Archive for the ‘Exhibits’ Category
By Brian Goslow
Milton, MA – “Percy Fortini-Wright: The Spray Can and the Brush” opens on May 3 with a Friday evening reception from 6-8 p.m. at Milton Academy’s Nesto Gallery. Artscope managing editor Brian Goslow “cornered” Fortini-Wright, who teaches at the Art Institute Of Boston at Lesley University and Montserrat College of Art, to talk about the exhibition, how he fell in love with graffiti, the four-decade long hesitation by the art establishment to accept the genre, and who’s buying his work.
TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE WORK THAT’LL BE IN THE SHOW …
The show consists of approximately 30 paintings with multiple subject matters ranging from cityscapes to portraiture all the way to 3-dimensional graffiti pieces; some are a melting pot of all the above. Working primarily as a traditional oil painter and a traditional graffiti artist, a portion of the works are more representational but done with only spray paint while others are in only oil paint and many are a combination of the two.
These paintings explore the interaction between language — graffiti style — and form. I use my language as a way to thread different images together creating an abstracted conversation. I’m not interested at all of what the words I write mean, but the angles and rhythms they create and how they relate to the architecture of forms and images I make. Like a DJ scratching words creating a new sound, I take a similar attitude with my work where I scratch into my images with tags, marks as well as scratching images into my words. I literally deface the portrait…
HOW DID YOU END UP IN THE MILTON GALLERY?
A close friend and colleague, Ian Torney, is the art director there. We met at the AIB grad school program. We have maintained a working friendship since his days as art director of St. Paul’s Academy, coordinating exhibits and workshops merging the spray can and brush as part of a visiting artist series.
HAVE YOU HAD MANY SOLO EXHIBITIONS IN THE PAST — AND WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED WATCHING YOUR AUDIENCE’S REACTION TO YOUR WORK, FROM BOTH THOSE FAMILIAR TO THE STYLE AND THOSE WHO ARE NOT?
I have had several solo shows and the reaction has been positive and constructive. Many people are amazed at the level of realism you can get with a spray can. My more hybrid graffiti pieces laced with imagery people view as different, which is my intention. With these pieces they are to be viewed as the other, I like how they are a melting pot of images and really can’t be pinned down to a specific genre. This gets to the core of who I am as an artist
WHOSE WORK INITIALLY DREW YOU INTO BEING A GRAFFITI ARTIST?
I learned how to write graffiti at an early age by an older friend named DJ KON world-renowned record collector that I’ve known since I was in diapers. To me he had the illest style, a true letter technician, but he’s mostly known as a DJ.
WHEN DID YOU START?
I started probably around 9 years old writing in black books but didn’t do real graffiti till about 14.
DID YOU DO YOUR SHARE OF “STREET ART?” IF SO, WHAT DID YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT IT?
I did a lot of graffiti, I loved the technical aspects of graffiti learning and mastering different lettering styles. I don’t really consider street art graffiti or at least want to acknowledge the subtle differences. I loved every aspect of graffiti besides the cultural aspects and the who’s who and so on. I was more into the technical aspects of tagging, bubble letters on rooftops and trains to wild style lettering with intricate images and murals. I liked it all.
I take an academic approach to studying the angles of lettering the same way I do when painting a portrait. I’ve found an interesting relationship between the proportions and rhythms of language that correspond to patterns seen in nature, as also seen in the “flower of Life.” For me, that gives the art form more power; that makes it timeless. I hate even calling it graffiti; somehow I feel that limits its power keeping it in a time box. Writing on the walls was probably the first form of communication among the ancients.
I STILL FEEL A BUZZ GOING PAST TRAINS AND TRAINS OF FRESH ART; IS IT POSSIBLE TO REPLICATE THAT SENSATION IN A GALLERY SETTING?
I get a buzz off seeing someone’s name up a lot, but doing it with class, style and finesse. Even though the trains and galleries are different objects they are both ultimately both surfaces. Even though the early trains painted by subway artists or people who paint the freight trains now I see it just as a mobile canvass or surface. I try with my work to bring the wall to the gallery and the gallery to the wall.
