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Artists show 'Variation'
Posted: Monday, October 5, 2009 12:00 am

Sometimes, a little change can make a big difference.

No one knows that more than the artists featured in "Measured Variation," the new exhibit at the Saratoga County Arts Council gallery in Saratoga Springs.

The exhibition, which "focuses on repetition and minute patterning," shows viewers just how much a slight alteration in process can change a piece.

Richard Garrison and Tina Seligman, the two artists displayed, convey this measure in very different ways. Garrison uses a singular medium, while Seligman's work is varied.

Garrison creates his work using a Spirograph toy, pencils and ballpoint pens. Despite the fact that the general technique is the same, the pieces are much more varied than expected. Color seems to play a big impact in his work, and he uses lots of reds, pinks and greens in addition to the standard blues and blacks. His designs consist mostly of circular and tube shapes, but Garrison also dabbles in flower shapes created with ovals.

Not all the pieces are so obvious in their formation, however. "Spirograph No. 19" is a circle pattern that resembles a chain-link fence. The color scheme of blue and orange is complementary and exciting to the eye. The black serves as a grounding element for the piece, to allow it to be striking yet not so whimsical that it comes off as unrealistic.

Another piece, "Spirograph 22," is done solely with a black ballpoint pen and is especially alluring. The piece exudes a sense of mystery and a sense of emptiness - the tool literally has been used so many times it has become nothing but a spiraled mass, with evidence of the tool only seen on the scalloped edges. The endless spirals have created a web of texture, similar to that of a Brillo pad. This piece definitely has some interesting feeling.

Seligman, a native of Queens, "explores concepts seen in the arrangements of shapes in artwork; (is) drawn to patterning seen in nature, music and textiles."

Her pieces are interesting because they explore different mediums, including music. Many of her works are divided into four squares, to show different phases of time and movement. She shows these in wall hangings as well as in book form, including the piece "Phrases: Book 3," a mixed-media piece. The book shows the phases of water, and the blue color makes the actual water look like icicles in comparison, forcing one to examine the relationship.

Another piece, with the same message but a completely different technique, is "Cycles: Pattern 1." The work examines subtle changes in sheet music. In addition to viewing it on paper, you also can listen to the pieces. The interactive exhibit is a nice touch and always adds some diversity to a display.

While both artists are quite different in their techniques, it is incredible how their interpretation of a message fits together. The exhibit is interesting, thought-provoking and has a variety of work to keep any artistic taste entertained.

"Measured Variation," the works of Richard Garrison and Tina Seligman, is showing through Nov. 14 at the Saratoga Arts Council gallery at 320 Broadway.

Jordan Reardon is a writer for The Post-Star. Read her "Clothes Call" fashion blog on poststar.com. She can be e-mailed at jreardon@poststar.com.

Posted in Canvassing on Monday, October 5, 2009 12:00 am