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Entertainment Brief: ‘An Abstract Approach’

Gallery Har Shalom announces the opening of "An Abstract Approach." The gallery walls will display three abstract painters — Lesley Clarke, Springfield, Va.; Har Shalom member June Plotkin, Rockville; and Edith Sievers, Bethesda, as well as work created by artists Karin Abromaitis, Takoma Park, and Jessica Beels, Washington, D.C.

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A ceramic windoe bowl by Karin Abromaitis-Ostracon.

Clarke's work is created on custom-made wooden boxes that she inks and then shapes with paint and objects to show the power of color and shape to convey emotions. Born and raised in Scotland, Clarke has been creating and painting most of her life. She works with acrylics, found objects, and related media to prepare abstract works that focus on embedding emotion, often conflict, into her creations.

Plotkin uses acrylics for her paintings because of their environmental friendliness and their versatility, allowing layering and other techniques. Shapes, color and the use of space all excite her as she draws ideas from nature, travel and family life experiences, including studying the masters here and in Europe.

Sievers paints in both acrylics and oil and, inspired by nature's endless beauty, finds her true passion is driven by exploration of the abstract, juxtaposing lines, shapes, color and light. Throughout her career as an early childhood educator, she has challenged young students to express themselves creatively and explore the world around them through art. Having grown up in Tel Aviv, Israel, and lived in Hong Kong, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, and Turkey, Sievers finds that her work is influenced by the visual distinctions of these varied terrains.

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Lesley Clarke’s Pebbles Revenge, 20x40, Acrylic

Abromaitis began throwing pots in 1995 and discovered that making pottery was her “missing piece” after twenty years in a successful career in the performing arts. The quiet inner focus and solitude provide the balance in her life to the high level of outward energy that performance requires. She finds satisfaction in being a maker of objects. After many years of creating ceramic vessels for food and drink, she now explores what else a vessel might contain such as light, dreams, and ideas.

Beels creates sculptures using armatures of steel wire and then covering them with high-shrinkage flax and abaca paper. Much of her work is form-driven, addressing issues of interior and exterior space, with a particular interest in the geometry of microscopic organisms, fossils, and seed pods. Her abstract forms ask the question "Animal, vegetable or mineral?" The pieces are abstracted forms that can be interpreted variously as belonging to any or all of those categories, depending on the observer's point of view.

For further information and directions, call the Har Shalom office at 301-299-7087.