The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

September 7, 2012

Husband, wife show their ‘Visions of World’ at arts center

Star Beacon

ASHTABULA — The September/October art gallery exhibit at the Ashtabula Arts Center is “Visions of the World” featuring drawings and paintings by Philip Sugden and photographs by wife Carole Elchert.

The exhibit will be on display Monday through Oct. 20. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday at 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery is also open before all theater performances and during intermission. Admission to the gallery is free. A reception will be held Oct. 19 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Visitors can view the exhibit and meet the artists.

More than 20 years of travel experiences to four continents and more than two dozen journeys through the Himalayan regions of India, Nepal, Tibet, Ladakh and the Kingdom of Mustang have led to the extensive and stunning works of Sugden and Elchert. With a  masters of arts in interpersonal and public communication, Elchert made her first trip to Nepal and the Himalayas in 1981, returning every year or two after that for ongoing study of these cultures. Since 1993, Elchert  has organized more than 17 eco-cultural tours for adults and students.

An outgrowth of her travels to Europe and Asia is her professional work as an editor, writer, speaker, lecturer and photographer. She has developed multi-media slide presentations and lectured on the history, culture and geography of Tibet. Images from her travels have appeared in exhibits in places such as New York, Los Angeles, London and Melbourne as well as in art galleries and universities throughout Ohio and the Midwest. Some of her images are in the permanent collection of Chicago’s Field Museum.

Sugden studied painting and graduated from the New York School of Visual Arts and the Paris American Academie des Beaux Arts in Paris and is an assistant professor of Fine Arts at Bluffton University. He has made 12 journeys throughout the Himalaya and Tibet. His work has been exhibited in more than 90 solo and 130 group shows internationally and published in a full-color exhibition catalog entitled “Visions from the Fields of Merit.” He has given more than 200 national and international lectures on art and Tibetan culture and has won numerous best of show and 1st place awards in juried exhibits.

In 1990 the pair were awarded grants to create a Public Television presentation and companion book based on their 1988 Cultural Arts Expedition to the Himalaya and Tibet. As guests the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile, they spent six months gathering images and recordings for the production entitled “White Lotus, An Introduction to Tibetan Culture.”  

In conjunction with the exhibit, Sugden will offer a Mandala workshop on Oct.  20 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for $15.

The workshop begins with an introduction to the meaning and use of the mandala in world cultures and belief systems.

Participants do not need any prior artistic talent or art instruction. Each student should bring one pencil and several sheets of drawing paper. Bring any art supplies. Color pencils and watercolor are the most popular and easiest to use. Those who do not paint or draw will use collage and will need to bring magazines or catalogs to cut up.

The smaller the pictures, the easier they will fit into the mandala layout. To register contact the arts center at 964-3396.