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Visual Arts

Bonded by art

In Your Eye Studio & Gallery‘s Visually Speaking exhibit puts the bonds of mothers and daughters through art on display.

Louis Fowler September 4th, 2013

Renowned local artist Janice Mathews-Gordon has always had a great relationship with her daughter, Elise Gordon, a University of Oklahoma studio art major. It’s a long-lasting relationship built on love, trust and canvas.

Elise Gordon, Windows Buckling Down

“My daughter has been an artist from a very young age and became quite accomplished in high school,” Mathews-Gordon said. “During her high school years, I was a professional artist, and we would bounce ideas back and forth off of each other on our various projects. We would share techniques and ideas. We gave each other critiques, always kind of constructive, positive critiques. So most recently, we just thought that we should do this intentionally.”

Visually Speaking: A Mother-Daughter Conversation Through Art is the public presentation of this lifelong collaboration, both biologically and artistically. The opening reception is 6 p.m. Friday at In Your Eye Studio & Gallery, 3005 Paseo St., and the show runs through Sept. 29.

Mathews-Gordon said that working together intensively over the summer was “truly a joy” and “really special,” strengthening the bond they already had.

“I think in some ways, it will give some kind of visual representation of what the mother-daughter bond is all about. There’s so much to that bond that cannot be spoken, and visual arts is our way of expressing that bond. I think it’s pretty evident when looking at the art,” Mathews-Gordon said.

“Mom and I have always built ideas off one another artistically, sharing techniques and struggles,” Gordon said. “Creating our show enabled us to harness that casual interchange into a concrete communication via our most expressive medium — painting. The subtle likenesses and differences that surfaced in our work were fascinating. In many ways, they helped us understand ourselves and each other, strengthening our connectedness.”

Working together on this project so closely, both artists began to inspire and experiment with each other’s styles in a way that neither had experienced before, leading to some of the exhibition’s most compelling and emotional works.

“[Elise] had a bad experience with a friend, so she tore up a shirt and put it in a painting. Before I knew it, I was tearing up shirts and putting them in paintings,” Mathews-Gordon said. “I knew what she was going through, and I couldn’t help but be inspired by that in my own work as well.”

It’s an experiment in art that Mathews-Gordon believes is original and moving and will inspire discussion between mothers and daughters who come to see it, reinforcing that sacred bond for years to come.

“It’s excellent art. It’s bold, it’s exciting, it’s inviting, and there’s more to it than that because it’s expressing some deep personal relationships and interactions that I don’t think most people will find in a lot of art shows,” she said. “Art is truly a special bond Elise and I share, and we’re excited to share it with everyone who comes to see it.”

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