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Its no dream, just an expression of art
Quinlans new exhibit features works from two galleries coming together
Atlanta artist Steve Penley's piece of famed golfer Bobby Jones combines sketches and washes of color. It's featured at Quinlan's ‘Merge' exhibit.

Some are dreamy, with pastel blue and green washes layered with fish and birds. Others are more bold, but still evoking child's toys or a sea of peacock feathers.

Together, they create the latest exhibition at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center, "Merge," representing the coming together of the Aliya Linstrum and Matre galleries in Atlanta.

Carl Linstrum, artist and owner of the Linstrum gallery, said the actual merge of the galleries took place July 1. The pieces on display at the Quinlan represent all of the artists represented by the two galleries.

"It really is a comprehensive showing of everyone we represent, and we went through our physical inventory and found what we feel are quintessential styles of the artists," Linstrum said. "We wanted to put our best foot forward."

Because of the size of the main gallery at the Quinlan, Linstrum said they were able to show some larger works, too. "Penny Sam," for example, is best viewed from afar - while it looks like pointillism from across the room, once you get closer you realize the piece is made of painted pennies on the canvas.

Quinlan Assistant Director Amanda Kroll said the placement of the artists' pieces is like a puzzle - but it was easy to put the puzzle together when given high-quality pieces to work with, she said.

"Rob (Matre) and Carl did an amazing job bringing us some amazing stuff from their galleries," Kroll said. "It's easy when you have a space that's this beautiful already, and then they bring you quality work. It's just like a puzzle; you want to come in, and there's certain things you need to see from far away."

Many pieces in the collection evoke dreamlike places, almost fantasy. In "A Costume for Metamorphosis," C. Dawn Davis creates an elaborate ball gown out of vines and butterflies. And the figure in Duy Huynh's "The Psychic's Sidekicks" has herself walking across the earth, tethered to a star.

Two large-scale pieces by Atlanta artist Steve Penley also seem to jump off the walls - "Atlanta Montage," with its vibrant reds and images of Atlanta sights, and "Bobby Jones," which combines sketches and washes of color with images of the famous golfer.

Penley, said Kroll, did all the artwork for an upcoming book by Vince Dooley, and will appear with Dooley at a book signing on Oct. 6.

Linstrum agreed there is an otherworldly thread running through the pieces, which he said helps us challenge the world around us.

"They show us another way to look at things, but not doing it only one way," he said. "But in a way that 1,000 viewers can look at a painting and get 1,000 different views of it."

The Quinlan is also featuring works by Lorraine Christie, a Belfast, Northern Ireland-born artist now living in Roswell; and Jonathan Roy, who lives in New York but has roots in Athens.