Artist: Helen Werner Cox
Exhibition: Silent Screams
Media: Oil, Pastel, Maker, Inks, Crayons, MonoPrints, Basswood Carving
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Max L. Gatov Gallery West
Instagram: No Instagram
For this week artist conversation I talked to Helen Werner Cox. Cox is a graduate student here at California State University, Long Beach and this is her last semester. Cox is trying to get her Master in Fine Arts and is in the Drawing and Painting program. Cox grew up in New York and at the age of 18 moved to Boston, Massachusetts. She has been teaching for 30 years. Her first 13 years of teaching she taught art in Massachusetts. Cox then moved here to California and was offered to teach middle school kids and taught them for 3 years. She then applied for a position to be a librarian at the middle school and worked there for 14 years. Some of her hobbies include gardening and reading. Her idea came from a merry go round because in society we spin in circles with only adults.
For many of her pieces she used oil and pastels, printmaking, mono prints, carving, and water based materials such as crayons and colored pencils. For one of her art pieces she spent 4 hours on a huge merry go round and sketched. For the big pieces she used oil paint and large brushes. She first painted black and brown lines then mixed red and blue. Later she focused on shading because of lights and dark. Then she switched materials in order to finish her pieces. Most of her pictures, especially the big ones, were done with pastels. Cox also took many print making classes and has incorporated that in her art work pieces in the gallery.
The idea behind this art gallery is merry go round carousel because it is visual metaphor of society.There is a paradox within this carousel because usually they are for children and usually made for children but she wanted to include adults. The carousels are a representation of life going in circles . The horses are actually symbolically suppose to represent humans. If you pay attention to their faces you can see how they are either scared because this is how we face life sometimes. The horse go up and down to represent the mistakes we constantly make in life. Much of her inspiration came from her times at Griffin Park where she sketched for hours.
I really appreciate this artist ideas because I’ve never thought of carousels in this perspectives. Although I’ve never seen it like this way it really gives me something to think about it. We constantly make mistakes in our life and on a daily basis. We face so many challenges in our life and our reactions at times can be scared but we keep moving forward.