This year’s 2022 Members Prize Show provided by Cambridge Art Association is held at Kathryn Schultz Gallery in Cambridge, MA as well as online. The exhibit presents artwork from members of the Cambridge Arts Association — from artists and associate artists to students — to win the members prize and also offers viewers the chance to take home priced artwork to add to their collections should they fall in love with a piece. The exhibit is presented in two parts: although Show 1 has passed, there is still a chance for you to see the artists presented in Show 2, which is running until April 16 and open to the public free of charge.
Independent curator and art consultant Beth Kantrowitz, juror for the show, wrote in the show’s introduction, “I found myself naturally sorting submissions into two groups of works. I did not separate the works into traditional categories such as landscapes, portraiture, or abstraction. Rather, I chose works that would be in conversation with one another on the gallery walls, creating two coherent exhibitions. That varied pieces that spoke to me shared a crucial characteristic — the power to elicit a visceral response.”
Visiting the exhibit, I was impressed by the array of talent. One particular piece that caught my eye was Susan Murie’s “Voyage #10,” a cyanotype on paper, including pencil and ink. Murie has a background in gardening which inspires many of her pieces, and so one can easily see how encapsulated nature is within her art.
When it comes to cyanotype prints and their unpredictability in quality or outcome once the printing process completes, it’s amazing to see how clear and sharp Murie’s “Voyage #10: is; something that takes skill in photography, let alone printing. A cascade of flora trails down the print, adding contrast to the negative space backdropping the piece. Accents of almost-gold knotted lines enhance the print with a bit more color, balancing out what otherwise would be an overwhelming presence of blue which is the cyanotype trademark; the knotted lines are a beautiful addition on Murie’s part that really makes the piece glow that much more.
With this piece, you get the impression that you are looking through glass, while the object in the background — what appears to be a suitcase with colorful detailing of floral print — reflects as if from behind you. It’s a piece I found myself reflecting on for a moment, which is a testament to Murie’s artistry. I asked her a few questions on her work
SANDRA TIRADO: What do you dream ‘Voyage #10’ will mean to others?
SUSAN MURIE: I hope they will see the beauty in it and in the color blue. Blue has long been used to convey feelings of calmness, distance and divinity as well as many other uses and meanings throughout history. Achieving a certain Prussian blue from my cyanotype process is one of the main goals. I love hearing what people see and feel from viewing my work!
ST: How was your experience creating this piece?
SM: I photograph each element in my work and I have a large archive of images to choose from when I begin a new piece. Each one is hand coated with a UV light sensitive solution and then dried overnight. The next day I look through my archives and begin to compose the piece on the coated paper. I have a loose idea of what I want to do. I find I work with certain imagery for a period of time, creating a body of work. Currently I am working with the vintage suitcase image in ‘Voyage #10’ as well as sailboats, deer and rabbits. Flowers and leaves are almost always in there as well as architectural elements from time to time. I am composing the pieces responding to my own nostalgia and emotion. I kind of let the process flow through me.
Jeannette Atkinson’s oil painting, “Bea’s Pond – November” is another piece worth mentioning. It is painted on an 11” x 14” canvas, although despite its small size it contains a large presence of character. There is no shortage of striking color and exquisite brushstrokes with this painting. It is a scenic, atmospheric piece in which texture and color scheme play a huge role in transcribing emotion in the viewer — and it did just that as I viewed it.
Amid these beautiful pieces displayed on the gallery walls, there are also a few sculptures. Kimberley Harding’s “Empty Nest,” is a fragile-esque sculpture made from old checks, old address labels, and membership cards and ID’s. The “nest” is held together with glue and gouache. I found this statement piece clever and innovative; to me it echoes the idea of ancient vs. modern times on a personal level and really makes you take a moment to reflect on its metaphoric presentation.
Other notable works include B. Glee Lucas’ “Erased,” a magnificent painting full of motion and life; Jim Kociuba’s “Birch Ledge,” one of the larger pieces in the show with a beautiful array of acrylic colors in pixelated fashion to reveal sunlight filtering through trees; and Bridie Wolejko’s “Hecate,” a wondrous mixed media piece collaged with different images to personify a modern goddess Hecate. Lastly, a special honorable mention to this year’s Artist of the Year winners: Paul Beckingham, “Spring Bouquet”; Chelsea Bradway, “The Looking Glass”; Miren Etcheverry, “Mamette”; Richard Hackel, “Johnson Cove, Surrounded”; and Wiley Holton, “Only Time Will Tell.”
The Cambridge Art Association has the pleasure to display such talented creatives and we encourage viewers to partake in witnessing the exhibit, be it in person or online.
The complete list of artists being exhibited for “Show 2” are Susan Alport, Cynthia Andrews, Louise Arnold, Jeannette Atkinson, Giliane Bader, Nancy Beams, Paul Beckingham, Anne Beinecke, Sharon Berke, Chelsea Bradway, Diane Francis, Erik Gehring, Richard Hackel, Kimberley Harding, Jim Kociuba, Andromeda Lisle, B. Glee Lucas, Keara McHaffie, Susan Murie, Paul Murray, Diane Novetsky, Ant Oraloglu, Cynthia Pritchard, Vanessa Thompson, Kim Triedman, Stephanie Warburg and Susie White.
(“The 2022 CAA Members Prize Show, Show 2,” continues through April 16 at the Kathryn Schultz Gallery, 25 Lowell St., Cambridge, Massachusetts. The gallery is open for viewing Tuesday through Friday from noon-4 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information, call (617) 876-0246.)