“RADIANCE” EXHIBITION HONORS DORIS CHINA: “MADE EVERYONE FEEL LIKE A PICASSO”
Since 2005 ArtsCAP has been promoting creativity and the inspired in Asbury Park. The organization’s latest exhibition “Radiance” at Art 629 on Cookman Avenue honors one its most passionate supporters who passed away, Doris China.
China spent her life as a visionary. Early on she saw the renewed potential of Hoboken and did the same in Asbury Park. As an artist, China recognized the arts would be an integral component of the revitalization of the area.
She embraced ArtsCAP’s mission joining the Public Art Committee which led to the adoption of the City Public Art ordinance in 2010. As well, she helped other talents strategically showcase their work throughout the city. In China’s presence everyone felt like a Picasso.
I spoke with Ginny Otley, president of ArtsCAP about the new exhibition that will run until December.
TBP: Why “Radiance”?
Otley: We chose the title for the show because we felt that it is the expression that is evocative of Doris’ art and personality. The sun was always shining when you were in her presence and the paintings speak for themselves.
This is a celebration of Doris’ life, her devotion to her family, friends, students and fellow artists and her legacy of beauty in the form of her paintings. Doris was a pioneer in every way – that’s the way she lived her life. Everyone at ArtsCAP is honored to be afforded the opportunity to share her work in this way.
And we want to give special thanks to gallery owner Pat Schiavino for his generosity with this exhibition.
TBP: The exhibit benefits future artists.
Otley: There will be several of her pieces available for sale, the proceeds of which will provide financial assistance in the form of a scholarship in her name to be awarded to an Asbury Park High School student wishing to pursue higher education in art. This event is the first building block for the fund.
TBP: Why was she was called the “Georgia O’Keefe of the Tropics.”
Otley: Her works recall O’Keefe’s floral and landscape paintings in the loose undulating compositions and brush strokes. Her colors, however, are the deeper, more saturated colors of the tropics. Doris’ use of rich and radiant colors pulsed and vibrated across the canvas.
Doris depicted the tropical plants and flowers found in Puerto Rico, where she and her husband spent each winter. In her paintings she initially worked like a photographer, getting close to her subject and moving the frame around until she found the most satisfying arrangement.
That is, how all the plant’s elements are brought together – forms and textures, but most notably, colors, work together to form a dynamic structure or composition. Also, her flowing and exuberant brush strokes, when combined with the organic forms of the plants, lead viewers to a satisfying, sensory and emotional response to her work.
Her work is something you need to see for yourself.