Variety and quality mark T.W. Wood juried show

 

A circular spring-style milk scale hangs from a hook on a weathered red barn board in A.S. McGuffin’s oil painting on aluminum, almost trompe l’oeil in its realism. A tawny ceramic big cat with a dramatic full mane crouches in Ellen Urman’s “Lion.” Two still life watercolors consider the same subject — a white ceramic pitcher and array of peaches and citrus — but in different light, both with a palette that recalls Matisse in Annie Christophe’s “Still Life/Diptych.” The T.W. Wood Gallery’s third annual “Summer Juried Exhibit” opened last week. Now a summer tradition, this year’s show features over two-dozen works by artists from Vermont and even a bit beyond. Sculpture, ceramics and fused glass are in the show as well as a considerable range of two-dimensional work including watercolors, drawings, oils, pastels, computer-designed art and photographs. A joint group exhibition in the Hallway Gallery showcases artwork by members of the Essex Art League and Milton Artists Guild. Works from the Gallery’s permanent collection are also on exhibit in the Thomas Waterman Wood room and the Works Progress Administration room. “We don’t have a specific theme for the show,” explained Ginny Callan, director of the T.W. Wood about the juried show. “Artists are invited to submit work done in the last five years. This gives artists the opportunity to choose what they think is best and what they want to highlight. “The jury was particularly challenged due to the large quantity and quality of the work submitted. The three jurors worked diligently to come to agreement on the work selected and came up with a diverse and exciting selection,” Callan said, noting that 48 artists submitted work and 27 were selected. The three jurors for the exhibit were artists Susan Abbott, Mason Singer and Phillip Robertson. Abbott exhibits in galleries and museums around the country, Singer is an award-winning graphic designer and publications consultant, and Robertson is an interdisciplinary artist and printmaker and teaches printmaking, drawing, painting and art history. Hasso Ewing’s sculpture, “The Lone Man” of plaster and wood, with its long slender limbs and broad shoulders evokes a sense of strength and fragility. “The human figure has always been my main inspiration — all its detail, mass and emotion, it always has something to teach me. I am not attempting to replicate, but interpret through the use of color, abstract forms and the interaction with light. Each figure finds an inner conversation through body gesture, aspect and pose, and it’s that conversation that grabs the artist and the viewer, asking us to stop and look,” Ewing says in her artist’s statement. Liz Medina’s expansive “Gateway to the Square Deal” is a multi-faceted work with links to a post-industrial upstate New York community, once home to shoe factories. The factories were so central to the community that its downtown featured concrete arches, commemorating that “Square Deal.” Medina’s shoe workers and consumers offer nuanced perspective. “Using visual art, social theory, and stories, I examine how capitalism shapes individuals and communities,” explains Medina. A.S. McGuffin’s “The Vermont Dairyman’s Scale: A Land Flowing with Milk and Honey,” with its close up look of a once essential farm device, draws the viewer into the dairy barn of just a few decades ago. “I love painting in the tradition of classical academic realism,” McGuffin explains. "To paint realistically requires me to look deeply at things, studying their nature, underlying anatomy and character. “As a result of this contemplation, my paintings, or ‘visual parables’ as I like to call them, are meant to nourish the spirit and counter the world’s invasive messages of despair and hopelessness,” McGuffin says. Jonathan Rose’s acrylic “Juneau and Sky” captures a bright contented moment shared by a white dog and a child. The dog’s ears are alert and tail is almost certainly wagging. The child’s arm is outstretched to the dog as they walk along.  The broad brushstrokes and impressionist use of color further the painting’s feeling of a lovely bond between them. “While I enjoy painting what is around me: family and friends, farm animals, places I know well, I never know exactly how the work will evolve. Thus, I feel my painting is fictional even when painting directly from what I see,” Rose says.   T.W. Wood Gallery T.W. Wood Gallery presents “Summer Juried Exhibit,” through Aug. 31, and a joint exhibit by the Essex Art League and Milton Artists Guild, through July, at the Center for Arts and Learning, 46 Barre St. in Montpelier. Hours are: noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday- Saturday; call 802-262-6035, or go online to www.twwoodgallery.org.

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