New England Regional Exhibit: Variations II– 1st & 2nd Floor Galleries
March 19, 2016 – May 1, 2016
Opening Reception – Sunday, March 20, 2016 from 2-4 pm
Variations…. it’s what keeps outlooks fresh and interesting. For over 93 years the Marblehead Arts Association has exhibited the works of artists from throughout New England, representing a diversity of style and media. The MAA continues that tradition by inviting artists, both members and non-members, from around New England to participate in this annual regional exhibit entitled Variations II. Over 140 pieces in all media from over 70 artists were hung. Although this exhibit was judged for prizes in the Fine Art and Photography categories it was not juried; it is intended to be a welcoming and inclusive experience for all the artists. Just as Spring breathed fresh life into the landscape of the North Shore, the Marblehead Arts Association bloomed with the new work of many artists never before seen at the MAA.
Fine Art: Jill Whitney Armstrong –
“Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.” – Horace Mann, address at Antioch College, 1859.
A quote that was introduced to me by my husband and has become my mission statement. This insight changed the course of my life.
Jill Whitney Armstrong was born in Cambridge, MA and lived between Arlington and Cape Ann before settling in Rockport, Massachusetts as well as South Florida during the winter season. Jill is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College. In 1998 she left American Express, Marketing and Consulting, to pursue a visual arts career with her husband, Bob Armstrong, full time. She is an oil painter, photographer, sculptural artist and curator.
Jill is the co-founder of iartcolony; an independent, contemporary art gallery at 42 Broadway, Rockport, MA, showcasing local, regional, national and international artists where she and her husband curate exhibitions. Her work with iartcolony includes the use of alternative venues to promote forward-thinking, innovative contemporary artists.
Jill has exhibited at iartcolony, the Rockport Art Association, the North Shore Art Association, the Rocky Neck Art Colony, the von Liebig in Naples Florida, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA as well as being featured as the painter of tomorrow – in “yesterday, today and tomorrow” at the Rockport Art Association. Jill is an artist member of the Rockport Art Association and the von Liebig in Naples, FL. Her work as artist and curator has been featured in Art New England magazine, the Boston Globe, The Gloucester Times, and The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research, Good Morning Gloucester and the American Art Review.
In concurrence with her personal art, independent curating has been a significant endeavor. Working closely with the School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, as well as other institutions, she continues to support emerging and established artists who continue to achieve authentic excellence. Currently, Jill is an activist in the art world in the northeast and South Florida.
Judges Award:# 1 – Stephanie Verdun, Melissa in Grace (Pen and Crayon)
I immediately resonated with the simple lines and intuitive strokes highlighting this elegant figure. The color combination is striking — and the hint of green is a hidden gem. It appears to be created on a simple paper bag — reminding me of impermanence, a fleeting moment.
Honorable Mention:#16 – Louis Rizzo, Grazing on the High Plain (Watercolor)
The integrated elements and forms intrigued me — it is sculptural and abstract. The movement and expression of each personality were captured — the dappling of subtle greens and the shadows carved out of the tree line were beautifully orchestrated.
Honorable Mention:#90 Kris Munroe, Early Morning (Oil)
As an aesthetic experience — this painting is as tactile as it is visual. The loose, assured strokes are fluid and fun. The sky is pulled naturally into the trees and each element interacts instinctively with one another — elevating the composition
Photography: J. Sybylla Smith
J. Sybylla Smith is a curator and educator with twenty five years of experience in the photographic arts. Smith has curated 20 exhibitions and created related programming featuring the work of 70 international photographers for a satellite gallery of the Griffin Museum of Photography. Smith has held adjunct professor positions at Hofstra University and Emmanuel College. She is a guest lecturer at The School of Visual Arts, Wellesley College, Harvard University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. An enthusiastic portfolio reviewer and thesis advisor, Smith consults individually with artists on concept development
Judges Award: #33 – James Bostick, Old Burying Point Salem, MA
Infrared photography on Aluminum
This infrared landscape image is a strong example of formal composition and refined experimentation. Working with infrared film and/or utilizing a customized digital camera set to capture infrared, one willingly gives over control to serendipity. Responding to the temperature of organic objects it casts an otherworldly quality on its subject.This particular image fills the entire frame with movement and wonder. The sky in the upper right-hand corner is rendered in gun metal gray, meeting like a brooding storm cloud, the hot white leaves glowing in direct sunlight. The meandering branches are wrought gracefully by Mother Nature. The headstones become simple, graphic elements in gradations of charcoal, grounding the viewer to the slightly curved hillock. The print is flush-mounted to a substrate of metal and plastic. This clean, modern choice of finish is in direct contrast to the historic and time-laden setting. This unobtrusive view transports one to the scene as if we are all standing on the grass.
Honorable Mention: #23 Larry A. Dunn, Ropes
This classic black & white image is thoughtfully framed from the portrait vantage point. The focus is on the undulating texture and play of light. The rich dark triangles of blackness offer a fortunate symmetry that was not lost on this artist.
It is a pleasing choice to share less of the subject and to concentrate our view on the intricate and complex intersection of rope. Being able to detect the frays and inconsistencies in the organic subject keep our eye exploring. If you linger, the dark corners hold secrets and movement. The double matting with a hint of black edge is a refined detail that directs our view inward and honors the heft of the subject.
Honorable Mention: #61 Skip Montello, North Light
A ubiquitous set of New England subjects are captured in a painterly silver-based palette. Lighthouse, sea and sky are sliced to their essential selves. Weather beaten, they are staunch guardians for those seeking shore and shelter from the elements. The noise of color is boldly absent.
The extremes of the cloud-filled sky are pushed in contrast allowing us to suspend the reality of the dark rain-filled masses as simply porous barriers to the blazing sun. The mixed horizontal ratio of slivers of water and land with a top heavy sky remind us of our own gravity and the weight of water.