Show Preview | O’Cualain & Rhymer

Santa Fe, NM
Manitou Galleries, July 20-August 13

Jennifer O’Cualain, Black and Blue, oil, 8 x 18.

Jennifer O’Cualain, Black and Blue, oil, 8 x 18.

This story was featured in the July 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art July 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Jennifer O’Cualain’s intimate portraits and Paul Rhymer’s textured sculptures provide a quiet peek into the animal kingdom thriving around us. This month, the two artists bring their unique renditions of animals together for a show at Manitou Galleries. Titled Birds of a Feather, the show opens on Friday, July 20, with an artists’ reception from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

O’Cualain and Rhymer have been friends for many years, and their shared passion for wildlife often inspires each other’s work. “Talking with someone like-minded helps you work through an idea so it can transform into something real and wonderful,” O’Cualain says. “We’re just on the same wavelength.” Jen Rohrig, art consultant with the gallery, says the title of the show references both the artists’ friendship and their shared passion for wildlife. “Rhymer’s lyrical sculptures complement the attention to detail found in every painting by O’Cualain,” she adds.

The show includes an expansive body of work from each artist, featuring portrayals of all kinds of animals. O’Cualain brings 12 new studio pieces that showcase her signature details and soft touch. These hang alongside a massive display of 81 panels, each measuring 6 by 6 inches and featuring a compact portrait of a North American animal.

Rhymer brings 24 sculptures to the show, including about five brand-new pieces. He also performs a live bronze pour at the gallery, in which he demonstrates the lost-wax process on a miniature piece. “People see the clay is so textured, and they see those textures in the bronze, but they don’t really know how they translate,” Rhymer says. “It’s such a cool thing when you see the lights go on and they understand.” The specific date and time of the demonstration will be announced on the gallery’s website.

The artists say they have always liked the interplay between two- and three-dimensional works shown together. But their main goal is to strike a connection with viewers. “Animals are a universal language; we all have a connection with them on some level,” Rhymer says. O’Cualain agrees. “I hope people feel the same connection to the animals that I do. I hope they see themselves,”
she says. —Mackenzie McCreary

contact information
505.986.9833
www.manitougalleries.com

This story was featured in the July 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art July 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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