hidell brooks is so thrilled to include new paintings by new orleans artist allison stewart in made in the south. made in the south is a group exhibition focusing on contemporary southern artists. the southern landscape influences stewart's work immensely and her degree in biology before receiving her mfa lead the way to her organic visual vocabulary. her abstract paintings are full of vibrant color and compositionally balanced through form and line. her work is highly influenced by the environment. allison paints on the ground on stretched canvas using water-based medium including inks, acrylics, pigment dispersions, enamels, tar, hide glue, and charcoal. layers apon layers build up until the painting tells her it is complete.
in new orleans there is a diffused light and a verdant lushness that are cause by high levels of heat and humidity. land and water co-exist in ever-changing boundaries as land continues to be lost to the sea. my paintings tend to resemble floating worlds; they're diaries about living below sea level. colors and edges are softened and horizon lines become obscured in this watery, wetland, coastal environment.
new orleans artist allison stewart has gained national recognition for her large, mixed media paintings that express the restless balance between man and nature. trained as a biologist, stewart is inspired by landscape imagery and takes as her subject fragile environments, cycles of life, and primitive artifacts from past cultures. she uses layers of color, light, form and texture to address issues of beauty and loss, time and transformation. residing somewhere between realism and abstraction, the paintings are visual diaries upon which stewart records her responses to the threatened landscape. her paintings reflect the duality of substance and spirit, image and impression, observation and memory.
among the awards stewart has received are individual artist grants from the louisiana division of the arts and the louisiana endowment for the humanities in 1997, and the mary freeman wisdom foundation in 1995. stewart also received a 1988-89 visual arts fellowship from the louisiana division of the arts. in 1991 she was awarded a sheraton itt new orleans public arts project commission. she was also commissioned to create paintings for the public spaces in the hotel intercontinental and the sheraton itt in new orleans, the four seasons hotel in scottsdale, az, mandarin oriental hotel in miami, le saint seran resort in mauritius, south africa, and the grand hotel du cap ferrat in the south of france.
in 1998, stewart and her husband, artist campbell hutchinson co-founded KID smART, a louisiana 501.c.3 non-profit organization to teach inner city children life lessons through hands on art activities and to provide a safe, nurturing environment for them to learn skills that will make them more successful in all walks of life: self respect, teamwork, discipline, creative problem solving and pride of accomplishment.
stewart holds a b. s. in biology from spring hill college, mobile, al and a m.f.a. from the university of new orleans. she maintains studios in new orleans and in snowmass village, co.
all new work by allison stewart is up on our website under her artist tab. made in the south opens friday july 15th from 6-8 pm. please call the gallery if you have any questions concerning the paintings by allison stewart.