University of New England Art Gallery, Portland, ME
July 6 – Oct 2, 2016
Opening Reception, July 6, 5-7pm
Gallery Artists’ Conversation, September 8, 5-6:30pm
Exhibiting Artists: Katrina Abbott, Hollandra Berube, Jeanne Borofsky, Debra Claffey, Pamala Crabb, Kimberly Curry, Angel Dean, Pamela DeJong, Joanne Desmond, Heather Douglas, Soosen Dunholter, Helene Farrar, Patricia Gerkin, Jeanne Griffin, Kay Hartung, Sue Katz, Donna Mara, Susan Paladino, Ruth Sack, Donna Hamil Talman, Dietlind Vander Schaaf, Willa Vennema, Willa Vennema, Catherine Weber, Kelly Weeks, Lelia Stokes Weinstein, Charyl Weissbach, and Nancy Whitcomb
Vision & Verse is New England Wax’s current exhibition hosted by the University of New England’s Art Gallery in Portland, Maine, and juried by Anne Zill, Director of the gallery for the past eighteen years. As the show’s title indicates, collaboration between the visual and the written word is explored, with work using a brief expression or poem selected by the artist for the artwork.
The art and poetry vary in content and meaning, allowing artists to explore an eclectic range of ideas, materials, compositions and themes, from painting and relief to 3-D. Nevertheless, the encaustic medium that connect all the works chosen by Anne are evocative and meaningful, with a subtle harmony among the variety of colors and styles. Moreover, the added dimension of written expression that is paired with each painting provokes contemplation of the artist’s interpretation.
Surprisingly, several artists are inspired by writings from the same poet philosophers, highlighting the influence of these writers. Debra Claffey’s Now That I Am Old and Catherine Weber’s Another Night Sky relied on the Japanese haiku master Kobayashi Issa for their companion verses. Edgar Allen Poe is featured in three works by Joanne Desmond, Pamela Crabb, and Nancy Whitcomb, demonstrating the enduring legacy of this 19th century Boston-born writer and poet. Other poetic giants, including Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson are inspirations for Donna Mara’s Fire and Ice and Susan Paladino’s Mending I. The spectrum of literary figures also spans ancient times (e.g., Aristotle & Pat Gerkin), to contemporary writers (e.g., Bill Rasmovicz & Kimberly Curry).
Overall, Vision & Verse is a dynamic integration of visual and poetic artistic expressions worthwhile seeing.