The Big Top Steam exhibit opens this Saturday, February 23. Big Top Steam’s featured artists are Leigh Anne Cassell and Lindsey Donaldson. There will be special installations by two additional artists, Eric Holstine and Phil Berneburg.
This show will be a first for Steam at Harper’s Ferry – all of the artists live or work in West Virginia! Two artists (Leigh Anne and Lindsey) are from Charles Town, one artist is from Charleston (Eric Holstine) and another has a studio in Bolivar (Phil Berneburg).
Come One! Come All! Step Right Up!
The Show is About to Begin!
Leigh Anne Cassell
This is the second show in which Leigh Anne has participated. The following is an excerpt from her original artist statement from the “Gadgets, Guns & Gears” opening in 2012.
“As an artist, one of my personal goals with my work is to strengthen my talent with drawing portraits, especially with the use of color, while also trying more stylized approaches. Since I started drawing portraits in high school I have come to greatly love the technicality of capturing the realism of people’s faces with a pencil. Recently I have expanded my medium to inks and colored pencils. It took me so long to try using color because I did not think that I had the skills to draw with it. One day I just decided to try it, and I ended up surprising myself. Even though I think I still need lots of practice with it, I am happy that I am working well enough with color at the moment. I have been asked in the past why I do not try more digital media to create drawings. I have never had interest in trying a tablet or any other form of digital process to draw. I am in no way against these technological advancements or works of art created by them; I just personally like to sit down with my drawing board, paper, pens, and pencils and just draw. I like the sound and feel of pencils as they move over paper. I can easily say that I do not fit in very well with the more “modern” art world, but I am perfectly fine with that.”
“I have always had an interest in art but have never had any formal training. I gained what little prowess I have by constantly doodling, drawing, and sketching. Several broken pencils later, I emerged with a preference in traditional media, mostly graphite and ink, but have started to expand into digital media. I’d like to become more proficient in digital media because it eliminates the boundaries of traditional media. Since I’ve never been able to spend a lot on art supplies, digital media gives me access to all sorts of things I wouldn’t be able to get normally. I have always preferred working in a more illustrative style because it offers a different sence of control and creativity that I appreciate more than realism. People have always been my subject of choice ever since childhood. Real or imagined, mostly imagined, the human form has always facinated me and taking the faces out of my mind and putting them onto paper is one of life’s little joys for me.”
“I have worked in a variety of mediums. Most of my work also incorporates my professional life, which is in Information Technology, as well as electrical features.”
“My interests lie in creating sculptural work (both functional and nonfunctional) and in contributing to education in the ceramic arts. I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to gain experience in both the technical and creative aspects of ceramics. My approach to pottery is very experiment-oriented. I explore a lot of ideas and try a lot of techniques; I learn a lot, but I produce relatively little. Not every idea is turned into a finished piece. The current work is part of my “Steam-Pfunktional” series of Steampunk-inspired pseudo-functional ceramic pieces. Steampunk, the art of Victorian futurism or science fiction with the celebration of Victorian technology and aesthetics and the rejection of the evils resulting from the Industrial Revolution, has existed ever since the novels of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, but has only recently coalesced from a term referring only to a type of science fiction novel into a broader art movement.”