PHOTO: Artist Joe Chesla’s “Moments of Illumination: Drawn from the Liminal” is now on display in Gallery 210’s Gallery A, through March 28, 2015. Photo by Cate Marquis for The Current 2015 ©
By Albert Nall, Staff Writer for The Current
Gallery 210 opened the new year 2015 with “Moments of Illumination: Drawn from the Liminal” on January 21. The exhibit of three large artworks by artist by Joe Chesla will be on display until March 28.
Chesla’s work has the purpose of engrossing the viewer’s sensible interpretation of inanimate objects. The three art pieces, each in separate rooms of Gallery A, combine the use of light – illumination – and white objects in ceramic, glass or tile. The objects reflect the strong light to particular effect, often seeming to glow from within.
A panel discussion on Saturday, Feb. 21 with artists Joe Chesla and Meghan Grubb, whose exhibit “House of Stories” opens that day, will be held at 4 p.m. in Gallery 210. Following the artists’ discussion, there will be a reception from 5 to 7 p.m . The reception and the art exhibits are free and open to the public.
Chesla holds a MFA from Utah State University, along with a BSA from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. His solo presentations range from exhibitions at the Amalgam, CG Gallery in Edwardsville, IL to fine print shows in St. Louis, which include the Fleishman Hillard Gallery. Chesla is a teaching professor at St. Louis Community College at Meramec.
The concept of minimalism in Chesla’s pieces utilize pared down design elements that create special moments in various forms of visual art and design. The work is set to expose the spirit, bare-bones and identity of a subject by the elimination of all non-essential forms, features or concepts. Further, as a form of process art, Chesla presents a product that assimilates arts and craft into the harvesting and reordering of actions and proceedings. The process and activities that contribute to the construction of the actual work, is then defined as a work of art in itself. By way of pure human expression, the corroboration, along with the force of passion, transforms the work into a creative journey of the psyche, rather than a deliverable end product.
The outcome of the transformation inherent in Chesla’s work is aesthetically splendid to behold. This make the final product quite intriguing, and poetic, and can be interpreted as idiosyncratic and provocative to some.
The bench in Chesla’s exhibit is more than just a seat in the local square; it is a historical narrative of that which is symbolized by its upholstery of light blue circles and dots. Does the bench tell the anecdote of a legendary novelist, poet, cartoonist, or any number of visionaries and dreamers? What about the larger than life lamps, and the tiles in the display? Whose career as an executive chef or restaurateur is represented by the bright lights and shadows on the floor? The signature piece in Chesla’s collection is the shelves with rows of vases, glasses and other bric-a-brac. What could be seen as a much cluttered assembly, is nicely assembled with great systematic order.
The free art exhibits on display in Gallery 210, located on the campus of University of Missouri-St. Louis, are supported by the UMSL Fine Arts and Communications Department, along with grants from the Missouri Arts Council, and the Center for Humanities. Gallery 210 hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about Gallery 210, call (314) 516-5976.
© The Current 2015