In 2016, five artists conspired with one mission in common — exploration of new ideas.
“The Collective,” which includes Ethan Rickrode, Andres Tapia, Courtney Billow, “The” Wayne King and Roberta Iula debuted their works at the Shippensburg Arts Programming & Education (SHAPE) gallery Friday evening.
Each artist had a distinguishable style making it easy to tell which artist painted what. Tapia used lines and swivels to create borders around each surface. One of his paintings was titled “I Go To The Beach 3x a Day” and used sandy tans and ocean blues to transform blocks to a tropical getaway.
Iula strayed away from her usual art mediums and tried her hand at acrylic painting. Like Tapia, Iula displayed remnants of the sea with seashells and landscapes. Through four decades of varied art forms, her artwork has expanded from finger-painting houses to stamp-like tropical fruit.
Rickrode’s one piece dominated a whole wall with its massive size. Pieces of stuffing and cloth hung off the surface, begging for attention behind the open bar.
Rickrode explained how the piece originally was a large paper drawing, but while stretching it for gluing it ripped. He then began creating a collage of sorts with layers of paper painted over. The experiment allowed Rickrode to create something new and spontaneous outside the typical paint and paper form. In total, the piece took about a year to create.
“You’re still painting when you’re not painting. You paint with your eye,” Rickrode said.
Another unusual piece was “Yesterday” by King, which was a completely slate blue canvas. The simplicity stood out among all the elaborate designs.
Billow, a 2015 Shippensburg University alumna, focused her attention on the use of colors, lines and shapes to define thought. Many of her paintings looked like a scene from a geometry classroom chalkboard. Billow meticulously layered shapes on top of each other and even created heartbeat rhythms.
“My work is based on a collection of impulses,” Billow said.
All five artists are well experienced in a variety of mediums including ceramics, sculpture and digital arts. They decided to unite and formed a partnership based on their similar interests.
“A Collaboration in Color” was one of SHAPE’s biggest events with more than 100 people at the opening reception. All pieces will remain in the gallery until April 28.