Greetings From Kingston Gallery!

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Image:  Jamie Bowman, “Stacey”, Oil on canvas, 3×3 inches, 2013

Free Association 2013, Kingston Gallery Associates’ fourth annual exhibition is up for another week, until August 29, and ends our summer season.  The viewer is greeted (that was me this afternoon) with an enticing breadth of variations – medium, size, scale, and especially process.  This free association, where one thought leads to the next, is the thread that holds the show together so well.

Here is my snapshot of just a few of the artists, which demonstrate this wide and Interesting variety, followed by a full description of all the artists:

The tiny black frames of Jamie Bowman’s tiny oil portraits both unify the group and set them apart from each other. David Kinsey’s work on paper is a frenetic assemblage of white lines, describing an imagined space. Peggy McClure’s abstract digital images of deteriorating surfaces of walls pull us in, reminiscent of Aaron Siskind’s photographs of similar subject matter. The vibrant encaustic paintings of Jeanne Griffin are both pattern and landscape simultaneously. In Erica Licea-Kane’s mixed media work, the surface is like a variegated skin undulating across the multiple layers of the support.

The Kingston Gallery Associates:

Rebecca Arnoldi creates ecological mixed media art that explores the visual language, essence, and life energy of natural forms and the relationship between body and earth. Her materials include second-hand cloth, plant pigments, beachcombed rope, algae, and burnt wood from the beach. Her work has been published in The Boston Globe, Brookline Magazine, and Provincetown Banner. Arnoldi has shown work in galleries and museums in Boston, Provincetown, New York City and Israel.

Jamie Bowman’s current work centers on small-scale portraits and still lifes in oil.  She earned her BFA from SUNY Plattsburgh and her MFA in painting from UNH.  Most recently, her work has been exhibited at St. John’s College, Annapolis, MD and Bowery Gallery, NY. Bowman was recently awarded a residency by the Heliker-LaHotan Foundation.

Erika Carpenter has a deep interest in exploring the landscape of outer space and its celestial objects.  She favors oil painting as her medium for its richness and luster of texture, and brilliance of color.  She also enjoys working in graphic arts and sculpture.  She earned her BFA from Tufts University and her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Jeanne Griffin says that her travels always inspire her. In her newest encaustic paintings, she draws from a recent trip to Nepal and Bhutan. In some of the resulting paintings, these visual images are transformed into abstract landscapes. In others, the artist has expanded on imagery of flowers and plants native to these countries.  Griffin earned her BFA from Tufts University and a diploma from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Her work has been exhibited widely, including the Worcester Art Museum, MA, Art Complex Museum, MA, Longmont Museum, CO, and Mesa Museum of Contemporary Art, AZ.

Chantal Hardy is a 2-D visual artist working in oil, pen and ink, and gouache.   She enjoys the physicality of painting and drawing and is often seduced by color.  Her work builds organically from the act of mark making. Her nascent series, Transmission, explores communication (both literal and figurative) within a twilight netherworld. Applying velvety gouaches to handmade Japanese paper, she punctuates earth-toned passages with fluorescent, figural line work. Chantal received her BA from Oberlin College and is currently pursuing an MAT in Art Education at Tufts University.

David Kinsey‘s current work has been focused on a series of drawings, which use an abstract language and notions of aesthetics, dichotomies, the physical versus the ethereal, internal versus external. Embedded in abstract forms, using archival ink pens and paper, he finds a level of sensitivity and fluidity in mark and expression. David received his BFA from Ringling College of Art and Design and his MFA from Yale University. He currently is an Assistant Professor at Stonehill College. He has received various awards including a George and Helen Segal Grant, Hermitage Artist Residency Fellowship, and Artist of Distinction Award in the Still Point Arts Quarterly Publication.

Erica Licea-Kane has been a working artist for the past 33 years. Her work celebrates decoration, and also represents the meditative qualities of working in layers and the numerous hours of repetitive actions, akin to her textile training.  Emotionally, and most importantly, the work addresses the juxtaposition of her personal challenges in dealing with order/non-order and balance, co-existing in a shared space or time. Currently she is an Assistant Professor and the Director of the Towne Art Gallery at Wheelock College. Licea-Kane received her BFA at the Parsons School of Design and her MFA at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.  Both degrees were based in the area of textiles as a fine art medium.

