Related Visions

Chaney Gallery, 2nd floor

Related Visions includes work by three closely-related New England artists: Carol Odell, Tom Odell and John Howell White.

The three artists in this exhibit are related in a variety of ways. Carol and John are sister and brother and as siblings growing up in Annapolis share biology and family experience. Carol’s interest in painting modeled for John a pathway into the arts. Carol and Tom who have been married for forty years met originally displaying their works at an art exhibition and were drawn together through shared sensibilities. John and Tom whose relationship began as brothers-in-law through kinship has grown and expanded over forty years sharing their art and wide ranging interests, travels and observations to become the closest of friends.

Although they have developed singular artistic visions and work in different media, they are related by virtue of their disposition to making non-objective or abstract imagery and their commitment to producing hand-made work using traditional materials.

These artists share a vision of producing imagery which they have conceived and created entirely from within. Their work may be inspired by the observed world, but is not a representation of reality. Each strives to create, through improvisation, a complete composition, informed with the concepts of harmony, rhythm and dynamic balance, using color, form, texture, line and space.

These three artists have been making their art on parallel paths for over forty years. Over time their conversations, relating what they see, how they see and what they would like to see, have informed their artwork and enriched their relationships. Their commitment to making their “visions” tangible has provided them their livelihood as teachers and as makers. They hope these works will inspire viewers, promote conversation, and lead to works by other artists.

About the Artists

Carol Odell seeks inspiration from the natural world. Form, tone, color, pattern and texture are the tools and vocabulary of image-making, and she references nature as an endless, sustaining well of wonder. Like the weather of her home in New England, she celebrates changes in mood, temperature and atmosphere. Her image making comes further from a love and respect of materials, problem solving and a desire to create harmony from the endless choices presented to the artist. Working in three different media - oil, monotype and encaustic (wax) provides a greater range of expression and technique with one medium often influencing another.  For almost forty years she has operated a gallery with her husband, Tom Odell and they have adjoining studios. Her work is in museums, corporate and private collections. Like her brother,

John White, her work is a contemplative adventure. She wants to explore new spaces, get lost and find a resolution that hopefully will provide an inspiration for others.

As a metalsmith Tom Odell is committed to making sculptural compositions expressing the abstract qualities of harmony, rhythm and dynamic balance in a visual way using three dimensional form, texture and color. He has made a commitment to making sculpture with many different metals and alloys because of their various colors and properties and uses a wide range of metalworking techniques to produce them. As he has become familiar with and sensitive to the qualities of these alloys and the finish of these processes, very often it is the choices of these which, in a very real sense, help “shape” the work.  His prime satisfaction is the improvisational process of conceiving and making things. He also enjoys the insights and stimulation he continues to have contemplating a piece when it is completed and finds it gratifying when other people find the work resonates with their sensibilities. “You make something to learn something. You make the thing that will teach you what you want to learn.

John Howell White is Professor of Art Education and Chair of the Department of Art Education and Crafts at Kutztown University in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. He currently serves as Chair of the National Art Education Association’s Research Commission. In 2012 he was named the National Higher Education Art Educator of the Year and in 2009 the Pennsylvania Higher Education Art Educator of the Year. He has conducted research and published extensively about the history and philosophy of art education. In 1999 he was awarded the Manual Barkan Award for the outstanding research publication in his field. He is the author of Experience Painting, a textbook for secondary art students. The artist is interested in painting as a contemplative practice. Like many people with complicated lives, his painting moments are wedged between work, family and civic life. The scale and the content of these paintings provide effective opportunities for this practice. Hopefully, these images provide viewers a space to fall into and, after that decent, to return to their reconsidered lives.”