Community Artist Spotlight Space

HIDDEN ORDER: ADIRONDACK PAINTINGS BY SUSAN SHERMAN

October 2 – November 3, 2017

Reception: October 5, Thursday, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Hours: Monday to Friday, 3:00 – 6:00 pm

Community Artist Spotlight Space at Maud Morgan Arts is a new exhibition space that showcases the work of artists living and working in the community.

For the past several years, my work has concentrated on themes inspired by the Adirondack Mountains. I use paths of light and water to bring order out of what at first seems a chaotic landscape. As in Wallace Steven’s poem, Anecdote to a Jar, these elements, recently joined by figures, become focal points around which the painted landscape coalesces. Places resonate. As I sit and draw, order becomes clearer. To paraphrase the Scottish painter Joan Eardley, the more I see, the more there is to paint.

I have always painted. As a very young person, I studied with Ed Connolly and later, Richard Grosvenor, both in Newport Rhode Island. I attended the Rhode Island School of Design, graduating with a a bachelor of fine arts in 1974. In 1972 I attended Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen, Scotland. In 2002 I completed a master of liberal arts degree in archeology from Harvard University.

I have been designing children’s books since 1977, and am presently art director at Charlesbridge Publishing, in Massachusetts. I have been Art Director of Children’s Trade Books at Houghton Mifflin, Creative Director at Little, Brown and Company, as well as running my own graphic design business, Ars Agassiz.

ORDINARY SIGHTINGS: WATERCOLORS BY BRENDA S. ENGEL

May 24 – June 11, 2017

Hours: Monday to Friday, 3:00 – 6:00 pm

Community Artist Spotlight Space at Maud Morgan Arts is a new exhibition space that showcases the work of artists living and working in the community.

Watercolors have been my art medium for most of my life although, when younger, I tried out acrylics and oils. I turned exclusively to watercolor painting when I had young children and time for painting was limited, often interrupted. Watercolor paints are non-toxic, easy to clean up and require relatively little equipment, all practical advantages, but I soon came to recognize the unique aesthetic qualities water color painting offers expressive work, among them: freshness, transparency and spontaneity.

However, they’re not an easy medium. Watercolor painting is an active process – the paint seems to have a mind of its own, moving on the paper, colors often interacting in unanticipated, sometimes wonderful, sometimes disastrous, ways. And the disasters are virtually impossible to correct, the best solution being to start over.

On a more personal note, I am now in my 94th year and, although I have always done art “on the side,” so to speak, my professional life involved teaching art in elementary schools and, later, college teaching. 66 of my years have been spent as a resident of Cambridge- first as an undergraduate, later as the wife of a professor and engaged in my own work in education. Now, sadly, I’m a widow, my husband died in the fall of 2014. I have four children, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

“Maud Morgan Arts” are particularly resonant words for me: I first met Maud in 1955 when she was teaching in Andover. I admired Maud and her work over many years. Now I’m reminded of her almost daily: a beautiful gold-framed Maud Morgan oil painting hangs on the wall in my study.

OUR RURAL PAST: SEIJA HÄLVÄ

April 10-30, 2017

Reception: Thursday, April 13 at 6:00-7:30pm

Hours: Monday to Friday, 3:00 – 6:00 pm

Community Artist Spotlight Space at Maud Morgan Arts is a new exhibition space that showcases the work of artists living and working in the community.

In Seija’s childhood the world consisted of the fields surrounding her home, the nearby forests and lake. Her family’s dairy farm was like all the other farms of that era. Work was life’s meaning and it filled the days – summers in the fields, winters in the forest, and every day the cows.

Without romanticizing the past, this exhibition is a tribute to the work of the people of Seija’s village in Karelia, eastern Finland, and to all small scale farmers who share a similar story regardless of their country. Within the past half century the number of farmers in most developed countries has decreased from a majority to a small percentage of the population.  The theme of the exhibition springs from Seija’s personal experience as well as the universal story of our rural past. Now the villages dwindle, many farms are empty and the fields are reforested. Seija’s village is quieting and reflects this familiar change that can be observed from rural Japan to the deserted towns and villages in America.

Many of the paintings and related musings in this exhibition are compiled in the book Musings on Time Past.

The film below, A LACK THEREOF by Jussi Silliman (Seija’s son), provides more context for the exhibit.

ABOUT THE PAINTER
Seija studied horticulture and her creative work extends from gardens to canvas. The acrylic paintings in this exhibition spring from her realistic observations from nature and it’s people and animals. Seija paints, bakes, knits, and grows and designs gardens in Cambridge where she lives with her family. She cherishes these skills and traditions that she acquired in the village that is portrayed in many of the paintings in this exhibition.