"Canvas, Paper and Metal" is an exploration about capturing changing movements and moments in time in the life of clouds and flowers. The cloud prints and painting primarily started from monoprint studies done outdoors at Penland School of Craft and photographs. Abi chose to enhance the color palette to reflect a mood or the appearance of the sky. As a child, she used to wish that she could float on an orange or a gold cloud and fly around the world. Clouds have always been a source of relaxation, study and interest to her and her family. No matter where you are, the sky is above you.
The floral sculptures and paintings are “portraits" that commemorate the short life of a flower in bloom. In metal or in a painting, they're forever depicted as a full life force, suspended in time, like a photograph. Also included in the exhibition is the sculpture: “The Protector Reimagined". This sculpture is centered around a hummingbird in the center of the world, surrounded by flowers, for sustenance and beauty. This bird is very small, but also very powerful because they're able to fly from Mexico to Canada, with many rest stops in between. The cardinal points, N, S, E, W, represent all the possible directions for the trip and the 4 Sacred Directions. In her ancestor’s Pre-Colombian culture, the hummingbird had its own warrior clan and was a symbol of strength and love.
Abi Gonzales is a sculptor and painter who uses metal as one of her primary mediums. Her interest in working with metal stems from her love of working with a material that can be very resistant and challenging . She also enjoys working in paint and drawing materials because of their fluid, immediate nature. Her work in this exhibit focuses on the beauty of nature, the ideas of balance and harmony within specific forms and a variety of cross-cultural concepts of sacred geometry.
Abi received her B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she studied sculpture, painting/ drawing and printmaking. She also studied at Washburne Trade School, where she learned basic skills in structural welding, Penland School of Crafts, Arrowmont School of Arts, Ox-Bow School of Arts and Artist’s Residency, as well as participated in residencies in Italy and Greece. She's in numerous private art collections and has done a number of commissions. Her sculpture “Strength of the Innocent" placed first in an art exhibition juried by artist Ed Paschke and has had work published by Easter Seals. Abi has worked as a teaching artist, teaching a variety of ages, as an artist's assistant and an arts administrator. She's also been awarded 2 CAAP grants from the City of Chicago, Department of Cultural Affairs. Abi is a Lillstreet staff member.