Updated: Mar 29, 2022
Works by Ed Barr, Julie England, Kevin Stanford, and Hector Ramirez
February 6 - March 26, 2022
Marlene and Spencer Hays Foundation Gallery
Ed Barr Artist Statement
My goal as a sculptor is to evolve new forms. I make objects that have as their primary quality the ability to attract and hold a viewer’s gaze. Only then can an artist expect to be an influencer. Formal qualities are important as they are often the prerequisite in establishing rules of engagement between artists and the broader culture. The most effective art has as its primary power that which does not involve the direct intellect. Questions of originality, texture, color, materiality and proportion all come into play in achieving a form that is able to bridge the gap between a viewer’s casual glance and a potentially ecstatic experience. I believe that art should be beautiful. Hard to define but you know it when you see it. Beauty draws you in and keeps you looking after the intellect surrenders. I think the most compelling aspect of an artistic practice is to make a novel form that combines substantive cultural insight with a visceral and unconventional beauty.
Ed Barr was born and raised in Texas. He attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received a mechanical engineering degree. After graduation he began a career in investment banking. Although challenging, it lacked a creative aspect so he began investing in real estate and eventually moved into real estate development. Remodeling properties and building homes from the ground up did allow him a creative outlet but eventually he realized that his desires could only be accommodated by making pure art. After having spent some of his adult life in the non-art world he eventually succumbed to his inclinations and desires and began pursuing a career in fine art. He now lives in Dallas, Texas and devotes all his time to being an artist.
Julie England Artist Statement
My paintings are experiences of outdoor places from observation, memories or imagination. Frequently I choose the aerial perspective. Seemingly standing at the top, looking down, we feel as if we are inside the painting. Whereas many painters make the viewer feel like a detached observer, possibly even a spectator, tourist or innocent witness, I prefer to pull the viewer into a situation while inviting one to ponder a sense of place or recollection. This state of heightened consciousness may create a state of apprehension and interaction.
Being outdoors can be a link to a memory or to childhood. I was raised on a rural Wisconsin pine tree farm where trees beckoned to me as imaginary childhood friends. My connection to outdoor energy is like family comfort. There is a transcendent quality of the simple experience of being in nature.
My work emphasizes topological forms and gestures that mimic the surface of what is being painted. I paint with focus on mark-making, lines and forms. Color is a vehicle to convey energy from nature. I create images of real and imaginary environments inviting viewers to visit.
Kevin Stanford Artist Statement
Influenced by tribal art, science fiction notions, and the elusive remnants of dreams, my work explores the familiar while offering sub rosa glimpses of what could be commonplace in another world.
My work glorifies the aesthetic of the found; my focus is primarily on steel. I'm more interested in form rather than gleaning some sort of deep meaning from my work. Juxtaposition, shape, texture, and color drive the dialog with my materials.
Steel is the most widely used and most recycled material on the planet; steel is resilient yet vulnerable. We can leave our mark on steel. But over time, our marks can be forgotten, discarded, and erased. Found steel can be transformed into new raw material, but it can also be appreciated and elevated in its discovered state.
I find inspiration in exploring the things that modern society has overlooked and discarded during the never-ending march toward perceived progress.
Forging, assemblage, arc welding, rummaging, and patination are the processes that dominate my practice.
Hector Ramirez Artist Statement
My practice explores a vernacular language that references the aesthetic and material adaptation of the Mexican American working class in which I grew up and represents a society familiar to all. Working within the bounds of intermedia, my interest is in collecting, selecting, collaging, transforming, and processing found materials in different media such as video, image, sound, and text. These materials include poetry, religious iconography, online resources, films, and popular music. Often consisting of simple techniques and tools, the work is expressed by moments of solitude and inner dialogue. These works are the records of my own exploration through sensory materials.
Hector A. Ramirez is an artist from El Paso, Texas and is currently based in Fort Worth. In 2020, he earned a M.F.A in Sculpture from Texas Christian University and currently teaches at the University of Texas at Arlington. Ramirez’s appropriation of objects and videos derives from a form of play through thought, experience, and senses. He develops a language towards the vernacular. Hector has exhibited in multiple solo and group shows around the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, as well as in New York City, Berlin, and Hiroshima.