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Reception: Friday, April 8, 5-8 pm
Artist Talk: Thursday, April 21, 6 pm

“We sit in our studios, alone, looking at the rectangle, making marks, applying paint, creating textures and forms. Flowers and trees, birds and faces, gardens and vessels appear. What gets painted over? What is kept? Hundreds of decisions are made. Symbols and meaning reveal themselves and become mystery. One thing is certain. We are here and we are painting.”

Diana Alva & James Puntigam

Diana Alva

My work is an ongoing exploration with artist medium, form and color. My Botanical Dreamscapes are the latest in this new series of work. Stumbling my way through gardening has been influential with the choices I’ve made in painting. I find that Mother Nature has her own wild expressive way of showing movement even when she’s standing still.

Through this abstract thicket of flora and fauna, the challenge becomes what to accentuate and build upon. A natural rhythm appears in this abstract structural foundation. By applying layer after layer of pigment and wax, I can create a folklore like scenario. These are the moments that intrigue me enough to start another piece. Freeform imagination and line creates an interesting dialogue and hopefully this choice excites the viewer. And the goal is to create something that looks good today and tomorrow. Trusting the choices I’ve made, becomes the complex phenomenon that I strive to understand.

This Artistic journey grows with the Artist. We don’t know what we know or what we don’t know. It’s in these compelling, magical moments that are comprised of wonder and chance. This lets me blend what I understand with art supplies and “Voila”, Art!

This new body of work has been a journey. I’ve been exploring all I understand about painting and trusting my intuitive side. It’s been a healing art experience.

The garden series morphs into the studio, into a dream.

I’m intrigued by the power of line work, how it can create form and structure.

Transforming perspectives also challenge the creative eye. The whole composition becomes a stage for the bird spirits. The white flower represents hope, and the leaf represents nature.

Working with different mediums like beeswax, tempera, encaustic and ink keep my scientific mind set forever challenged.

Developing a painting and letting go is magical.

James Puntigam
This series of visual thought began eight years ago. I called these paintings Sangha Trees. “Sangha” is a Sanskrit word which refers to the monks who lived with the Buddha in India and followed his ways and teachings. I loosely interpret “sangha” as the community in the trees. Within these trees that I paint, images, mostly faces begin to emerge out of the textures and fabric of my intuition and imagination. The textures begin with dripping lines, crumpled paper towel and sponges dipped in paint. Many of my surfaces are treated with glue, sand and primer. I then begin to find the trees in the rectangle and to define the images that have randomly appeared using brushes palette knives and line. Lately, birds are appearing in the trees. The birds are trees. Trees are birds. There really is no formula. Each painting is different and I must find my way through the forest to the other side. This work is mostly new but there are a few older pieces to show the development.

James Puntigam has been painting in Detroit for 30 years. His work has been influenced by abstract expressionism, surrealism, art brut and outsider art. Jim opened and closed the Space Gallery on Grand

River in downtown Detroit 1990-1992. He was the director of the Zeitgeist Gallery 2001-2008. He currently curates and hangs exhibits for the Ellen Kayrod Gallery. Jim has shown extensively throughout

the Detroit art scene. His work was displayed in Paris France at the Halle Sainte Pierre in 1999. Jim currently lives gratefully in Hazel Park with Diana Alva and his two dogs Scooter and Shirley.

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