January 2018: Jerri Bartholomew & Carol Chapel

Jerri Bartholomew is a microbiologist who uses glass as her medium to explore the microbial world. To quote Jerri “In some ways, science is stripping away the layers to reveal what is beneath, while in art, I am building up layers to create something new. Both draw from a creative impulse, a desire to ask questions, to experiment, and to learn from trial and error.” She thinks of her art as collages in glass, combining photographic screen prints with free-form imagery, and using a variety of fusing and cold-working techniques. “In some of these pieces I portray microorganisms as I would see them under the microscope, and with the tools that we use to study them. I want the viewer to feel some curiosity about what they are seeing, but also to appreciate the beauty of things that they can’t see. To this day I rarely sit down at a microscope without uttering a silent “wow”, and I rarely open a kiln without a sense of anticipation at what I will discover.”

Carol Chapel’s drawings of the “Unseen Worlds” began when friend gave her a microscope. This series of drawings combines her curiosity of those seldom or rarely seen worlds that surround us with “my determination to do the best drawings I can. Paintings have the advantage of re-working. Drawings and prints, not so much. Drawings can be erased but there is something immediate about pencil or crayon on paper, left there. Untouched. That’s how it began. Looking really really close-up at random items. Random items evolved into specific items. I started a series of drawings I call Unseen Worlds. And then the bugs. Gasp! Bugs are complex and I must say, beautiful. I was hooked. These drawings are the bug part of the Unseen Worlds series. I hope I am communicating the essence of the insects I’ve drawn here. I’m no Entomologist. My enjoyment and fascination is discovering the complexity of these creatures. An insect that I would most likely brush aside, I now stop. I pause. There is a beauty there that I won’t quickly destroy. Also, the more I look and the more I see, the more I see that Nature is elegant as well as functional. I don’t find awkward lines in the wing of an Assassin Beetle. I hope there are no awkward lines in my interpretations either.”