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Found in Translation features four Iowa women artists, Judy Bales, Suanna Breed, Ananda Kesler, and Joanie McGinnis, whom create artworks suggestive of the natural environment without literally depicting it. The exhibition title alludes to the translation of artistic media into new and surprising expressions. For each of the artists, the proclivity for introspection and a focus on spiritual growth has been inextricably interwoven with her art. This emphasis on spirituality is a strong unifying element in work produced by the artists. Collectively, the group creates artwork evoking a sense of mystery. In the same way that jazz music brings depth and richness to human experience without narrative, these abstract works, like a visual symphony, inspire the viewer to connect with their own rich inner life and walk away feeling moved and uplifted.
Inspiration for Joanie McGinnis begins with the isolation of a particular color seen in the expanse of the sky which she then explores in paintings that reinvent the vast qualities of sky, land, or water. Ananda Kesler translates the lyricism of inner landscapes into poetic works of great atmospheric quality. In Suanna Breed’s paintings, elements verge on plant, animal, or human forms, but stop short of allowing the viewer to define them as such. Judy Bales draws inspiration from the expansive landscape of the Midwest, bringing industrial materials back to their source by deconstructing them in such a way that they appear deceptively natural. Each artist allows the viewer to derive her own meaning, making work that intrigues and encourages repeated viewing.