Opening Reception: Friday, September 25, 6-9 pm.
Exhibition co-curated by Dorothy Palanza.
Mud and Metaphor
"My work is hand built using coils of clay or slab to construct the piece. I am inspired by potters from around the world – from Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and South Africa to Ghana, Mexico, India and Korea. Through books, films and travel, I watch a potter’s hands blend a big coil of soft clay onto the rim of a pot and recognize a kinship in our common craft.
In American culture, words usually dominate our intellectual, emotional and even spiritual fluency. By connecting hands to clay, we can offer an opportunity to bypass the mind and linear thinking. We can link to an ancient human craft that transcends time and space. This is the territory I am most at home in, where touch is primary, and knowledge and memory reside in the fingertips.”
Sixth century Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu wrote, “We make a vessel from a lump of clay. It is the empty space within the vessel that makes it useful. Thus while the tangible has advantages; it is the intangible that makes it useful.” The space that is held waits to be filled and transformed by experience. A poem can be viewed as a vessel shaped by metaphors to hold meaning beyond itself. Mud and Metaphor is a tribute to The Oldest Thirst There Is, by 13th century Persian poet, Rumi.
Mud and Metaphor, as a piece, is intended to be an experiential opportunity to wonder about longing and trust. Sometimes what we thirst for seems so far away yet perhaps it is closer than we think. The large bowl made of clay is filled with water, which one can dip a paintbrush into and make their own mark or words on a slate canvas, which disappears when it evaporates. Does not the light fill the poem, the bowl, the water, the brush, and the maker of the line?
Susan Bernstein lives in Cambridge and Truro, MA, and is a resident artist in Studio 13 at Mudflat Pottery in Somerville. Her work is all hand built, using coils of clay or slab to build up the piece.
Since 1989, Katharina has been working with colors as described in the 'American Indian Genesis' and their mythological meanings: Red=Justice, Orange=Peace, Yellow=Healing, Green=Caring and Fulfillment, Blue=Inspiration and spirit, Purple=Spiritual presence, and Violet=Purification. The work can be read as a metaphor for the environmental challenges that face our planet, as well as the need to address them.
Katharina Chichester was born in 1949 and raised in Bonn, Germany. She has shown her work extensively in solo and group exhibitions in Germany and the USA. In addition, she has a theater background, and has appeared in performances throughout Europe. Katharina has worked as an instructor and professor for many years in Germany, Virginia and Washington DC. She is also a recipient of Art Fund-German National Arts Endowment, as well as receiving an Artist-in-Residence Fellowship from the Fondo del Sol Museum in DC.
Black Water and White Lies
“I believe that I am a modernist with an Appalachian eye. West Virginia has been a big influence in my work. I use coal, rust and surface textures to reveal the impermanence of life by showing both beauty and decay. My constant goal is to be “in-situ” with my art work, to access a creative space, a conscious and unconscious, to have a silent conversation with my work, and sometimes, a silent dance.
I work in series. Sometimes they are independent of other works and many times they circumvolve each other. My art reflects my life and my culture at large. Appalachia has a very long history of exploitation, but even more so lately with West Virginia becoming “ground zero” for the war on the environment and its people. Last year, 300,000 people in my hometown had their water poisoned by a fracking chemical spill into the river which was our main water source. Fracking and Mountain Top Removal are destroying not only our land and water but also the people, economically and physically.
The three series “Black Water”, “Almost White Lies” and "White Lies" are influenced impressions of water and its loss….my work is an expression...perhaps a warning.... that West Virginia is “the canary in the coal mine” for the entire nation.”
Paula Clendenin is a West Virginia native. She received both her BA and MFA degrees from West Virginia University in Morgantown, and until just recently served as a Professor of Art at West Virginia State University. Born in Charleston, she spent most of her childhood in Cedar Grove, a small mining town. Memories of those years reveal her early interest in textures and the surface patina of the objects around her. In 2002, during a trip to Paris, she once again became intrigued with the old walls and edifices around the city. While previous work concentrated on the use of personal symbols and mystical color, Clendenin’s current work moves to expand a visual dialog that continues to reflect on her personal experiences, while revealing a keen eco-political perceptiveness. Remaining true to her paintings, these elements strikingly merge to create a potently beautiful visual response to the fierce ecological changes happening to her native West Virginia and elsewhere.
“I have been an artist for the past 40 years, working in oils, watercolors and mixed media. For the last 10 years I have explored working in shadow box format, as well as doing my oil paintings.
Ever since I can remember, I have found Saquish, a stretch of private beach in Plymouth MA, a source of inspiration for nearly all of my works. Even today with the beautiful beaches of Provincetown, they bring me back to Saquish.”
