Ani Hoover straddles the line between fine and folk art in her newest exhibition

Dots of every color cover three rectangular strips of paper on the back wall of the gallery. Across from the trio of paintings sits a square covered in black flowers.

“I really love the way the art interacts here,” said John Lee, who runs the Linda Matney Fine Art Gallery.

One piece projects light while the other absorbs it; two sides of the same coin. The works are part of the gallery’s newest exhibit “Accumulate: Works by Ani Hoover.”

Hoover said she began making the kind of work displayed in this show when she started cutting up her paintings and turning them into assemblage pieces.

“Then I decided to find other materials than my paintings to cut up, so I started looking for recycled materials and other readily available materials,” Hoover said.

“That’s kind of what the show’s about: Accumulate, because I gather all the stuff up.”

Most of the ways Hoover assembles her artwork is using techniques she learned as a child.

“My first experience making art was probably sewing, quilting, embroidery, things I did with my mom and my grandmother,” Hoover said. “So sometimes I’ll think about making a new work and I’ll kind of want to riff on those things I learned as a child, but on a larger scale or with weird materials.”

For example, her black flower pieces are a take on the Victorian craft of quilling, where the paper was curled to make flowers. However, in these pieces, Hoover used old bike tires.

“My take on it is using the materials in a little bit different way,” Hoover said.

Hoover said her art straddles the line between higher art and folk art.

“I really like folk art and traditional ways of making art, things that are more on the … craft sort of spectrum, and I try to change it through either the use of materials or scale,” Hoover said.

“For me personally, I don’t make a big difference about it — I let other people argue or debate that. I just personally consider it making and I just enjoy that process of doing it.”

While the paintings in the back of the gallery are almost a decade old, one of her pieces next to them was completed over the twinter. Despite the lapse in time, Hoover said they look like they were intentionally made to go together.

“I like that even though there are a lot of different materials, a lot of different approaches to work, it still fits together,” Hoover said.

“It’s kind of like my past and my present.”

Want to go?

“Accumulate: Works by Ani Hoover” is on display until June 7.

Linda Matney Fine Art Gallery, 5435 Richmond Road, Suite A, is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday- Saturday. Appointments Available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays; call 675-6627 to schedule. Free.

Heymann can be reached by phone at 757-298-5828 or on Twitter at @HeymannAmelia.

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