Jerome AZ (August 25, 2015) – Gallery 527 presents a new exhibition, “Heart Conversations,” abstract paintings by Julie Bernstein Engelmann, opening Sept. 5, from 5:00-8:00 PM. “The paintings are like personal stories, only just their distilled essence,” said gallery owner Donna Chesler. “Each one has a very specific feeling, distinct from the others, which is unusual in abstract art.” Engelmann begins with a seed idea from her journal, such as a dream that she wants to explore in visual form. She prepares a varied surface, then pours latex wall paint diluted to flow and mix at different speeds, giving an exciting base layer to the painting. From there she uses acrylic brushwork to enhance and transform the composition into a space with visual depth and drama.
Engelmann explains, “The title, ‘Heart Conversations,’ refers to my heartfelt relationship with what I call the painting spirit. Like a dynamic conversation, the painting spirit actually helps me do much better and go much further than I imagined, leading to a surprise ending that reflects my seed idea in an intriguing way.” Engelmann’s lush abstracts have won numerous awards. She was honored with a retrospective exhibit, Being Spirit, at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Altoona, Pennsylvania.
“Your paintings are really engaging – a bit like a theatrical production in that they just keep on going once the curtain goes up. As an art critic, I think that’s one of the major things you bring to the party.”
Dr. V. Scott Dimond, Curator for Visual Arts, Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art
Engelmann holds an MFA from UCLA and a BA from Barnard College, where she studied with Milton Resnick, first-generation Abstract Expressionist. In 2014 Engelmann moved with her family from Pennsylvania to the Sedona area, where she teaches Luscious Abstractions as a faculty member at the Sedona Arts Center School of the Arts. “Heart Conversations” will be on view at Gallery 527 in Jerome from September 1 through October 1. For more information contact Donna at 928.649.2277.