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Stella Farwell to present ‘Transitions’ at Art Modern Gallery

By Staff | Jan 27, 2010

"Calm Water" by Stella Farwell.

Captiva resident and celebrated artist Stella Farwell will be presenting a solo exhibition entitled “Transitions” at the Art Modern Gallery, located at 24 5th Ave. South in Naples.

There will be a collector’s viewing and a meet-the-artist reception on Saturday, Feb. 6 from 5 to 9 p.m. at Art Modern Gallery. The public is invited to the preview and the show will run from the opening night through Feb. 20.

“Stella Farwell is a major artist in the community,” said Art Modern Gallery director Robert Fontaine. “She is especially popular with Naples collectors as well as Sanibel and Captiva admirers. Her organic works have been on view at the gallery since the day we opened our doors. We are so pleased to have her back for a solo exhibition this year at our new space on Fifth Ave South in the Heart of Old Naples.”

Farwell said the pieces in her upcoming show were influenced by her travels, the environment and her long journey with ovarian cancer. While side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments have altered some of her plans, Farwell said, the challenge has stretched her creativity to find new methods and materials to express her ideas.

The Captiva Island artist develops her ideas in both two dimensional and three-dimensional form. Her organic works represent highly technical and selectively chosen mediums such as hand made paper, acrylic, metal and stone.

“I’m like a mad scientist, as I love to experiment and try new things,” Farwell said.

Farwell was formally trained in both fine and commercial art and says she attributes her affinity for a broad spectrum of materials to her unique look and style.

Her flowing, dynamic shapes and biometric compositions allow the viewer to interact with her artwork.

In her new show, “Transitions,” Farwell also hopes to inspire the viewer with an awareness of ovarian cancer. Her journey with the disease has led her to get out the message through art that women should be checked for the disease on a regular basis.

“It’s called Transitions because that’s kind of where my life is. I decided that for this show, I would use it as an opportunity to make people aware of ovarian cancer and some of the work is definitely related to my cancer journey. It was a hard decision, because I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable – but if I can help one person not experience this disease, I’m going to do it,” Farwell said.

According to Farwell, ovarian cancer is a very difficult disease to identify because there are no tests for early detection and the symptoms are similar to many illnesses. She says women should be aware of the possibility because it is difficult to diagnose until the disease has progressed into the late stages.

“About 1 in 58 women get ovarian cancer – most of us know at least 58 women,” Farwell said.

Farwell has even come up with her own slogan to spread the word about ovarian cancer in the minds of all the people she meets: “When you see a blink, think ovarian cancer awareness!”

“I was trying to think of something that people see everyday. I want to plant the seed – that when you see it, it reminds you to be aware of ovarian cancer,” Farwell explained.

Because the disease is often overlooked, Farwell thought that something as simple and repetitive as a blink – whether the blink of an eye or the headlight of a car – would be an effective way of keeping ovarian cancer awareness alive in the minds of people.

In addition to her ongoing work to spread awareness, Farwell has channeled her thoughts and feelings from her journey with ovarian cancer into certain pieces that are part of her new show.

“‘Standing Free’ is one of the pieces I’m most excited about. To me, ‘Standing Free’ is like standing up to the disease,” Farwell said.

Another piece called “Cooperation” was constructed out of handmade paper that a friend of Farwell’s – also a breast cancer survivor – had sent to her.

“Ups and Downs” symbolizes the emotional roller coaster a patient experiences on their journey through cancer.

“And ‘Endless Chains of Hope’ is a very bright and cheerful piece, because anyone battling anything in life needs a lot of hope,” Farwell said.

All the artwork in the show is available for viewing and acquisition.

The Art Modern Gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 239-263-1137 or visit www.artmoderngallery.com.

(Press releases contributed to this story)