DESPITE IT BEING ALMOST 40 YEARS SINCE NYC GRAFFITI STARTED GRABBING MAINSTREAM ATTENTION, MOST MUSEUMS STILL SEEM TO SHY AWAY FROM DEVOTING GALLERY SPACE TO THE GENRE — UNLESS, IN MOST INSTANCES, IT HAS ACCESS TO A BASQUIAT, AND IN THE PROCESS, ARE IGNORING ONE OF, IF NOT THE PREVALENT, ART FORMS OF THE PAST TWO, IF NOT THREE GENERATIONS? WHY DO YOU THINK THIS CONTINUES AND ARE YOU SEEING ANY SIGNS OF A BREAK IN THIS ATTITUDE?
I have. I feel graffiti has contributed in the last 40 years the most exciting work to the art world because it is bold and daring; I’ve risked my life at times to make my mark or sign my name. The untamed nature of the art form gives graffiti its edge and rise to its popularity, but in the same sense this untamed expression leads to its seclusion. For me personally, the edginess of graffiti validates my fine arts and my fine arts background validates graffiti work. The more people who walk in both worlds, the more you’ll see interesting projects merging the private and public sphere.
HOW ARE YOUR SALES AND WHO IS BUYING?
Sometimes the dough rolls in, sometimes there’s no dough to roll. On the serious side, teaching helps to supplement my income, while giving me freedom to create. There is something for everyone, it’s a wide demographic, yet, the majority of my higher sales range from 35 to 65 — many of whom grew up observing the birth of the graffiti culture.
BESIDES PREPARING FOR THE OPENING, WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
I divide my time between teaching at the Art Institute Of Boston, the Montserrat College of Art and various projects. Many of my projects include, but are not limited to, non-profit organizations — i.e. Barlett Yard, Harbor Arts, One Love productions and educational institutions. As well as maintaining my private commissions, live mural pieces and performances, I just recently was in a photo shoot featuring my work of this month’s Improper Bostonian centerfold and of course creating my art work for gallery exhibitions.
(“Percy Fortini-Wright: The Spray Can and the Brush” continues through May 31 at the Nesto Gallery at Milton Academy, 170 Centre Street, Milton, Mass. For more information, call (617) 898-2335. To see more of Percy’s work, visit http://www.p14ewright.com.)
Somerville, MA – The Boston area will see a series of Open Studios Weekends in the month of May. Artscope managing editor Brian Goslow cornered Rachel Mello, Coordinator, Somerville Open Studios (May 4-5); to discuss event preparations, what makes the open studio experience special and what they offer to the arts community.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN OVERSEEING YOUR OPEN STUDIOS WEEKEND?
I am only serving as coordinator for one year, starting in May after SOS 2012, and finishing my term this May. Before that I served on the Board of Directors for two years.
WHAT – OR WHOM – BROUGHT YOU ABOARD?
Just wanting to be a part of SOS. I came to some volunteer meetings in 2007, after wanting to help for several years. Then I just kept getting more involved.
WHAT DOES THE JOB ENTAIL?
The SOS Coordinator oversees the event, manages budgeting and planning, keeps the various departments working together, and tracks the timeline. Probably the most important part of the job is recruiting key team-lead volunteers. SOS is all volunteer run so we need a lot of very strong, committed members. The coordinator helps build and maintain the community and recruits from that, and works to help communication flow between them and make sure everyone is aware of each other’s needs. The coordinator is also the spokesperson for SOS.
HOW MUCH TIME GOES INTO IT OVER THE YEAR AND WHEN DO YOU REALLY BEGIN TO RAMP UP PREPARATIONS AS THE EVENT APPROACHES?
Ideally we would have each year’s coordinator in place by the end of the previous year, though that doesn’t always happen. I started in May of 2012 recruiting major team leads and working with the board to put in place some new initiatives for this year. My busiest time was probably the end of November into January. Since then mostly I have been staying out of the way of the team leads and letting them do their jobs, and handling unexpected things that pop up.
WHAT MAKES YOUR OPEN STUDIO WEEKEND UNIQUE?
