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BWLI Students and Committee

MCLA Gallery 51 to Showcase Work of Internationally Exhibited Abstract Arts

07/16/2010

NORTH ADAMS, MA - Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) will present "Linda Mieko Allen, Young Ja Yoon," an exhibition of abstract mixed-media artwork, beginning on July 29 in MCLA Gallery 51.

An opening reception will be held on Thursday, July 29, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the 51 Main St. gallery as part of DownStreet Art Thursdays. The event is free and open to the public.

Originally from Osaka, Japan, and Seoul, Korea, Allen and Yoon have exhibited their artwork across the United States and internationally. While Allen lives in North Adams and Yoon resides in Williamstown, both bring the influence of their heritages to this exhibition of abstract work.

"The artwork by both of the artists in this show approach form and space in a striking manner: both hold equal value," said Ven Voisey, manager of MCLA Gallery 51. "While their work is abstract, it alludes to physical spaces or attributes thereof, such as sky, clouds, land forms, structures and systems. These works feel like growth and possible extensions of the natural world through a filter of human mediums." 

Yoon is influenced not only by nature, but by thoughts that come to her mind. 

"I begin painting without preconception, not knowing beforehand what the canvas will yield and I produce realistic images, traveling to the mountains, forests and the seashore of Korea," Yoon explained. "I marveled at the natural beauty. I encountered the brilliance and variety of color, the unique shape, the complexity of such seeming simplicity, and I invited God's creativity and wondered how I could possibly compete. I could no longer try to copy what to I saw. This is where I leave realism behind and moved increasingly toward attraction as a way to express my sense of the spiritual."

Allen said the art in this show approaches form and space in a striking manner. 

"Both hold equal value," she explained. "While the work is abstract, it alludes to physical spaces and systems or attributes thereof - formation, architectural elements, support structure. These works feel like sublime growth and possible extensions of the natural and unnatural world through a filter of a human medium." 

Intrigued with marble quarries since she moved to North Adams, Allen wanted to incorporate them into her work.

"Marble dust is an ideal vehicle for my experimentation and execution. I also enjoy the transpiration of the fact that it is mined in the area and the physical identity/composition has taken on another form, another place," she said. "Using local marble dust, graphite bound with polymer, encaustic and photo/drawings in an inlaid technique, the work emerges with a rich physicality of surface and organic/geometric qualities and a presence that come from layering in a delicate and forceful balance, simplicity and complexity coexisting."

Allen has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting from the UMass-Amherst and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, R.I.

She has had a number of solo exhibitions in major cities across the country, including New York City, San Francisco, Berkeley, Hollywood and Miami. Her work was last in MCLA Gallery 51 in 2007, as part of the "Hometown Hits" exhibition.

Allen is the recipient of numerous grants, awards and residencies, including from the American Academy in Rome, Italy; the Berkshire Taconic Foundation in Great Barrington; the Bogliasco Foundation in Bogliasco, Italy; and the Pollock Krasner Foundation in New York City, N.Y.

Yoon attended the Music and Fine Art High School and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the Fine Arts College at the National University in Seoul, Korea. Her solo exhibitions include those in Seoul and New York City. She also has participated in numerous group exhibitions in Seoul and New York City. This is her first exhibition in Massachusetts.

 "Linda Mieko Allen, Young Ja Yoon" will run through Sept. 26. MCLA Gallery 51 is a program of the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center and is at 51 Main St. in North Adams. The gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, contact the gallery at (413) 664-8718, or go to www.mcla.edu/gallery51

DownStreet Art Thursdays will continue on the last Thursday of every month from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. These events will feature music, performances, gallery openings and other downtown activities. 

DownStreet Art is a project of MCLA's Berkshire Culture Resource Center (BCRC), partnering with the City of North Adams, Orbit Visual Graphic Design and Scarafoni Realty.  The program is made possible through lead sponsorship support provided by Greylock Federal Credit Union and Greylock Investment Group. Additional support is provided by: Adams Co-Operative Bank, Berkshire Bank, the City of North Adams, Gramercy Bistro, Hoosac Bank, The Hub Food and Spirit, Doug Morin MD, Papyri Books, The Party Place, Petrino's Café, The Porches Inn at MASS MoCA , Supreme Pizza and Wings, Taylor's, Lickety Split, Christo's and TGL Photoworks. 

The initiative was designed to revitalize downtown North Adams by identifying the City as a cultural haven. The program serves not only to increase MCLA's visibility, but to showcase what other local arts organizations have to offer. For more information about DownStreet Art and the BCRC, go to www.downstreetart.org and www.mcla.edu/bcrc .