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November 7th, 2015

LISTEN!  Jazz: Color and Paper Constructions  by Ellen Priest at Splash in Cape May

LISTEN! Jazz: Color and Paper Constructions by Ellen Priest at Splash in Cape May

Works from Ellen Priest’s two most recent series – Jazz Cubano and Jazz: Thinking Out Loud, Reaching for Song – will be on view at Splash Whale’s Tale Gallery November 6-16 to celebrate the music at the Exit 0 Jazz Festival in Cape May, NJ. A meet the artist reception is scheduled for Saturday, November 7th from 1-4pm. The gallery is located at 513 Carpenter’s Lane, Cape May. Light refreshments will be served. For more information please call 609.846.7100, visit our Splash Cape May Facebook page or follow splashcapemay on instagram.

About the 2012-14 Cuban Series, Priest writes, “The movement and space in Afro-Cuban jazz has long fascinated me, especially the percussion. In Jazz Cubano I take those complex rhythms and melodies apart to reconstruct them visually.”

Priest’s abstractions balance directly on the border between painting and sculpture – vibrantly colored spatial illusions when read from a distance, and 3-D relief constructions of layered, collaged paper when seen up close.

Jazz has been Priest’s subject matter since 1990. Drawing is always central to her process, as well as standing on its own. As an artist, Priest is largely self-taught.

Jazz: Thinking Out Loud, Reaching for Song was an experimental joint painting/jazz project Priest completed in 2011 based on student music from Berklee College of Music’s elite Global Jazz Institute in Boston.

In July 2010, art critic Victoria Donohoe wrote about Priest’s work in two Wilmington, DE exhibitions for The Philadelphia Inquirer: “Priest deliberately blurs the boundary between painting and jazz in her…painted collages. These use form as a language of music… Seeing jazz as full of joy and energy, able to transform sadness, Priest uses it successfully here to create materialized movement in actual worlds of colored space.”

The Pollock-Krasner Foundation has twice awarded Priest major grants to support her innovation. Priest received her Master of Divinity from Yale University Divinity School in 1977 with a dual concentration in Christianity and the Visual Arts. For more about her art and her unique process: and

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