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New art exhibition combines mediums in collaborative show

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Article Originally Published by Hannah Johnson on North Texas Daily

Article Originally Published by Hannah Johnson on North Texas Daily

Delicate flowers made of metal and unique ceramic plates and platters line the back wall of the Flourish exhibit shown in the Gough Gallery of the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center in Denton. 

Flourish is an exhibit of ceramics and metalwork by Master of Fine Arts candidates Courtney DiMare and Brianna Shimer. The collaborative exhibit features large floral collars, tiles and other works by the graduate students. 

“I fell in love with the deceptive nature of their work,” said Jenny Bates, Greater Denton Arts Council exhibitions coordinator and Denton resident. “You don’t expect these flower [collars] to be made out of metal or these [flower bouquets] to be made out of copper. It makes you think, “What am I looking at?’” 

Originally from the Chicago metropolitan area, DiMare received her bachelor’s degree from the Maine College of Art before founding Copper Bouquet, a service for unique handcrafted keepsake flowers with her husband in 2018. In 2019, DiMare moved to Denton to pursue her master’s degree. 

DiMare’s work focuses on metalsmithing and wearables. Her large floral collars are made from copper foil, steel and patina. DiMare said she began metalwork in high school and enjoyed making larger pieces. 

“I always got comments that it was interesting to see a small, petite girl making this big metalwork,” DiMare said. “I always enjoyed surprising people.” 

Shimer received her Bachelors of Fine Arts from the New York State College for Ceramics at Alfred University and her work focuses on utilitarian ceramics. Many of Shimer’s pieces in the gallery are porcelain bowls or plates that represent coming together or gathering for shared experiences.

Bates said the two mediums work well in the exhibit, as opposed to other exhibits that put two pieces by different artists next to each other and make it the extent of the collaboration.

“The girls put the work together [and] that is different to what we would normally see,” Bates said.

DiMare and Shimer met during orientation for the MFA program in 2019. After COVID-19 hit, DiMare said she and Shimer continued to keep in contact because they had several classes together. 

The idea to collaborate for an exhibit came when Shimer was at DiMare’s home and saw her collection of flowers. Shimer and DiMare worked together to curate and choose which flowers and ceramic pieces to show.

“It was pretty effortless,” DiMare said. “We communicate really well [and] it really came together quite easily.”

The exhibit features solo pieces as well as collaborative works from DiMare and Shimer. 

The biggest collaborative piece for the exhibit is known as the Garden, which covers the back wall of the gallery. The Garden features copper and enamel flowers made by DiMare with porcelain bowls, plates and platters by Shimer.

“It’s a really good hybrid of [their styles],” said Audrey Ramsey, art history senior and GDAC intern. “The pieces they specifically picked to come together were perfectly in union.”

Erin Boyce, administrative assistant and membership and rental coordinator of GDAC, said the Hibiscus Collar stood out to her as she had never seen anything like it. 

“I really like [Flourish],” Boyce said. “It’s such a refreshing show. I’ve never really seen that medium used in that way. I think there’s a really nice harmony.” 

The Flourish exhibit can be seen in the Gough Galler of the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center until Dec. 4. 

Featured Image: “Flourish,” a copper and enamel art piece by Courtney DiMare and Brianna Shimer, is pictured at the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center in Denton on Nov. 2, 2021. Photo by Hannah Johnson

Source: North Texas Daily

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