May 13-June 10 2013

Above and Below

Opening Reception: Saturday, May 25th 6-9 pm.

Diane Ayott


The layering of a wide vocabulary of marks within veils of color create rich images, full of persistent sensations. Color, pattern and repetition are core issues in the making of my work. Most often, and with long periods of concentrated focus, the work evolves to a point where it teeters between balance and distortion. The nature and inexactness of this loosely applied geometry is very specific to me and is evidenced in all of my work.

Through all of my studio processes, I allow the accumulation of thought with its emotional qualities and its logic to be expressed. Pleasure in the visual is celebrated in my work and I trust in its invitation for repeated viewing.

Diane Ayott received her MFA in painting from Massachusetts College of Art in 1998. She has exhibited extensively in New England, New York, Chicago and abroad. Her work is included in a number of private, contemporary collections.

Ayott’s exhibitions include: the State Department Art Bank Gallery, Washington, DC, the Kathryn Markel Fine Arts Gallery, NYC, Washington Square Galleries, NYC, OK Harris, NYC, Lydon Contemporary in Chicago, Women Made Gallery in Chicago, Trustman Gallery at Simmons College, Boston, University of Southern New Hampshire, Fitchburg Art Museum, Art Complex Museum, Duxbury, New Art Center, Newton, MA, Danforth Museum in Framingham, Hall Space Gallery, Boston, Barrington Center for the Arts at Gordon College, Wenham, MA.

Diane Ayott is a professor at Montserrat College of Art where she teaches in the Drawing and Painting, Foundation and Art Education Departments. You can view her work on line at: Website, Website and at Website.

Martha Gorzycki

Veil, a film

Dreams and their mysterious symbolism inspire my work. They are a cinematic space that rupture human-centric society and logic. Like dreams, there is no mundane in animation. It is a hybrid art form that performs and invokes life and reveals unusual spectre. I am interested in exploring mythologies of our culture using images from everyday life. Recontextualizing and animating familiar pictures along with timing and rhythm can suggest new associations, new meanings and new ways of seeing. A streaming narrative may unfold, yet there is no single conclusion amid the reflective viewing experience.

Martha Gorzycki is an award winning animator, filmmaker, media artist. Her work is inspired by dreams, mythologies and visual culture. She exhibits globally in festivals, galleries, LED billboards and online. She was an animator and animation photographer in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 15 years. She currently teaches animation at San Francisco State University in California. Website.

Jicky Schnee

Pianoforte; Tempanissimo

In my work, I often use images, methods, and materials from the Victorian era, a time when women were still largely confined, dependent, and repressed. During that time, one of the few acceptable methods of expressing creativity was through sewing. When sewing personal anecdotes into my work, I use stories that are specific to my own history but can also be universal, as in For Shame, an exploration of ones’ first experiences in sexuality and the embarrassment and shame that so often accompany them. While sewing, I enjoy both the constriction and freedom of this activity and it becomes a meditation and connection to women who expressed through samplers and needlepoint. For the same reasons, I also incorporate other physical materials from both my own and my predecessors homes into my work; bed-spreads, table cloths, tulle, lace, doilies, hankies, calling cards, baby-clothes, and even the petals from my own wedding bouquet have been incorporated. These are emblematic materials that tied women to the home and being a homemaker but I also use them to honor both my personal lineage and the lineage of women. In the Pianoforte; Tempanissimo series, I use music scrolls from old player pianos with titles such as My Tucky Home and The Last Rose of Summer which are cloyingly sentimental but also sweet and truthful in their simplicity. In these works, I use the scrolls as graphic divisions of space or as horizon lines but also as an emotional starting place as each song become a portrait of people, places, or experiences in my own life that again are universal.

Jicky Schnee received her B.A. in Art and Art History from Rice University and studied drama at BADA in Oxford, England. She works as both a painter and actress. Her most notable roles have been the lead role in The Afterlight also starring Rip Torn and the title role in Arabian Nights at The Classic Stage Company in NY. She will soon be seen in a supporting role in The Immigrant starring Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix in which she plays Marion's confidante. The Immigrant will premiere in Cannes, May 2013. Jicky lives and works between NYC and Woodstock, NY.