Jay Hall graduated from Massachusetts College of Art in 1981 with a degree in both art education, painting and drawing. He studied with George Nick and Norman Toynton. However, he credits Dorothy Palanza as being his main support ever since they graduated together from Mass Art in 1981.
Gallery exhibitions include a one man show at the Helen Bumpus Gallery in Duxbury MA., Art Current Gallery in Provincetown (2011), and a show of watercolors in New York. A number of his paintings and ready-mades are in private collections.
Jay currently lives and works in Provincetown, and is a member of the Plymouth, Duxbury and Cohasset Art Associations.
Rising Tides/Rising Waters
“In 2008 I decided that I wanted to do something to improve the environment that would have an impact beyond what I could do as an individual. I had been an architect for my entire career, and wanted to expand my influence beyond that role. What would motivate other people to do more as well? Something fun and visible. What was preventing people from doing more? Fear, and lack of belief that their actions matter.
Rising Tides/Rising Waters, is marking the flood levels with fish to show the impact of rising sea levels due to climate change.”
Susan Israel is a LEED Accredited Professional; Connective Leadership Institute certified trainer; and a member of the Harvard Alumni Association Board of Directors. Susan is the Principle and Founder of the Energy Necklace Project, created to connect a community that fosters awareness and action towards improving the health of our environment. Previously, she led Susan Israel Architects, and worked for Moshe Safdie and Graham Gund. She earned an A.B. from Harvard College, a Master of Architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design, and attended the Museum of Fine Arts School in Boston.
“It’s hard to see the truth; my art seeks to make that which we associate with truth more accessible. I ask the questions to get you to come to your own answer of truth, what it means to you.
I create art using found objects as well as organic materials. The subject matter is enriched by the inherent history of the original use of the articles selected. Various items, scraps of paper and natural materials are combined, losing their identity. After being screened through my own personal history, our common histories are revealed.
This delicate balance of storytelling and visual poetry is sometimes humorous – sometimes dramatic. The strength of the whole poses a question in each of us and that question is each ones separate answer.”
Shari Kadison grew up outside of New York City, and relocated in Boston to attend Massachusetts College of Art in 1976. Since then, she has shown extensively, participating in both solo and group exhibitions. Her work belongs to many corporate and private collections.
Kadison’s work offers a kind of open road map into her life experience, philosophy, aesthetic, and vivid awareness of the organic and inorganic world around her. As both a poet and sculptor, she deftly intuits and elevates all matter of found form into subtle visual elegies, while never sacrificing their primal integrity. Beckoned by the rough edges and delicately compelling constructions, you find yourself leaning in to enter small worlds that somehow feel universally infinite, human and familiar.
I came to find a place at Dune’s Edge Campground in April to do an installation for “Appearances” Arts Festival. All was rusty oak leaf and pine needle, with a surprise of moss here and there. I chose a site and planted brightly painted clay bud-like forms, growing from the ground and sprouting from tree branches. It was an anticipation of life and growth and hope of spring after our long winter.
The bright greens of spring feel unnatural in autumn. So in the gallery, as the season wanes, the buds become pods. Pods contain the flower of a plant’s efforts and the seeds for its future.
Judith Motzkin studied Asian Studies at Cornell University ’76, focused on Asian Art, History, and Chinese. It was there that she began working with clay while studying the history of ceramics in Asia. While working at Clay Dragon Studios (1977-1985), influenced by travels to Mexico, New Mexico and China (197, she began to experiment with smoke and fire on polished classical, sensual clay forms. Motzkin established her own studio in an old stable next to her Cambridge home. Over time, her work has expanded to include mixed media assemblage, clay installations, digital image and design.
Judy had several solo shows and has been included in numerous international gallery and museum exhibitions She was founding director of the original Cambridge Artists Open Studios. She curated “Smooth and Smoky” (2009) an international exhibit of pit, smoke and saggar fired ceramics at Vessels Gallery, Boston, and co-curated “Legacy of Fire: Clay Dragon Studios Revisited” (2015) at Fuller Craft Museum. Her work is in permanent collections including Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Crocker Museum of Art, and Jingdezhen Ceramics Museum in China. She has taught at MIT, Harvard, and Castle Hill Center for the Arts .
