Once again, the VARA team opened our doors to friends, family and neighbors as we participated in a First Friday event. Our gallery reception this month showcased works from artists April Dippy and Jen Evans. It also just so happened to fall on Dana’s birthday, so we had an extra reason to celebrate. A spread of hors d’oeurves was arranged by Chef Jessica Mitchell, who also surprised the birthday girl with a raspberry topped chocolate cake at the end of the night, which paired excellently with our celebratory bubbles. Just as the reception was winding down, artist April Dippy and her friends cleared the furniture to do a little salsa dancing, which is one of her favorite past times. They even gave a little lesson to the team and guests who were accompanying us. Continue below to read the artists’ statements and see some pictures from the evening.

April Dippy

Each piece of April Dippy’s art contains a unique story of the transient human condition. Our ideals, identities and personalities are perpetually transformed by both life changing events and daily occurrences. Each piece of art goes through multiple stages of building and taking away of layers of paint and other media, molding them into unique entities over days, months, and sometimes years.

This series was created as a study in lieu of many of April’s own recent life changes.  She notes that experiences and trials have the ability to make a person grow on the other side of hard trials when embraced as something with greater purpose than the immediate circumstances might appear.

April Dippy

“Concord”

Build to Break Series

April Dippy

April Dippy

April Dippy

April Dippy

April Dippy

April Dippy

Jen Evans

“I’m inspired by my own gleeful observations regarding the mundane and by the painting process itself. I experiment with oil, acrylic, graphite, resin, and wax, often all at once, often working directly with my hands.  I play, obsess, and struggle; impulsive missteps become puzzles I like solving.”

“Frustrations of juggling motherhood, work, and a studio practice fuel the tension in my painting.  In the last year, this has manifested as ambiguous barnacles, caves, metallic color fields, and angry, neon scribbles. I’ve been thinking in hindsight that the work has something to do with how knowledge and wisdom ebb and flow like the surf, how I used to know things that I don’t know anymore, and that some truths get stuck in tide pools.”

are we- are we safe in here? I doubt it

“Are we- are we safe in here? I doubt it”

I still wish I could breathe under water - Edited

“I still wish I could breathe under water”

First Friday

 Megan, April, and Dana before the show

First Friday

Hors d’oeuvres prepared by Chef Jessica Mitchell

First Friday

Michelle and Megan – bartenders for the evening

First Friday

The VARA Design team celebrating the evening with a glass of champagne

First Friday

The team toasting to the ladies who helped put the evening together

First Friday

And of course salsa dancing lessons from April and her friends