Artist:Helen Werner Cox
Media:pastels, oil paint, prints
Gallery:CSULB School Of Art, Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist
Helen is a graduate student in her last semester of the drawing and painting, figurative tract program of the CSULB School of Art. This show was a project for the completion of her MFA. Outside of art, Helen loves to garden and read fiction and mystery. Before she was in school she taught middle school and high school students for 30 years. The first 13 years, she was in Boston, Massachusetts teaching mostly highschoolers art. She then moved to California because she was tired of snow and rain. Helen had developed an interest in literacy, so she became a school librarian in North Long Beach for 14 years. She grew up in Ithaca, New York, then when she was 18 she moved to Boston to go to BU School of Fine Arts,where she lived for 16 years. This show specifically explores the ideas surrounding a carousel, which is a metaphor of society.
The media used, as mentioned above, was pastels, oil paint, and some prints. The formal qualities of the work include line work as a base for shading and detail. She also included many bright pastel colors like orange, green, and blue to bring out the shape of the horses on the carousel. Her work is mostly a continuous drawing, there are no abrupt characteristics about it, she blends it very nicely to give the feeling that we are moving with the carousel.
When creating this exhibit, Helen was intrigued with the idea of carousels and how they relate to our society. Originally she wanted to draw a carousel with adults because she thinks we are constantly stuck in a circle going round and round, repeating the same mistakes, and it drives her crazy. She then switched over to horses because they were an instrumental part in our society and now have become almost obsolete in regards to what they were used for in the past.
This was the most exciting and interesting exhibit I have seen so far. The work was so detailed and just beautiful to look at. I personally have not really been into art that much. I didn’t see the point in analyzing the meaning behind it, but when I walked into this gallery, I was amazed by the beautiful pictures, and was drawn to the bright pastels. I can also understand how Helen thinks we are spinning in circles in society, as I too have a routine that I stick to every day, and it can often get tiresome. School, work, gym, homework, eat, repeat. We all have schedules and obligations, but once in a while we are fortunate enough to break out of that rut and do something interesting and amazing with our lives. Something that is worth remembering.