Wednesday, January 19, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: The Dark Side at Studio Place Arts in Barre

Although the days have become perceptively longer and the angle of the sun now provides more light, darkness still pervades. That is why Studio Place Arts mounted a new exhibit in its main floor gallery called The Dark Side, a nod to winter's toll on our psyche.

The Dark Side
is on view through February 26, and there is an opening reception on Friday, January 21, from 5:30-7:30 PM.

More than 35 works in a variety of media, including fiber, paintings, photography, assemblage, metal and wood sculptures, drawings, mixed media assemblages, by 20 local artists demonstrate a diverse response to the theme of The Dark Side.

There are 3 paintings by Plainfield artist Cynthia Ross that imaginatively depict unconscious mind games that are shrouded in darkness. Determined women power themselves through the paintings of Annemie Curlin of Charlotte. She shares two pieces from her Women in Improbable Situations series at SPA, including one that shows a woman doing the breast stroke through hundreds of large ice blocks at sea, towing a frozen stiff corpse behind her.

Some pieces immediately elicit a groan. Barre stone sculptor Heather Ritchie, for example, created 3 grotesquely lovely hanging sculptures including a shrunken head covered with wax, human hair and sunken eyes. Robert Towne of S. Hero included two etchings of a seated, obese woman who is morphing into pieces of ordinary furniture. Dan Moran of Montpelier is showing a small group of detailed, startling drawings including a finely rendered charcoal portrait of a nude male demon.

The show documents current tragedies in our lives via social commentary artwork. Ann Young of Barton is exhibiting Collateral Damage, a large canvas that depicts the tattered families resulting from military service. A large, glossy industry sign covered with dead crustaceans that appear to be covered by black oil sludge was created by John Osmond of Morrisville in reaction to the Gulf oil spill. R.G. Solbert of Randolph memorializes the Franklin's Bumble Bee, an insect whose tasks bring lightness into our world, but which is on a tragic path to potential extinction.

Ann Young, Collateral Damage (on far left), Oil on canvas
Annemie Curlin, Women in Improbable Situations I, Oil on panel