Artists Emily Dingmann and Elena Soterakis
Piece from the upcoming "Observance of Form" series
For one weekend, and one weekend only, two artists showcase what happens when completely separate styles go head-to-head. It’s a juxtaposition for the books.
Houston-based artist Emily Dingmann, and New York talent Elena Soterakis have collaborated in an effort to explore the meditative and ritualistic process between the creation of form within an environment and space. If it sounds complex, that’s because it is.
The series, Observance of Form, will be on display at Houston’s Winter Street Studios Gallery from this Friday, August 3 through Sunday, August 5.
It’s not by coincidence that these two have decided to pair up. In fact, the duo were college buds, having both attended the prestigious School of Visual Arts in New York. The two have since parted ways, heading to opposite ends of the U.S. to start their own careers.
Dingmann is an abstract painter, working with oils and ink, while Soterakis favors realistic works, using collages. While working together this past May for another collaborative collection, Come Together, the two realized this unity of mixed medias makes for some interesting art.
“Working together forced us outside of our artistic comfort zones but in the most fun way possible – and we decided to continue,” Dingmann says.
Together, Dingmann and Soterakis went back to the basics, focusing on space, textures, and how they both combine. It resulted in pieces that merged the pair’s aesthetics, while also staying true to each as individuals. However, that doesn’t mean the two didn’t learn anything.
“I added color grounds, pushed Emily out of her typical use of neutrals and introduced collage to our work,” Soterakis says.
There is a method to the madness. When the the two work together, Soterakis compares it to jazz improvisation’s free-flowing movement — visual music to the ears.
“We each make a mark and then keep repeating the process until it’s done or one of us protests,” Soterakis says. “In the beginning, we are free to let the work take shape organically, and anything can happen.”
There will be a reception on the day of the debut, Friday, August 3, from 6 to 9 pm at Winter Street Studios Gallery.
Winter Street Studios Gallery, 2101 Winter St.