by Brian Goslow
Eight members of the Rocky Neck Art Colony (Matt Cegelis, Elynn Kroger, Sinikka Nogelo, Regina Piantedosi, Rosella Sagall, Ruth Schneider, Martha Swanson and Heidi Zander) are among 18 New England artists selected by juror Al Miner, assistant curator of contemporary art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to participate in the “A Fine Line: Drawings and Other Interpretations” exhibition that is being held from July 3 through August 3 at the Cultural Center at Rocky Neck, 3 Wonson Street, Gloucester, Mass. “Of the mediums represented on these walls, digital techniques are used to interesting and dramatic effect, but digital art is far from predominant here,” Miner noted. “The same can be said for sculpture. In fact, even paint, used here with skill, proved less popular than pen, pencil and pastel. The simultaneous simplicity and versatility of line is beautifully explored with those mediums.”
Working out of the tight quarters of a second floor live-in studio in a former burner parts store, where his canvases, photographs and prints carefully share space with his kitchen, couch and bed, 27-year- old Nicholas McKnight, whose schooling included the Maryland Institute of Art and University of Rhode Island, regularly pairs with nature to create unique prints that utilize patterns found in the cut trunks of trees. “I’m trying to really focus on the grain itself,” he said. “I love it the way it is. It’s about the beauty of the wood.” You can see McKnight’s “Nature Prints” at the Bank RI Pitman Street Gallery from July 3 through August 6 at 137 Pitman Street in Providence, and see his sculpture work at nickamck- night.tumblr.com.
The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center in West Rutland, Vermont provides an outlet for people of all ages to participate in the lifetime bucket list experience of learning how to create three- dimensional art on the grounds of a historic quarry. “They teach many types of sculpture classes from bronze, metal, welding, glass and many levels of stone carvings, and have international residencies all summer long,” said Nora Valdez, who’ll be teaching a women-only stone carving class there in August. An exhibition of work by sculptor Donna Dodson will be held from July 11 through August 24 at its gallery at 259 Marble Street, and if you’re planning a trip to the area this fall, “Sculptfest 2014” takes place from September 13 through October 26. Its Stone Bench Project, in which master sculptors guide area teens through the design and technical processes of creating a permanent work of public art, leaves a lasting contribution you can see the end result of past years’ projects at West Rutland Town Hall, Rutland’s Giorgetti Park, in Fairhaven and Poultney, with a fifth stone bench headed to a location in Middlebury. It’s an idea that other New England communities could build on utilizing their own unique histories and landmarks. For more details, visit carvingstudio.org.
Repetition is king in “Series,” an exhibition at Flatrocks Gallery, 77 Langsford St., Gloucester, Mass. through July 20, featuring paintings and collage by Loren Doucette and Tim Harney and sculptural furniture by Len Richardson. Both have tackled the same subject matter in their work for an extended period of time, revealing new artistic direc- tions and insight into themselves along the way. Harney’s “View from Andrew’s Room” series allows the Montserrat College of Art assistant professor to speak through his work, which he said allows him to convey, “a sense of loss, the passage of time, things remembered or glimpsed — a history.” The series now numbers more than 100 works. Richardson meshes cement, handmade paper, Plexiglas and wood in blurring the line between sculpture and furni- ture, resulting in what he calls, “Leniture.” Doucette spent a month last fall painting the view looking out on the marsh at Good Harbor Beach, allowing the changing conditions of the transitioning seasons — and his pastel, acrylic and graphite tools — to change accordingly.
With over 800 works amassed over its 80-plus-year-history in its permanent collection, some without documentation, the Southern Vermont Arts Center (SVAC) hopes “A Fresh Look,” will bring forth new information from area residents on many of the lesser- know works in its collection. The exhibition, on view through July 20 at the Elizabeth de C. Wilson Museum, West Road, Manchester, Vermont, includes landscapes, cultural scenes, portraits and still life paintings by the likes of George Innes, Luigi Lucioni, Ogden Pleissner, Julian Rix, Harry Shokler and Brian Sweetland from the SVAC archives, many unseen for years. Another part of the show’s goal is to encourage patrons to sponsor a painting from the show to be cleaned, framed and restored to its original beauty.
“Ceramic Top 40: New and Selected Works” features items initially displayed last year at the Red Star Studios in Kansas City, Missouri, a show intended to showcase “artists working on the cutting edge of ceramics” as well as work juried by Leslie Ferrin, owner of Ferrin Contemporary, who curated the exhibition that continues through August 16 at Gallery 224 at the Ceramics Program, Office for the Arts at Harvard, 224 Western Ave., Allston, Mass. “This is an important moment for a generation of makers and collectors,” Ferrin said. “Ceramics as an art form has come into its own. Increased media recognition and integration of contemporary ceramic art in museum exhibitions and collections as well as contemporary art galleries indicates the time is right to provide a more comprehensive survey of the contemporary medium of clay.”
