Together // May 16 - June 24, 2017
Curated by Juanita Hardy.
Artists:Paula Ballo Dailey and Brian Dailey
Paula Ballo Dailey (1948-2016)—whose untimely death to cancer in 2016 left a void for family, friends and art communities across the country—speaks to us through the quiet power of her emotionally introspective art. Her found-object/mixed-media sculptures at the center of the exhibition represent the culmination of her search for meaning in the face of her terminal illness. They also embody the collaborative spirit she shared with her husband, the acclaimed artist Brian Dailey, who aided in the completion of some of the pieces as Paula’s strength waned. His artworks included in the exhibition serve as a response to his tragic loss.
Comprised of discarded objects discovered over years of scavenging through antique shops, road-side flea markets, and artisan shops near the couple’s Shenandoah Valley home and studios, Paula’s inventive assemblages are redolent with personal symbolism through which she made her innermost thoughts visible. These stray objects became props in her complex Jungian tableaus. A few of the art works suggest a growing revelation of her mortality and the impending loss of her battle against cancer; most, however, poignantly portray Paula’s life story, her philosophies and longings, memories, inspirations, deep reflections, joys and pain. This recent work is framed by selections traversing her artistic career, including her signature pieces using haiku-like poetry in combination with watercolor and painting and several of her contemplative journals.
Paula and Brian began their journey as life partners during their early years as artists. Paula received her BFA from California Institute of the Arts and exhibited extensively in Los Angeles during the 1970s. Brian vigorously pursued his passion for art, receiving his MFA from Otis Art Institute in 1975 and becoming an active member of the vibrant LA art scene in this period. They traveled through life together, marrying in 1984. Paula continued to blossom in her work as an artist and illustrator for the Los Angeles Times and subsequently as picture editor for the Smithsonian Institute Press and for the National Geographic Society. Meanwhile, Brian channeled his talents into creative solutions to some of the most daunting global challenges of the Cold War and post-Cold War eras. When Brian returned to full-time art making, Paula became his champion and “caretaker” as he transitioned from international security back to the art world. Later, Brian took up the caretaker baton as Paula fiercely fought and finally succumbed to her battle with cancer.
TOGETHER: The Work of Paula Ballo Dailey and Brian Dailey is a celebration of a great life departed and a love story of two lives artistically and wondrously lived.