Northwind Arts Center presents Folded Space / Furled Geometries – Paintings by Mary Lou Kostal,
Sculptures by Kim Simonelli
Event Date: January 31 – February 24, 2019
Mary Lou Kostal painting / Kim Simonelli sculpture. February 2019. Retrospective work
from Abstract Expressionist painter, Mary Lou Kostal covering the 1950s through 2010,
paired with new steel sculptural works of Kim Simonelli. Color and geometry fold and furl
into a dance of painting and sculpture, with modern expressionist artwork from a studied
Abstract Expressionist, and a self-taught designer and maker.
Mary Lou Kostal Biography:
Mary Lou Kostal began painting in the 1950s in New York City where she studied amidst
the Abstract Expressionists. The color palettes are reminiscent of Willem DeKooning and
others who were painting and teaching at the time. She moved to the west coast in the
1960s settling on Bainbridge Island.
Mary Lou Kostal - Artist Statement:
Confronting a blank canvas or sheet of paper and thinking how I will bring an idea to life
from the world within is very exciting to me. Manipulating, developing forms and colors;
elaborating upon an emotion; this communication is directed from the same inner voice
that produces a literary work or musical composition; a great philosophical thought or an
invention. And what is more abstract than music?
My images often are an expression of the softness of curvilinear shapes but most often
elaborate upon the severity and power of straight lines. Usually my art works contain so
much energy they look as though they would jump off the wall. I do love gentle
landscapes and the ferocious vitality of a Jackson Pollock, as well.
It is always inspiring in exhibitions to see that every artist has an individual language of
expression. I try to pause long enough to enjoy the atmosphere that has been generated
by someone else's creative thoughts.
Much of my work for a number of years has been inspired by the interplay of shadows
and the skeletal forms of structures at construction sites. Other strong visual and
emotional impacts on me are rock formations from monoliths to pebbles, great expanses
of water and reflections in mud puddles, sunrises and sunsets, a single leaf, my garden
and everyone else's garden, and weeds. And very often I work to convey a visual abstract
expression of a thought or event that has caused deep interest or concern to me.
My B.A. Degree is in History and I attended the Art Students League in New York City on
a Scholarship, and then exhibited my oil paintings. Since moving to Bainbridge Island I
have studied printmaking at Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle and have taken many
classes and workshops in various art media while also exhibiting my monotype prints.
From painting to printmaking and now back to painting I am continuing the interweaving of
shapes and colors to make a space come to life.
Kim Simonelli – Artist Statement
I am fascinated by simple geometric shapes and the possibilities of combining basic
curves, circles, and rectangles into an endless variety of complex 3 dimensional
sculptures. I create works that have a sense of energy and motion, while maintaining a
sense of balance in the finished piece. There is a constant challenge to keep the finished
artwork as simple as possible to preserve the geometric relationships and create a
Inspiration comes from almost anything – patterns in nature, machinery, or everyday
objects. Sometimes an idea for a sculpture begins with a glimpse of something I find
visually exciting; some inspiration comes from visual memory.
My work process often begins with a drawing created on the computer. The ability to
quickly create, size, and move geometric shapes on a computer helps me create
surprising new shapes and object relationships – which is a key element in my design
process. A project drawing is normally quarter-scale and is 2-dimensional – the third
dimension is developed in my mind, and is assisted by dimensional notations that I write
on the drawing printout. Details often evolve as I proceed with fabrication of the piece. A
project may also start with nothing more than a quick sketch consisting of a few key lines
and shapes. For a freestanding sculpture I may create a model to explore spatial
relationships, just begin fabricating the piece from a drawing, or sometimes start with no
The exhibition runs from January 31 st through February 24th .
Opening Reception and Art Walk Saturday, February 2 nd , from 5:30-8 p.m.
Art Talk by Kim Simonelli Sunday, February 3 rd – 1:00 pm
Exhibit hours are Wednesday through Monday, 11:30 – 5 p.m. Closed Tuesdays.
NORTHWIND ARTS CENTER
701 Water Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368 • (360) 379-1086
Wed-Mon: 11:30 A.M.-5:30 P.M.