CHOICE WORDS: Matthew Priest & Maryann Steinert-Foley

May 31 – June 23

above image: left – Matthew Priest, Person,, oil and acrylic on canvas, 36 x 36 
left – Maryann Steinert Foley,  No Means No, ceramic , 13.5w x 58h x 18d 

Matthew Priest, winner of the Juror’s Award from last years’ GearBox exhibit, Bluets, is featured this month in Choice Words, along with sculptor Maryann Steinert-Foley. 

Steinert-Foley’s figurative ceramic pieces stand as a visual counterpoint to Priest’s colorful, layered, text-based canvases. Upon close examination, similar impulses on the part of both artists emerge. About his current series derived from language, Priest says, “Most are a kind of meditation on concepts that feel at risk (Peace, Truth, Justice, etc.)”. Steinert-Foley’s figures convey a sense of vulnerability and fragility. But, she explains, “I intend for them nonetheless to convey a sense of strength and resolve – and the message that the “appearance” of vulnerability does not necessarily connote weakness.”

Apart from the obvious use of text, both artists share an intuitive approach to the making of their work. They seem to be grappling with personal notions of risk, loss, vulnerability, and power – human emotions and responses to an unsettling time.