By ALEC CLAYTON
It is a rare artist who gets invited to mount a one-person show at Childhood’s End Gallery. According to owner Richenda Richardson, there have only been 20 solo exhibits out of approximately 400 in its 43 years. Three have been by Marilyn Frasca.
Frasca’s show for Arts Walk will have about 50 drawings, most made over the past two or three years but with a few older ones. The show takes its name from the drawing “An Open Moment.”
“Making drawings kept me grounded during this unbelievably hideous year of American politics,” Frasca says. “Many times, my work became my best effort to express compassion for those deeply hurt by the current madness. I continued work with textured forms made as monoprints, and found many images that affirm joy and belief in the good hearts of people. Thank heaven for that.”
Saying she “found many images” is central to the way Frasca works. She creates monoprints from random marks; i.e., dense and varied textures with no images. Then she studies the marks on the paper and finds images or hints of images the way some people find pictures in smoke or flames or clouds. She draws and paints into them to clarify them as images viewers can easily recognize. Her drawings tell stories or display situations that are easily relatable. They’re often hopeful, loving and poignant, even in the face of despair.
The title drawing, “An Open Moment,” pictures a sad-faced, masked woman standing by a sphinx-like creature and looking into an empty box from which the light of hope shines.
Another drawing, “Receiving Gifts,” portrays two woman who appear to be from different cultures and parts of the world; the women have their arms around one another. One of them has a hand resting on a globe. They’re embracing both each other and the world.
The textures in Frasca’s images are varied and fascinating. Her drawing is skilled, with lyrical lines and softly dramatic use of dark and light. As all narrative art should, her pictures imply stories without spelling everything out, thus leaving much to viewers’ interpretation.
Childhood’s End Gallery is a must-stop on every Arts Walk tour.
Childhood’s End Gallery,
224 Fourth Ave. W, Olympia
5 – 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4;
Noon – 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5;
Continuing through Nov. 17 with artist talk at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13
Free (artwork for sale)