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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, June 12, 2024


May 27, 2003 – For its "First Friday" show opening on June 6, Bajo el Sol Gallery is featuring recent works by two St. John artists who are women and whose current focus is on creating art imbued with a uniquely female spirit.
The show pairs Kat Sowa, a longtime island painter, and Mary Tomas, a newcomer to the local art scene. Both will be on hand at the opening reception, from 5 to 7 p.m., to discuss their work and their ideas.
Sowa, currently the resident artist at Caneel Bay Resort, is well known for her landscape and seascape paintings and portraits. At present she is focusing on creating "physically dimensional canvas, enhancing the depth of the imagery," publicity states.
For the Bajo el Sol show, Sowa will be exhibiting her first works in what she is calling "The Vessel Series," which she describes as depicting "woman as the cup and the nature of the guardianship." The series "is a project I have been thinking about for several years," she says, adding that she has "looked forward to its creation for some time."
Sowa also will be showing some of her literal oil canvases that reflect her fascination with the sun and light in the early morning and at twilight.
Tomas will be showing her new series of oil paintings titled "The Sleeping Virgins." The body of work "has evolved over years of being captivated by the islands' natural beauty, tranquil land, sky and seascapes and the strong presence of the feminine mystique," publicity states.
When she learned that Christopher Columbus "actually named the islands after the legendary story of St. Ursula and her 11,000 virgins," Tomas says, "I became convinced that I must depict this strong feminine quality with a series of paintings that at first glance appear to be just another land or seascape. However, with careful study you soon discover the spirit of the Sleeping Virgins intricately woven into rocks, trees, clouds and islands."
As an artist, Tomas says, she has been "immersed in an exploration of color and shape, light and shadow. Pushing past what is literal into what is sensual and following the voice from a place deep within me." She said that "elements of our earthly and spiritual worlds, the human body, and the space they occupy and the effects of light always seem to capture my soul and hearken to a mystical tie to nature and my intrigue with line and form."
The Bajo el Sol show will hang through the end of June. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday for the gallery, located at the top of the stone steps in the Mongoose Junction shopping complex. For more information, call 693-7070.

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