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Surreal Worlds: Nancy Baur Dillen & Clare Radigan

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Surreal Worlds:

Nancy Baur Dillen & Clare Radigan

October 26, 2023 – January 28, 2024

Experience the world reflected through two artistic lenses, the real and the imaginary, in this exhibition of the unexpected.

About the Artists

Artist and art educator, Nancy Baur Dillen is Art Professor Emerita at Brevard Community College (BCC).  She was born and raised in Quincy, a small town in rural north Florida.  She graduated from Florida State University with an M.A. in Art Education and Constructive Design in 1971.  After graduation, Nancy moved to Melbourne, Florida, where she became an art instructor at BCC.

Growing up in Virginia, Clare Radigan frequented galleries and museums in Washington D.C. from an early age. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor of Arts in Painting and received her Master of Fine Arts in Painting from San Francisco State University. She moved to Florida soon after receiving her M.F.A. and taught Art at Daytona State College, and high school and middle school for Volusia County Schools.

Nancy Baur Dillen's Artist Statement:

Throughout my artistic career I have created magically realistic oil paintings based on reality and fantasy flipping from one to the other as the spirit hits. Themes range from “Fruit and Vegetable Landscapes,” “The Woodchuck Underdog,” “Mindscapes,” and the “Water Circus.” All painted images reflect my intrigue with color and space within the setting. My aim is to merge imagery of the real and unreal, the romantic and the dramatic. Concepts reflected in my work are the need to accept things as they are, and the need to dream and play. The more my work evolves, the more complex it becomes. I compete with myself to find new and challenging solutions to the composition. In all of my work, the natural world connects with the imagined. Reality and fantasy join. Now, my graphite drawings absorb my time. What makes my drawings unique is my ability to reveal unexpected worlds populated with haunting faces and hidden objects in veined canyons and the fringes of a single dried leaf. What new things can I do that will make the experience of looking at my artwork a real treat? For me, art should have surprises and be a feast for the eyes. My goal is for others to discover the joy of really looking at art. Above my easel is a sign that says, “Do the unexpected!” I agree with Marcel Proust’s statement, “The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

Clare Radigan's Artist Statement

My purpose in making art is to use the medium of paint to capture significant moments in an environment that is changing more quickly than it appears to be, as it relates to human existence. My primary medium is acrylic on canvas or wood panel. My paintings are sometimes informed by photographs I take on my nature walks, zooming in, searching for interesting plants or water reflections, or patterns in vines clinging to tree bark. It is my hope that what the viewer sees, as a result of this, is an enlarged close-up of aspects of nature that they might not ordinarily notice. As some of the paintings progress, I often supply images from my imagination that form an open-ended narrative. The juxtaposition of objects and atmospheric glazes give the paintings a dreamlike departure from reality. A painting is not finished until it possesses a powerful presence. Some of the paintings I am showing in the exhibition are from a series I did based on what I observed at sunset at Lake Monroe. The paintings are illuminated with the hot sun directing bands of intense color on the palm fronds, and the glossy leaves of magnolia trees, symbolizing that reality is changing by the moment on our warming planet. For me, it is a profound experience to paint the last moments of the day. I have been creating paintings with the theme of the Anthropocene, the era of human impact on our planet, throughout my adult life, but over the last ten years or so this crisis has become more and more clear. All of the work on my website, has been completed since 2013, and I have designed it in a way that, I think, pretty clearly summarizes my concerns in my work.

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  • Cici & Hyatt Brown
  • Daytona Auto Mall
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  • Farmer Family Foundation
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  • Spider Integration Group
  • Butler
  • Carol & Oscar Carbonell
  • Carter Electric Co., Inc.
  • Chanfrau & Chanfrau
  • Cunningham
  • Daytona International Speedway
  • Lohman Daytona Memorial Park & Funeral Home
  • Radiology Associates
  • RBA
  • Simpkins
  • Suah
  • City of Ormond Beach
  • Volusia County
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  • Florida Arts & Culture
    Florida Arts & Culture
  • Blue Star Museum
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