Collaborative Art Exhibit at Art Uptown in Sarasota

Artists Joan Libby Hawk, a ceramist, and Jana Millstone, a painter, present COLOR & CLAY—A DUET, their unique conversation between artists and mediums. The collaborative exhibit of clay objects and paintings, on view at Art Uptown from January 30 to February 26, 2021, celebrates color, light and form. Sharing a contemporary visual sensibility, the artists explore the connections between their three-and two-dimensional work, riffing off the play of light, negative space and transparent color.

About the Art Exhibit

“Finally, our collaboration exists in a real, physical space,” the artists say, referring to the fact that the pandemic locked down their initial exhibit scheduled for May 2020.  This installation highlights new work that has grown in scale and strengthens the dialog between the light-filled properties of Jana’s paintings with Joan’s refined ceramic forms and translucent glazes.

Jana explains, “I have straddled the worlds of two-dimensional art and that of three- dimensional design, believing there is an inherent kinship between them. It is the way people experience their treasured objects in real life. I am happy to share the creative process finding commonality and inspiration in Joan’s work.”

“I’ve been intrigued by the idea of integrating my ceramic art with the ideal two-dimensional counterpart,” Joan elaborates.  “This collaborative installation explores ways of seeing and experiencing art and probes the connection between art, art maker and viewers.”

Envisioned a year earlier, but postponed due to COVID-19, the artists pivoted to a virtual exhibit that was posted during May 2020; see EXHIBIT 1  EXHIBIT 2  While the pandemic dramatically altered their expectations, Joan and Jana continued to develop their collaboration and friendship. The ability to realize this re-imagined COLOR & CLAY show – expanding the original concept and testing it in the real world – stands as a personal affirmation during this difficult period.

The artists will host a ZOOM conversation in early February to talk about their collaboration and the installation’s visual goals.  Details to come.

Visit this engaging installation at Art Uptown, located at 1367 Main Street, Sarasota, open Monday through Friday, 11 am to 5 pm, Saturday, 11 am to 3 pm and Sunday, 12 noon to 5 pm.  You can meet the gallery artists all day on Saturdays.  Private appointments can be arranged by calling 941.955.5409.  The gallery continues its commitment to visitor and staff safety by the use of masks, sanitizer, frequent cleaning and social distancing.

About the Artists

Jana Millstone holds a BFA from Pratt Institute, with additional studies at Parsons

School of Design, The Art Students League, and Fashion Institute of Technology.

She served as Concept Design Director for Lenox China in addition to designing other

high-end consumer products.  Jana has exhibited in New York at Brooks Jackson Iolas Gallery, Porter Contemporary, Site-Brooklyn, as well as Susquehanna Museum of Art, PA. Winner of the Society of Illustrators’ scholarship, she has since won numerous awards including the state-wide Florida’s Finest first prize. Associations: FLAG, WCA, NLAPW and Petticoat Painters. 

Joan Libby Hawk, a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, studied at the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford, England and subsequently earned an MFA in ceramics from the City University of New York.  Living abroad in Bangkok, Thailand and Phnom Penh, Cambodia provided a singular opportunity to study Asian art and ceramics. In 2017 she opened her Sarasota studio after a career in New York directing communications at NGOs, government and the United Nations promoting women’s human rights. She currently teaches ceramics at Suncoast Technical College and is a member of Women Contemporary Artists (WCA).  

About Art Uptown

Established in 1980, Art Uptown is celebrating 40 years of offering Sarasota art collectors a constantly changing collection of fine art in a friendly, relaxed setting on Sarasota’s Main Street. A highly selective group of area artists present diverse work in both 2D and 3D mediums. For the past two years, Art Uptown has been chosen as Sarasota’s favorite art gallery by the readers of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Telephone: 941.955.5409. WEBSITE

Photo from Art Uptown

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2021-01-24