Opening Reception for Artists Karen Lee Dunn and Susan Fiori
Sat, Mar 7, 5-7pm
Galería San Francisco
Fábrica Aurora Local #E
By Susan Santiago
Galería San Francisco is pleased to present the new work of gallery artists Karen Lee Dunn and Susan Fiori in an exhibition opening Saturday, March 7, during the Fábrica Aurora Art Walk.
Dunn has lived and worked in San Miguel de Allende since her retirement in 2007 after a long career in advertising in Mexico City.
Initially working in charcoal, pastel, and ink, she was first introduced to oil painting while studying at Belles Artes “El Nigromante” in 2008 and immediately knew that she’d found her new passion.
Her discovery of Tom and Donna Dickson’s work in a local gallery impressed her, and she subsequently studied with Donna for five years, honing her skills and becoming the painter she is today. Dunn joined Susan Santiago at Galería San Francisco in 2015.
She continues to see San Miguel as an endless source of inspiration in light, color, and creativity. Early morning and late afternoon shadows can turn a plain facade into a complex tapestry of shadow and brightness. The originality of the architectural details and the costumes, celebrations, and personalities of the people continue to entice and call out to be captured. Each new work is an exciting challenge.
“There is a magical energy in San Miguel that I sense each and every time I go out to the street,” Dunn said. “Even on the most mundane journey throughout town, something will capture my eye, and I must paint it. I rarely leave the house without my camera. I am so pleased to have the opportunity to attempt to capture the wonder that I feel on the canvas and hope that the observer will connect somehow to that emotion.”
Fiori’s current exhibition brings to light yet another chapter in her life long artistic evolution. Emerging from a recent period during which she explored the creation of narrative metal sculptures, her newborn work in ceramic sculpture is an exciting and altogether natural transition between the different languages of these two mediums. She reflects, “Using a clay body is so luxurious, soft, and responsive. As I begin to give it form, there is a continual dialogue between the malleability of the medium and that of myself that is both energizing and humbling.”
Fiori’s sculptures are inspired by dreams, folklore, myths, fables, and “musings that seem to arise unbidden.” Her fertile imagination allows for images both serious and whimsical while remaining sensitive to the medium.
After firing, her work is sealed, and only a dusting of pastel is used to enhance dimensionality. What remains is pure and simple in form.
Fiori adds, “I often fall in love with my work. I am moved by both the privilege of making art and the bliss that comes while engaging so completely in the process. The idea that a lump of clay can turn into a thing of beauty or wonder—that it can embody and inform my ideas and my longings—that just takes my breath away.”