Two new exhibitions open at Red Brick Center
Five-artist show 'Round and Around' and Leah Potts watercolors debuted Thursday
What: ‘Leah Potts: Wild Life’ & ‘Round and Around’
Where: Red Brick Center for the Arts
When: Through July 8
More info: redbrickaspen.com
Zakriya Rabani first experienced a “flow state” as a young competitive athlete, playing tennis and volleyball in Florida as a kid, and later found the intensely focused state of being in his artwork.
An exhibition of Rabani’s “Flow System” drawings, intricately patterned ink pieces, opened Thursday at the Red Brick Center for the Arts as part of the five-artist group show “Round and Around” alongside a solo show by watercolorist Leah Potts.
“The whole goal is that this is a drawing that I can use to reach flow, that mental state of ecstasy or bliss,” Rabani, who is Anderson Ranch Arts Center’s studio coordinator for sculpture, said at Thursday’s opening reception.
While sports introduced Rabani to the flow state, art has enhanced it. Rabani recalled working on some of the “Flow System” drawings uninterrupted for an hour and experiencing actual and disorienting tunnel vision when he looked up. The abstract drawings take on abstract forms – inspired, Rabani said, often by nature or shapes he encounters in everyday life – made from countless tiny straight lines linked to make complicated patterns.
He has also include sculptural casts of the pens he uses for the drawings in the show.
The exhibiting brings together a group of artists working in diverse forms and styles, each exploring patterns in their own way.
“All of these artists use patterns in their art making,” said Red Brick executive director Sarah Roy.
Alongside Rabani’s work are pieces from abstract painter Alissa Davies, printmaker Johanna Mueller, fiber artist Jill Scher and nature photographer Richard Sundeen.
The Potts solo exhibition, titled “Wild Life,” is a collection of watercolor depictions of wildlife and animals. The body of work emerged as Potts developed an artistic practice after a ski accident left her paralyzed.
“I call it ‘Wild Life,’ comparing it to my wild life,” Potts said Thursday.
She made all of the paintigns with her non-dominant hand and used unnatural color choices to put her own impressionistic signature on what are otherwise realistic portraits of wolves, bears, birds and the like.
“My goal is just to bring out the spirit of each animal and I hope you can feel the difference,” she explained.
The show marks Potts’ debut at the Red Brick.
“I think she is an incredibly talented artist and her work is just stunningly gorgeous,” said Roy. “And what a powerful story she has as an artist, along with her unbelievable technical skills.”
The opening marks the beginning of a busy summer for the Red Brick Center’s exhibition program after more than two years of disruption due to the pandemic. The Red Brick will open new group art shows on July 21 and in August, and will host an art and culture celebration on Aug. 4 feature artist demos and presentations, while summer education programming – including a new teen film camp – begins in late June.