Friday, October 9, 2009

ArtScape at Vol State

Kaaren Hirschowitz Engel's new work, entitled ArtScape, evokes the idea of art as a landscape and also as an escape. Kaaren Hirschowitz Engel has created an environment of art, which can be enjoyed in the way a spectator would a beautiful nature scene, or into which one can submerge oneself, leaving behind the “ordinary” world.

The installation is defined by its brilliant color, unusual shapes and larger-than-life scale. The sculptures are created by the artist on large rolls of Arches watercolor paper with numerous layers of acrylic paint and acrylic medium. After completing a painting on both sides, Kaaren rolls or cuts the paintings to create woven orbs or giant columns. The former give viewers a sense of being in an outerspace or undersea voyage. The latter appear to be trees or pillars from an exotic land.Together, they create an ArtScape.

Kaaren Hirschowitz Engel was born in Birmingham, Alabama, but traveled extensively with her parents and siblings, often spending summers in South Africa, where her father was born. She graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts. She then attended law school at Emory University, and after graduating, began practicing law in San Francisco in 1987. In 1988, she moved to Nashville, where she continued her law practice for another 11 years. In 1999, she left her practice with the intent of pursuing a more creative path. Six months later she began painting, and has been making her career as an artist ever since. She has shown nationally and internationally, creating installations in a variety of settings, including hospitals, museums, public spaces and galleries.

Her work is included in numerous corporate and private collections. Based in Nashville, she still travels the globe, gathering inspiration for her paintings and sculptures from all corners of the earth. The exhibit can be seen in the Thigpen Library Gallery on the Vol State campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin, from October 5 to November 1. Kaaren Engel will speak about the exhibit on October 14 at 11am at Rochelle Centre of Thigpen Library. For more information call 230-3220.

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