Champa Vaid

New York Series

I started writing poetry at the age of 60, at a time when most people stop. I could tell you that I started writing late because a woman of my generation, Indian, with kids raises them until they are done with their studies, and has no time. That is a convenient explanation. But the fact is that creativity has its own clock. It does not see age, or being overworked, or not getting enough time to be with oneself. When it comes it comes.

That is what happened with painting. I started painting, at the age of 76. For health reasons, I could not think or write, so I started drawing on paper. In our family, nobody was a painter. But I had the urge to create, so I took to colors and paper, and then to canvas. Today, I work with acrylics, and my choice of colors reflects my moods. I am very enthusiastic about my work and that energy comes through in my painting. Colors are my best friends. I talk to them in their language before they become one with me for the time I am working. They remain with me in my dreams also. I want to share my enthusiasm and the language of colors.

Champa Vaid was born in India in 1930, and now lives and works in Texas. Her bold and confident acrylic based paintings are characterized by energetic strokes, experimental style, and a unique blend of color, texture and emotion. Vaid’s paintings were featured in three group shows held in New Delhi in 2007. She has had four solo exhibitions in India, two in Delhi – at India International Centre and Ekatra 2008; one at the Alliance Francais in Bhopal 2009, one at Indore sponsored by Sanskriti Parishad, also in 2009. Vaid is also the author of five books, including four collections of poetry in Hindi and one collection in English titled, The Music of Bones (New Delhi: Vani Prakashan 2011). Educated in India and the U.S., she is a mother and grandmother, and married to the Hindi writer Krishna Baldev Vaid.

Teressa Valla

Crossing Over

During my formative years our family lived in Massachusetts and Vermont as well as other New England states. It is during this time I developed a profound regard for the magnificence of the earth and humanity’s relationship to the elements and each other. Music filled the home of eight children, mostly with the practice of violin, piano, clarinet, drums, or singing. As I unfolded as an artist I responded naturally to sound, the Afro-Brazilian Beats of Rio, Latin jazz, salsa of Tito Puente, and the haunting cante hondo of Andalusia. An almost instant sway begins and flows through my paintbrush, fierce joy, through colors both vibrant and subtle create notes on a canvas.

I began to incorporate elemental materials, as symbol and form into my creative process. I felt “drawing in space,” when I observed “pods,” hanging from three catalpa trees in Central Park. And thus hanging structures were conceived. A variety of “pine needles,” from the evergreen are chosen for their shape as well as “enduring,” references. They are enfolded into pigments and paint transforming the “spirit.”

Teressa Valla has received honors and grants for her work, including the Jackson Pollock Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, The Annenberg Foundation, the Ed Foundation and Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. Valla has participated in residency fellowships awards in America and abroad: Fundacion Valpariaiso-Spain, Open Art Residency-Greece, Prague Painters Workshop, Vermont Studio Center, the Santa Fe Art Institute and Chashama-New York. She was also invited to represent America in “Eurosculpture,” in Carhaix, France 1994.

Her work has been exhibited internationally and nationally in museums, galleries, alternative spaces and public collections in the USA, Japan, Brazil, Portugal, France, Czech Republic, Germany, England, Hungary, Sweden and Greece. Selective exhibitions include,”Europa,” Instituto de Artes Visuais, Palacio Pommel, Lisbon, Portugal; La Mama, NY, NY, Gallery K&S, Berlin, Germany,Maryland Institute College of Art; University of Northumbria, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, Contemporary Museum, Baltimore Maryland, Exit Artists Space, Atelier Collectivo Pernambuco, Brazil. Her work was shown at the Sato Museum in Tokyo, Japan, in “Considering Peace,” an exhibition to benefit UNESCO. Public collections in which her work is included are The Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York (Life of the City Collection), Robert Blackburn Printmaking Studio, Museum of the City of New York, The New York Public Library, The Library of Congress, New England Center for Contemporary Art, Tribes Gallery, Mid-Hudson Arts and Science Center, Poughkeepsie, New York. Private collections are numerous.

Susan Bernstein

Underground, mixed |+ 14inches gallery|

Underground is a reminder that what is visible is not all there is. This piece invites the viewer to seek out the root and source that live below the surface, inseparable from the seen.

Susan is a resident artist and teacher at Mudflat Studios in Somerville MA.