New Gallery exhibit - Laura Mentele and Steve Schneider

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Laura Mentele and Steve Schneider

Open April 7 - May 15, 2021

ShoreLake Arts Gallery is exhibiting a selection of works by Figurative Artist Laura Mentele and Photographer Steve Schneider. See these works and the creations of over 100 other local artists during gallery hours: Wednesday – Saturday, Noon to 5pm. Thank you for shopping small and supporting the arts in our community!

Laura Mentele
Artist Statement

It has been my observation that there is frequently a disconnect between who we believe a person to be and who they are. The content of each of my pieces reflects upon this as well as explores emotional pain, vulnerability and strength primarily using the female form.

My work is influenced by numerous things, but I am particularly interested in the things that people hide. In the past, I have dealt with social anxiety and the pitfalls that came with feeling unseen and misunderstood. As a result, I was often reserved or prickly in countenance in order to protect myself, hiding who I was and how I felt. My paintings are largely influenced by this idea of ‘hiding’ except vulnerability and emotional pain is revealed rather than concealed. The emotional qualities of my paintings are contrasted with contained or neutral poses as if the women are withholding themselves.

I explore the above themes in a variety of ways. Deliberate formal choices such as composition and color palette are heavily considered. I use posture and hints of text to further convey emotional implications. Additionally, I focus on human connection as it pertains to the eyes. Eyes are an important facet of how humans relate to others and are firmly rooted to ideas surrounding expression of emotion and identity. In western culture, eye contact is associated with honesty and confidence—which acts in dichotomy to my ideas of hiding and revelation. As such, I alter the eyes of my figures in many of my pieces through application of paint or exclude them through formal and compositional decisions, thereby changing how the viewer relates to the piece. This methodology is used to meditate on the fact that people are often unseen and/or misinterpreted.

Additionally, I have incorporated the idea of completeness in my work. Often, those undergoing an emotional ordeal tend to see what they lack rather than what they have and as a result feel incomplete. They long for qualities they recognize in others and wish they had. In my experience, this is a very real part of pain that people feel. I approach this concept through the juxtaposition of substance and detail versus the degradation, simplification and/or absence of form in areas of the figure as formal attributes.

Steve Schneider
Artist Statement

My passion for live music began back in high school when Rock and Roll was at its beginning.

It was an exciting time, and I started taking my camera with me. Back in the early days, the bands didn’t care about cameras. Later, when they started to try to keep out our cameras, we smuggled them in. It was very easy to get them in, taking the photos was another matter.

Later in my career, I started to get photo passes from a media source. The bands gave the media a chance to shoot for the first 3 songs. That is where I got the idea of “The first 3 songs, Rock and Roll at 125th of a second” for my show.

When you only have about 5-10 mins to get a shot, you really have to concentrate. The big problem with shooting the first 3 songs is that most bands are just getting warmed up when they kick you out. The rush for me is trying to get the shot within the time constraints; my eyes are always looking for that shot. In the early days, when we were shooting film, you had to pay attention to your exposure number. You didn’t want to run out of film at the wrong moment. Digital solved that problem.

In recent years I have expanded my photographic subjects to include birds and landscapes. My wife and I are avid hikers.

I do miss live music and I am waiting impatiently for it to come back.

I hope you like my images.

Visit our website to view and learn more about their art!

Want to browse local art online? The Gallery Online Shop is open for business! The virtual shop includes handmade masks, paintings, sculptures, and more. Thanks for supporting our local artists!

The ShoreLake Arts Gallery is a program of ShoreLake Arts and is located inside the Town Center in Lake Forest Park on the lower level. 17171 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park, WA 98155.

ShoreLake Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to cultivate creativity and inspire our community through the arts. Established in 1989.


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