AJ Vanderelli takes time out for a solo exhibition

Gazala will not be the only Franklinton-based gallery operator showing her own work this weekend, as AJ Vanderelli will exhibit “Taking the Time to See” at the Vanderelli Room starting Friday, July 14.

Vanderelli said running the space has left her with precious little time for making her own work, and she's found her schedule becoming very “task-oriented.”

“Painting is how I work through my bruises, my stumbles, my fuck-ups,” she said in an interview at the Vanderelli Room. “I really needed to reestablish that connection of my work to myself.”

The exhibition is a collection of portraits of “people I've wanted to paint and also to hang out with,” Vanderelli said. She said she requested the time with friends and acquaintances, but did not formally have her subjects pose, rather to simply sit and visit with her while she painted.

Her process was an attempt to capture the essence of her subjects and to convey an “atmosphere of how you occupy the space.”

“My goal was not to get too hung up in the details,” she said.

The collection will be augmented with self-portrait work as well.

“I'm a figurative artist,” Vanderelli said. “This is my view of myself, but [it's] also how I view the world.”