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Still Life Now
Nine Contemporary Artists



Jane Ellefson    Carl Holzman    Steven Jones    Tamara Peterson


Sangita Phadke    Christopher Ryan    Lowell Tolstedt


Dennis Wojtkiewicz    Pamela Workman






November 4 - December 17



Opening Reception


November 4,  6:30 - 8:30 pm








Nine Contemporary Artists














Pewter Pitcher with Oranges, 2007.

Oil on linen, 14.75" x 14.75".




Jane Ellefson

College of Lake County

Grayslake, Illinois


I have always been drawn to still life.  I enjoy staging objects and presenting them artistically so that they can be appreciated for more than just what they are.  Each component is crafted individually, but must be integrated into the whole. The work in this exhibition focuses on balance and bringing things near.












Still Life with New Potatoes, 2011

 Oil on canvas 18" x 18".





Carl Holzman

Chicago, Illinois


I have used studio light to create dramatic effects of shadow and reflection unavailable to me without it.  Studio lighting can also heighten the contrast between foreground and background to dramatic effect, bringing something of the Renaissance atmosphere to even the most contemporary of subjects.  This effect is dominant in many, but not all, of the paintings in this series.

One of the challenges for me has been to compose the elements of the paintings without  cliché or gimmickry.  One sometimes labors mightily to avoid the appearance of laboriousness.  A successful still-life arrangement, I think, should combine elements of the natural and the artificial in fresh ways consistent with the mood being communicated.















Books and Strings II,  2009.

Oil & tempera on panel, 36” x 24”.




Steven T. Jones

College of Lake County

Grayslake, Illinois


Jones selects old, well-worn books that trace the many hands that have leafed through them and have shaped their outward character.  The books’ spines may be bent or frayed and the typography may be faded;  however, they do retain their inner “potency of life.”














BANG,  2004.
Acrylic on canvas, 40” x 40”.




Tamara Peterson

Columbus College of Art and Design

Columbus, Ohio



The intentional compression of space, exaggeration of color and detailed stylization of forms unite to reflect my keen attraction to pure design. While the iconographic choices – whether cryptic or clear – reference personal observations of current events and popular culture in relation to the elegant complexity of the natural world we live in. 














Mr. Aubergine.

Pastel, 11" x 14".




Sangita Phadke, P. S. A.

Colts Neck, New Jersey


My series of paintings pay tribute to the land, the people who harvest our food, and of course the delicious and beautiful products of their care and hard work.  Every painting is an experience in taste, flavor, fragrance, color, and a sense of place.













Olive Branch, 2006.

Oil on linen, 16" x 16".









Christopher Ryan

Chair and Associate Professor of Art

Hiram College


Informed by his experiences living in Italy, Professor Ryan’s artwork reflects a fascination with the ancient and medieval mosaic and inlaid stone floors found throughout Italy. His paintings treat such floors as a kind of stage for human actions, where the debris and residue of contemporary life is juxtaposed with the narratives found in the ancient designs, patterns, and images, but also as metaphors for that which is trod upon, passed over, or disregarded. This combination of forms both old and new, sacred and profane, and public and personal, establishes new dialogues and unexpected relationships.















Cherry, Apricot and Strawberry

with  Reflections, 2007.

Colored pencil, 7" x 11  1/4".









Lowell Tolstedt

Professor of Art Emeritus

Columbus College of Art and Design

Columbus, Ohio


Tolstedt is known for his exquisite drawings done in silverpoint, gold point, and colored pencil. His works range from intimate to mural in scale. His subjects, chosen from everyday life and experience, are investigated with a sensitive and penetrating intellect. His drawings are often iconic presentations, simultaneously recalling the American tradition of still-life painting and engaging the viewer with contemporary questions about the fundamental relationship between reality, perception, abstraction, and creation.

Keny Galleries

Columbus, Ohio














Horn Melon Series #2,  2011.

Oil on canvas, 38" x 60".










Dennis Wojtkiewicz

Professor of Painting

Bowling Green State University


Known for highly-rendered drawings and paintings with the emotive quality of light as a primary concern. Recent paintings are still-life oriented with subtle use of glazing techniques to inform the image. The underlying theme manifests itself as a contemporary approach to still life.

















Flash Gordon, 2003.

Oil on canvas, 44" x 55".










Pamela Workman

New York, New York


Pocket-sized quotidian -- glass marbles, postage stamps, bits of fabric, comic books, pencil stubs, written phrases, and reflective surfaces -- offer a rich and colorful vocabulary for my work.  I am endlessly interested in responding to observed chromatic relationships.














Video Interviews


Kathleen and Greg Phipps



At the Opening Reception on November 4, Kathleen and Greg Phipps interviewed the four artists who attended.

Click on the hyperlink to view each one.




Jane Ellefson.wmv



Dennis Wojtkievicz.wmv



Lowell Tolstedt.wmv



Steven Jones.wmv




Opening Reception

A Photo Album by Steve Katz











































































Curator's Statement




In the early 1990’s, Norman Bryson wrote Looking at the Overlooked: Four Essays on Still Life Painting, a text which attempts to remedy the marginalization of still life in formal art history.  This exhibit, Still Life Now, should also aid in the process of focusing on a sometimes overlooked genre. 


Most ordinary viewers actually like still life—what’s not to like?  Many home owners are comfortable with gentle paintings of apples or fuzzy watercolors of sunflowers on their walls.


But Still Life Now attempts to stretch the boundaries a bit by including works in a variety of media, with some unusual subjects, or with original stylistic variations—whether the crowded plenitude of Tamara Peterson’s allusive still lifes or the monumental and sometimes eerie fruit of Dennis Wojtkiewicz.  In some cases, this exhibit hopes to evoke this response: “Well then, what is still life?” and to encourage viewers to interrogate the use of such terms as “still life” or “natura morta.”


While ArtSpace/Lima has a mission to showcase important area artists, it also embraces the necessity of introducing the works of artists from outside our community.  Thus, Still Life Now includes artists from a wider area—including New York and Illinois as well as Columbus, Hiram, and Bowling Green.  They all help us to see that contemporary still life is not a “simple” art form by any means and that when we look carefully, it repays our attention.


Mary Ann Sullivan

Professor of Art History Emerita

Bluffton University








Gallery Guide


For a printable copy of the Gallery Guide in pdf format,

please click Gallery Guide.pdf


From The Lima News








Notes from our Guest Book

(The exclamation points are from the originals!)




Unique.      Totally incredible!            Great show!


My favorite show of any ArtSpace has done!


Amazing!      C'est magnifique!


Excelente!      Strong Works.         Radiant!


I cannot think of another show its equal.




I'm in awe!        Beautiful work!


Wonderful show!

Oh yes!