TOPEKA PUBLIC LIBRARY -- Hyphen-ated, an exhibit featuring internationally shown Topeka artists Larry Peters and Barbara Waterman-Peters, opens this Friday, March 5th in the Alice Sabatini Gallery, a popular stop during Topeka’s First Fridays Artwalk.
Featuring artwork with a psychological point of view, this exhibit examines life’s difficulties and depicts somber topics, including the Holocaust and societal oppression of women.
“This cold, isolated art is not what you’d expect from these two warm, caring people, whose works are full of their own little surprises if one just looks deep enough,” Sabatini Gallery Director Sherry Best said.
Waterman-Peters’ “The Women Series” shows women struggling to come to terms with their fears, family issues and societal roles.
“Subjects look right at the viewer. A lot of them are in clown make-up. These women will mess with your head, and they will enjoy doing it,” Best said.
The impetus for this series dates back to Waterman-Peters’ youth, her upbringing in a matriarchal family and her desire to tell her stories and those of women like her, she said. She says she looks forward to the public asking questions and sharing their thoughts.
“When you do anything creative, part of the equation is the viewers, their responses, comments. It’s always pleasing to know work has resonated with someone – positive or negative,” she said.
Peters, director emeritus of the Sabatini Gallery, focuses more on environment. His large-scale Holocaust collages are pale, ashy and sparse. Ancient grave markers inspired some of his sculptures.
“We don’t try to communicate in a way that shocks. We try to communicate in a way that is thought-provoking. We never try to repulse. It’s a consideration of the intelligence of the viewer,” Waterman-Peters said. About 48 pieces total will be displayed through April 16th.
In addition to the First Friday on March 5 and April 2, the gallery has several other events that will be a can’t-miss for the art community. At the April 12 event highlighted below, visitors can compare and contrast Waterman-Peters’ early work and come to a deeper understanding of how “The Women Series” has evolved over the years.