Certain that “humanity is in a dark place” at this time, Melissa A. Richard is projecting a message of hope and beauty for art lovers in New England. She provides her own artwork and curates that of eleven other artists in an online exhibition entitled “Glimmer on the Horizon,” which begins Friday, Nov. 6, originating from Gallery Sitka in Shirley, Mass.
“Tamar wanted to point things in a positive direction,” says Ms. Richard, referring to Gallery Sitka owner Tamar Russell Brown. Finalists for this show will be selected after the Nov. 1 deadline. The theme of hopeful signs on the horizon recalls the sentiment expressed by the verse, “His eye is on the sparrow,” a theme that has inspired many songwriters. That is, the small fragments of light are figuratively brave attempts of artists to dispel the darkness of hard times with their hopeful vision of tomorrow. Appropriately, Ms. Richard will select diminutive pieces no bigger than 11 by 14 inches. Melissa’s own pieces will reach even further into this theme. Her paintings—employing such strategies as work on paper and collage and such materials as acrylic and wax—will pack an artistic punch and concentration into paintings no larger than four by four (again, that’s inches). Such pieces are likely to give us confidence, as when we see the humblest creatures leading the way to a supreme challenge and calling on others to follow.
Ms. Richard’s three paintings for the show are of a piece. Each one is a rich mixture of dark blue and a very subtle green, with dashes of white wax here and there. The blue—really indigo, and a very dark, foreboding one at that—dominates the three pictures. That field of indigo is indeed dark and troubling, but one cannot say for certain whether the atmosphere is getting bleaker and closer to some terrible, destructive end…or whether instead our fortunes have gone as deep into the terrifying depths as they are going to go and there’s nowhere to go but up. It doesn’t seem hopeless, really. In fact, it seems to call on the viewer to take charge of the situation and turn things around.
This show will be up until the close of December 31, 2020.
All work is for sale and can be purchased online with either pickup or shipping options.
Join us Friday, November 6 at 6 PM for an online interview with Melissa A. Richard about putting this show together! Going forward, on all Fridays at 6 PM through the show, we will host interviews with the artists. See our Facebook page, Gallery Sitka East for details.
View the show on Pinterest
Join us Fridays at 6 PM for interviews with the artists.
THIS IS THE SCHEDULE:
Glimmer; little pieces of light. My hope for this show was to collect a variety of artistic perspectives on this theme, and find creative expressions of the image this phrase evokes in our minds.
Light is universally used to symbolize hope, goodness and warmth – all things we have needed during the year 2020. This group of art work brings together creators of varying backgrounds and experience to address this universal theme through 2D media on a small scale. Voices of growth, change, hope and positivity are echoed through the images chosen. It is my hope that these “glimmering” little works of art are like bright stars on a dark night, or the first rays of light at dawn leading us toward a better place.
For myself personally, 2020 has been a particularly challenging year. Last year at this time I was in a psychiatric ward on suicide watch; being treated for major depression and complete mental and emotional exhaustion. My first day in the hospital as I sat before my support team of doctors and counselors feeling like I could not carry on they asked me to do one thing; look for the light. Those were their exact words, “look for the light.”
I spent the next two weeks doing just that, and I have continued to do so despite the world entering a global pandemic of historical proportions; despite all the injustice and civil unrest that has been brought into the limelight; despite the ongoing politics tensions felt worldwide from this election year. I keep looking for the light. The three works I created were born from this process. I have, very literally, clawed my way from the deepest emotional darkness any human can experience. One where the only logical escape from your emotions pain and suffering seems to be death. It is a place of darkness I hope I never see again. These three tiny paintings express this feeling. As 2020 comes to a close and 2021 looms on the horizon, I will do what the only thing any of us can… look for the glimmer; the shining illumination of little pieces of light guiding us toward hope.
– Melissa Richard
A sparkling ocean rolls over sands that glimmer under the midday sunshine at Delray Beach. The undercurrent seems to carry all your woes away leaving you relaxed, peaceful and full of hope.
