№ 15 – The Anniversary Show – Parlor Gallery’s celebration of their fifteenth anniversary featuring a selection of remarkable local artists opened on Saturday February 24th.   Members of the Parlor “Art Tribe”, friends, collectors and well wishers filled the gallery space, sipping drinks and mingling with the artists on show. A brief overview of the art on display follows.

The Parlor Gallery, co-owned and curated by Jenn Hampton and Jill Ricci, is a hot space for innovative and creative expressions of artistic exploration.  This commemoration of their favorite artists as well as some debut selections provides a unique opportunity for gallery goers and locals to immerse themselves in the local art scene.  There are 14 artists and 67 works on display including painting, multi-media, sculpture, and screen prints. 

Jill Ricci’s stunning visual collages are created with found images, including advertising ephemera, hand-stenciled papers, global motifs, design and abstraction.  Ricci says, “One of the most interesting visuals for me is an old wall layered with papers, graffiti and text – our modern hieroglyphics. I try to re-create this beauty in my work, the layers of time and decay are what interest me.” 

Hyland Mather creates large assembly style work from found and discarded materials which he reassembles to help them gain purpose.  Mather says “I make stuff from junk. I pick up messes and try to make them into something I think looks good. I use the junk from the city, I use stuff from the field. I use bits in the forest, and the things in the trash. I hunt, collect, and gather, but only what I need for the work, for the play. Color. Shape, composition. Some lost stuff gets found again.” 

Denis Randall, a Parlor Gallery staple, creates works from vinyl records and vintage memorabilia including children’s books and centerfolds.  Randall’s work juxtaposes these images as a visual discovery of his journey from childhood to adulthood.   

“This collection is a homage to collectables of which I have a lot of.  I have a lot of vinyl, children’s books and someone gave me their collection of adult magazines. So, I decided to do something with it and explore something very personal in these works.  Its meaning is more about visual captivation and curiosity than representation.  The collage draws you in because you don’t really know what you’re looking at until you get closer. The pieces are about a time in my life when childhood and adulthood overlapped, and I wanted to share that with others who may have had the same experience”. 

Ray Sell’s pieces are equally as personal exploring the American dream, American masculinity, and a reflection of himself.   His beer can series is about crushing a heritage centered around alcohol, representing his own personal and spiritual growth. (See his work at top of article).

Victor Grasso’s rich oil paintings explore the relationship between beauty and nature.  While is technique is realist, the painting tells stories that are otherworldly.  Grasso says, “The meaning of the paintings is what the viewer sees. I’m only the intermediary.  I paint what I see.”

Additional works by Michael Wayne Hall, Billy Ludwig, David Wallace, Rose Freymouth-Frazier, Michael Johnson, Rob Santello, Ray Geary, Michael Pajon Mando Marie, Scott Troxel, Gunnar Wray, Adam Wallacavge, Rachel Dyke, Ray Geary, Andy Pawlan and Deborah Jean are on view from now until April 9.

Parlor Gallery, № 15 – The Anniversary Show

Brenda Hamlet is a journalist covering trends in the media and arts. Brenda lives in Asbury Park and teaches writing at Kean University. Her contributions will focus on the state of the Arts in Asbury Park.

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