Beginning on September 25, the Art Beyond Tradition group of artists is presenting its show of abstract art called, “On the Edge,” at the Walter Greer Gallery in the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina in Shelter Cove.

Thirteen artists collaborated to produce this exhibition of artwork in a variety of media, including metal sculpture, oils, acrylics, watercolors, collages and assemblages. There will be an opening reception at the Arts Center on September 25 from 5:30- 7:30 p.m. to which the public is invited.
     Since its last show two years ago, the Art Beyond Tradition group has been perfecting its work and pushing its skills to create the most unique and expressive selection of artwork to be presented in the Lowcountry. It is a bold show pulsing with color, and filled with concepts that are fresh and different. The artists presenting “On the Edge” include: Deanna Bowdish, Cindy Chiappetta, Art Cornell, Marilyn Dizikes, Jo Dye, Anne Hakala, Brucie Holler, Vickie Jourdan, Stephen Kishel, Mary Jane Martin, Arla Crumlick Wible, Caroll Williams and Irene K. Williamson. The show was designed and installed by Martha Ahrens Schymik.
     This all-abstract show is an unique experience, where each artist utilizes a different set of values and ideas to create a singular visual image unlike any other. “Abstraction encourages me to push the limits of my creativity,” says Irene K. Williamson, one of the organizers of the show. “Each piece I produce is an adventure, a discovery that excites and sharpens the imagination. This year my work goes beyond collage and includes large abstract acrylics. The results speak for themselves in their variety, form and distinctive interpretation.”
     Art Cornell says of his work, “In its simplest terms, my work is raw emotion expressed in color, lines and texture on different background materials. I do not believe in limiting that expression or its representation.” A single glance at his works supports his beliefs and rewards the viewer with its dynamism.
     The excitement and energy of the show is palpable from the moment one enters the gallery. There is nothing ordinary about it. The cacophony of color, form and line, draw the eye and challenge the senses. It is, of course, by design. Mary Jane Martin draws her inspiration this year from a quote from Georgia O’Keefe: “Nothing is less real than realism. Details are confusing. It is only by elimination that we get at the real meaning of things.” Ms. Martin’s years of experimentation with different mediums, ranging from ceramics to printmaking come forth as she uses elimination and emphasis to edit and create her current work, all done in watermedia.
     Arla Crumlick Wible is well pleased to present her artwork in this show as she feels that her paintings at long last have achieved the goal of presenting light and movement through the colors and shapes she has found. The development of style and ability of each of the artists over the past two years is impressive. Vickie Jourdan’s work reflects the success she has experienced in creating art in a non-objective way, art that expresses her ever-changing emotions, moods and fleeting moments. Sculptor Stephen Kishel has a unique perspective on his art. “My personal view of my sculptural abstract art is that it should be enjoyed like the clouds (there is a sense of calm when you lie down on the lawn and stare up at the clouds, letting your mind relax and allowing your feelings, subconscious, and your imagination flow). It is my desire that my sculptures only hint at reality and allow each viewer to fill in the details. When I am most successful the viewer smiles.”
     Some artists may reach back in time to make a new statement. Caroll Williams has always been attracted to found objects and old papers…. things that are weathered, worn and mellowed by time. She looks upon these things that were never intended to last but have somehow survived, perhaps torn or faded, yet with a patina of age and dignity that cannot be denied. These are the materials she uses in her collages and assemblages. Similarly, Cindy Chiappetta has developed her current body of work inspired by a collection of old maps. She celebrates the old, folded map as a thing of beauty and a moment in time when “we thought we really knew where we had been and where we were going.”
     On the other hand, Jo Dye sees her art as “an expression of change, growth and appreciation of life in all its colorful forms.”
     Together and individually, these pieces of art arrest the beholder with their brilliance, vitality and creativity. To view “On the Edge,” is to experience a look at a world devoid of daily tedium, replaced by one of visual and visceral excitement, plus exceptional  presentation. A bounty of color.  A mélange of forms and media. A true spectacle of unreal reality.
     Understanding non-traditional art is not a requirement. The work just needs to be experienced, contemplated and enjoyed, one piece at a time, one sensation after another.  “On the Edge” provides just such an opportunity, an opportunity that should not be missed.
     “On the Edge” continues at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina through October 12. The Walter Greer Gallery in Shelter Cove is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and one hour before performances in the theater. On Saturday and Sunday, the gallery is open from 12:00 noon – 4:00 p.m. For more information call the Arts Center at 843-686-3945.