Somerville Open Studios is a truly citywide event. We have over 400 artists distributed across a city that’s about three square miles in area. Because of the density of artists in Somerville we have an unparalleled diversity of work. Our artists are in old industrial factories, and in single-family homes. Resident artists with no place to show are able to participate in our community space. We’re fully volunteer, independent event run by participating artists and members of the community coming together. We loop free trolleys around the city and have pedicabs in town to help people get around and which add to the festival air. It’s a fully immersive event.
WHAT MAKES OPEN STUDIO WEEKEND AN IMPORTANT EVENT FOR YOUR FACILITY AND THE PARTICIPATING ARTISTS?
With over 400 artists there are probably over 800 reasons why SOS is important! Some artists use SOS as a way to get feedback on new work, some use it as a way to prioritize art-making in busy schedules, some focus on sales and have an important opportunity to sell work directly to the public. As a community the power of the shared experience and the shared goals, being part of a large art-centric city, brings us together. Sometimes being an artist can be isolating working alone in your studio, but when artists come together and volunteer to help make the event happen, lasting friendships are built and critical professional networking occurs.
IN THE PAST, WHAT HAVE ATTENDEES SAID WAS AMONGST THEIR FAVORITE PARTS OF THE EVENT?
Again we get a range of responses when we ask that. Some love the giant industrial buildings with so many artists together; others like the almost voyeuristic intimacy of going into a home studio. Most say they loved being able to talk with the artists and ask them questions about their art, about their artistic life, and to see the places where art is made. It’s a hugely social event, and many talk about bringing their whole families, running into friends, seeing colleagues from work in one studio, and an old school friend in another. Many buy work that they especially cherish having purchased it as part of this event.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT IT?
As a volunteer and as coordinator I love the strong friendships and wide network I’ve made working with so many artists and art enthusiasts. I love that people come and see art they might not otherwise see. I love how we connect with our neighbors, and unite our city.
FROM AN ARTIST’S STANDPOINT, WHAT IS THE VALUE OF THE EVENT? HOW MUCH IS ABOUT INTRODUCING THEIR WORK TO NEW AUDIENCES AND HOW MUCH IS ABOUT MAKING SALES?
As an artist I most love connecting with visitors. At a certain point in a professional art career, it becomes very hard to get honest feedback. But at Open Studios often people will just say what’s on their minds. I always learn a lot during Open Studios. I do also make a lot of sales and line up commissions — not always during SOS, though. I recently made a significant art sale that will pay an entire year’s studio rent, to a person who came to my studio for three years before making a purchase at all. I’ve had my work in galleries because someone saw my work during SOS and called me months later. I think anyone looking to show new artists is seriously missing out if they don’t go to open studios.
I’VE FOUND MYSELF OVERWHELMED WHEN I ATTEND OPEN STUDIO EVENTS. ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR FIRST-TIMERS?
Plan in advance to get the best out of it, and don’t try to do too much. We have a very extensive website and printed map book, as well as a comprehensive group show at the Somerville Museum where you can see the work in person and note which artists you want to see. If you take an evening in advance to look through the listings, you can make design your own walking tour. The time outside between studio sites helps give you a chance to clear your head and refresh a little and process what you saw.
Don’t try to get everywhere: *enjoy* that you’re surrounded by more art than you can possibly see, and let that knowledge bring you back to new places next year.
ANY SPECIAL PERFORMANCES OR ACTIVITIES SCHEDULED FOR THIS YEAR’S EVENT?
Yes! On Wednesday, May 1 there’s “Beyond the Pattern: An Independent Designers’ Fashion Show.” It’s a full runway fashion show of work of Somerville based fashion, clothing, and accessory designers, as well as work from the Somerville High School students “Young Designers’ Challenge.” Like every SOS event, it’s completely free, too. That will be at the Arts at the Armory building, 191 Highland Ave at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.).
On Thursday, May 2 Somerville Community Access Television present ”Somerville Open Cinema Film and Video Festival” of independently produced shorts. SCATV, Union Square Somerville, 8pm
We have three group shows: the comprehensive Artists’ Choice exhibit at the Somerville Museum, the show of the art of over 40 volunteers on view at Bloc 11 Cafe in Union Square, and the shop window display in the ”Inside Out Gallery” in the CVS window in Davis.
