Transitional, Transformational Passages


“On the Threshold: Ellen Howard, Tia Kratter & Kim Lordier”
3 Women, 3 Views, 3 Mediums
Holton Studio Gallery in Berkeley, California
July 22-August 26, 2023
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 22nd from 2-4pm

From the Gallery

Simply to have the opportunity to admire three exceptional painting talents seems reason enough for a show featuring Ellen Howard, Tia Kratter, and Kim Lordier. But this is a show with an especially compelling and timely theme. The pictures are inspired by the notion of thresholds-transitional and often transformational passages in both space and time, when matters undergo qualitative shifts. Imbued with significance and meaning, thresholds and liminality (from the Latin word for threshold, limen) have always been a motive for the arts. But in human history, the significance of thresholds is felt most acutely in transformational ages such as ours.

In this show, each of the artists has focused on one expression or example of the threshold theme-seasonal changes, boundaries between abstraction and reality, dusk and dawn. It’s worth noting, though, that picture-making itself, as a creative act, is the crossing of a threshold, a becoming. Something in the world catches the eye of the artist, meets the human spirit, and is transmuted by the artist’s hands into a fresh picture, a new prospect, a new possibility. Crossing the threshold of the frame, the visual image conceived and transformed by the artist’s spirit-observed, remembered, imagined, altered – is made present again (re-presented), entering present reality and a world it is made to affect.

Artist Statements:

Ellen Howard:

The threshold of each new season is a space in time for us to look at what has been and what is to come. The paintings in this show represent my creative journey, from the quiet dormancy of winter to the exuberance of spring, the vitality of summer, and the warm comforts of fall. Painting through the seasons allows me to boldly embrace change and listen deeply with intention to my creative calling.

Ellen Howard, "Interconnected," oil on panel, 16 x 20 in.
Ellen Howard, “Interconnected,” oil on panel, 16 x 20 in.

Tia Kratter:

Threshold: that sensitive fine line between abstract and reality; what we think we should see and what is reality. There’s an opportunity to look more carefully at that tipping point; whether it’s a reflection, a play of light, or perhaps the translucency of objects.

I aim to look for visuals that blur the line between real and abstraction.

Painting by Tia Kratter
Tia Kratter, “Taxi Stand,” watercolor on paper, 10 3/4 x 9 in.

Kim Lordier:

As the sun descends behind the earth, we sit within the threshold of darkness. Richly painted skies sink to the depths of our souls. A whisper of singing light floats naked on the undulating waterways, while the marsh reeds and stately Cottonwoods meet the edge of night.

Morning serenades. Bird song, rippling water, and the buzz of flying critters break the silent sun rising. Pastel skies promise the beginning of a new day.

This series of paintings are based on the exploration of dusk to dawn. Illuminated crossings through a threshold of light and absence of detail.

Kim Lordier, "Evening's Threshold," 2023, pastel on paper, 16 x 20 in.
Kim Lordier, “Evening’s Threshold,” 2023, pastel on paper, 16 x 20 in.

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