Abstract paintings by Eric Carbrey and metal sculptures by Ralph Wickstrom are the featured art in “Calm & Chaos,” the new exhibit opening Saturday, March 12, 7 p.m., at Carriage Factory Art Gallery, 128 E. Sixth St. Ian Gingrich-Gaylord will be the featured musician, with jazz stylings on the piano. Refreshments will be served. The opening reception is free and open to the public.
Carbrey, a native of Wichita who recently moved to Chicago, said that he creates geometric art that feels as if the shapes are growing into their current frozen positions. “I try to create complexity with simplicity and at the same time simplicity with complexity.
“I enjoy being challenged by my work,” Carbrey said. “I experience great delight in the physical demands of painting and the processes of creating. The demands of color choice and consideration of how the pigments will play with and against each other are all enjoyable parts of the creation process. Shape and space are the elements that create an alliance between calm and chaos in my paintings. The calm comes from the use of solid flat color and intentional deliberate lines and bold, simple shapes that create a marriage with chaos and disorder that can be found in the sheer amount of lines, the number of shapes and the complexity of the layers that create depth within the painting. The union of calm and chaos creates harmony.”
A long-time admirer and collector of art, Ralph Wickstrom got involved in the creative process of making sculptures from scrap metal after his retirement from the academic world at Ripon College in Wisconsin. Wickstrom said that a friend in the art department introduced him to a rich source of metal in nearby scrap yards. He began looking for interesting pieces and shapes in the yards and brought some of them home. That’s when he became fascinated with the ability to put them together as objects of sculptural character, of giving fine metal a new life.
Wickstrom has created 350 sculptures that range in height from 12 inches to more than six feet. His sculptures are currently in five Wisconsin galleries and in private collections from coast to coast.
Regular hours for Carriage Factory Art Gallery are Tuesday through Friday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information about classes and exhibits, call 316-284-2749 or visit www.carriagefactoryartgallery.com