All SOS events are free. Info on all of these is on our website under the ”Visit” tab.
WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING ON THE MORNING PRIOR TO THE DOORS OPENING?
As coordinator, I’m taking this year off from exhibiting. Usually the morning of, I’m making labels and finishing matting. This year I’ll start at the Somerville Museum and catch a pedicab over to the Armory, then continue on from there.
AND WHEN THEY CLOSE?
Sleeping. Definitely sleeping.
For complete details on Somerville Open Studios, which takes place Saturday and Sunday, May 4 and 5, please visit http://www.somervilleopenstudios.org).
(This is the first of a three-part “Cornered” series with Boston area open studios organizers; look for Julie Barry, Director of Community Arts for the Cambridge Arts Council, who oversees Cambridge Open Studios, during the week of May 6 in advance of COS events on May 11-12 & May 18-19); and during the week of May 13, June Krinsky-Rudder of East Boston Artists Group Open Studios, which takes place on May 18-19.)
By James Foritano
Cambridge, MA – My neighbor in Cambridge was a very quiet guy who turned his considerable intellect towards the psychology of children and childhood.
Who, except his intimates, knew that Ed Mason possessed a kinetic imagination — an imagination that takes the viewer by the hand, inviting him or her down the same rabbit hole that Alice discovered in Lewis Carroll’s curried prose?
Ordinary things photographed and then doctored with photo-shop revealed to Ed, and through his artist’s eye to us, engaging qualities that a quick glance would never credit.
Take an ordinary table and chairs patio set in that cream colored plastic which appeared everywhere about last mid-century to announce a new middle-class leisure style. Then, tip up the chairs around the table as though they’re nesting decorously for the night or a weekend away.
This set-up was apparently license enough for Ed to roam the spaces of said patio with his camera’s eye and document what to others was a non-event.
In his workshop, Ed would decide on a color more appropriate to the “mise-en-scene” he imagined rather than this static and banal reality and “Maddy’s Table” would become green and yellow and even a touch of hot orange. It would become the new green of early spring as well as the darker hues of summer in a fluid seethe that seems to mime the now volcanic, now quiescent
pan-pipe of growth.
This provocative image urges the viewer to find and ask “Maddy” if she did indeed see what Ed saw when she tipped her chairs down to entertain and be entertained by the magic of a semi-suburban evening – by a season which impresses as it evanesces into yet another phase of our quick-silver New England.
If patio furniture, however poetically presented, is not your fare, perhaps you’ll resonate to “Chain Bridge.” Here, Ed’s camera moves so close up to the brawny rivets that bind this bridge together that the viewer seems to feel those rivets popping home.
But since nothing, not even iron and steel, are forever, the color of this structure is a feast of orange rust. There’s a drama here that speaks not only to the material bridges we all cross but also to those spiritual ones that sway precariously beneath our everyday footing.
Never the black and white moralist, Ed Mason in “Chain Bridge” appreciates, to this viewer, both the solid plans that ‘mice and men’ lay down as well as the feisty beauty of those forces which thwart our plans, inviting us to an ever-vigorous regime of maintenance and re-design.
A strenuous eye, both lyric and ironic, records in this exhibition a spectrum of nature as varied as the humble, slow-dancing “Caterpillar” to “South Beach Memories,” drawn with a fingertip of pastel light that mimes and mines that coast’s precious frivolities.
(Ed Mason’s work roosts through April 29th on the white, winding walls of La Capelli Salon at 1776 Mass. Ave, Cambridge. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Call (617) 491-1116.)
By Lindsey Davis
Jamaica Plain, MA – Shari Rubeck uses her work to reveal interpretations of the human psyche — she visualizes feelings and emotions by embodying them in a single figure against a simple background. Her new show at The Hallway Gallery, in Jamaica Plain, Mass., “Being Human,” is comprised of 14 works that focus on her fascination with animals, combining elements of rabbits and rams with the human figure as a way of assigning attributes and drawing comparisons.
