A detail of “Leaf Me Alone,” 2014, acrylic by Susan Martin.
By PAM HARBAUGH
One of my very favorite artists, Susan Martin, will have a one person show of her hyper-real botanical paintings beginning today in the Frits Van Eeden Gallery at the Renee Foosaner Education Center, which is part of the Florida Institute of Technology’s Foosaner Art Museum..
The exhibition runs through Dec. 23. Visitors there will get an up close opportunity of feeling the excitement, intelligent and aesthetically keen qualities in Ms. Martin’s vibrant work.
A long time resident of Merritt Island and member of Ten Women in Art, Ms. Martin is actually from Texas — a fact revealed in her soft Texas accent. She received her B.A. in Studio Art at the University of Texas in Austin.
Although her medium is paint, you can see the influence of studying with famed photogapher Russell Lee, whose work with the WPA in the ’30s rivals that of Dorothea Lange. There a shared egalitarianism in the careful focus on a single subject and the context in which it sits.
As she states in the press release, “By eliminating the context provided by background, and examining a subject close-up and enlarged, the resulting composition can be viewed abstractly as a complex arrangement of colors and textures with inherent aesthetic value apart from its representation of an object.”
Ms. Martin also has a strong voice laced with her own progressive political points of view. Her botanicals are not only deeply beautiful and exquisitely wrought, they also become a clarion call to preserve nature.
The exhibition’s programming, which is free and open to the public, includes: An artist’s reception 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 2; a Gallery Talk 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21.
The Frits van Eeden Gallery is in the Renee Foosaner Education Center is at 1520 Highland Ave., Melbourne, in the midst of the Eau Gallie Arts District. It is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. the first Friday of each month starting in October. For more information, call 321-674-8923 or email education assistant Amanda Brinkman at email@example.com.