Sunday, May 29, 2011

something special in the works!

Drop off for Cindy's solo show is tomorrow and just when you thought it couldn't get any better - there will be the addition of a special installation! here are a few hints ...

We hope everyone is enjoying the long holiday weekend and we look forward to seeing you Friday at the opening of "Quiet Memory", cheers!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sneak Preview!

In response to the many requests we've received, here's a sneak preview of works from our upcoming show, "Quiet Memory" featuring new works by Cindy Rizza...

Works are now available to view and purchase in our online shop, enjoy!

**Not all of the works from this show are online -- we will be adding a few more in the next few days, so be sure to check back...

Shiao-Ping's Political Painting

“Our Town” by Shiao-Ping Wang is one of the paintings from our current show. It is 30”x40” and in acrylic on canvas. Recently this painting took an unexpected turn of development – it changed its introverted personality into an extrovert.

Like many artists Shiao-Ping pursues beauty in distilling personal observations in an ordinary life. She always admires artists who paint heroic themes, such as Picasso’s Guernica about the Spanish Civil War, but she never had the drive or vision on that scale. Not until a recent issue woke up the inner community advocate in her...

The issue: the controversial reuse of the Historic Hilltop Elementary School in Somersworth.

As one of the oldest elementary schools in the state, Hilltop’s life as a school will end this June when the school moves to a new location. The future of the historic building is undecided. In a Study commissioned by the City it concluded: “The community has always expressed a strong desire to maintain the building as a school to fit into the existing urban fabric of the area of the city and maintain a civic presence on the site. The city presently intends for the building to remain a public use. Out of the fifteen options presented the following five were chose by the community as possible The five were an Art School with Housing, a Community Business Incubator, a Charter/Private/Second Start School, a Performance Arts building, and a Park with Bandstand. (Quoted from Hilltop Elementary School Reuse Study, “Report Summary”)

All sounds fine until a few months ago. A developer from Massachusetts proposed to purchase the site and turn it into a 50-unit rental property in an area zoned as single-family use. They proposed to add a bigger building behind the original one. Dismay erupted. Opposition from residents went up when the City Council proposed a resolution to draft the sale and purchase contract. Many residents spoke passionately at the council meetings and formed an organization called Friends of Somersworth.

When “Our Town” was conceived in 2008 it meant to reflect Shiao-Ping's experience of settling in Somersworth the year before, and it contained several maps that alluded to a life of multiple transplanting experiences. The painting was gradually ignored among many projects in her studio. Two months ago when she noticed it again, she saw half painted maps strewn over discordant colors, honestly projecting the creators’ confused mind. Yet at the same time it was urging her, "You can figure out a way out of the discord. I may look very different if you keep trying."

As she became more involved in advocating the community use of the Hilltop School, her vision of the painting became clear – "it is an image of what a community can do if people reach out to one another. The streets on the map turned into threads that knot together. The weaving pattern alludes to the textile industry past of Somersworth."

In April, Shiao-Ping brought the painting to Weir Farm National Historic Site as the Artist-In-
Residence, in Wilton, CT. "There I learned about the decade long process that established the site, with much hard work and generosity of many people. Inspired, I focus on the hopeful vision of a brighter future of my town. When the painting was finished at the end of the residency, I realized that I have done my first political painting. It is now titled Our Town."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

new window display!

I've been taking advantage of the rain-filled forecast and working on new window displays for the summer! I've been trying to come up with ideas using materials found in the gallery -- I'm a bit of a hoarder, and so thankfully there are plenty of materials to choose from (a few months ago I utilized torn strips of leftover matboard that have been piling up in the basement). This past week I came upon a tall stack of bright yellow paper plates and an assortment of clear plastic and white paper dixie cups that have been taking up precious cabinet space in the backroom for perhaps three or four years (they are no longer needed at the opening receptions as we've opted for finger foods), so there it began. Some staples, a few hole punches and a little silver ribbon completed the transformation.

"There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transfer a yellow spot into the sun."

--Pablo Picasso

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cindy Rizza - Where She Works!

One of the best parts of being a curator is visiting artists' studios! The process of creating is as important as what ultimately gets created. In anticipation of her upcoming solo show, Cindy has sent some photos of her work space for me to share with you...enjoy!

