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Fremion and Coffey: Masters of Fabric and Oil

Rhapsody Gallery is excited to bring together its first dual artist art exhibition with two artists who share a love for complex texture and wondrous design. 
Indiana based fabric artist, Joel Fremion and oil painter, Gregg Coffey will share an exhibition of their favorite works at Rhapsody Art Gallery in Fort Wayne,IN. 

" My first experimentations with fabric happened in the mid- 70's when a painting professor suggested "thinking outside the box". He obviously saw my frustration in painting as I could never finish one. My Mother was an interior designer and my first studio was an attic apartment above her design studio/drapery workshop. She employed several exceptional seamstresses. My college education initially focused on architectural/interior design thinking I might join my Mom's business.One of my design profs was also a very good painter and seeing I had drawing skills suggested that I take some fine art classes. I studied art history, painting, metalsmithing, pottery, & printmaking at The Ft. Wayne Art Institute. My Mom supplied the design school with fabrics either from leftover fragments or sample books which she replaced every year and I starting saving some of them for potential future use. I had remembered seeing some "soft sculpture" being exhibited at The Chicago Merchandise Mart. Quilters were adding padding to their work to give it dimension. I thought it was a novel idea that could be approached in a much more "painterly way". I consider these collages small building projects. They are assembled like a puzzle. No overlapping. Each individual (usually around 500) piece of fabric is glued to a pre-stretched cotton canvas. Once the composition is complete it is then machine-stitched, mounted on canvas bars, and presented like a painting.I am essentially painting with fabric." Joel Fremion

"I began my art studies in 1968. It was a time of incredible social change and idealism. As a religion minor, I began studying Eastern religion, which lead to my two summers at Naropa Institute studying Tibetan Buddhism, and continued my Buddhist studies in San Francisco, where I became a fixture in the jazz and international music scene, which heavily impacted my work. I began as a photo realist, became a biomorphic surrealist and then got sidetracked with seven years of Chinese training. When I began my printmaking studies, all of these influences came together. More recently, my paintings and etchings have become more archetypes, symbolism and mythology, all filtered through my still very mathematical compositional sense, and embellished by my Asian influences. I am an amalgam of my influences: as if Escher was influenced by Max Ernst who was influenced by Sesshu and Shubun." Gregg Coffey
The public is invited to join Joel Fremion, Gregg Coffey and Rhapsody Gallery for the opening of Fremion and Coffey: Masters of Fabric and Oil on Thursday, June 14, between 6:00 and 10:00pm. Refreshments provided and a cash bar will be available. 

Exhibition runs through July 11th.