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anika smulovitz: keys. . .and mothers

Key: something that affords a means of access; something that affords a means of clarifying a problem. Though there are many definitions of the word, these resonated most for me when I saw Anika Smulovitz’s sterling silver Key Collection.

Anika Smulovitz Dandelion Key

Dandelion Key, sterling silver, 5″ x 2 1/8″ x 2 1/8″

Anika Smulovitz Loss and Longing ll

Loss and Longing II, sterling silver,  5 1/4″ x 2 3/4″ x 1/4″

Anika Smulovitz Globe Thistle Key

Globe Thistle Key, sterling silver, amethyst 5 7/8″ x 2 5/8″ x 2 5/8″

Note the profile portraits cut into some of the keys – among them, a profile of her mother on the Globe Thistle Key. I love this. Mothers hold the key to so much as we grow and learn, as we love and lose. Soon I will mark the first full year without my own mother and she is ever present in my thoughts. Anika’s key portraits brought a tear and a smile. . .

Anika Smulovitz Fern Key

Fern Key, sterling silver, garnet, 3 1/4″ x 7/8″ x 3/4″

Anika Smulovitz Loss and Longing

Loss and Longing I, sterling silver, 5″ x 5″ x 1/4″

“It is not so much the key, as it is what the key can unlock that fascinates us.” ~Anika Smulovitz

Anika Smulovitz’ website

seth clark: on the brink of ruin

I’m fascinated by Seth Clark’s work and process. Recently named Emerging Artist Of The Year by Pittsburgh Center For The Arts, Clark creates collages of deteriorating architecture, using layers of digital images and found papers to create depth and definition, then drawing and painting on top of the collages.

Be sure to click on the images to see them full size.

Seth Clark Mass llMass II, 144” x 72” triptych
Collage, Charcoal, Pastel, Acrylic, Graphite on Wood

 He first creates digital collages in Photoshop – taking pieces of images he sources online or his own photographs, and combining them together to create buildings that appear to be collapsing onto themselves. A window from one photo, a wall from another. . .once the general structure is complete, he sketches it out and then begins to collage the papers. Layers of papers, ink washes and more paper and then he draws on the collaged piece. Wow. That’s all. Wow.


Seth Clark Mass l
Mass I, 72” x 84” diptych
Collage, Charcoal, Pastel, Acrylic, Graphite on Wood


Seth Clark Collapse Xll
 Collapse Xll, 36” x 36”
Collage, Charcoal, Pastel, Acrylic, Graphite on Wood


Seth Clark Collapse Xll detail
Collapse Xll, detail

 “Among all of the clutter—the shards of wood and layers of rubble—there remains a gentle resolve. It is as if the buildings were content with their circumstance. As I work, I study these structures incessantly. They are on the brink of ruin, yet appear dignified in their state. Something very energized and present is trying to escape out of a slow history of abandonment.”

Seth Clark Installed


Seth Clark In Progress
Work In Progress

“Nature will overcome. It usually does. Even on the smallest level of these pieces, they’re made from paper and they’re sensitive to sunlight. Every little piece of these paintings individually is weathered and in a state of decay. Architecture and buildings, as hard as we try to defend them against the elements—we won’t win.” Seth Clark, from an interview in The Fourth River. Read the full interview here.
Seth Clark’s website

Many thanks to Donna Penoyer for letting me know about this amazing artist.

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