"My passions are art, design, fashion, food, travel and pretty much anything I can create with my hands. I have several half-finished knitting projects around the house, and culinary creations in my fridge that spawned from a spontaneous fusion of ingredients into a pan. My main passion though, which has stayed true for all my life, has specifically been painting."*

"I miss when life was so black and white and when my biggest troubles were being made to go to bed at a decent hour."*

"I still remember my first set of watercolor paints -- there was something very magical about those little tubes. I began painting in elementary school using water-based media and painting still lives of fruits and vegetables. At that time I had already made up my mind that I wanted to be a painter and I still carry that drive."*

*The quotes were taken from an interview with Cindy. Check out the full interview, "Wwwe Could Be Next: Cindy Rizza" by Amanda Mooney, at PAPERMAG.

and stay tuned for a sneak preview of "Quiet Memory" which opens June 3rd!

Opening June 3rd...

We are getting very excited for the upcoming show, "Quiet Memory" featuring new works by Cindy Rizza! here's a little sneaky peak...

Cindy’s recent works explore the power of memory and attachment in ethereal tributes to common things. Her film-like paintings are bittersweet – haunted by the sense of fleeting time, yet rendered eternal in all of their comforts. Inspired by her own memory and longings, she hopes to connect the viewer with a lingering human presence intimate to their own past.

Cindy has an eye and technique well beyond her years. She received her BFA, summa cum laude, from the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester, NH in 2007. She has exhibited her work throughout New England and won numerous awards, most recently the Spotlight Award for “Outstanding Representational Artist” in the Seacoast in 2011. And although she realizes the challenge of being “one single voice in a very noisy art world,” she is already catching the eye of critics and collectors on a local and national level.

... more to come about "Quiet Memory" and Ms. Rizza herself!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

L's Time Story

One of the paintings in "Resonance" was inspired by a short story by Linnea Feldman Emison. (her last name may be familiar to you as she is the younger sister of artist Chloe Feldman Emison!)

Time Story

Mrs. Ruddleford was a very nice old lady. She lived on a big house on a hill, where she liked to give lovely tea parties. There was nothing particualy unusual about Mrs. Ruddleford, except one thing, that she had never told anyone about. It was something that she owned, something very special. Mrs. Ruddleford owned Time. Mrs. Ruddleford couldn't really remember where she had gotten Time. She thought she might have bought it in a shop somewhere, but she wasn't sure. Her memory wasn't as good as it had been. Mrs. Ruddleford had owned Time for a very long while. She had never told anybody about it. She kept Time in the attic so that people wouldn't see it and ask about it when they came to her tea parties. Mrs. Ruddleford couldn't control Time just because she owned it. Everything happened for her in exactly the same order it happened to everybody else. Mrs. Ruddleford just left Time by itself up in the attic, and didn't bother with it much. She thought it must be awfully hard work, keeping everything that ever happened in it's proper order. Mrs. Ruddleford was very proud of owning Time.

One day, Mrs. Ruddleford decided that she had owned Time long enough. She wasn't very young anymore, and she thought it might be nice to let someone else take care of Time. She knew it was very important who she picked to give it to. If Time wasn't properly taken care of, everything would get out of order. But she couldn't pick anyone to give Time to. Nobody seemed good enough. Mrs. Ruddleford loved Time, and she wanted it to go somewhere very nice. Finally, Mrs. Ruddleford decided not to give Time to anybody. She just went up to the attic and opened a window. She let Time drift out, and oat away from her over the trees. Mrs. Ruddleford smiled. "Maybe somebody will find Time", she thought, "maybe somebody will find it and take very good care of it. That would be nice." Mrs. Ruddleford closed the window.

the end

- Linnea Feldman Emison

Shiao-Ping Wang: Resonance

We are currently featuring new works by Shiao-Ping Wang. "Resonance" features paintings picturing the intangible experiences of travel and listening to music. Using map as a metaphor for journey, Wang combines maps with abstract shapes and patterns to evoke the sense of time when such experiences occur.

Drawing inspiration from her recent residency at Weir Farm Historic Site in Wilton, CT, Wang also incorporates stitching and beads as part of the painting.

"Resonance" runs thru May 30th! and all of the works from this show are available to view and purchase in our online shop! cheers,


ps. this is our first blog post since last August! crazy, i know. and while i am so sorry to have not posted about all of the amazing shows we've presented in the past nine-ish months, i am super excited to share with you what is up and coming...