AMERISTAR GALLERY emerging ARTIST series
The Ameristar Gallery is home to the Foundry Art Centre's Emerging Artist Series.
Artists fresh on the art scene can display their work to introduce their style to the local art community.
April 28 – June 9, 2017
As a contemporary artist, my work has focused on memories tied to the innocence of childhood and the purity of the creative spirit throughout this period of my life. The feeling of discovery and exploration in my adolescence fueled the visual, auditory, and heartfelt memories imprinted within my soul. I’m driven by the ongoing reflection and interpretation of these time/location-specific memories, and am inspired to share them in a separate place and time; the present.
My adoration of colors and patterns arose from childhood experiences steeped in the material culture of the Midwest; specifically my beloved 1980’s and 1990’s games and cartoons. Transformers (cartoon) and Rainbow Brite (cartoon) had characters each associated with a specific color and responsibility. The colors of the characters always correlated to a “something” representing a much larger idea: an emotion, an altruistic deed, and/or core qualities. Likewise, Candyland (board game), which was bursting with colors, patterns, and sugary shapes, that directly stimulated my inner-childhood creativity. These themes have continually resonated throughout my being, and are now an integral concept I incorporate in my work.
Pattern is a significant subject matter and underlying theme in my work. I view pattern as a visual language that can cause physical reactions to the viewer. The use of pattern is stimulating because it can be chaotic and busy, yet it is still a form of repetition and order. The repetition and rhythm of a pattern generates visual movement, a central characteristic of my work that keeps the viewer visually engaged.
I am compelled to create work that is inspired by positive memories from my youth to balance the media’s constant attention on the negativity throughout the world. Society has become addicted to stories that are filled with violence. The use of the vibrant colors and visually stimulating pattern in my work creates an environment that acts as an escape for viewers from the adverse stimulants around us.
Ultimately I am creating works that carry ideas of color and pattern that I have had in my imagination for as long as I can remember; that are part of the visual world I was surrounded with as I grew up. If I could choose, I would be surrounded by ordered color at all the times; it both exhilarates and comforts me.
I have a physical reaction from color and pattern and I am creating work that can provide this reaction to others and myself.
June 16 – July 28, 2017
In Scattered Remains, Julie Gautier-Downes captures photographic images of abandoned homes in ghost towns in the Western United States and Central France. The towns pictured were abandoned for a range of reasons. However, regardless of the specific reason, the inhabitants were forced to leave and never look back. In photographs of these long abandoned homes, she questions what can be learned about past inhabitants through the objects left behind and the lingering marks on the land. These haunting images serve as memorials to the lives of these long missing people.
Julie Gautier-Downes’ studio practice is the investigation of somatic traces left in barren landscapes that become artifacts of the past. The domestic vestiges that now haunt these spaces are transformed into a narrative waiting to be deciphered. Her process involves documenting or recreating deserted houses and abandoned items that allude to the home and family. The spaces she records seem to be in a perpetual state of disarray, imbuing the notion that a single event stimulated the need for the inhabitants to leave hastily. Gautier-Downes re-frames each scene into her rendition of the stories each space unveils. The accounts she relays reveal the trauma each housing structure suffers as it slowly decomposes into the environment as well as the physicality of displacement.