Tom Paiement’s eighth solo exhibition at Portland’s Greenhut Galleries, “Ongoing Explorations,” originated during several weeks spent drawing at and around the Venice Beach boardwalk in February, 2014. “It was inspiring in its energy. I liked the blocky shapes and intricate overlays of the boardwalk stores and buildings against the broad colors of the sky, beach, grass and ocean,” he said. “They became my basic forms, palette and horizontal platform.” A month in Merida, Mexico in March of this year deepened and enriched Paiement’s color palette. “It became the colors of heat. The wood-cut line work of the flowers changed as well, influenced by the iron filagree work throughout the city and the fluid line of graffiti in both Merida and Venice.” You can see the end result from September 4 through 27 at Greenhut, 146 Middle Street, Portland, Maine.
“inMOMENTtime,” an installation of small constructions made from shards of metal and site-specific constructions of rebar and wire mesh made by Rebecca Muller, can be seen from September 4 through 27 at Gallery A3, 28 Amity Street, Amherst, Mass. Muller’s work inves- tigates her concept of “perceptual displacement” in which where we stand shifts the way we see things. Bearing the marks of erosion, matter and time, much of her work is anchored by wire or cloth mesh that forms a grid, while her circular pieces feature punctuating long, narrow marks that act as a timeline of the material’s existence. The contemporary fine art cooperative gallery is open Thursday through Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m.
Tackling some of the most fundamental questions humans have asked since the beginning of mankind — including “Why are we here?” and “What happens when we die”? — “Life and Death: Visual Interpretations of the Human Experience” will be on view from September 6 through 30 at the Paris in Plantsville Gallery, 15 West Main Street, Plantsville, Conn. “A hand-selected group of 25 artists has been tasked to visually interpret their personal beliefs and convictions in order to develop two works of art each: one focusing on life, the other on death,” said Sean Michanczyk. “The answers are profoundly personal, even if they are rooted in a collective faith. Though our life and death experiences and beliefs may vary multitudinously, we all share a planet and an existence that begins with a birth and ends with a death.”
“Self Made,” Phillips Exeter Academy’s Lamont Gallery’s first show of the 2014-15 season, running from September 8 through October 18 at the Frederick R. Mayer Art Center, 11 Tan Lane, Exeter, New Hampshire, focuses on themes of “beauty, power, desire and change” intended to raise questions about the notion of self. For his “Other People’s Clothes” series, photographer Caleb Cole wore borrowed, bought or found clothes to create “narratives of isolation, of questioning and searching, of desire, and of confusion.” Lauren Kalman’s “Crime Hoods” sought to explore “how the pursuit of human beauty has left its mark on the body” by covering its subjects in fiber head coverings ornamented with gold. Cybèle Mendes utilized photographic self-portraits framed by race, gender and family history in exploring the power of identity. Phillips Exeter art department chair Tara Misenheimer, inspired by vintage fashion magazines, graphic design and advertising, explores the “intriguing juxtapositions and isolations” of beauty, identity and gender through her painting and prints. “The images invite us to examine, reconsider and even resist socially-defined expectations for appearance,” said gallery director and curator Lauren O’Neal.
“GRIT: The Urban Landscape,” which opens on September 12 at the Copley Society for Art, aims to represent the point in modern life where “society, structure and chaos meld into one.” MIT List Visual Arts Center Director Paul Ha, who juried the exhibition, said, “The artists chosen convinced me that though the urban area that surrounds, overwhelms and confronts us each and every day can be the grit in our lives, we all can also find moments of unparal- leled beauty and solace from the same environment. The exhibition proves that Boston is alive in the arts and that contemporary artists are out there every day using our great city as their inspiration, giving us a different way to look and experience our city.” The show continues through November 1 at Co|So, 158 Newbury Street, Boston.
Thetford, Vermont artist Carolyn Enz Hack explores resonating themes from ancient cultures, paying close attention to those that are the backbone of religious and theatrical literature as well as current developments in cross- disciplinary sciences. Her current exhibition, “Power and Energy,” on view through September 20 at the Castleton Downtown Gallery, Center Street Alley, Rutland, Vermont, features paintings, large drawings and paper sculptures of abstract and representational imagery. Each piece is a meditation on the nature of change and the mystery of being. “My work maps my stream of consciousness, asking big questions that have incomplete answers,” said Hack, who works in a barn-enclosed studio. ”Each piece is an attempt to process the exterior world through my internal lens.” The gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
For her new solo exhibition, “Anima Mundi,” Angela Mark sought to capture the intersection of the “distinct but convergent lenses” of contemporary quantum physics and 2600 years of Buddhist Dharma. “Each describes a reality that is limitlessly vast and infinitely interconnected: every single thing in endless flux,” Mark explains. ”Anima Mundi, Latin for The Soul of the World, is a pure ethereal spirit spread throughout all nature, the divine essence where all of life’s energy, past, present and future, reside.” Following an idea that originated with Plato and similar concepts in eastern philos- ophy and alchemist thinking, she became intrigued by the concept of the world having a soul and created the paintings that will be on view from October 1 through 26 at Galatea Fine Art, 460B Harrison Avenue, #B-6, Boston. “As the world experiences climate change, the Anima Mundi is in conflict and it could well disappear completely if the ecosystem becomes too unbal- anced,” Mark said. “It is an integral part of the world without which it cannot exist.”
“Contemporary Felt: The North- east Feltmakers Guild” features work from felt artists throughout New England and other Northeast states. “The show is an exciting and inspiring representation of contem- porary felt and includes wearables (jackets, dresses, vests, scarves, hats, hand warmers, jewelry, purses and backpacks) as well as sculptural pieces (masks, vessels, lamps) and two-dimensional felted landscapes, rugs and more,” said member- ship co-chair and show organizer Diane Stradling. The skills of the 110-member guild, formed in 2002, range from novice to professional; members help each other develop their felting skills and artistry. “Feltmaking is one of the fastest growing fiber art forms, both nationally and internationally, primarily because artists can use felt in almost unlimited ways to express themselves,” Stradling said. “Many feltmakers come to this medium with experience in other art forms, including weavers, painters and sculptors, and find that felt’s versatility enables them to expand upon their repertoire.” The show takes place from October 1 through 30 at the Portsmouth Public Library, 175 Parrott Ave., Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
For one of the nine large installations in her October show at Robinson Mill, Amy Stacey Curtis is asking 999 people to bring — or send her — three cups of loose dirt, soil or earth from their home. The eighth in a series of nine interactive installations Curtis has constructed throughout Maine, she says, “MATTER will explore ideas like object, form, substance, capacity, arrangement, gravity, inertia, momentum and
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