By Brittany Meister
Missed our art show last week? That's okay! We'll have another this Friday July 21st! Consider this a preview for that show, or a little more detail if you've already seen the work.
I asked two of our contributors (who also happen to be involved in the play itself) to talk about their work. Read on to learn more about the pieces that Jeremy LaBelle (Richard/The Bastard) and Rachel Zembrowski (Blanche) created!
I've been making art for about as long as I can remember, and even though I've been mostly doing it for myself, I've found over the years that my art has been pulling very sincere and often very critical reactions from people. Not just with the technique or with the mediums I use, but more with the content of the piece itself, and what it represents. My socio-political pieces tend to be the pieces that reap the most raw emotions from people, and I am very glad to have been given the opportunity to do so through the King John Art Festival.
The piece I created for the Festival is called "Doth Not the Crown of England Prove the King?" The major focus of the piece was to take a very raw and charismatic piece of text and boil it down to the harsh reality through imagery. In the piece my visual interpretation of King John is surrounded by several newspaper clippings that are very violent or negative in context. Things like "butcher" "cuts and scrapes" "comfortable pain" and "too late" are just a few of the many words I specifically chose from newspapers to wrought a very pessimistic and unfavorable mindset from the viewers to give an overall feeling of unease. The title itself is supposed to make the viewer feel hope and almost a sense of patriotism--- but the piece itself takes advantage of that optimistic state of mind and catches the viewer off guard with depictions of blood and words of pessimism and anger. I believe that is where the teeth and nails of this piece come into play, and I am very excited to see those reactions of confusion, unease, and vulnerability first hand at the art festival.
Jeremy Jaymes LaBelle
More of Jeremy's work can be found on her Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/artbyjjlb
I saw the very first prompt for gallery submissions and I knew I needed to do a piece for that. "What is the purpose of art in 2017? Why does your work and your identity as an artist matter?" I started thinking about it and I got this image in my head of someone sitting on the ground with a little blob of bright colors in their hands while the majority of the space was just a mass of darkness creeping in on them. The image evolved, but I think it maintained its original intent. It's all about feeling like there's so much darkness in the world but if I can create something beautiful, then it eases that darkness just a little and every little bit counts. Actually creating the piece was interesting. I started working on it, intending it to be sort of a practice for the final piece-figuring out dimensions and proportions and the like-but it became the final piece and skipped that first part completely. Also I played with mixed mediums which is not usual for me, so it was fun experimenting with that. Making messes with charcoal and water came across as the darkness I was looking for, and colored pencil and sharpie gave me the bright, crisp look I needed for the little artist's creation.
You can catch Jeremy and Rachel and the rest of our cast (and a second chance at the art exhibition) on the second weekend of The Life and Death of King John!
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