One love of the Crescent City and it’s inspirited culture has joined two in a collective gallery on the LowRoad of Royal Street in the historic French Quarter of New Orleans. Gallery Two opened October 22, 2016 and exclusively features the work of it’s artist owners, Ann Marie Cianciolo and Betsy Youngquist. Detailed examination and colorful celebration are enduring commonalities in these two women’s processes and creations within the world of three dimensions. Duality, mischief, transfiguration, enchantment, and amusement are the narrative themes they masterfully toy with in capturing the fragments of our shared experience. By juxtaposing small and large, delicate and magnificent, serious and nonsense, vintage and contemporary, rough and refined, and precision versus organic creation, these two artists blur lines between form and function, and real and mythological. We invite you to explore the portal into their surreal worlds.
Though their scales and mediums appear at first to be in sharp contrast one soon realizes the complementary commonality of surrealist storytelling through contemporary sculpture. As admirers, we are compelled to recall and confront nostalgic, experiential, exposures and responses we have had as both children and adults to the traditions around and within us through the immediately apparent, modernly remixed American craft and folk influences in their inspirations, interpretations, and expressions. Both artists deliver such enchanting layers of amusement and wonder dually employing an attention to detail carefully hidden within, in order to gift us, the observer, with the opportunity to experience the joys of exploration and discovery. Each piece, especially collaborative customs as they are so highly personal in nature, so strongly attach themselves to collector’s sentiments that they become more than simply a piece of art to appreciate, possess, or incorporate into an existing decor or collection, but rather transform into talismanic totems of deep meaning and intention, almost as though they are accessories to one’s very existence.
The way in which the artists work mischievously plays together beckons you in to the gallery as if it were an inter-dimensional, living forest portal that summons us to travel back to that familiar magical kingdom of wonderland within ourselves, all of us. It’s uniquely approachable and colorfully explosive spacial design sprinkles their textured and vibrantly varied, three dimensional works about as if each piece arrived there all it’s own and if you turn your back for a moment, even just one moment, it may all scatter in time and change. More so than the normal communion with a piece of art, the overall sensory experience presented within the beautifully restored Gallery Two space, as the eyes simply cannot process each component of the kaleidoscope in one examination, means that no two encounters with the same piece can ever be alike, ultimately creating an environment which encourages admirers to visit their friends again, and again.
And upon exiting, out beyond the homogenous, lucid, dream scene, you find you are still here, still yourself, but indescribably enriched and enveloped by the ever charming and unrivaled diversity of awe offered on the 800 block of majestic Royal Street’s LowRoad Arts District.