Shawn Westlaken,
Todd Spicer &
Marisa Mary Myrah

Jennifer Wittman Gallery, Richmond
November 13 - 30

Encounter Along the Endless Path (1996),
mixed media

THE JENNIFER WITTMAN Gallery is currently highlighting the work of three artists, with a focus on mixed media by Shawn Westlaken.

Westlaken's paintings are filled with what a critic once described as "magical light" and "lustrous silence", even as they have moved from the representational to purely abstract. He is able to create what many artists strive for - an essence or spirit that offers an illusion of preciousness and peace. Whether linear and geometric or loosely expressionist, they appear to transcend both their materials and subjects.

Spicer's wall installations and sculptures are based on the theme of the passage through life and death, using the figure of the ferryman and his journey on the river Styx. Made from found materials, brightly-colored and "naive" in style, his works often engage the viewer by bouncing, moving, or "eyeing" the viewer.

Myrah uses charcoal, wax and oil paint in collages that evoke a more idealized romantic era. Her parchment-like images incorporate literary and Biblical text or personal love poems.

© Mia Johnson