Jo-Ellen Trilling and Andrew Willner
Side by Side at Wired Gallery
A husband-and-wife dual retrospective
Featuring fairy-tale fantasy and woodwork
Wired Gallery, 11 Mohonk Road, High Falls, NY.
Married for decades, Andrew Willner and Jo-Ellen Trilling share a bond of creativity. They’ve traveled on different artistic tracks, but side by side; embarked in New York City and arrived in The Hudson Valley, near Rosendale.
Wired Gallery presents Side by Side, a dual retrospective featuring works by Jo-Ellen Trilling and Andrew Willner, opening on Saturday, August 3, with a reception from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Trilling’s paintings and dolls exemplify Magic Realism. Appearances lure and trick with bright colors but incongruous details. Whimsical, Bosch-like hybrid creatures teeter on disturbing. Winged things cling to Grimm forest trees; a live rooster hat glares from a dog doll’s head. Disquieting toys have too-round faces, and ‘steampunk’ horses advance. Strange animals peer through Alice’s looking glass.
Nautical notes and textures pervade Willner’s woodwork: An elegant, slender ‘steamer trunk’ box; seawall posts settling unevenly in sand over time. He works utilitarian pieces into waves and swells, counter-current swirls, gentle lifts and ebbs on surfaces far from shore. Willner coopers and carves fine wood, sands to fluid flows, oils it to a rich sheen.
Jo-Ellen’s works have been avidly sought by private collectors, especially by prominent individuals in the entertainment world, such as Elton John, Carrie Fisher, Billy Crystal, David Letterman, Robin Williams, and Madonna, just to name a few.
Jo-Ellen was born in Huntington, Long Island, in 1947 and grew up in Setauket, Long Island. She attended the State University of New York, New Paltz, during which time she focused on dollmaking. Also, at that time, Trilling began creating portrait figures in cloth, producing prototypes for her later works. She moved to New York City in 1972 where she studied pastel drawing at New York’s Art Students League with Dan Green.
Fashioned from cloth, wire, and other materials, her sculptures portray such subjects as lascivious pigs in flamenco costume and leering dogs in gangster suits or leather motorcycle outfits. Trilling’s sculptures have been exhibited at various venues. They may be found in the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, Kansas, and the Ito Doll Museum, Japan. Trilling began painting in 2001, and her first exhibition devoted to her oils in New York City took place in 2008.
The Philadelphia Museum will include 2 Jackets from the 1980’s, in an exhibit entitled Off The Wall, opening this November. For more about JoEllen, visit her website.
Willner has been a sculptor, furniture designer, boat builder, city planner, environmentalist, permaculturist, transition advocate, storyteller, public speaker, and blogger. He is writing a book, Fish and Ships, a photo narrative of the people, places, and environment of one of the most beautiful and vulnerable estuaries in the world. Most of his photographs were taken while patrolling the New York/ New Jersey Harbor for 20 years on the Baykeeper skiff.
1969 – 70 Graduate study at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA with instructor Alan Lazarus.1970 – 1974 Wood Working Resident at Peters Valley Craft Center, Layton, NJ. 1969 – 1989 Andrew Willner Designs, Furniture, Sculpture, and architectural woodworking. The objects created during that time were exhibited widely and are in museum and private collections in the United States and Europe. 2013-present, teaching wood working and boat building at the Hudson River Maritime Museum, lecturing and demonstrating woodworking techniques, helping to create maker spaces, and creating new works in wood in a new home studio. For much more about Andrew, go HERE