"Over the twenty five years I have spent making and using pinhole cameras, I have come to understand that they are vehicles to transport me from the physical world to the magical. There are hardly any rules, and even those are meant to be broken. In the time it takes to hold back a piece of tape and allow light to enter the tin can or the van or the dune shack, one is transported into the now, so that when the tape returns to cover the opening, the unseen yet apparent and timeless world has come to record itself inside the camera. Everything about the process of making images with a camera obscura partakes of joy and mystery for me - from the sometimes months it will take to make the camera to the actual moment of exposure, to the moment of revelation. And then it keeps going, so that now I am adding lithographic stencils and marks to the paper positives and negatives. After years of painting I have learned that I can still make more, add to the image with new feeling. I used to think the power of pinhole imagery was in their reflection of a dream world, haunting in their softness and timelessness. Now I have come to understand not only that the camera obscura itself is the place where the dreamer is protected and nourished, but also that there is no separation between artist and camera and image. What a miracle it all is - time and space and light!"
Marian Roth received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2001, and is the 2015 recipient of a Jackson Pollack Grant. She has received various fellowships and grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council over the last 20 years. Her work has appeared in Eric Renner’s classic “Pinhole Photography”, in various magazines and journals, and a folio of her work was highlighted in “Adventures With Pinhole and Home-Made Cameras” by John Evans. Marian has exhibited internationally and taught widely. She makes her home in Provincetown.
"My work is narrative, but I am not the narrator. My art is evocative, a story, and I’m sticking to it… I work intuitively to create pieces rooted in and extracted from landscape and experience. The story is a process-driven visual and tangible response to the experiences of creating and documenting exploration. I am intrigued by the world around me... from the tiniest grain of sand to mountains of stone and architecture, from a drop of rain to a raging tsunami, the quietest sparkle of dawn to foreboding dusk. Incorporating the very elements that influence and inspire—clay, pigment, light, chemistry, technology—I am engaged to be informed, embrace, and understand. Traditional and nontraditional media mingle to capture a perceptual and spiritual relationship as locus for recognition and interpretation of the story. My approach is enlarged by a desire to discover and contact the particular indwelling essence or energy of a particular memory and impression."
Luanne E Witkowski is an American artist working in a wide range of media and reflective and social practice, mainly in Boston, Wellfleet and Provincetown, Massachusetts with works in collections throughout the United States and abroad. She is a member of the Kingston Gallery, Boston; represented by Hutson Gallery and AMP Gallery both in Provincetown, MA. She exhibits regularly and produces environmental and site-specific installations as well as studio work. Luanne is a member of several artist organizations including the United South End Artists, Mission Hill Artist Collective, and the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.
Her Basic Training for Artists and Creative People Workshops (Healthy Artist/Healthy Studio) are offered in collaboration with public and private institutions and individual consultation.
In addition to her studio practice, she is the Communication Design Studio Manager and co- designer and faculty leader of the international travel course Nepal: Art in Social Practice at Massachusetts College of Art and Design; she teaches Creative Thinking in the Critical & Creative Thinking (CCT) graduate program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and is an internet entrepreneur and business owner.
Honors include: Commonwealth of Massachusetts Lifetime Achievement in Art & Commerce Commendation. www.lewstudio.com, www.kingstongallery.com, www.hutsongallery.com, and www.artmarketprovincetown.com
Dorothy Palanza was born in Massachusetts, into a classic Italian-American family. She maintains both Italian and US citizenship, is fluent in multiple languages, and has traveled throughout Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and the Americas. Palanza is a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (BFA) and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (MFA), studying painting with Jeremy Foss and John Grillo (thesis advisor, a student of Hans Hoffman), and printmaking with Fred Becker. In the following years, she worked as a muralist, fine artist, decorative painter and designer, first in New Orleans and then NYC, where she retains a following. She apprenticed as a decorative painter with European master Alfred Junke and NYC’s Vincent Inamorata, and in 1992, founded Colorfields Studio in NYC. During 1999, she moved Colorfields Studio to Berlin, living and working there and in NYC. In 2008, Palanza relocated Colorfields Studio to Provincetown, MA (the oldest continuous art colony in America), in 2011 re-opened a studio in NYC and in 2014 added a sculpture and welding studio in Hancock, NH. Palanza has always felt passionately about painting and working with color. A rich knowledge of paint chemistry, and effects of color, form and texture on large surfaces is evident in her work. Resisting thematic conventions, her work reflects the personal, environmental and sociocultural influences from her life experience and history of exploration and collaboration in the arts. Palanza has had numerous commissions, group and solo shows, museum exhibits, and is collected by private patrons internationally. In addition to fine art, decorative, restorative and design endeavors, she has also co-authored screenplays, animated series, and two popular European children’s books, ‘Helma legt los’ and ‘ Helma legt die Gockel rein’.