From left are artists Hollis Barnett and Al Park. (Staff photo: Laura Williams)
ALBANY — The Albany Area Arts Council’s latest exhibit features the creations of artists Hollis Barnett and Al Park.
“All Things 3D” is an eclectic collection of sculpted pieces crafted by using glass, wood and metals to create both decorative pieces and items for the home.
Artist Hollis Barnett’s works featured in the exhibit include sculptures created using materials such as bronze, wood, stone, glass and iron. Barnett is a professor at Valdosta State University and has taught sculpture and computer animation at the school for 28 years.
“Sometimes when you’re creating a piece, you know exactly what you want to do, and other times, ideas come to you as you work,” Barnett said. “With these pieces, often, I had no plan to follow. I would put wax in my hands and work with the random shapes that seemed to appear. As I finished one portion of the sculptures, I would adapt the next material to fit the first.”
Most of Barnett’s featured works highlight techniques used in cutting, fusing and shaping glass. His pieces incorporate textural contrast, are organic and surreal in nature, and with titles such as “Steaming Meatballs,” inject humor as well.
Artist Al Park creates both sculpted pieces and jewelry, including his wife’s wedding ring.
Park attended West Virginia Wesleyan College on a football scholarship before serving two tours of duty in Southeast Asia and later in California, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Park credits this travel with heightening his interest in art and later became a professor, teaching classes in photography, graphic design, print making and jewelry making. He recently retired from Valdosta State University after 33 years at the school.
His current works primarily feature sculpture and jewelry, using a variety of wood and precious materials. One piece was created from spalted pecan wood. Looking at the piece now, one would never guess that it once came from a tree that most would leave to rot.
“All the ideas contributing to these works were influenced by my personal experiences,” Park said. “The mountain tribes in Southeast Asia revere all natural elements within their environments. It is my hope that the various woods and materials used to create these pieces honor the original contributing sources.”
Park also enjoys injecting humor into his pieces as well. One piece, titled “Three Little Butts,” features wild cherry wood and tagua nuts. “Art is supposed to be fun,” he said. “You can’t always take yourself too seriously.”
The exhibit runs through Oct. 31.