Cohn Drennan Contemporary initiates the 2013 calendar year with ENVIRONS, story presenting the work of Ron Clark (Dallas), prostate Susan Perkins (Dallas) and Betty Sewell (Horseshoe Bay, cure TX), an exhibition of artists with diverse personal histories in Dallas and whose diverse applications of their work present a commonality of respect for their experiences with the Environs they inhabit.

Ron Clark moved to Dallas after completing his studies at Parsons, but not before making important career connections. New York gallerist Walter Wickiser represents Clark’s work as part of The New Abstractionists project that the gallery inaugurated in 2009, and has since toured iterations of the exhibition to Chicago, Toronto, Los Angeles and Miami. The artist’s current series of paintings, Impending Presence, will be represented in the ENVIRONS exhibition.

Ron Clark, Silver and Diox 3, 2011, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 24 inches

Ron Clark, Silver and Diox 3, 2011, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 24 inches

The initial viewer’s reaction to Susan Perkin’s Luminous Impressions series is an appreciation of the intricacy and delicate nature of the woven paper and fibers that she incorporates in the work. But that first response belies the truth that these pieces are stronger and more durable than the accepted concepts of paper as medium, and that the intricate and fluid design el­ements are based on principles of environmental sustainability and green methodologies.

Susan Perkins- Transcend-sumi ink on paper with fiber- 17 x 15 in

Susan Perkins, Transcend, sumi ink on paper with fiber, 17 x 15 inches

Susan Perkins’ work has the ethereal quality of seeing shapes in the clouds. Elements of familiarity appear and then
disappear. Calligraphic elements whisper through these woven sculptural works.

Her work is as much about meditation as it about craftsmanship. The first step involves gestural drawing in black ink across white paper. These intuitive drawings often express her feelings. This is followed by the slicing or sometimes delicately tearing of the paper and then arranging it, transforming it into a new beginning. In arranging the paper, Perkins cre-ates what she calls her “personal calligraphy”. Then, using a loom, she weaves these new compositions through shimmering fibers, suggesting the rhythm and flow of life. For her, “this process is prayer.” In the final step, she uses medium gel to adhere the paper to the fiber. “This represents union,” Perkins says. The finished work reflects the contemplation that goes into each piece. —Nancy Cohen Israel

Susan is active in her role as part of the Advisory Council of the Meadows Museum and the formation of Contemplating Art. Susan and, her husband, Kent Wittman are international members of the Dallas­ Valencia Citizens Committee that recently welcomed the Valencian delegation during the inauguration of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. She is on the board of the Nexus mentoring program for children and adolescents and is a spiritual director who leads contemplative prayer groups.

Betty Sewell, Heavy Morning Rain, 2012, acrylic on canvas, 72 x 60 inches

Betty Sewell, Heavy Morning Rain, 2012, acrylic on canvas, 72 x 60 inches

Betty Sewell has been involved with commercial and residential design projects in Dallas for most of her life, and her work has been featured in publications such as D Home, Veranda and DFW Home Living. When the artist moved to the Hill Country, she went back to school and secured her BFA in Painting from Southwestern University and promptly embarked on a series of minimalist paintings inspired by the view of the lake from her studio. Betty’s work returns to Dallas in a form that reflects her design experience by providing a knowledge and quality of what her contemporaries in Dallas expect from the Design District.

Opening Reception
Saturday, January 12, 2013, 6 – 8 PM
Cohn Drennan Contemporary
1107 Dragon, Dallas 75207