By Cole Tracy
Boston, MA – The Copley Society of Art and Harvard Club of Boston’s “Cambridge on Canvas” event celebrating the Head of the Charles, Harvard University and the City of Cambridge on October 17 made Cambridge’s Harvard Club an exciting space to be in. A small jazz band worked in the corner while the extremely well dressed patrons tapped their feet and munched on hors d’oeuvres, examining the art placed on easels around the room.
The group show was very thematic. Except for a few exceptions — notably several still life works and one of a ballerina in motion — the paintings all focused on the beauty of Cambridge. There were many paintings of the Charles River, Harvard Square and iconic Harvard buildings surrounded by beautiful foliage and students milling about.
The vibrant culture of rowing surrounding Harvard was covered well. Kathleen Breeden used extreme clarity to paint full scenes of singular rowers gliding peacefully through the river at dusk. Eli Cedrone took a more painterly style, with paint buildup and brushstrokes visible, which emphasized the motion and movement of rowers.
Several others chose street scenes to include the urbanity that contrasts well with the natural beauty among much of Cambridge. Joan A. Beanacle painted an impressionist-esque scene of Harvard Square’s Out of Town magazine stand. The people blend with their surroundings and several speedily peruse selections on their way to work, presumably. The essence of scene is captured well.
Oana Lauric paints a street scene in an entirely different and more formal style (of Bow Street and Mass. Ave., I believe). The light is coming in diagonally and the shapes are all very angular. The pedestrians crossing the street are painted in silhouettes and are abstract yet formally rendered in reflections from the wet ground. It points out the beauty of historical buildings in contrast with more modern architecture and city life occurring today, with the use of yellows, reds and blues blending well with the brownstones to show the local color as well.
Overall, the event was an exciting time for Harvard affiliates and graduates to socialize and purchase art for a good cause — 10 percent of all profits went to the Children’s Art Initiatives at the United South End Settlement House. The art was diversely painted yet focused around various themes surrounding the culture of Cambridge.
(For more information on the United South End Settlement House’s Children’s Art Initiatives, please visit http://www.uses.org.)