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SEED collective blooms in downtown Winston-Salem

by Alex Ashe

alexa@yesweekly.com

Winston-Salem art collective SEED hosted a reception on May 23 celebrating the opening of its new exhibit, on display on the first floor of the Community Arts Café. SEED Sprouts, which runs through June, serves as the introduction of the collective’s newest artists: Cindy Taplin, Ian Bredice and Ed Young.

“I thought they’d be great additions to the group,” said Millicent Greason, who co-founded SEED with ten other artists in 1998.

The group initially operated out of a former seed warehouse — hence its name. SEED no longer has its own space, though, so the collective constantly collaborates with other galleries and establishments to hold its shows.

The exhibit at the Community Arts Café is scattered throughout the building’s basement floor. Most of the pieces adorn the walls of the circular concourse, which leads into a large dining room and small bar area that collectively feature roughly another dozen pieces.

SEED Sprouts features a wide variety of styles and subjects, including Young’s uncompromising abstract paintings, Greason’s 3-D mixed-media pieces, Dave Urena’s panoramic photo collages and Laurie Russell’s acrylic dog portraits. The three new members each carry unique, recognizable styles, adding to the already diverse array of work of SEED’s other eight members.

Bredice’s cartoonish acrylic paintings are influenced by his interest in pop art and the Atomic-age 1950s. They are colorful, vivacious pieces, made even more impressive by the fact that painting isn’t his original medium. The Michigan native began his artistic career sculpting, even attending fine arts school to study the medium. But its pricey nature made him reconsider his craft.

“Bronze has gotten a little more expensive these days,” Bredice said.

Bredice and Youngs involvement with SEED stem from their jobs at Trader Joe’s, where they work alongside Greason.

Although SEED has sporadically displayed his work over the past two years, Bredice believes being a regular member of the collective will improve his work in his new medium.

“It gives me a good excuse to start painting more,” Bredice said. Taplin mainly paints landscapes or settings. One of her paintings, “Forgotten But Not Gone,” depicts a street view of an abandoned business. Taplin’s use of shadows give the piece elements of realism and perspective, as the building really pops off of the canvas, nearly appearing to be 3-D. The building’s pitch-black interior, along with the painting’s straightforward composition, give it an ominous feeling.

In conjunction with the exhibit’s opening, SEED has begun “planting” art in random spots throughout downtown Winston- Salem. On its website, the collective posts photographic hints to the locations of the hidden items. Those who discover a piece of art can keep it and are encouraged to post their findings onto SEED’s Facebook page.

There’s truly something for everyone at the SEED Sprouts exhibit. The variety and quality of the artwork make for quite an impressive collection, one that Community Arts Cafe Co-Manager Cathy Tedder is delighted to host.

“It’s an eclectic fusion of art and a must-see for all art lovers,” Tedder said.

WANNA go?

SEED Sprouts; Community Arts Café; 411 W 4th St, Winston-Salem; 336.287.6301; seedartcollective.wordpress.com; Exhibit runs through June;

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