By PAM HARBAUGH
The FIFTH AVENUE ART GALLERY has a vibrant abstract exhibition on view through July. Called “The Stripes Run Through Us,” the exhibition comprises 20 works by Daytona Beach artist Babz Lupoli.
Although not a member of the venerable Fifth Avenue Art Gallery, an artist’s cooperative, Lupoli visited the gallery and submitted an application to show in its changing gallery. Gallery member Phyllis Shipley was working there the day Lupoli visited.
“As we conversed, her energy and knowledge told me that she was an artist,” Shipley said. “I asked if she would share some of her creations. She had photos and also several bookmarks she had made. The exciting colors and shape interactions were a joy to see.”Shipley was so impressed she urged Lupoli to fill out an application to exhibit. It was accepted and Shipley ended up curating the show. Although Lupoli has painted figuratives and landscapes, the abstracts won over Shipley, who says “Her energy is in her abstracts.”
Indeed. Talk to Lupoli about her abstracts and she sprints into dynamic discourse about intuition and impulse.
“A lot of my work just happens,” Lupoli said. “I converted to abstracts. I rarely do the other. It’s unique. It just comes from totally within you.”
Lupoli allows vibrant colors to rather dictate what emerges. She worked for a while with drips when one day, she picked up a striped napkin and applied that to the painting. A theme dawned on her: The stripes we each earn as we move through life.
“We have problems, travels, jobs, neighbors, beliefs, all of these things impact who we are,” she said. “Some of the stripes come from being on the right path, doing well, while others we earn when we are on the wrong path and have to adjust.”
A teacher and assistant principal for 32 years around Baltimore, Maryland, Lupoli began painting 10 years ago after she retired and moved to Florida. Since then, it has become her life, she said, and, it has turned into a spiritual journey.
“The Stripes Run Through Us” runs through July 29 at the Fifth Avenue Art Gallery, 1470 Highland Ave., Melbourne. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Call 321-259-8261 or visit FifthAvenueArtGallery.com.
This is an edited version of a story that ran last week in the Melbourne Beachsider.