Posted September 23, 2010
The Idaho State University Pond Student Union Transition Gallery will present “The Art of Illusion,” multimedia works by Anne Merkley and Stan Gates Oct. 4-27 and hold an opening reception for the exhibit on Monday, Oct. 4, from 7 to 9 p.m.
All art is an illusion, the representation of some greater reality in a two- or three- dimensional form. Anthropology, psychology and religion teach us that throughout the evolutionary development of humankind, creativity, thought and symbolism have been of paramount importance to our survival.
Merkley, a Southeast Idaho native who has studied, produced and taught art for most of her life, works in a number of different media, exploring the potential of each to give form to her vision. Best known for her realistic portraits in watercolor and oil, she often turns to photography to keep up with change. By rearranging and juxtaposing elements, she teases the viewer into seeing more than meets the eye. In this exhibit she layers three different ages of Mexico, from Mayan to Spanish to apocalyptic prophecies of 2012.
For Merkley the thread of continuity in “The Art of Illusion” began with abstract drawings made at age two and carried through photo collages assembled by a cut-and-paste method prior to the existence of Photoshop,
Gates grew up in the West, spending most of his time in Alaska and Wyoming. He was trained and worked as an engineer for 35 years, all the while maintaining a passion for the arts. He has produced the majority of his sculptures over the last five years, many of them on airplanes while flying to and from work in other countries. He creates in clay and in brown wax, then converts pieces into metal, plaster, bronze, or resin-based materials.
Most of Stan’s sculpting is done with his hands. He likes the feel of wax and clay, likes handling it and looking at the figure from different perspectives, both physically and mentally. Because hands are so expressive, he often starts a piece by doing them first, then building the rest of the body to reflect what he sees in them. His pieces reflect images from memory, imagination, and experience.
Today, in the midst of a visual media glut, both Anne and Stan are concerned with maintaining standards of aesthetics and excellence. Stan owns the Gate City Fine Arts Gallery in downtown Pocatello, and Anne regularly receives awards for her work in shows from local to national levels.
The Transition Gallery is located on the first floor of the Pond Student Union. For more information regarding this exhibit, please contact Corinne McCullough at (208) 282-3451.