– Bessie Coutu
These three paintings were created as a triptych – the light from the moon showing itself in different ways. I feel that these paintings fit very well into the Glimmer theme. While they are seemingly barren, they offer a glimpse into the light and its possibilities.
– Beth Barry
Abstract painting is a personal journey of perseverance for me. Through painting and its process, I allow myself the freedom to express my emotional realm through a perceptible language of art. My expressive work is a visible manifestation brought out from within through the emotional fashioning response to the observations, experiences and backdrop of my being.
I transmit that emotional spirit to an observable platform through the passage of a painter’s portfolio of color, texture, line, movement and artfulness. Those elements are much like seeking the right piece to complete a puzzle. As I fill a blank canvas with an aggression of willful paint strokes, splashes, drips and mark-making, that essence comes to the front as the image begins to, in a sense, communicate – at turns seducing and confronting me. A barter of sorts releases, as I get engaged in an aesthetic daze of advance and retreat, flow and slowness, command and entrance, jangle and alliance. I search for that moment of sensing synchronicity between how I feel and what has been revealed on canvas.
A visible interconnection of the emotive exchange materializes and I realize the canvas was an analyst, a mentor, a gleeful, a partisan – and ultimately a reflection to my emotional essence. My hope is that if I’ve created a painting that feels inspirational for myself, that someone else may recognized a touch of their own emotional essence in the work and that it may touch them in the same way that a particular melody can reach deep or a moment in nature can feel harmonious.
These pieces reflect the light of hope to growth. Clouds break up hoping the light will shine through, The light with its glimmering energy creates growth.
– Donna Rega
Every once in a while, I take a shot that feels exciting, an image that needs to be bigger. Granite State is one such image. Originally it was taken upside down, but I turned it because I found it more striking with the aqua lichen streaming down the right side, contrasting the pocked granite in the sunlight on the right. I loved the small shapes there, some even looking like manmade mandalas. Abstraction is intriguing me more and more.
I have been a photographic artist since I bought myself a camera at 16. I started with black and white film, loving the way it naturally abstracts the world. When I began to teach photography, I started to shoot a roll of color images with my macro lens to make cards to send to my family and friends. I soon began to sell my cards at bookstores around me. — Elsa Voelcker
Helen Obermeyer Simmons
This artwork by Helen Obermeyer Simmons is inspired by her experiences sheltering in place during Autumn 2020. Nesting In Place was created with watercolor on artist’s paper and is part of a larger series titled My Life is An Open Book.
Simmons artwork is often based on extensive research into family history. She works in the historical photographic processes of Cyanotype and Vandyke Brown. Her prints and drawings incorporate collage elements as well as watercolor and colored pencil.
– Helen Obermeyer Simmons
Ida Ivanka Kubler
With the light in my artworks I deem to awake feelings of self-healing, opening up, revival, rebirth.
– Ida Ivanka Kubler
This work is encaustic collage. Encaustic – painting with hot colored beeswax and damar resin – is a medium that was used by the ancient Greeks as far back as 400 BC. I created encaustic monotypes with patterns reminiscent of rocks and stones, and collage them onto panels. Stamps, maps, bits of asemic writing and electronic bits are ever present in my work. I include a few small pen drawings and bits and pieces of ephemera to create an impression of the world, seen through a personal lens. These pieces all have sparkles of metallic lines and marks. I love the way beeswax creates both physical and visual depth and translucency to my work – adding to the mystery and magic I’m trying to convey. Whatever I put into my art, it always includes the joy of creation, the love of art, and the happiness in my ability to create it.
– Jeanne Borofsky
Just as the pandemic was making its way across the country to the East coast, early spring arrived in Maine. Still grieving the loss of my husband, I was seeking refuge and companionship. In a climate of global pain, I was hoping to find a way to heal. Having read of the benefits of forest bathing (or immersion), I entered the forest with child-like curiosity and hope.
