Our feature for March and April is the art of Gary Giovane. Gary has been influenced by Northwest Coast Indian Art as well as the arts of Japan, Celtic art, and inspiration from the British Arts and Crafts Movement. Gary says art is made to show the beauty of the natural world, and it links us to our place within it. He paints on wood, mostly red cedar, and uses primary formlines to create the structure of his designs. In this way he stays true to the cultural traditions of the Northwest Coast,. He was introduced to the Celtic art tradition on visits to Scotland. The knotwork, spirals and other design elements began to influence his designs through his interest in Pictish standing stones, Celtic crosses, and especially illuminated manuscripts like the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Book of Kells.
The arts of Japan inispires his designs from mingei (or folk art) used for everyday life to the higher arts favored by samurai, the nobility, and the Imperial Court .From the traditions surrounding ceramics, textiles (especially kimono), and karakami-printed paper fusuma, he has developed an appreciation of and a love for pattern. Japanese woodblock prints, with their exquisite sense of composition and their two-dimensional, flat blocks of color, fit well within the coast formline foundation of his art.
The final and overlying inspiration for his art comes form the British Arts and Crafts Movement, in particular the Glasgow Style, and Japan's Mingei Movement. The philosophical foundations provided by Ruskin, Morris, and Yanagi have given him the courage to create his own art, without the fear of producing work that is somewhat less than the perfection expected of today's manufactured world.He says he works to the best of his ability, and though the end product may be exploratory, the result is an honest expression of passion. Artwood has 25 wonderful pieces in the gallery at this time. Gary will be in the gallery for the "Meet the Artist" on Saturday, March 12, from 1-4 p.m.