44 Presidents & One is Hitler,” in which the eyes of 44 presidents and Hitler are focused upon so that distinguishing Hitler’s eyes from the rest offered viewers an interactive moment.

“I think it’s very interesting to see how faces can be portrayed in so many different genres within art,” Chandross said.

Reach the reporter at brian.bahe@asu.edu.