I felt it once before, there was something there, I could sense it. It was mystery, it was fragrance, it was atmosphere; something beyond the obvious. At every turn I stopped to breathe deeply and fully take in the scene, noticing textures and details, listening to the music of insects and birds. This multi-sensory encounter reached in and altered my thought patterns. The way I saw and experienced the world was changing, but how? I later discovered the science behind the forest atmosphere, especially in places that have been untouched for centuries.
Here there is a gift. And we only have to breathe it in to benefit. I became fully a part of this. Reaching out in return, my fingers slowly examined mosses, lichens, and bark, an important exercise in a world where touch has been censored. The forest transformed and healed me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It has become my intimate companion and my guide.
– Karen Olsen
For me the ocean has always been my therapy – a source of light and hope! In this year of despair, it has continued to reflect and provide strength, tranquility and peace. These images from Martha’s Vineyard of glistening waters and rays of sunshine remind me that there is still a beautiful world on the other side of this pandemic! We just have to hold on to every ray of hope!
– Linda Cuccurullo
When I first heard of this call to art, I was immediately struck. Mankind is lost at the moment and the only way to make it through is by our faith and hope that there is something greater. Hope is a ray of light, a small sliver making its way through the darkness that this world is facing. You have to know that spark when you see it though, as it’s fleeting and quick. I wanted to denote this sliver of hope in my piece, which is represented by silver paint swirls around the figure. She is heading to the light of hope, that glimmer of peace that is off in the distance. The bird behind her is lost, it is struggling against the obstacles it faces but is somewhat shielded. Will the bird make it to safety? I have left that up to the viewer to decide.
Regina Mailloux is a native New Englander whose work prominently features atmospheric, dreamy, and at times whimsical oil painting portraits. From narrative characters to imaginative and original female figures, Regina’s work is stunning and captivating. She has exhibited in galleries nationally and internationally and has collectors throughout New England and Europe. She is a member of the Star Dust Art Collective.
– Regina Mailloux
Using a visual language that draws from calligraphy and architectural ornament, my work addresses a question that has long driven both scientific and spiritual inquiry: how does the universe create structures of such rich order and complexity from such apparently simple, random laws? Everywhere we look in the natural world, we are confronted by an immense variety of highly specific, purposeful systems; yet when we observe the processes which compose them, we find that they are often driven by chance. In the Flourish series, I explore this tension using basic, curved lines and a methodology that emphasizes repetition and randomness. Each piece begins with a single line that branches out and spreads gradually across the page as I add to it; in this way, I attempt to relinquish the human instinct to control and predict the composition, allowing it to flow freely and take shape as a natural being might.
Using this approach, I am able to create forms that emulate the playful growth of a sprouting tree, the wisp of white smoke from an extinguished candle, and the undulation of swirling eddies in a rushing stream. These familiar shapes strike us with their energy and grace, their joyous, effortless beauty; I hope that my works can do the same. But perhaps more importantly, I hope that they will prompt the viewer to ask questions: how do these patterns inspire such wonder? Why do they recur, again and again, in living and non-living systems alike? What can we learn from the feelings of hope and clarity that they instill in us? And why do these feelings seem increasingly rarer and more precious in today’s world?
By making use of a highly abstracted, almost typographic visual vocabulary, I also hope to call attention to the ways that artists have always attempted to beautify the commonplace. The oft-overlooked efforts of decorative artisans and designers from every culture have given us relics of breathtaking beauty; the exquisite carvings of a temple wall, the delicate weavings of embroidered tapestry, and the fanciful marginalia of an illuminated manuscript all serve to imbue our experience with a vivid sensory satisfaction. As our built environment becomes more and more homogenous and alienating, and the forms around us seem increasingly determined by considerations of cost and efficiency rather than human needs, I hope to reaffirm the virtues of thoughtful design and patient, skillful labor.
– Santiago Mallan
What is lying, lurking in the deep unknown? What do you love? What do you fear? Where is that spark of hope for you, in the fathoms of emotion? How do we move through our challenges in life to find deeper meaning and purpose?
– Shara Osgood