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ALTERations

"Homage to Frida" by ZeeLinda Dissinger is included in "ALTERations," the annual juried show at the Carlisle Arts Learning Center on display until Feb. 2.

By definition, adjustments, modifications, revisions and adaptations are all forms of alterations. Therefore artists were encouraged to approach the theme in various ways, such as a piece of art that the artist has reworked, an object that has been revamped or even a piece of art that speaks to the process of change.

The resulting submissions included these interpretations and even more as artists stretched their imaginations to attain such altered states, both literally and figuratively.

Juried by Amy S. Hammond, fine arts curator of the State Museum of Pennsylvania, more than 35 pieces grace the G.B. Stuart Gallery on West Pomfret Street in Carlisle in a vast array of media, altered in various ways from conception to result.

Marsha Borden’s “Scorched Earth” addresses alterations from both concept through execution. Using plastic single-use grocery bags and chicken wire in her mixed media piece, Borden weaves a non-traditional landscape that also speaks to the alteration of the climate through global warming.

In another mixed media creation, Andrea Theisson’s “The Whole Package” combines paint and textile to show that colors of nature are also the colors we find in our everyday lives. She paints a beautiful Impressionist landscape, and then includes a swatch from a pair of blue jeans, a tangled collection of colorful fibers and small rectangles of woven cloth to represent the various life stages. Tied together by tight straps, Theisson represents life as one entire package.

Andrea Jacobsen took an everyday board game and altered it into a tribute to artist Piet Mondrian. In “Scrabble with Mondrian,” a colorful game has been created using not only words that refer to the life and work of the Abstract painter, but also his recognizable primary color palette.

In an intricate mixed media three-dimensional work, ZeeLinda Dissinger pays tribute to Frida Kahlo, the well-known Mexican painter and her fascinating life that was filled with pain and passion. Dissinger’s “Homage to Frida” is able to make references to the many trials and tribulations of her life, as well as her iconic works by assembling a bust with various trinkets and objects, painted terra cotta orange.

The construction is reminiscent of Giuseppe Arcimboldo, the Italian painter best known for making imaginative portraits made entirely of objects, such as fruits and vegetables.

“Settlement, Unsettlement” by William Mitchell is a photographic diptych. In the first scene, the background of rocky surface has been altered by the addition of honeysuckle berries, moss and stone to create a landscape reminiscent of a 1950s suburb. The second photograph shows the scene washed away by a heavy rain storm. The contrasting images metaphorically demonstrate both man’s dominance and impotence in the face of nature.

Elizabeth Jacobsen created an altar-like structure in “Crossroads,” a mixed media piece constructed of wooden crosses, linoleum, acrylics and casters. The choice of vibrant reds and oranges adds symbolic reference to blood, fire and passion. The crosses are multiplied and divided within the structure referencing religion and personal meanings to the artist.

Gregg Silvis earned “Best in Show” honors with “Frozen Waterfall II,” a piece created with cascading piles of paper and acrylic on wood panel. A librarian by trade, Silvis’s waterfall is in fact disassembled books with covers and bindings removed. The books were chosen not for their content, but instead for the attributes of the paper itself. From white to cream to brown colors, the pages fall downward like rushing torrents of water, in one of the most unique presentations one is likely to see.

CALC’s “ALTERations” once again proves the strength and appeal of the juried show in bringing together a diverse group of talented artists, media and approaches to a common theme.

“ALTERations” is on display at CALC until Feb. 2. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday or by appointment. CALC is located at 38 W. Pomfret St., in Carlisle. The exhibition is free and open to the public. Visit www.CarlisleArts.org or call 717-249-6973 for more information.

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Joseph George holds a degree in history and art history from Dickinson College. He and his wife, Barrie Ann have spent over 30 years together traveling and visiting art galleries locally and throughout the world. They have been writing about the local art scene for six years. Their tastes range from fine art to street art.

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