Forward by Natalia Fedoruk:
As a haven to nourish both the soul and the mind, Krab Jab Studio have been hypnotizing visitors with an ever evolving array of art exploring realms from the darkly whimsical to celebrating the best in gentle, earthly beauty. What first caught my eye about Krab Jab was their ability to transform selective and obscure ideas into fully fledged, unique exhibitions that grew into a life of their own. Averting the temptation to pick a single concept or feeling as their inspiration, Julie Baroh, owner of Krab Jab Studio, delves deep into the soul to see and feel what makes you ‘tick’. Each show is a reminder of how a single moment or object – a single book, for instance – can imprint on you deeper than any physical brand. Krab Jab Studio celebrates the finer, subtler details of life and brings them into the limelight to share with the world.
For Krab Jab Studio’s latest group exhibition, all of the artists have created special pieces to represent their favourite books. Lauren Panepinto, curator of Dream Covers, has gone one step further and used her magic to transform each painting into the book cover it deserves to be (you can check out some of the covers below).
We asked mixed media artist Kindra Nikole to share her experience seeing the pre-show panel discussion and opening night. During this time, she met with many of the exhibiting artists – one of which, Kimberly Kincaid, sadly passed away soon after the opening. Her death has hit the art community hard. She will be painfully missed. Her last ever painting, Snow Child, stands as a special reminder of the beauty and wonder in this world and beyond, and is a significant addition to the mesmerizing line up that creates Krab Jab Studio’s Dream Covers.
April 9– May 7, 2016
NEW OPENING HOURS: Friday – Saturday 1 – 6PM, and every second Saturday 6 – 9PM
Krab Jab Studio
5628 Airport Way S, Ste 150, Seattle, WA 98108
Marc Scheff, Tran Nguyen, Rebecca Yanovskaya, Jeremy Wilson, Laurie Lee Brom, Brom, Wylie Beckert, Dan Dos Santos, Dave Palumbo, Scott Fischer, Allen Williams, Chris Buzelli, Rovina Cai, Vanessa Lemen, Winona Nelson, Julie Bell, Boris Vallejo, Anthony Palumbo, and Kimberly Kincaid.
Words below by Kindra Nikole:
Krab Jab Studio’s exquisite show, Dream Covers, is a book-cover-themed and juried show featuring 19 esteemed artists. Curated by Lauren Panepinto, who has been designing and art-directing book covers for 13 years, Dream Covers boasts incredibly diverse, lush offerings. Each artist chose their favorite book for which they created a unique cover piece. From chilling scifi works with highly saturated tones to opalescent, whimsical fantasy to graphically compelling pieces with sharp angles, Dream Covers is a diverse, compelling show with much to delight viewers.
The show commenced with a unique event one day prior to its public opening, featuring four of the artists who took part in Dream Covers making up a panel—Brom, Laurie Lee Brom, Marc Scheff, and Jeremy Wilson—alongside Panepinto, who led the panel. Guests were treated to in-depth discussions about how book covers are created, from conception, to design, to working with artists on unifying a vision, to type design and placement.
Following this discussion, each artist shared their art piece from the Dream Covers show, recounting the creation of their piece or why they chose a particular book. Marc Scheff, who created a swirling, breathtaking piece based on The Little Prince, shared that he used his son as a model for the prince in the image. Scheff further said that he wanted the prince to symbolize a godlike character: “…as a type of messiah communicating with the audience through the (symbols)—fox, snake, and rose.”
Panepinto remarked that some art pieces are particularly challenging to place type for without compromising the artist’s vision while working to ensure that the title and author’s name remain prominent. At times, it is necessary for elements within the art piece to shift, making way for necessary text. As seen in Scheff’s piece, Laughing Bells, Panepinto altered placement of the symbolic rose to balance out the type and allow breathing room along the bottom of the book cover.
During the panel, artists briefly touched on the topic of “illustration versus fine art” and how to differentiate and define the two. Jeremy Wilson’s brilliant piece Shadowland features a flurry of white owls whirling about a central figure donning a tux and smiling devilishly down at the viewer. Wilson posited, “The intent is what creates a successful illustration.” Panepinto shared thoughts on the topic as well, expanding further that some argue fine art “inspires thought that transcends the art.”
In addition to the panel discussions, the winners of the juried show were revealed. In third place was Julie Bell’s Steppenwolf, with thick, bloodlike tones and vertical lines, a face hidden in the shadows, and a stunning golden-white wolf peering out. Coming in at second place was Vanessa Lemen’s Letters to a Young Poet—an array of soft, velvety tones beautifully melt together with a figure rising up prominently from a rooted form, clutching papers close to its chest. And in first place, Rovina Cai’s The Silmarillion, with its sharp, bold angles, curving, intricate lines, and clever use of negative space.
Steppenwolf – Julie Bell (3rd place)
Letters to a Young Poet – Vanessa Lemen (2nd place)
The Silmarillion – Rovina Cai (1st place)
Following the close of the panel, guests were invited to enjoy the art on display, up close and personal.
Winona Nelson’s Interview with the Vampire chose a unique approach to a well-known novel, with decadent wisteria arrayed generously and almost entirely obscuring the form beneath, whose somber green eyes capture the viewer’s attention abruptly. Viewers may notice dark tones to the abundant floral cover—drops of blood spill from the hidden figure’s lips. This juxtaposition of lush overgrowth accompanied by the hidden, ominous figure makes for a striking piece.
Interview with the Vampire – Winona Nelson (book cover version by Lauren Panepinto)
The Yellow Wallpaper, as imagined by Tran Nguyen, features her intricate line work in black and white, which she paired with a flourish of gold flowers and a tumbling figure. Dream Covers was an aesthetically exhilarating and inspiring show, with pieces so widely varied, unique, and stunning, it was clear that guests enjoying the show were truly in awe of the experience.
You can catch Dream Covers at Krab Jab Studio until Saturday May 7, 2016.
The Yellow Wallpaper – Tran Nguyen
Cover version by Lauren Panepinto