“Contexture,” a show featuring textile and assemblage artists, can be seen through August 30 at Monkitree, 263 Water Street, Gardiner, Maine. “Through dyeing, weaving, painting and assembling objects,” Kathy Goddu, Priscilla Nicholson, Susan Perrine, Susan Walker and Jill Snyder Wallace “have created pieces that explore sparked emotions, experiences and expressions, both fleeting and enduring,” the gallery notes. Each artist utilizes non-traditional found items in their work. “The joy in collecting vintage objects seems to settle into my work in ways that feel right, whether comfortable or unsettling,” said Wallace, while Nicholson creates abstract interpretations of the color and organic forms of the natural landscape. “I can apply the imagery to hand-painted silk designs,” she said. “I also crochet sculptural forms that can take on a more metaphorical meaning.”
“Norman Rockwell and his Contemporaries,” the 2014 season headline exhibition at the National Museum of American Illustration and Frederick Law Olmsted Park, Vernon Court, 492 Bellevue Ave., Newport, Rhode Island, through August 31, reunites the iconic Saturday Evening Post cover artist with his “colleagues, classmates and friends” in a show that’ll reignite your love and appreciation for the style. “These illustrators (John Clymer, Dean Cornwell, John Falter, George Hughes, J.C. Leyendecker and Norman Price, amongst them) reflected and molded American society by depicting universal themes that are still held dear today, including courtship, family gatherings, sports, love, holidays, seasons and many more,” noted the announcement for the show, which shares the spotlight with “Howard Pyle & His Brandywine Students” and contemporary illustrator Mary Jane Begin’s “My Little Pony: Under the Sparkling Sea.” The museum offers guided tours Friday at 3 p.m.
The Grand Circle Gallery continues to be one of the region’s true hidden jewels; its latest exhibition, “Under Full Steam: The Golden Age of Ocean Liners,” features 30 posters on loan from the cross-town International Poster Gallery (IPG), dating from the late 19th century — when the first lithographic posters stole the public’s imagination — through 1960. “For Bostonians, it is especially fascinating to witness the vital role that the city played in this exciting story,” said IPG owner Jim Lapides. “Equally compelling is tracing the very posters that promoted the liners — from the early ‘information style’ designs overloaded with maps and schedules to the highly graphic works of A. M. Cassandre, who revolutionized the poster with his streamlined Art Deco style.” The gallery has good reason to be excited about the show, as part of the Grand Circle Travel family. Gallery director Mark Schianca said, “80,000 of our travelers have chosen to journey by ocean or river ship over the past two years,” and interest in sea travel is at a peak. The exhibition continues through September 6 at 347 Congress Street, Boston.
Twenty New England artists are represented at the “Celebrating the Art of Sculpture 2014” exhibition on the grounds of the Peabody Institute Library of Danvers, 15 Sylvan Street, Danvers, which is sponsoring the event in conjunction with the town’s Barn Workshop Gallery. “Last year’s exhibition created quite a stir,” said library director Alan Thibeault. “People came from all over to see the sculptures and we received a lot of positive feedback. We hope that families will bring friends and out-of-town guests to learn more about these innovative works on a grand scale.” The works of stone, metal and other materials by Michael Alfano, Thomas Berger, Gilbert Boro, Carole Eisner, Hugh Gibbons, Michael Guadagno, Michael Hansel, Bruce Hathaway, Jay Havighurst, Jerry Holmes, Barrett Kern, David Millen, Joseph Montroy, James Rappa, Antoinette Prien Schultze, Alvin Sher, David Skora, David Smalley, John Weidman and Melanie Zibit remain on view through September 19.
Having spent 40 years as a commercial fisher in Halibut Cove, Alaska, Annette Bellamy has had an osmosis-like relationship with the materials and tools she’s worked with in a profession that can be as difficult and rewarding as any; when she’s not on the water, Bellamy’s in her studio turning those objects into sculpture — which New England audiences can see this summer at Fuller Craft Museum, 455 Oak Street, Brockton, Mass. “Imagine the atmospheric and visual impact of 1000 square feet of porcelain, earthenware, raku-fired ceramic and stoneware vessels and shapes suspended on nylon twine, inches from the floor,” reads one of the most enticing show announcements in memory. “Oars, sinkers, boas, buoys — all have become part of the aesthetic language with which she shapes her ceramic works,” which remain on view through November 2.