Two-person exhibition opening Friday, September 18th | 6:30-9pm
What happens when we look at the familiar from an unexpected point of view? This is the question posed by Principle Gallery’s upcoming two-person exhibition called From Above, and the answer comes to us in the form of 40 entirely new paintings by artists Jill Basham and Kim VanDerHoek. The two contemporary oil painters will be presenting landscapes all done from an aerial or high viewpoint—ten large paintings and ten 10-by-10-inch paintings from each artist.
Inspiration for the exhibit, on view from September 18 to October 12, happened by chance when the two artists were both delivering work to the gallery on the same day last year. Not only did their paintings mesh well stylistically, they revealed common interests in the two artists—a penchant for unusual perspectives, a love of structural shapes, and a fascination with texture.
As if the exhibition itself isn’t enough to bring these two artists together, they’ve decided to collaborate on one special painting for the show throughout the spring and summer seasons. Working from reference the pair have chosen, Basham will start the painting in her Maryland studio, located near the Chesapeake Bay, before shipping it cross country to VanDerHoek’s studio, where the California-based artist will continue the work. They plan to shoot short videos of the process so their social media followers can keep up-to-date with the progression of the painting. The truly unique collaborative painting will be unveiled and signed by both artists at the opening reception, which will be held on September 18 from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.
Kim VanDerHoek, a contemporary fine artist, is particularly well-known for her vibrant, textural landscapes, especially urban scenes that reflect her love of structure and geometry. Explaining the genesis of her work for this exhibit, VanDerHoek said, “When flying home after a painting event in Wisconsin, I was struck by the unique viewpoint that being in an airplane provided. I was higher than passing clouds and quickly snapped a photo with my iPhone, intending to use it as inspiration for a painting. That quickly turned into a whole series of aerial views.” Whether working on studio paintings, like those she’ll be contributing to this exhibition, or plein-air works done on location, the artist is dedicated to painting boldly, working fearlessly to capture a strong visual statement that conveys the light, atmosphere, and profound beauty of her subjects. VanDerHoek was recently awarded 1st Place in the 6″ Squared National Show at Randy Higbee Gallery (selected by judge Jean Stern, Director of the Irvine Museum); awarded Best Oil Painting in the Plein Air Salon Competition, selected by judge Michele Marceau Ward, owner of Principle Gallery; and named as a Finalist in the prestigious Art Renewal Center International Salon. VanDerHoek is a juried artist member of the California Art Club (CAC), a member of the American Impressionist Society (AIS), an associate with distinction member of the American Women Artists (AWA) and a member of the Oil Painters of America (OPA). She is an official workshop instructor for Gamblin Oil Colors, and a highly sought-after painting instructor.
Although Jill Basham’s quieter, generally more muted color palette and subject matter differ from her exhibition partner, her intention is the same. She is equally dedicated to conveying the light, atmosphere, and “feeling” of the landscapes she paints, whether natural or manmade. Basham also works outdoors on location, and says she is comfortable allowing each painting and its subject to lead her on an exploratory, experimental journey, as this approach often yields the most unexpected and visually exciting results. Like VanDerHoek, Basham has been consistently drawn to expansive, atmospheric views, whether it’s observing Paris from above or looking out from a mountaintop in Georgia. She added, “I always look for the window seat on any plane. Many people fly, but so many consider flying to be their normal mode of transportation, not realizing the beauty that is passing around and below them. I want to bring attention to this beauty that is often missed from an above perspective.” Basham’s recent accomplishments include being named Best of Show for her work at the Door County Plein Air Invitational by C.W. Mundy, master artist; Peter Trippi, editor-in-chief of Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine; and Kelly Kane, editor-in-chief of Plein Air Magazine. Basham also received the Judge’s Award for consistent excellence over her many years of participation in the respected Olmsted Plein Air Invitational in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a member of the American Impressionist Society (AIS), the Oil Painters of America (OPA), and the National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society (NOAPS), as well as an artist-member of the historic Salmagundi Club in New York City and the historic Washington Society of Landscape Painters in Washington, D.C.
With galleries in Alexandria, Virginia, and Charleston, South Carolina, Principle Gallery has built its reputation on presenting the best in Contemporary Realism, particularly oil paintings and bronze sculpture. Clint Mansell, the gallery’s director, added, “Viewing the world around us from different perspectives can open our eyes to new ideas and answer questions we didn’t know we had. While you’re walking outside, look up at the buildings, look down at the pavement, travel down roads you normally don’t, take the long way home, and when you get a chance, see the world from above. Basham and VanDerHoek’s paintings will give us a wonderful bird’s eye view of many cities and landscapes; they’ll depict scenes we aren’t used to seeing in our everyday lives and transport us to places only these two artists are able to describe. Jill and Kim bring their singular expressions in mark-making to the table, but seeing their paintings together, they meld in a natural, organic way, and I can’t wait to see the show in our beautiful, historic building.” From Above, featuring the work of Jill Basham and Kim VanDerHoek, will be on view at the Alexandria location, located at 208 King Street.