Villanova, Pa. – 'Waterworks', an exhibit of local artist Gerry Tuten's abstract acrylic canvasses and large ink on paper scrolls, launches the 2014 – 15 season of the Villanova University Art Gallery.
Open to the public, the exhibit is comprised of 21 large works. Each one, directly or subtly, has a reference to water. 'Fumbling Toward Ecstasy', a 6-1/2 x 10-foot acrylic on canvas, is an abstract painting of a landscape's reflection on water. 'Red Dragon,' an almost equally large ink and acrylic scroll on rice paper, was created during the artist's 2007 art residency in Beijing, China, where she added calligraphic markings to her pallet.
A free, public reception to meet the Villanova-resident painter will take place from 5 to 7 p. m., Friday, September 5 in the gallery located in the Connelly Center on the University’s Main Campus. Refreshments will be served. Convenient on-campus parking is available. The exhibit continues to October 2.
Tuten constantly searches for subtle and not-so-subtle energies in our visual world, as well as the tensions between things and expression. She connects with spirit using yoga breath control exercises, meditation and self-awareness until, she says, “The energy inside bursts forth and spills onto the canvas.”
“Her attitude towards art is poetic, even mystical,” writes Philadelphia Inquirer art Critic Victoria Donohoe: “Gerry has given her art a fresh face, more intensely human and spontaneous. . . Art such as hers is about human experience; paintings speak, and this artist seeks to have hers tap into deeper feelings while avoiding sentimentality.”
Philadelphia artist Timothy Hawkesworth, one of Tuten's teachers, believes her work, “draws us back to a place where coexistence with nature was not only natural and inevitable, it was essential – essential for physical survival, and for our understanding of ourselves.”
As a process painter focused more on the act of painting than its outcome, the artist explains her passion: “I allow myself to break all the rules. Trusting my intuition, I can let go of the 'work of art'. The painting is just a place to free myself – to surrender to process. Clarity is distilled out of movement and change. The paintings are the record I leave behind of my journey into spirit. They are in gratitude for my life.”
The artist takes her inspiration where she finds it: “If I'm there with the water, I'm observing, being part of the landscape. If I'm in my studio, the inspiration's coming from another place.”
She has had many solo exhibits and joined in numerous group exhibits throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, and New England. In addition to the Red Gate Studio in Beijing, she has been artist-in residence at the Nantucket Island School of Design, and the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT.
Tuten earned a Master of Fine Arts degree at Temple University's Tyler School of Art and a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
The Villanova University Art Gallery is open weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm. For weekend and extended hours, and other information, call the Art Gallery at (610) 519-4612. Selected works for the Gerry Tuten exhibit may be previewed on the gallery’s website at www.artgallery.villanova.edu. Additional works may be found online at www.gerrytuten.com.
About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.