The three artists in this exhibit are related in a variety of ways. Carol and John are sister and brother, and share both biology and the experience of growing up together in Annapolis. Carol’s interest in painting modeled for John a pathway into the arts. Carol and Tom, who have been married for 40 years, met displaying their works at an art exhibition and were drawn together through shared sensibilities. John and Tom, whose relationship began as brothers-in-law, have shared their art, wide-ranging experiences, and observations for 40 years, to become the closest of friends.
Although they have developed unique artistic visions and work in different media, all three are related as a result of their making non-objective or abstract imagery and their commitment to producing hand-made work using traditional materials.
These artists share a vision of producing imagery which they have conceived and created entirely from within. Their work may be inspired by the observed world, but is not a representation of reality. Each strives to create, through improvisation, a complete composition informed by the concepts of harmony, rhythm and dynamic balance, using color, form, texture, line, and space.
These three artists have been making their art on parallel paths for over 40 years. Over time their conversations, relating what they see, how they see, and what they would like to see, have informed their artwork and enriched their relationships. Their commitment to making their visions tangible has provided them their livelihood as teacher and as artists.
Carol Odell seeks inspiration from the natural world. Form, tone, color, pattern, and texture are the tools and vocabulary of image-making, and she references nature as an endless, sustaining well of wonder. Like the weather of her form home in New England, she celebrates changes in mood, temperature, and atmosphere.
Her image-making comes further from a love and respect for materials, problem-solving, and a desire to create harmony from the endless choices presented to the artists. Working in three different media—oil, monotype, and encaustic (wax)—provides a greater range of expression and technique with one medium often influencing another.
For almost 40 years she has operated a gallery with her husband, Tom Odell, and worked closely to him in adjoining studios. Her work is in museums, and corporate and private collections. Like her brother, John White, her work is a contemplative adventure. She wants to explore new spaces, get lost, and find a resolution that hopefully will provide an inspiration for others.
As a medalsmith, Tom Odell is committed to making a sculptural compositions expressing the abstract qualities of harmony, rhythm, and dynamic balance in a visual way using three-dimensional form, texture, and color.
He has made a commitment to making sculpture with many different metals and alloys because of their various colors and properties, and uses a wide range of metalworking techniques to produce them. As he has become familiar with and sensitive to the qualities of these alloys and finish of these processes, very often it is the choices of these which, in a very real sense, help “shape” his work.
His prime satisfaction is the improvisational process of conceiving and making things. He also enjoys the insights and stimulation he continues to have contemplating a piece when it is completed and finds it gratifying when other people find the work resonates with their sensibilities.
John Howell White Professor of Art Education and Chair of the Department of Art Education and Crafts at Kutztown University in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. He currently serves as Chair of the National Art Education Association’s Research Commission. In 2012 he was named the National Higher Education Art Educator of the Year, and in 2009 the Pennsylvania Higher Education Art Educator of the Year. He has conducted research and published extensively about the history and philosophy of art education. In 1999 he was awarded the Manual Barkan Award for the outstanding research publication in his field. He is the author of Experience Painting, a textbook for secondary art students.
As an artist, Howell is interested in painting as a contemplative practice. Like many people with complicated lives, his painting moments are wedged between work, family, and civic life. The scale and the content of these paintings provide effective opportunities for this practice. Hopefully, these images provide viewers a space to fall into and, after that descent, to return to their reconsidered lives.
Craig Bloodgood is the Contemporary Curator at The Art Complex Museum (ACM) in Duxbury, MA where he has been involved with the conception, design, and installation of more than 125 exhibitions in three gallery spaces in all media since 1999. He is also a sculptor, wood-worker, and inventor of games and contraptions who has had solo museum exhibitions at the Fuller Craft Museum and the Newport Art Museum.