In the days before instamatic and digital cameras, realist paintings were timeless documents of life throughout the decades and centuries. Now, as our aging cities and landmarks continue aging and decaying, and major atmospheric storms change our coastlines and landscapes without warning, the eyes of the artists in the “2023 New England Regional Juried Exhibition” at the Guild of Boston Artists serve to give us a detailed look at the effect of those changes as well as current household items, clothing and buildings in our region that may not look the same even 10 years from now.
This year’s show, “Bringing together the work of promising students, emerging and early career artists, as well as pieces from established professionals, the show is a celebration of the wealth of skill and breadth of vision in representational art across the region,” mainly features oil paintings and was juried by Guild members William R. Davis, Alberta Geyer and Debra Lee Valeri.
Normally, the thought of snow in mid-August isn’t desired. However, I was immediately pulled into James Daly’s “The Covered Bridge at Waterville” by the angle chosen for the work, seemingly at a perilous angle looking down from the hillside bank of a lightly ice-covered river. While its quiet hillside backdrop of a church and surrounding houses leading down to a covered bridge, I found his capturing of the broken plates of ice gave it a feeling I fondly remember from arriving at such locations in my childhood.