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New exhibits to open at Meridian Museum of Art

By Staff
Special to The Star
May 5, 2002
The Meridian Museum of Art will host an artist's reception on Saturday for its newest exhibits: "David Lambert: Everyday Theater" and "Vidal Blankenstein: Places Remembered, Places Imagined."
The reception, from 6 p.m.-8 p.m., will feature a special gallery talk by the artists. It is free and open to the public.
The paintings of David Lambert and Vidal Blankenstein invite the viewer to compare and contrast two unique styles by artists who work from studios in their home.
While Lambert's paintings focus and explore interior scenes filled with figures and objects and Blankenstein's images explore the psychological relationship between man and his landscape, both artists' images transcend what they appear to be.
"I wanted to create moments of drama, or theater, within the context of everyday objects around us," Lambert said about "Everyday Theater."
"If you just look, you can find meaning and narrative in a variety of everyday objects and their placement. Anything can be a symbol for something else. My hope is that the viewer will find that my paintings link together to create stories of their own."
With bright colors and bold lines, the skewed and tilting images that make up Lambert's tableaus are reminiscent of a carnival fun house.
The figurative interiors and still life, veiled in the visual humor of the artist's cartoon-like/expressionistic style, examine more mysterious questions. In his paintings on unfinished wood, Lambert presents surprising juxtapositions that recall actors on a stage playing out some unknown drama that the viewer has chanced upon.
Lambert's exhibit is made possible by the Mississippi Arts Commission, which gave Lambert a 2001 Visual Arts Fellowship.
Blankenstein said that "we all have memories of where we've been that in some way color where we are now. For me, a childhood park, a special place in the country, a familiar roadside drive, or a family home all represent themselves literally and as recurring symbols in imagined compositions."
The images in Blankenstein's work are often haunting and compelling. There are fragments of figures and trees weaving in and out of lightness and darkness, creating an odd, dream-like reality.
The viewer begins to question where the figure ends and the landscape begins. Literal landscapes give ways to internal ones. The paintings brim with energetic brushwork, and often possess a dark, contemplative mood.
The exhibits "Everyday Theater" and "Places Remembered, Places Imagined" will remain on display through June 1. The exhibits are supported in part by the Mississippi Arts Commission, the Riley Foundation, the City of Meridian and Specialty Roll Products.
The Meridian Museum of Art is at 628 25th Ave., and is open from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. Admission is free. For more information, call 693-1501.