“SACRED AUTUMN: A PASSION FOR PAPER” Art Exhibit
November 6, 2017
Artist Pam Ring Fall Art Reception Sunday, November 19, 2017 ~ 3:00-5:00 PM
WHAT: OPTIMISM IN THE FACE OF LIFE’S TRIALS
“SACRED AUTUMN: THE ART OF COLLAGE” by Pam Ring
WHERE: Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (In the Big Brown Barn), W2493 County Road ES, East Troy WI 53120
WHEN: Reception Sunday, November 19, 2017 ~ 3:00-5:00 PM
Artwork to be displayed through December 13th, 2017
COST: FREE ~ Open to the Public
WHY: Following the Autumn Equinox 2017, Good Earth Church honors the seasonal change,
and celebrates the healing effect of art upon the human spirit, with forms straight
from the earth.
A PASSION FOR PAPER
Pam Ring of Lake Geneva, WI employs an art form that is not often seen in the 21st century as fine art. But employing her personal passion for paper, she follows a tradition that had roots in the European Dada movement, an explosive reaction to World War I. It was an expression of discontent with war, senseless violence, capitalism, ultra nationalism and even art itself. The form also challenged ideas about sex and race as well as classical painting. Some very famous artists used the medium to convey everything from outrage to love of beauty, artists like Man Ray and Henri Matisse, for example.
None of Ring’s works are as large as Matisse’s great cutouts of leaves and plant forms—she works on a more intimate scale. And despite personal health battles, her motivation is hope and positivity, not outrage or anger at the state of the world. Rather, she is drawn to birds because of their work ethic, their cheerful vocals, their creative survival skills–she allowed one Robin family to raise two broods on her garage door opener all summer, cautioning neighbors that the door was deliberately open, and so to be wary of any strangers to the neighborhood near her garage!
Ring begins by gathering pieces of paper or paint chips that “talk” to her. She will gesso a background or tint it, and then arrange her bits and pieces until they say “I’m happy here” or “Get me out of here!” Her sources are magazines, old maps, post cards, paper bags, old bills, receipts, paper towels, paper tubes for mark-making–“nothing is safe” she cautions. Friends bring her papers and she keeps a sharp eye open for “ephemera”—that is, items that appear antique or haunting in nature; collectible memorabilia.
After Ring arranges her papers, she asks herself, “What does it need now?” This often results in a lot of layers—and that is the secret she teaches her students—lots of layers. Each of these add richness and invite the viewer closer and closer to examine what appears and what may be hidden.
“I don’t do ‘sofa art’” says Ring, commenting on wall-sized pieces found in hotel hallways and lobbies. And perhaps because her works are smaller, the viewer steps forward instead of backward, so see what her passion for paper is telling the rest of us.
Pam Ring has been a collage artist for more than 40 years. She studied collage at the Woodstock School of Art in New York state and took master classes with Claudine Hellmuth, Bev Braxton and Kelly Kilmer. She is influenced by modern artists like Paul Klee. Ring is a member of the Board of Directors of the Geneva Lakes Art Foundation and is Director of the Classroom and the yearly Paint-In. She works at her home studio in Lake Geneva where she lives with her husband Ray and two dogs.
The works of this Wisconsin artist are part of a series of quarterly art exhibitions featured at Michael Fields Agricultural Institute and hosted by the Good Earth Church of the Divine, an Interfaith community. Part of the Good Earth mission is to recognize the healing effects of the arts upon the human spirit, even as art draws attention to Earth care as a moral obligation and sacred calling.
Refreshments will be served at the Fall Art Reception on Sunday, November 19th from 3:00-5:00 p.m. and admission is FREE. The exhibition will run through December 13th and is open to the public on weekdays from 10:00 AM to 4:00 pm and weekends by appointment. Please join us to share the work of an optimistic artist who turned an art form begun in post-war outrage to one that brings peace-full delight to viewers.