One of the works on view is titled “Long Hare,” painted in 2011. It shows a woman’s figure in the middle of an empty textured background painted a green/brown color. She’s laying sideways without any real concern for gravity, in a simple black dress and with an oversized rabbit’s head instead of a human one, the long bunny ears transformed into white thread that squiggles down to the front of the canvas.
Shari also uses elements of robots in her work to create a visual connection between people and technology. Her work “Robot Swimmer” features a girl holding down her pink dress as she casually leans back and lifts a leg to reveal the laced up flippers she’s wearing as shoes. On her head sits a space helmet that looks more like a robot’s head. It hides her face, stripping her of individuality so that we can all see ourselves inside the helmet.
Rubeck uses both animals and robots in the simple scene of “Sharp Intrusion.” A similar girl in a robot helmet wears a long blue dress and leans unnaturally far to the right; A cluster of birds fly on the left, aimed at her head and pushing her over as she tips gracefully without falling.
In addition to her solo show at The Hallway Gallery, Shari is also currently exhibiting at Gallery Z in Providence, as a part of “The Square Show,” on view until April 27. Thirty artists were given three different sizes of square canvas, to be painted and sold evenly at low, pre-determined price points. Shari painted three different robot portraits titled “We Are Human” on her square canvases — simple shiny toys shown from the neck up before a patterned background.
“The figures in my work represent all of us — humans and humanness,” she said, “Some pieces are more representative of my own self and direct experiences, while others are observations from distant perspectives.”
(The opening reception for Shari Rubeck’s “Being Human” exhibition is this Saturday, April 6 from 6-9 p.m.; the show continues through April 28 at The Hallway Gallery, 66a South Street, Jamaica Plain, Mass. For more information, call (617) 818-5996. “The Square Show” continues through April 27 at Gallery Z, 259 Atwells Ave, Providence, RI; call (401) 454-8844.)
By Lindsey Davis
East Cambridge, MA – Alexandra Rozenman’s show “Transplanted” works to do just that — move you from this world into another, one with more hope, less worry, and more wonder. Scenes of bliss simply painted, the 11 large works hang in the Multicultural Arts Center’s Upper Gallery like 11 rectangular portals, most inspired by famous hands from art history.
In “Moving in with Breugel,” Alexandra’s world of painting clashes at a diagonal with the worlds created by the Flemish Renaissance painter Pieter Bruegel the Elder. She casts green grass against white snow that’s complete with the hunters and their dogs from Bruegel’s 1565 painting, “The Return of the Hunters.”
“Moving with Turner to Brooklyn” shows a girl facing a city with paint dripping all around her — a fantasized version of J.M.W. Turner’s characteristic melting, blended use of color. It’s a reinterpretation of Turner’s “Rain Steam and Speed: The Great Western Railway,” completed in 1844 at the height of the industrial revolution. But in Alexandra’s work, the train is speeding away from a city that’s become over industrialized, and it’s not a steam engine bustling towards a new world of invention, but a subway taking commuters to Manhattan.
Alexandra came to America as a political refugee from Moscow at the end of the 80s, and after living in New York and Boston, she moved to the Midwest where she taught at various colleges including Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She returned to the East Coast only three years and now lives and works in New England. She says she likes to work in isolation, listening to loud music after drinking strong black tea. When she’s not painting, she’s teaching others, spending almost five hours every day at a private art school she started called Art School 99.
Her past as a refugee is combined with a childlike sense of playfulness in each painting, all searching for some kind of identity, but enjoying the process of looking. “I tell my viewer a story, allow them to enter into the world of magic and hope that they will get curious and will spend some time thinking and looking around,” she said, “My work expresses longing for understanding and being understood, for non-belonging and finding a place to be.”
(Transplanted is on view until April 8 in the Upper Gallery at the Multicultural Arts Center, 41 Second Street, East Cambridge, Mass. For more information call 617-577-1400.)
By Lindsey Davis
Boston, MA – Ruth Segaloff’s newest work comprises “Lest We Forget,” an exhibition at Galatea Fine Art on Harrison Avenue in Boston on view until the end of March. A collection of collaged conceptual pieces, the show is represented by 16 works that were mostly created especially for this exhibit and nine of which were made within the last year.
