Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Jo Owens Murray: Surrealist, Assemblage Sculptress, and all around HOOT!

They say a picture's worth a thousand words. Sometimes meeting an artist is worth a hundred times a thousand. Such is the case with Jo Owens Murray out of Collegeville, Pennsylvania. This little beaded baby (and we mean the picture, silly) is called "Paradise." Murray works in the application of beads and jewels applied to mannequins. She's been featured in the publications: Beginning Sculpture; Best of America; and Art of Imagination.

Murray's work is found at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Woodmere Art Museum, among others. Art Critic Burt Wasserman recently wrote, "In the manner of Louise Nevelson and Pablo Picasso, who transformed detritus found on the street into art, she also recycles what may seem to be grotesque trash into ecstatic treasure."

Fine Arts Curator Dr. Graziella Marchicelli wrote, "In Gateway to Your Soul, a beaded head hangs from a bird stand. The eyes are replaced with mirrors, allowing the viewer to see his or her own eyes. The bodiless woman suggests enchantment and seduction, but there is, at the same time, something menacing about her."

Something menacing or something magnificent, either way you slice the pie, Murray stands on her own originality. She is the quintessential girl most likely to become a crazy cat lady and she loves it. She moves with ease, she dresses with her own eye, and she capitvates with her personality and her pearled pebble pieces.