ANDERSON — A layover in Japan more than three decades ago changed the course of New York-based artist Gloria Garfinkel’s work for the rest of her life. During her visit she was drawn to the brightly colored kimonos and the obi, the wide sash worn with it.
“I just fell in love,” Garfinkel said. “That’s pretty much the gist of it.”
The patterns, pastels and shapes has influenced her art every since, and now some of her work is coming to Madison County.
The Anderson Center for the Arts opened its latest exhibit featuring Garfinkel’s work Wednesday, and it will run until June 13. The exhibit features some of her sculptures, paintings and interactive pieces from the past several decades.
All of the pieces use vibrant colors, and many have various patterns.
“Especially after the winter and everything that we’ve had… you need something bright and bold and colorful,” Center for the Arts director Deborah Stapleton said. “We think this is perfect taking us into the spring and summer.”
Garfinkel said after her initial stop in Japan, she’s returned multiple times to engage in the culture. Everything from the country’s fabric to its buildings influenced her.
During a walking tour one time, she passed an art shop where pastels peering through the window caught her eye.
“I’m sure it was done on purpose,” Garfinkel said. “The colors that were next to each other were so extraordinary. It’s not something you see every day.”
She was initially influenced by Chinese artifacts and was on her way to China when she stopped in Japan. Garfinkel said she didn’t know anything about the culture, but it instantly appealed to her upon her arrival and has been part of her work ever since.
Even some of Garfinkel’s work from the 1980s and early 1990s seem modern. She said other people’s work often seems to change over time into what people want it to be.