“My works are intended to evoke memories, beliefs and actions,” Segaloff said. “Sometimes I actually want to provoke the observer into a greater self examination that requires a response, or at the very least, begins the conversation.”
The exhibit is titled “Lest We Forget,” after one of Segaloff’s earlier pieces of the same name, that’s currently on view as part of the “Pursuing Justice Through Art” exhibition at the Whistler House Museum of Art in Lowell through April 20. The artwork has a worn white baby shoe at the center that’s featured to memorialize the thousands of worn baby shoes on exhibit at memorials dedicated to preserving the memory of those affected by unjust tragedy.
The phrase “Lest We Forget” is typically associated for the Holocaust, but Segaloff said it has a broader meaning for her: “George Santayana said it best: ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ This reflects my personal beliefs, professional experiences and a strong religious tradition of social justice.”
In this way Segaloff’s works function as conceptual memorials, symbols and remembrances of society’s lowest points, but combining those with additional articles as a way of drawing comparisons between objects and time.
“For the most part, they represent a greater complexity and depth of feelings in my work,” Segaloff said of her current Galatea exhibition, “Often I don’t know ahead of time where I’m headed. I feel like a secretary taking dictation and I don’t know until the end what the work is really about.”
“Among my new pieces, “Through a Glass Darkly” best illustrates this,” she continued. “Through a Glass Darkly: The Power of Self Delusion,” features a bunny within the inner compartment of a safe that’s kept in a jewelry showcase atop an old wooden desk. On top of it all sits a very old camera, and the wings of the open jewelry panels hold purple flower petals and old gold rings on one side and tassels on the other, representing how different the outside of something can be from the inside.
“The title seemed to come out of no where,” Segaloff said, “If we view “the other” through a dark glass, we can’t see them clearly. Similarly, when we look at ourselves in a darkened mirror, our true selves are obscured and denial is possible. Thus, subtitle of this piece, “The Power of Self Delusion.” The subtitle could describe any number of situations where each side only sees its own projections. An example might be the Holocaust deniers,” or one closer to home, the Democrats and Republicans.”
(“Ruth Segaloff: Lest We Forget” continues through March 31 at Galatea Fine Arts, 460B Harrison Avenue, #B-6, Boston; gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday from noon-6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon-5 p.m. For more information call (617) 542-1500.)
By Lindsey Davis
Boston, MA – Audio Concepts’ Experience Center is comprised of numerous showrooms decked out in high-tech home theater systems — a store disguised as side-by-side living rooms and open aired spaces. Now, work from local artists and art students will cover these walls until August, as part of a new fine art exhibition called “State of the Art.”
The title plays with the dynamic created between technology and art, which is fitting since each room uses both to create its own distinct character, a character embodied by the room’s first impressions as you enter. Each room is named after a well-known literary figure like Thoreau, Kerouac and Verne whose personalities inspire the mood of each space, each dedicated to one artist like the wet abstract impressionism of Bonnie Lanzillotta and the bright architectural scenes of Arlene Greenspan.
The work of abstract artist Connie Kolman fills the open aired space at the front of the store — the only part of the interior where it’s obvious you’re actually in a store and not just intruding on the personal space of someone who really loves home entertainment. Two of Helen Lee’s colorful abstract acrylic works sit in the space lined with different light fixtures — dozens of bulbs lighting up the horizontal and vertical lines.
Ed Stitt’s oil works fill the Thoreau room, showing simple realism while focusing in on light. His bio said that he “tries to paint the ‘Golden Moment’ — when the subject has a timeless beauty…” One of his smaller pieces, a 16”x20” oil on linen work titled, “Mirror Self Portrait with Easel,” shows a rounded mirror hanging on the side of a brick building just as its corner is in shadow, and looking closely you’ll see the artist at his easel, still in the shadow close to the sun.
Glenda Tall’s similarly realistic paintings fill an adjacent room, all scenes from a trip to Cuba she had snapped on a camera before coming home to paint them. Her works give the room an exotic feeling it wouldn’t have had otherwise.
A jury selected the five art students from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design who displayed their work in the hallway. You could hardly tell the work was by the learning and not the learned — the mixed media, photography, acrylic, oil and colored pencil breathed a very exciting breath into what would have been a boring hallway — especially compared to its surrounding showrooms filled with art.
