Opportunities for adventure are endless with abstract art. Whether you claim to “like it” or not, abstract art invites an audience to participate in the creative process. Because the pieces often do not represent identifiable objects, viewers are taken on an adventure of the senses, drawing on individual experiences and emotions: Does that shade of purple evoke the soft color and smell of flowers in your grandmother’s garden? Do those undulating blues remind you of a trip to the beach with a long-lost love, making you melancholy? Or do they remind you of a vacation you took last week with a new love, evoking a sensation of bursting happiness? Whatever you are feeling, the person standing next to you may be simultaneously on a different, but equally relevant emotional adventure.
This phenomenon only allows the adventure to continue. Once we have processed our own feelings about a piece, we can discuss our impressions and feelings with a friend… or a stranger. Will you bond over the experience of the piece with the person next to you, or will you engage in a debate, so moved are you by the feelings that no other interpretation seems possible?
Continuing the adventure still, we can imagine the motives of the artists who created the pieces. Is Arlyn Pettingell’s “Night Ocean” a peaceful sea or a harrowing one? Is there a storm threatening a lovely sky, or are the soft yellows and pinks glimmers of the calm that follows the storm?
If you would like to find out, join us for the ACAC’s Abstract Show adventure, which peaks on Friday, August 1 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. with a First Friday reception at the Adams County Arts Council’s Education Center, 125 South Washington Street, Gettysburg, PA, and will continue throughout the month of August. The show offers a diverse range of style and subject matter in a variety of media, including paintings, photography, sculpture, and mixed media. Artists will be in attendance at the reception to discuss their work, and all pieces are for sale.