Join us this summer as we look back and enjoy a collection of works that explore meaning through abstraction. Doug Gray’s avian forms reduce nature to its essence in both shape and spirit. Arranged in groups, these ceramic birds portray—and evoke—human emotion, as they confirm the enduring power of human connection in the face of adversity. Johannes Boekhoudt similarly distills a range of emotions in his black and white drawings. He attacks the paper with forceful, aggressive lines, some of which coalesce into self portraits of an artist in a passionate struggle to find his place in the world, while others reveal a seemingly inescapable conflict between rich and poor, rulers and ruled, the elite and the common. In contrast to the explosive, spontaneous strokes of Johannes’s works, the lines in Kenneth Burris’s drawings are finely drawn and meticulously detailed. The images they convey, however, are no less expressive and no less powerful. Kenneth presents urban landscapes that combine realistic imagery (skyscrapers, power lines, satellite dishes) with fantastical details (pyramids, thorn trees, fishermen) that force us to question how we perceive our own “real” worlds. Each of these artists shares an ability to see past the surface and to express the essence of his subjects.