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Works by Josh Talbott and Lena Rushing featured in new exhibit, Layers, at Studios on the Park in Paso Robles 

Sometimes there’s more to something than what’s on the surface. But if you dig a little deeper, you just might be surprised by what you find.

click to enlarge LIKE TOY SOLDIERS:  Just because birds are descended from dinosaurs doesn’t mean they’d get along. Talbott’s piece Building Blocks 2 is part of a series focusing on toys in unusual situations. - IMAGE COURTESEY OF JOSH TALBOTT
  • IMAGE COURTESEY OF JOSH TALBOTT
  • LIKE TOY SOLDIERS: Just because birds are descended from dinosaurs doesn’t mean they’d get along. Talbott’s piece Building Blocks 2 is part of a series focusing on toys in unusual situations.

The idea of literal layers of different media stacked on top of each other and the different intangible layers of human emotions and stories is one that nicely ties together the very different work of local artists Josh Talbott and Lena Rushing in their aptly named exhibition Layers, currently on display at Studios on the Park in Paso Robles.

When the artists originally put the show together, they weren’t sure what the theme was until it all came together.

“We both have two separate styles that we work in,” Rushing said. “We put the show together and then settled on the theme. In my pieces there are literally a lot of layers, and in the paintings there’s layers of stories and ideas.”

Rushing, who describes her work as narrative with a focus on a strong female presence, is based in Grover Beach. In her piece Irrational Fears Part 2, a striking queenlike figure of a woman stands in a flowing black gown. But at first glance you’re likely to miss the monster creeping toward her in the background. 

Talbott, who is based in Los Osos and describes his style as surreal, has split his work in Layers between pieces that focus on collage work and paintings that depict toys in unusual situations.

click to enlarge IT ISN'T ALL IN YOUR HEAD:  Look closely and you can just see the monster in the background in Lena Rushing’s piece 'Irrational Fears Part 2.' The Grover Beach artist’s work has a narrative quality and an emphasis on strong women. - IMAGE COURTESY OF LENA RUSHING
  • IMAGE COURTESY OF LENA RUSHING
  • IT ISN'T ALL IN YOUR HEAD: Look closely and you can just see the monster in the background in Lena Rushing’s piece 'Irrational Fears Part 2.' The Grover Beach artist’s work has a narrative quality and an emphasis on strong women.

“It’s the idea of layering these different elements, but also I think that both of our works have a quality that you don’t get at first glance. There are some pieces in this exhibit that I’ve never shown before.”

In his piece Across Many Seas, a bottle with a letter inside is bobbing along in a teal blue ocean while discharge papers from the Navy are collaged into the background.

In another of Talbott’s paintings, Building Blocks 2, we see two toy dinosaurs and a blue jay standing on top of a pile of kids’ blocks. One dinosaur has the bird’s head in its mouth while the other is getting a face full of tail feather.

“Both series are very much about storytelling,” Talbott said.

All of Rushing’s and Talbott’s pieces in the show are for sale and range in price from $300 to $5,000.

Ryah Cooley is layered like an onion at rcooley@newtimesslo.com.

- THE BOTTOM LINE:  The art exhibit Layers, featuring the work of local artists Lena Rushing and Josh Talbott, is currently on display at the Studio 4 Gallery at Studios on the Park, located at 1130 Pine St. in Paso Robles until Dec. 27. Layers can be viewed Thursdays and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 9 p.m. The studio will be closed Dec. 24 and 25. -
  • THE BOTTOM LINE: The art exhibit Layers, featuring the work of local artists Lena Rushing and Josh Talbott, is currently on display at the Studio 4 Gallery at Studios on the Park, located at 1130 Pine St. in Paso Robles until Dec. 27. Layers can be viewed Thursdays and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 9 p.m. The studio will be closed Dec. 24 and 25.

click to enlarge MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE:  'Across Many Seas' by Los Osos artists Josh Talbott features real Navy discharge papers collaged into the background. - IMAGE COURTESEY OF JOSH TALBOTT
  • IMAGE COURTESEY OF JOSH TALBOTT
  • MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE: 'Across Many Seas' by Los Osos artists Josh Talbott features real Navy discharge papers collaged into the background.

 

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