Santa Maria Sun / Art
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 25
Shade and ShadowTwo artists fuse their creativity to create the latest installment at Foxworthy Gallery
BY SHELLY CONE
It’s rare that an art curator can find two collections that fit together as well as the latest collection at Allan Hancock College’s Foxworthy Gallery. Gallery director Marti Fast said that as life partners and award-winning creative partners, David Stroup and Laura Moll often collaborate artistically, frequently traveling to remote areas and working with what they find in the environment. Both philosophers, the two generate themes and play with possibilities as they explore nature.
“This show brings together their passion for capturing light and shadow as it reveals form and the individual pieces flow together beautifully into a unified whole,” Fast said.
Moll, who does a lot of traditional sculpture as well as environmental sculpture, said she and Stroup often hike to areas where many people don’t go.
“A lot of it is just play. He’ll photograph things and I’ll watch and take in nature. Or I’ll create stuff and he’ll photograph it,” Moll said.
Many of Stroup’s pictures featured in the exhibit highlight Moll’s environmental sculptures and others feature his own award-winning creative work. Stroup studied at Hancock, going on to develop his black and white landscape figurative photography with Edna Bullock and Morley Baer. He’s garnered dozens of awards for his work, which has been featured at the Los Angeles Museum of Art, the Ansel Adams Gallery, and the Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo museums of art, among others.
Both artists get their inspiration from nature, but Moll added that most of the inspiration for her traditional sculptures comes from her interest in archeology and cultural anthropology juxtaposed with current events and injected with her own creativity.
Take for instance her piece called Tears of the Maya. The piece comes from the incense burners that could be found as part of the adornment of Mayan palaces.
“With the Tears of the Maya piece, this was once an incredibly sophisticated civilization and because of various reasons, the civilization is gone, but the people live on,” she said.
So the tears in the piece represent the fall of the civilization, she said.
Moll began her sculpting career when she started taking classes with Robert Nichols at Allan Hancock College in 1998. Later she attended San Jose State Unversity and began casting her works in bronze. She said she uses sculpting to express concepts that would be otherwise difficult to define. In fact, she said the reason she enjoys sculpture is because it lets her express things she can’t put into words.
“It’s like I have all these ideas swirling through my head and they end up coming out through my fingers,” Moll said.
Fast said the exhibit is fascinating because whereas there is a chemistry with some artists and their creations, there is an even more dynamic chemistry when artists share their lives and artistic vision.
“I have known both these artists for a long time—from before they became life partners—and have always appreciated their work and creative energy. It seemed natural that Laura’s sculpture and David’s photographs would make a terrific show. When I asked and they said yes, I just grinned. I knew it was going to be good, and it really is,” Fast said.
Fast taught both Moll and Stroup in her life drawing classes at different times. She said Moll was a student who liked to run with new ideas and concepts.
“I was thrilled to see work she’s done in the last four years, in both ceramic and bronze. She merges ideas and images that always turn my head; it’s the kind of work I have to look at over and over, first to see the many layers in it, and then to marvel at how she ever came up with it,” Fast said.
Stroup took her life drawing class in the ’80s while he was studying the nude form in the landscape.
“He has always been inventive and sensitive, and I’ve loved every show I’ve seen of his work. He excels at the art and craft of making pictures, and I love the almost spiritual quality that emanates from his work,” Fast said.
She said the work of the two artists fits into the space well, allowing the rest of the world to see where their conversations have taken them in their creative journeys.
“I think this show will speak to everyone who takes a moment to come in and listen with their eyes for awhile,” Fast said.
Arts Editor Shelly Cone prefers to listen with her heart. She can be contacted at email@example.com