Up & Coming Weekly

July 13, 2021

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 10 of 24

10 UCW JULY 14-20, 2021 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM Becoming a professional artist can be a personal goal early in life, or it can be the result of a series of unex- pected events and influences. Due to the latter reason, I thought it was par- ticularly important to write an edito- rial about the artist Angela Stout ; but also, to write about her notable exhi- bition titled Evoke at the Cape Fear Studios in Fayetteville. First and foremost, Angela Stout is an extraordinary artist who is able to successfully cross disciplines and be exceptional in whatever medium she undertakes. Anyone who visits the Cape Fear Studios, to see her re- cent body of work, will be pleasantly surprised at the artists' approach and method to painting, sculpting the figure, and printmaking. e challenge for any artist who fo- cuses on the portrait is how the sub- ject, an important genre in the history of art, fits into the rage and complex- ity of contemporary art styles. For Stout, the subject is just the starting point to reveal more than a likeness, but an essence that transcends the individual, an ascension to a state of being that is our humanity. For this artist, it is our humanity that con- nects us -not gender, sex or race. Visitors to Evoke will see a body of work which reflects this artist's vi- sion about the place of portraiture in contemporary art. For Stout, portrai- ture is not just about a likeness, but her intent is to evoke emotion and transcend the focus from the individual to the many. What she may not realize is that she creates a context that is inclusive and illusive at the same time; we sense the precipice, we sense the humanity in the room – and it is everyone. All the paintings in the exhibit are 30" x 40" on stretched canvas, the scale of the figure, larger than life-size, invites our attention. On close inspection you can see the marks of color from Stout's paint brush being dragged across the surface or the blending of layers of color - she moves seamlessly between opacity and translucency as needed. e painting titled "O" is an example of her exactitude and pursuit to move past the individual to a human condition, using only the warm and cool colors of indigo, phthalo blue, and a hint of magenta. As in all her paintings, Stout has a clear understanding of the potential of color and its complexity to create meaning on different levels - all at the same time. For example, she is keenly aware of the char- acteristics of color and ways to exploit its complexity: the symbolism of a color, the temperature and weight of color, tone, tint, shade, and saturation are all pos- sible means for Stout to create a feeling, an emotion, a moment, or even a state of beingness. Visitors to the Cape Fear Studio will see how Stout moves easily between medi- ums. Not only are their nine new paint- ings, but she is also exhibiting 4 portrait heads in clay, and over eighteen mono- prints. What becomes relevant is why and how she moves effortlessly between mediums. In order to get to the signifi- cance of an artist successfully working in different mediums, I need to go back to the beginning of the article: "becoming a professional artist can be the result of a series of unexpected events and influences." Stout, raised in Ohio, the city of Warren, has drawn since she was three years old. At the age of 16, she asked her mother for a Bob Ross kit as a Christmas gift, and her mother surprised her with the Master Bob Ross kit (complete with supplies and a video). In high school she focused on playing drums instead of art lessons and was told upon graduation that she was not prepared or good enough, as an artist, to apply to art school. ose negative words and lack of en- couragement from a teacher changed the direction of her life for the next twenty years. After serving in the military, mar- ried with three children, almost completing a degree in radiology before she became ill, now married again with 2 additional children (for a total of 5): Stout was out of the army and painting portraits as a self-taught artist in Broadway, North Carolina. With encouragement from family and friends, she enrolled in and completed a two-year Associate of Arts degree from Fayetteville Tech- nical Community College, which included four art classes. Stout had the experiences of paint- ing murals for dayrooms when she was in the military, but it was the be- ginning painting and drawing classes at FTCC where she received her first formal instruction in the mechan- ics of drawing and painting. Katey Morrill, her painting instructor, identified her preferences in paint- ing and introduced her to significant artists for her to study, those artists who focused on using light to cre- ate dramatic effects. Equally impor- tant, Stout was encouraged by the art faculty to become a professional artist and continue into a 4-year art program. Confident in her achievements at FTCC, Stout entered Fayetteville State University in the Department of Performing and Fine art and was affectionately told "you have a lot of talent" and "you have a long way to go." Only working in black, white and greys, her solid education from FTCC was the beginning of her personal journey in the arts. Stout worked with five different in- structors at FSU, each bringing their own influence. After taking fifteen hours in art history and art criticism, painting classes, printmaking classes, and various sculp- ture classes she graduated from FSU with a 4.0 average. Because of Stout's ambition to know as much as she could and her work ethics, she worked tirelessly at the challenges each course would demand but was always open to new ways of see- ing and working. Stout explains it like this: "Painting classes improved my understanding of color theory and composition, printmak- ing classes challenged the way I viewed the process of painting and image-mak- ing, from painting I could create vol- ume in clay modeling, and clay model- ing helped me to see spatially and that helped my painting. Art criticism and contemporary art class challenged every- thing I thought I knew, I was then able to refine the direction of my work, I become open to new possibilities in ways I had never considered before." COVER The portrait, as a subject, in comtemporary art by SONI MARTIN EVENT "O" by Angela Stout

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