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Sacred Ways: A Spiritual Journey to the East

Tria Gallery
531 West 25th Street, ground floor #5, 212-695-0021
June 7 - July 20, 2007
Reception: Thursday, June 7, 6 - 8 PM
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Tria Gallery is proud to present Sacred Ways: A Spiritual Journey to the East. On display will be painting and mixed media works by international artists Joelle Deroy, Michela Martello, Nola Zirin and Agni Zotis, each offering her own imaginative interpretation of Asian tradition, spirituality and culture.

The work in this exhibition reflects the Zen idea of emptying out meaning in order to gain a deeper, more universal understanding of art. Some artists have been inspired by travel or stays in Asia; others have adapted a particular technique or aesthetic. While the work of each artist is quite different from that of the others, each reveals, in her own unique way, an Asian influence – a sleekness and simplicity of design; an understatement and an elegance.

Joelle Deroy Ms. Deroy is truly a citizen of the world. Her mother was born in India and her father in Senegal, and they met in Asia. She herself was born in the U.S. and educated in France at the H.E.C. (Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales) and the Maniglier Art Studio in Neuilly-Sur-Seine.

Ms. Deroy has been painting and working in ceramics for the past decade, exhibiting her work around the world. Long inspired by eastern influences and aesthetics, one of her most recent shows, which was very well received, took place at Le Consulat General de France in New York, and was entitled “Joelle Deroy: Calligraphic Paintings – works inspired by Chinese and Japanese arts.” Ms. Deroy has a particular passion for ceramics, “born of earth and fire,” and her current body of work, comprised primarily of ceramics and exhibited here in “Sacred Ways,” was inspired by calligraphy, Zen gardens, and eastern spirituality.

Michela Martello Born in Grosseto, Italy, Michela Martello received her Bachelor of Arts in illustration from the Europe Institute of Design in 1986. In the ensuing years she traveled extensively, dividing her time between Milan, London and New York, and became a prominent illustrator, publishing work in over thirty books. In 1996 she turned her focus to painting, and by 1997 she had her first exhibitions in both Milan and New York. The strong Asian influence in Ms. Martello’s painting is self-evident; she explains that Asian philosophies and spirituality have had a profound impact on her work. Ms. Martello’s work has been exhibited regularly over the past decade, both in the U.S. and abroad, and is held in both private and public collections worldwide. The work exhibited in “Sacred Ways” is rich in symbolism; an evocative synthesis of elements, materials, colors, and ideas.

Nola Zirin Ms. Zirin is a native New Yorker who works out of her studio in Dumbo, Brooklyn. She received her degree from NYU, where she studied painting with Milton Resnick and George Ortman. She also studied printmaking with Bob Blackburn. Her work has been shown in many one person and group shows throughout the U.S. and abroad. She is represented in numerous public and corporate collections including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Heckscher Museum of Art, the National Museum of Taiwan, the Islip Art Museum, the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers, and the Library of Congress. Ms. Zirin’s shows have been reviewed in Art in America, Art News, The New York Times, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. She is a member of the American Abstract Artist Group. For years Ms. Zirin has been a student of Tibetan Buddhism and has integrated aspects of its teachings into her daily painting life. Meditation at the start of each day helps her achieve “an inner emptiness and harmony” that very much influences her painting. In the new work on view in “Sacred Ways”, Ms. Zirin explains that “voids feature prominently” and that “vast expanses of space and color, bordered by an energetic darkness, symbolize [her] interior state in contrast to the outer world.”

Agni Zotis Ms. Zotis is interested in “the human experience, condition, transformation, and evolution of the self.” Ms. Zotis, raised in New York City, was born in Australia of Greek origin. At Hunter College she studied etching and photography. She apprenticed with a Serbian monk and learned the ancient techniques of painting in Byzantine iconography. She has traveled extensively through Europe, India, Nepal, Israel and Egypt, investigating and studying these cultures’ views on human nature and the cycle of life, and in turn expressing these views in her painting. Her colorful and evocative canvases have been exhibited throughout the world. She was recently invited to participate in ArtsAid, an exhibition and residency program in India, and just received the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Artist Fellowship. Working from her east village studio with an urban landscape as a backdrop, Ms. Zotis explores the “physical and metaphysical being” and the “play on light, refraction, and fragmentation of time” and the “completeness of self.” For her, “painting is a meditative journey. It allows for the rawness and freedom of emotion as well as the discipline and precision of intellect. It is an investigation of will, faith and destiny.”
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