Robert Maloney’s work straddles the line between structures being torn down and those being erected, as well as the elements of modern life that go unnoticed. He is fascinated by the many layers and elements in the urban landscape which are inevitable and out of our control. Everything from our physical surroundings to our human relationships evolve and expand, then decline and deteriorate, only to leave a trace of these memories, scars of their previous existence. Maloney earned a BFA in Illustration from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and is currently enrolled in a Summer Low-Residency MFA program there. He has shown in numerous galleries in the Boston area including the Mercury Gallery, C. Duell Arts, 13 Forrest Gallery, Sunne Savage Gallery and the Copley Society of Art. Robert’s work is in the collection of Wellington Management, Liberty Mutual and other private collections. Since 2007 he has been an Adjunct Instructor/Assistant Professor in Illustration at MassArt.

Peggy McClure is a photographer who examines concepts of permanence and impermanence.  In her latest work, she photographs walls of crumbling plaster, sometimes punctuated with tiny, randomly placed bits of plastic in the crevices.  A mark-maker, she was first attracted by the beauty in the deterioration, seeing the walls as canvases drawn with graphic lines, loops, and patches of color. McClure studied at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and New England School of Photography.  She has taught photography at the Danforth Art Museum and School. Her work has been exhibited throughout Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

Rachel Thern focuses on curved lines. The paintings are a visual exploration of these forms through their repetition and interaction. The artist is drawn to them, as they feel like intuitive gestures. She also incorporates mathematical curves, as reflected in natural phenomena and living organisms. Using ink applied to wet paper with brushes and eyedroppers, she creates a large grid making up a pattern reminiscent of the movement of water or a cosmic event. Thern studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art and completed a BFA at SUNY Buffalo, where she also received a BA in Psychology and an MA in Library and Information Science.

What Are We Looking At?

This is the last weekend for the current exhibits at the Kingston Gallery.

Karen Meninno’s Sculpture Remix, Robert Maloney’s Points of Intersection and Susan Scott’s show Righteous Ordinary are up through April 30.

I was struck on this visit by the desire of all three artists to “push” the materials, stretching expectations of what those materials do and what they signify.  The artists seek to expand and challenge the limitations of their chosen forms. Collectively these artists push the boundaries of sculpture, painting, and photography. The hybridization of disciplines and materials changes our understanding of what has long separated the forms. Constructed paintings, sculptures transformed by photography, collages that become sculptures – by pushing the expectations the artists also expose the process of making.

They (and the work) seem to say: What if I did this?  What if I added that?  What would I see?  What would the viewer see?

A few doors down, the current exhibit Shifiting Horizon, recent work by Lisa Sigal in the neighboring Samson Projects gallery also resonates with this discussion and, like the exhibits at the Kingston Gallery, is not be missed.

Karen Meninno: Sculpture Remix and Robert Maloney: Points of Intersection

 On a recent rainy Friday, I had the pleasure of visiting and considering again the current exhibits – Karen Meninno in the Main Gallery and Robert Maloney in the Center Gallery. These exhibits and Susan Scott’s show Righteous Ordinary are up through April 30 at the Kingston Gallery.

Inspired by architecture and a recent trip to Rome, Karen Meninno’s work, which gestated as small sculptural elements, has evolved to digital wall coverings, displayed as scrolls of almost hallucinatory endless patterns. At first you don’t know what you are looking at – highly decorative, jewel-like images that reflect and mirror themselves. Totems of repetition, shape and colors evocative of another culture, they become both a hybrid and a translation, from sculptural objects to repeated patterns of pure delight. Her work resonates with a strong trend in Europe and here in the States of artists working in a variety of mediums who are creating wallpaper as part of their practice. She is aware of and inspired by many of them, like Kiki Smith, who work with Studio Printworks in New York. The artist seems poised to take orders!

Robert Maloney is also interested in the city, and takes us on a wonderful ride in a postindustrial world. His pieces straddle the line between structures being torn down and those being erected, as well as the elements of modern life that go unnoticed. A recent article in the New York Times, The Poetry in the Ruins of New York speaks to Maloney’s eye and his interest in this subject, and also alerts us to what is unseen. His wall of prints of repeated images push the medium, and explore a place, which becomes, through the treatment of the materials themselves, something new and knowable. A highlight of the exhibit is one of the small evocative sculptures, situated in a high corner, attached to the ceiling, which further explores the edges and disregarded parts of our urban environment.  These seem to be an especially strong new direction for the artist, and one that this viewer hopes he continues to follow, bringing his viewers with him.