From Ship to Shore to Newbury Street
by Molly Hamill
“Ship to Shore,” the 2016 juried summer members’ show at the Copley Society of Art, brings a plethora of vibrant work to their Newbury Street gallery. Juried by Austen Bailly, curator of American Art at the Peabody Essex Museum, the show includes over 30 works in a wide range of style, medium and technique. The paintings, photography and monotypes Bailly selected are a wispy, summery collection of landscapes, seascapes and still lifes, which together evoke a distinct and welcome sense of season.
With over 300 artist members,the Copley Society has a deep pool of talent from which to draw — and the high caliber work in this show makes that clear. Don Dalton’s delicate watercolor, “Downeast Sunrise,” beautifully captures the particular moist, early morning heat that saturates a rocky shore with the warm anticipation of day.
“Against the Current,” a 41” x31” oil-on-canvas still life by Laura Hughes, is anything but still. The blue hydrangea, flowering roses and pink peonies depicted are palpable. Animated flowers pop off the canvas with a cartoon-like sense of movement, magnified by the blue and green fish swimming about on the tablecloth.
First prize in the show was awarded to Kat O’Connor for her painting “Epic” (oil on panel, 32” x 43”). It is a vivid underwater view of a girl swimming in a pool. The anonymous bust of a young girl in a pink and orange animal print bathing suit grounds the bottom half of this kaleidoscopic underwater scene. And while the bottom half of the piece depicts the free-floating space of childhood, the top half is a psychedelic scramble of melted shapes, melding the radiant summer color of leaves, light, sky and skin.