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Posted: 03/06/13

Three artists combine
efforts for 'Chimera'

by CHRIS GRAY
Observer Staff Writer

      Explore the themes of hybridization and re-defining the norms with conceptual works of art at the Starkweather Arts Center's latest show.
       The "Chimera" exhibit will open on Friday, March 8, with an opening reception from 7-9 p.m. The show will run from March 8-30.
       The show takes its name from the mythical creature that is composed of a lion, snake and a goat. In that vein, the three featured artists say the show combines their different styles into an examination of hybridization and recombination.
       "It's a nice mix, very conceptual based," said Starkweather Exhibit Committee member Kristin Barr. "It's the responsibility of the art center to teach and expose audiences to as many different types of art as possible."
       Lucas Korte, a Roseville artist, uses his background in biology sciences to break down the human form and other organisms and re-combine them in his art.
       "I like complicating the traditional views of being a living thing, and what it means to be a human being," he said. "My goal is to sort of question that."
       He said he will feature three-dimensional works during the exhibit that combine painting and sculpture that give an impression of organic and technological forms.
       "When people see a piece, I hope it is something they haven't seen but will recognize elements of it," he said.
       Austin Brady, an artist from the Metro Detroit region, said he taps into clashing the duality of divinity and deformity in his works, often using animals as symbols to tell a narrative.
       "A lot of animals in my work are symbols that sort of transcend any particular language," he said. "I pull a lot from different myths."
       He said he will feature both three-dimensional and two-dimensional art such as ink, acrylics and oil paintings at the exhibit. He said he likes that he is working with two contemporary artists he knows for the show.
       "I definitely think it's interesting, considering Romeo has that small-town feel, and I think it's really awesome they're taking a risky step in showing some more contemporary work," Brady said.
       Shaina Kasztelan, a Sterling Heights artist, said her artwork was originally inspired from her fascination with exploring the woods as a child and finding carcasses of animals.
       "It's shock value, but I'm interested in showing there is more to it than being a revolting thing," she said. "It's about the texture and personal experiences, making it more feminine."
       She does this in the upcoming show with embroidery work as well as candy and cake decorating pieces, though she also does digital collages and paintings.
       "We (the three artists) all have really different styles, so I'm interested to see all our works together," she said.
       Barr said all three artists are expected to be at the opening reception for audiences to speak with and question them about their works.
       "I love going to openings for these shows because you hear a lot of conversation about the meaning of the work," Barr said.
       The show is appropriate for all ages to view. Admission to the center is free, but donations are appreciated.
       The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. For more information, call (586) 752-5700 or visit www.starkweatherarts.com.


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