SPRINGVILLE – Things got creepy in Springville last weekend, as Grimms’ fairy tales crawled from the walls of The VanOver Fine Arts Gallery on 49 East Main St. The Grimm Group Show exhibit opened with a reception on Oct. 5.
The opening coincided with the first official Saturday of Screamsville, a series of fall themed events spread out through October.
“We’re doing ghost walks; there’s stories for kids,” said Rich Van Over, the gallery owner, and a Screamsville organizer. “There’s a zombie scavenger hunt, a game that Dan Bryce, the toy designer in town, made up.”
Van Over kicked off his participation in Screamsville with his own Halloween-themed work being included in the group show.
Artists, both local and from farther afield, expressed their interpretations of Grimms’ fairy tales across mixed media.
Julie Morgan, an artist based in Cleveland, Ohio, submitted a painting that depicts a handless female form. The Grimms’ “The Maiden Without Hands” inspired Morgan’s work.
“I was in a situation where I kind of had some trickery going on in my life, right at that time, and it happened right after I picked [this show],” said Morgan. “Art is a magical alchemy. Any creative thing that you do, you are interfering with your own reality.”
Morgan chose to examine this particular tale and represent it in her art, through the filter of her own life experience.
“It demonstrates being powerless, and being in the wilderness, so to speak, emotionally,” Morgan said.
The artist explained that the tale explores the way a person has to continuously fight against negative forces, and in the end, the character gets hands, which are synonymous with power.
Judy Wright, a Springville native, came to the Grimm group show to support the Springville art scene, something that she said is important to emphasize.
“Art, as far as economic development, is a great source for building communities and bringing people in,” Wright said.
Dean Vigyikan, from Orchard Park, sculpted a piece that embodies the interaction between the frog prince and the princess. Vigyikan said that he wanted to pick a lesser-known story for this show, and was surprised to find out the “The Frog Prince” was really only lesser-known to him.
“I thought, ‘the frog prince? I don’t know that one. This doesn’t sound familiar at all; this is a really weird story,’” Vigyikan said.
The artist added that the story spoke to him, on a personal level and that he likes the interaction between the princess and the frog prince.
“To me, it’s just as much about the empty space between the two as it is about what’s going on in all the details,” Vigyikan said. “There’s sort of this charged air between the two conversing characters.”
Chaz Vance, owner of the West Falls design studio Technically Magic included one of his pieces that was influenced by “Jack and the Beanstalk.”
“This show was looking for a static piece. Usually, I make puppets and animated creatures, or costumes, or do special effects makeup,” said Vance.
The animator said that the piece he included is similar to a sketch he would do, to elaborate on a director’s idea.
Chad Grohman, an artist from Buffalo, submitted a piece depicting “The Wolf and the Seven Kids.”
“I liked the imagery that [the tale] came out with,” Grohman said. “If you wanted to paint something, and didn’t know what to paint, paint a Grimm’s tale.”
Grohman has previously had his work displayed at the VanOver gallery in a solo show in May of 2013, and said he really wanted to participate in another show.
“[VanOver] said he was having a Grimm show, and the show was such a good idea, so I asked if I could be in it,” said Grohman. “It was nice to be in it; I was looking forward to it.”
The Grimm Group Show will be up at VanOver Fine Arts until Nov. 2. The gallery is open Wednesday-Saturday, 1-6 p.m. Call 592-8255 or visit www.vanoverfinearts.blogspot.com.