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Washington Voices

Phases of a Manic Moon

Sat., April 13, 2013

Women’s art gallery will exhibit male artists

Manic Moon and More, an artist emporium at 1007 W. Augusta Ave., oozes with the feminine spirit and, like the moon, the gallery is always changing. With 30 or so members, the space is a nexus of creativity where expressions are nurtured and exhibited in an array of mediums.

Known as an eclectic women’s gallery, Manic Moon has no problem paying tribute to the masculine spirit on occasion. The gallery’s next exhibit, “Fractured Moon,” will feature the works of abstract artist Edward Gilmore, who will be joined by metal artist Rick Davis and one of the gallery’s creative directors, Melinda Melvin.

Gilmore picked up his first canvas in 2003 and studied furiously in a barn in Idaho for the next 2 ½ years, covering dozens of canvases with thick coats of paint and pure emotion. Triumphs, disappointments, pains and pleasures became color and shape, loud one moment in bright hues and quiet the next with more subtle selections and the occasional addition of found objects. His inspiration was Jackson Pollock, and his knowledge of paint and materials comes from years of working as a house painter, color consultant, and all-around handyman.

Now he is an artist sought out by collectors. A bear of a man, he regularly wears clothing covered in layers of paint and can often be found deep in conversation with another artist, discussing their latest creations. For the show at Manic Moon, Gilmore, who likes to paint large pieces, will be displaying smaller works around one larger piece in a collection he calls “No Hesitation.”

Metal artist Davis has been involved in the gallery for a while now, never even considering his gender because, for him, it’s all about the art. His contribution to the upcoming show includes “Scrap Fish” and Sanskrit characters formed out of steel.

If he isn’t working on a job as an electrician, he is practicing yoga or brandishing flames and an assortment of tools. Not long ago, he delivered two pieces to buyers in Palm Springs; they were forms of a man and a woman.

The third artist in the show, Melvin has nurtured others for years in her role as a nurse. A few years ago, she began nurturing herself by making art – and she hasn’t stopped. She has been at Manic Moon and More since its conception. The pieces she will be sharing are flowing abstracts filled with depth and wonder, concocted of a mix of water and oil-based paints, alcohol ink and resin.

“It’s an intuitive process,” she said. “They evolve.”

The trio agree that they – and the work that they produce – continue to evolve and change. Male or female, no one is immune to change.

“My work is always evolving, transitioning as life always does,” said Gilmore.

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