Gallery Fifty Six Exhibit Explores ‘Energy Art’

JONATHAN DEVIN | Special to The Memphis News

“Energizing Radiance 2010,” a new exhibit at Gallery Fifty Six, explores the energy of feelings behind images rather than symbolism of images themselves. Thirty artists from around the world join forces to bring positive energy to Memphis.
Image: Courtesy of Federico Bebber

The summer heat in Memphis tends to slow the pace of life, but an international exhibition at Gallery Fifty Six in Midtown hopes to create new energy.

“Energizing Radiance 2010,” a compilation of 30 local and international artists’ work, explores the Energy Art Movement, a relatively new school of contemporary art in which imagery is less about interpretation and more about creating a physical sense of positivity, human interconnectedness and tolerance.

“Our minds are geared to think practically and we have no clue how much we are affected by energies out there,” said gallery curator Janice Nabors Raiteri. “It’s simple things like one person walking into a crowded room and either lifting up the mood of the crowd or doing the opposite. We’re constantly being receptors, we just can’t quite comprehend what is there and what we’re capable of.”

Image: Courtesy of Adam Scott Miller

Nabors Raiteri guessed there are about 300 artists associated with the Energy Art Movement, so it is still small, but its following spans the globe.

The exhibit, which opened July 1, includes works from Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Romania, France, Austria, Australia, the Dominican Republic, Canada, Brazil and the United States.

The movement began in May 2008 when the constructs of green energy were first taking hold in North American cities and artists began to feel as if technology was limiting personal expression of inner feelings.

Two of the founders of the movement, Giorgio Vaselli of Canada and Adam Scott Miller of Pennsylvania, have contributed to the show.

Miller’s “Celestial Shore” (above left) depicts an ocean shore with waves lapping the sand under a psychedelic moonscape of white crescents, arcs, and spheres set in a rich blue sky. The painting draws out the brilliance of the night sky and the power behind the ocean rather than the simple beauty of the objects themselves.

If it sounds a little New Age-y so far, some of the works are more to the point.

Vaselli’s “Resurrection of a Bioenergetic Phoenix” depicts a winged male, whose body is criss-crossed with veins of light energy, ascending from a swirling purple abyss and impaled by a bolt of lightning through the chest.

Federico Bebber’s “Any Love” (above right) is softer. In it, a girl in black and white kneels, embracing herself, with wing-like ellipses of light spiraling around her in stark contrast to shadows in the background.

“It’s very difficult to hang this show because there are so many different artists,” said Nabors Raiteri. “I’m getting a lot of things that are not similar at all, but I’m nervous about making everything (coordinate) as well as it should.”

Nabors Raiteri has a couple pieces of her own in the show, including “Against the Current,” a texture piece in which ribbons of darker colors yield to planes of smoother, softer tones.

Her assistant curator Rollin Kocsis is also featured in the show.

Gallery Fifty Six is located at 2256 Central Ave. near East Parkway. The opening of “Energizing Radiance 2010,” delayed for the July 4th holiday, will be Friday, July 9 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The exhibition closes on Aug. 3. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.