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ArtsWorcester Hosting Two Exciting Exhibits

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Ancient Mariner by Maxine McDonald. All images courtesy of ArtsWorcester.

If you can't wait to take a vacation and hit the beach this summer, ArtsWorcester's two upcoming exhibits will suit your mood. Summer's Lease and Water's Edge showcases seasonal work from local artists.

ArtsWorcester will be hosting two openings this Friday, June 22nd at their gallery space at 660 Main Street.

“We haven’t had a group show like Water's Edge for a while, so we’re excited about hosting and look forward to doing more. It fit well with the season. The two are in the same space. The upper gallery will feature Water’s Edge and the lower will feature Summer’s Lease,” said Kirby Program Director, Cynthia Woehrle. They hope the double opening will help bring a larger pull for everyone.

ArtsWorcester hosts open-member exhibits and shows that members must apply for. This night will put the two together.

Summer’s Lease celebrates the fleeting seasonal experiences and captures them in time. This will be this season’s open-member exhibit, featuring work from any ArtsWorcester members who submit work to the show.

Outhouse in the Dunes by Nancy Engberg.

“When we have an open-member exhibit, we try not to restrict it too much. Photos will not just be summer images, but also what they feel is their best work right now,” Woehrle said. “We only constrain the size and shape to make sure they fit in the space.”

The work will feature all types of media.

“Because we have such a wide membership, work from all levels from beginner to established. We’re getting very excited,” she said. “It’s interesting. As I’m starting to look at the work and the themes that have been created, even though they haven’t talked to other artists. There are many photos of flowers and water.

Participating artists include, among others, Jane Moore Houghton, Jacqueline Ross, Conrad Guertin, Dana Lane, Barbara Kahn, Sharon Freed, and Cesar Rodrigues. This exhibit is free and open to the public.

Water’s Edge will feature the collaborative work of three ArtsWorcester members, Lora Brueck, Nancy Engberg, and Maxine McDonald.

Dead Fish by Lora Brueck.

Water’s Edge is mostly photography and some mixed media. These three artists go to the Cape together each year and all come back with a different experience,” Woehrle said. “They submitted a proposal for a gallery. We’re open for any members to submit a body of work they’d like to show.”

"The work in this show is the result of time spent in various dune shacks on Provincetown's back shore," said Nancy Engberg, whose photos are featured in the show. "I'm using traditional black and white imagery-- film and prints developed in a darkroom. When an image needs color, I hand-color it using oil paints on my black and white print. The work in this show is a combination of monochrome and hand-colored pieces. I use a variety of cameras--- pinhole, plastic toy cameras, medium format-- as well as traditional and infrared films."

The work evokes long walks on the dunes, vacation, and relaxation. If you’re trying to unplug, a visit to this exhibit will do the trick. Engberg said that her love of the ocean drew her to her work. Her passion led her to apply for an artist-in-residency program at one of the shacks at the beach where the group did their work.

"Since then, I've stayed at a few other shacks, through a lottery system. It's great to be in the dunes, without electricity or running water or transportation -- just being able to photograph at any time of the day," she said.

Blooming Pains II by Jane Moore Houghton.

Water’s Edge will run through September 21st. The three featured artists used photography and mixed media, in combination with traditional techniques and modern tools to pay homage to the ever changing nature of the ocean. Themes of color, shape and mood reflect the artists’ interpretation and recollections through their varied work. Engberg shared the value of working with two other artists on the project.

"It's fun working with the other artists," she said. "We all met in a photo class at the Worcester Craft Center about 20 years ago. Lora (Brueck) loves using digital and innovated techniques and processes. Maxine (McDonald) seems to focus on driftwood, seaweed, etc. And the dunes and their structures are the basis of my work in this exhibit."

ArtsWorcester is hoping to couple shows together more often in the future. “In the upcoming year will be 50/50,” Woehrle said.

ArtsWorcester has a membership of over 400 artists and art-lovers.

An artist reception for these exhibitions will take place at the Aurora Gallery on Friday, June 22, between 6-8 PM. This event is free and open to the public.


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