The latest exhibit at the Kenai Fine Art Center features the work of two local artists who experiment with texture and dimension in their pieces.
The exhibit, titled “Rough Around the Edges,” was put together by Stephanie Cox and Anna Widman.
Widman’s pieces range widely in size and scope, from large canvasses textured with shells, rocks and sand and overlaid with ink-painted fabric, to sculptures resembling the female form, to fragments of a shattered espresso set combined with natural, woven fibers.
Cox works primarily with acrylic paint on wooden panels and adds dimension to her work by attaching clay pieces using a combination of wall joint compound, marble dust and plaster dust. The result of Cox’s mixed-medium approach is a contrast of organic elements with geometric designs: images of skyscrapers with clay barnacles growing out of them and asymmetrical numbered grids with octopus-like tentacles stretching outwards.
Cox said during the exhibit’s opening on Jan. 2 that she has focused on mixed-media artwork since obtaining her master’s degree in that field, and actually held her master’s exhibit at the Fine Art Center in 2014.
Cox and Widman both teach art for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District — Cox at Soldotna High School and Widman at Nikiski Middle/High — so the two have had their works featured together in the past at school-related events, but this is their first exhibit together outside that realm.
“Anna and I both work in very mixed media and very textural,” Cox said. “And we have very different styles, but we thought it would be a good fit.”
Most of Cox’s work on display was made specifically for the January exhibit, while much of Widman’s work, aside from the sculptures, comes from her master’s show in Boston last year.
Cox said she keeps a sketchbook handy to jot down ideas as they come to her, usually loose representations of nature. Cox also incorporates a lot of geometric designs into her work, with many of them featuring numbers or shapes underneath the pieces of molded clay.
“I like order and structure, but I don’t like symmetry,” Cox said. “I like very geometric shapes like circles and lines and dots, and I integrate that with a little juxtaposition of the organic.”
“Rough Around the Edges” will be on display at the Fine Art Center through the month of January. The Fine Art Center is located in Old Town Kenai across from the Peninsula Oilers Bingo Hall and is open from 12-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.