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Ordinary Magic - Jane Newman

Ordinary Magic at the Gallery: a review

by Kristen Scholfield-Sweet

What is this? The art of Jane Newman is a way of showing what becomes valuable when ordinary is named magic. When art renames what is valuable, its meaning is reinvented from this communication. But what is valuable about old wire coat hangers, and pieces of scrap metal, fabric and feathers?

Jane says that “transforming mundane, abandoned or rejected materials into beautiful, whimsical and sometimes disturbing art forms has been my practice over the past decade. My intention is to spark wonder and rekindle different ways of seeing and caring about our world in all its myriad forms.”

How does this happen? Jane’s art allows the known to become unfiltered and unfamiliar. She draws on what lies beneath our surface judgements, forcing our intellect to intuitively feel her design aesthetic of “natural elements with manufactured finds, images layered with text, wire joinery with aged metal.”

So what does all this mean? We as art viewers activate the objects we perceive. Jane can control the assemblage or image, but not our reaction to it. When we are able to return to the thing itself—the metal, fabric, feathers--we return to Nature. Perhaps the ultimate meaning of Ordinary Magic is, profoundly, that there is no garbage. And that art can be anything.

Ordinary Magic continues at the Old Schoolhouse Art Gallery

Sunday July 3, 2-6 pm

Thursday July 7, 3-9 pm, Artist’s talk 7 pm

Friday July 8, 3-9 pm

Saturday July 9, 2-6 pm

Sunday July 10, 2-6 pm


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