Paula Mandel of Conshohocken is displaying her artwork at ArtForms Gallery Manayunk through July 12. She is a founding member of the gallery, a nonprofit, artist-managed cooperative of 29 members, which she says offers a "built-in support system."
Conshy woman readies for show
Each subtle detail of Paula Mandel's
work seems to harbor a hidden meaning - even though the artist is not
always consciously aware of the symbolic features that emerge as she
|a woman on the bank. With arms
and legs extended like the branches of a tree, the man and woman support
their offspring - a girl, a boy and an infant. Boldly colored dots,
squiggly lines, intricately-patterned dresses and the portrayal of a body
of water - another recurring feature in her work - define Mandel's style.
The reflections of the man and the woman in the water are opposite the
couple on the bank, a detail of which Mandel was unaware until others
pointed it out to her. The reversed reflections reveal that every has a
female side and every female has a male side, Mandel says.
"I can think one thing," she observes. "Someone else sees something else."
Although she typically works on one painting and two or three drawings simultaneously, Mandel worked on this series for five years. Her exhibition includes ink on metal plate, mixed media monoprints as well. Drawn with ink, the prints also feature watercolors, gouache, and prisma color pencils.
Upon her graduation from Temple, Mandel worked with hospitalized children for eight years. Once the started her own family, however, she returned to her painting. A founding member of ArtForms Gallery Manayunk, she began working in a studio in Manayunk about seven years ago. The gallery, a nonprofit, artist-managed cooperative of 29 members, offers a "built-in support system".
"We critique each other's work and give each other ideas," says Mandel.
During Mandel's exhibition the gallery will also host two free concerts. Singer/Songwriter Rick Sandler will perform 5 to 7 p.m., July 9, and Rich Rudin, jazz pianist and composer, will perform 3 to 5 p.m. July 12.
ArtForms Gallery Manayunk is open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and non to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.