AVA showcases paintings and photographs that examine interactions with the environment

February 26th, 2012 in Life Entertainment

Amanda Brazier's abstract, geometric paintings are paired with Rylan Steele's color photographs in the Association for Visual Arts' next show. Opening Friday is "Structure," which presents art that explores our reactions with and understanding of our environment.

Brazier uses handmade oil paint and layers and veils of color to create nonrepresentational paintings that suggest interiors, towers and landscapes.

"I gather imagery and inspiration from geometry, architecture, ancient art, language and maps," she said. "These are the artifacts of man's sense-making of his world."

Brazier is fascinated by how an eroded, fragmented object from thousands of years ago can connect us to the creator of that object and teach us about his relationship to his world. She believes that man makes marks so that he can understand his reality. But that attempt is often futile because life is so uncertain. He leaves behind artifacts for future generations to understand how he coped with life and his environment.

Brazier's "artifacts" are geometric paintings with straight edges and intentional brushstrokes.

She is a Chattanooga-based artist who received her bachelor of arts degree from Freed-Hardeman University.

Steele is a professor of photography at Columbus State University in Georgia. He received degrees in photography from Florida International University, the University of Georgia and the Southeast Center for Photographic Studies.

Steele will be exhibiting color images of interiors. He says he likes to take pictures of places that are normally considered mundane. To him, there is a history inherent in all environments from being used and appreciated.

"I choose to photograph the ordinary facts of our daily lives because how we live fascinates me," he said. "The places photographed are not one type of place but were selected for their ability to represent and challenge our expectations of familiar places."

He further explains that in compiling the work for the show that his intention was to make images that question our attempts to be perfect and illuminate overlooked details of contemporary living.

A photographer since he was 15 years old, Steele uses a Mamiya 6 camera. He prints his images digitally with no manipulation of the final photo.

"I attempt to present the world as accurately as possible," he said.

The exhibit will remain on display through April 13. A reception will be held Friday from 5 to 8 p.m.

AVA, 30 Frazier Ave., is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For information, call 265-4282.

Email Ann Nichols at annsnichols@aol.com.