Saturday, February 02, 2013

FLASHBACK: Opening reception for Figuratively Speaking

When I was younger and more of a party-goer, I loved gatherings where I knew half of the people well, and didn't really know the other half. There's comfort in the familiar and excitement in  encountering new people, stories and adventures.

It's the same way I now feel about art shows. I love seeing new works by artists I'm familiar with and exploring art by people whose work is not so familiar to me.

Figuratively Speaking, curated by Studio 18 cultural arts coordinator Robyn Vegas, was a nice blend of familiar and new. The show opened last night with music, art based on the human form, and a  presentation where each artist talked very briefly about their work in the show.

The exhibition continues through March 28, and my pics from the opening are below:

Have you ever taken on more than you really should and then realized what you would now have to do to accomplish said task ... That's what the expression on this face of this ceramic work by Sharon Dash makes me think about ... It's titled "In Too Deep."

This work by Sharon Dash is mesmerizing, but I was surprised when two people commented that the sculpture resembles me. I don't see it but would be happy to bear even a slight resemblance to this sort of beauty.

I had the pleasure of meeting Sharon Dash, the creator of these ceramic works.

Another of Sharon Dash's works

Larry Joe Miller and Spencer Mallinson brought the music, and I spotted a few ladies breaking into dance.

This beautiful wall of portraits by Lori Pratico features some local artists. Who can name them?

Can you imagine painting a portrait like this and then getting to see the reaction of the person depicted as they see it for the first time? .... Well, Lori Pratico had just that experience last night at Studio 18 when Lori Cataldo, the subject of the work, saw the piece for the first time. I wish I'd arrived early enough to see that.

Here's Lori Cataldo (the happy subject of the painting) and Lori Pratico as they posed for a photographer.

Serafima Sokolov's Memorial to Innocence installation included helmets, toy rifles and children's shoes atop wood platforms. Above these are very large portraits of child solders. Each represents hundreds of lost child souls.

Serafima Sokolov's "Memorial to Innocence"

This mixed-media work by Judy Polstra is titled "Sweetness"

Polstra, with her work titled "Dying to Be Beautiful"

Serafima Sokolov attended to her interactive installation that involved her series of paintings on the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. Many of the paintings resemble, in whole or in part, negatives from photographs. While the works relate to our more current economic state, and related struggles, the paintings also depict survival, and hope.

Serafima Sokolov's "Miss Depression" is based on a 1931 photo taken in Kansas. The woman depicted wears a dress of newspapers. Sokolov used newspapers (real paper ones, rather than online) to make an ensemble, too, and encouraged comments (hand-written on paper rather than typed on a computer).

One comment reads: "Happiness is not a destination! It is found in the journey! Celebrate self!"

Studio 18 resident artist Kalyan in his studio with a few of his glass heads.

In "Mother," Kalyan's contribution to the Figuratively Speaking show, the artist depicts himself ... in the future. You can read more about Kalyan in a November story I wrote about him for the Sun-Sentinel.

"Mother" by Studio 18 resident artist Kalyan: The view from atop the pedestal inside the dodecahedron.

Figuratively Speaking, curated by Studio 18 cultural arts coordinator Robyn Vegas, will run through March 28, with a studio salon on March 1. Studio 18 is at 1101 Poinciana Drive in Pembroke Pines. Admission is free. Call 954-961-6067 or visit Read Arterpillar's Sun-Sentinel story on the show.

For info on more South Florida art news and events, visit


  1. Thanks Lori. Loved seeing so much of your work all in one place!

  2. It was a great night! Wondeful Picture :)
    ♥ Lori Cataldo

  3. It WAS a very nice opening ... and such a wonderful portrait.