(“State of the Art” runs through August at Audio Concepts, 870 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston. For more information, call (617) 734-1800.)
Rye, NH – “Free Fall,” Scott Bulger and Gregory Scheckler’s thematically focused artwork of birds, opens Saturday, March 16 at the Soo Rye Art Gallery, 11 Sagamore Road, Rye, New Hampshire, with an opening reception that evening at 5 p.m. Scheckler’s work revolves around capturing birds in their natural habitats through paint, while Bulger’s work focuses on freezing birds in motion using black-and-white photography. Both artists have been working for many years in their respective mediums and teach, work and live in New England. The show continues through April 19. For more information, call (603) 319-1578.
Peterborough, NH – The Pastel Society of New Hampshire’s Eighth Annual Members’ Exhibition continues through April 26 at the Sharon Arts Center Gallery, 30 Grove Street, Peterborough, NH.
Dedicated to the appreciation of soft pastels as a fine art medium, the Pastel Society of New Hampshire hosts a juried exhibition and a members’ show each year. Workshops of varying duration with pastel artists of national renown are offered with membership meetings scheduled four times per year that typically include a brief business meeting followed by a program of critiques, demonstrations, paint-outs and guest speakers leading discussions of art-related topics. The Pastel Society of New Hampshire is a member of the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS), linking their members with the world of other pastel societies and their members.
“Founded in January 2006 by a group of pastel artists, the purpose of our society is to foster connections among pastelists of all levels throughout New Hampshire, the New England region and other states. All pastel artists are welcome and encouraged to join.” For more information, visit http://www.pastelsocietynh.com.
(Bob Carsten, the show’s juror, will give a gallery talk on Saturday, March 23 from 1-3 p.m. The Sharon Arts Center Gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, call (603) 924-7676.)
While many abstract painters like to leave the origin and identity of their markings to the imagination of their work’s viewers, Carole Bolsey willingly revealed the inspiration for her “Levitation/Horsing Around” exhibition that’s on view through April 7 at the South Shore Art Center.
“Sometimes these objects are barns with strong light casting shadows on land, sometimes boats, light, reflections, nothing,” she notes in her show’s mission statement. “In this series the objects are horses, space and gerunds: words ending in –ing indicating actions or states of being, as in ‘being.’ As in standing, grazing, wading and, in this series, Levitating.”
She said the works aren’t “about horses,” but “of horses” — and space, movement, drawing and paint — without narratives, that capture creatures living as is, “unbridled, unsaddled, unridden and apparently untrained. Too wild or too young to behave. Jumping straight into the air, all their power bunched into a jump for no reason, a kind of weighty flight”
Bolsey’s personal experience with horses has been, she said, few but powerful.
“Riding in a roundup in the Wind River Valley of the Absaroka Mountain Range of Wyoming, bringing cows and their calves down for the winter, I felt so at home, so at one with it all, that, surely in a former life, I must have been a cowpoke or a horse. Or a cow.
“In rural Maryland we lived among many horse owners and breeders. Neighbors brought their horses to exercise and play on our land. I painted my first horse after seeing a friend ride slowly by, framed in my studio window. I asked her to bring her horse into the studio, which was on the ground floor. She walked him across the echoing plywood floor and stood him in profile in front of a canvas 8’6” wide, where he fit perfectly.
“I stood between him and the canvas, where I could run my right hand over his contours and with my left, draw those contours on the canvas, like Thomas Jefferson’s polygraph. Though I’m not ambidextrous, I managed it. When the horse stepped away I had a six-legged moose. Additional work was required.
“I have photographed, studied, admired, gazed at, gaped at, pondered and been blown away by horses, but have rarely ridden them. Maybe this accounts for my painting them bare and unencumbered. Maybe it’s political. Or aesthetic. Not sure. It’s a mystery,” Bolsey concluded.
(“Levitation/Horsing Around: Works by Carole Bolsey” continues through April 7 at the South Shore Art Center, 119 Ripley Street, Cohasset, Mass.; the venue is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday from noon-4 p.m. For more information, call (781) 383-2787.)