Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Davistown Museum

The Davistown Museum is a regional tool, art, and history museum with two physical locations in Maine and an extensive website. The Museum and the website provide detailed information on the history of ferrous metallurgy, edge tool manufacturing, the Wooden Age of maritime New England, and the Classic period of American toolmaking that accompanied the advent of the Industrial Revolution. The main Museum complex, including exhibitions, galleries, libraries, and the visitors’ center, is located in Liberty Village, while the office and sculpture gardens are in Hulls Cove (Bar Harbor). Museum exhibitions include The Art of the Edge Tool, the Annual Art Exhibition, an extensive collection of assemblage art, and work by members of the Maine Artists Guild.
The art exhibitions of the Davistown Museum in historic and scenic Liberty, Maine include the creations of over 100 Maine and New England artists on display within the Museum gallery complex. The Museum exhibition is a mix of antiquarian and contemporary artwork in the permanent collection of the Davistown Museum, Maine Artists Guild member creations, and antiquarian fine art consignments for our fund-raising campaign. The Museum is located in the scenic Norumbega hill country; if you are travelling the coast of Maine - follow any of these rivers to their headwaters and you will enter the Davistown Plantation - later the towns of Montville (1807) and Liberty (1827).
The Maine Artists Guild Exhibition consists of work consigned to the galleries by artists in the permanent collection who also participate in the annual exhibition. At the invitation of the curator, H.G. Brack, I recently loaned two pieces of my work to the collection for one year, alongside the work of Louise Nevelson, William Glackens, Milton Avery, Edgar Degas, Jessica Strauss, Kim Bernard and Squidge Liljeblad Davis. Both Mr. Brack and the Davistown Museum are worth a visit.

Images: Black Sheep, 36" tall, 2005, Laminated wood and paint; The Walrus Mother, 24" tall, 2008, Mesquite burl, pigment, paint.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Two Sculptors in Two Dimensions

Exhibition Date: April 3 – April 28, 2012
Panel Discussion: April 14, 2-3pm
Exhibition Reception: April 14, 3-6pm

Two Sculptors in Two Dimensions
Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein

Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein are creative forces to be reckoned with, and 119 Gallery is pleased to rein a portion of their individual and collective energies into the gallery this spring. Two Sculptors in Two Dimensions is a multi-media look at the converging and diverging paths, sensibilities, and media of these two artists, whose work runs the gamut from monumental outdoor sculpture to intimate statues, and compositions. Energy and composure proliferate in Dodson’s and Moerlein’s individual and collaborative work.

Both sculptors in wood, Dodson and Moerlein began working together several years ago. Since that time, they have shared artistic goals to realize their individual and joint creative efforts. Energized by their merger, they have undertaken large, public works, as well as individual series of prints and sculptures with corresponding themes. Their jointly created outdoor moose sculptures of wood saplings can be viewed towering majestically in downtown Nashua and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This public art project was followed by simultaneous residencies by the artists in the Swiss Alps. In Verbier, Switzerland, Dodson and Moerlien each created their own monumental sculptures. Listening to nature and their intuition, their pieces are as much a part of their environment, as in it. At the same time, these sculptures are intrinsically connected to each artist’s own body of work.
The experimental nature of Dodson’s two dimensional works represents uncharted paths for the sculptor. Dodson’s totemic animal goddess sculptures result from the methodical decisions and actions she makes wielding chainsaw and chisel to shape the wood, while interacting with its grain to create her forms in a fluid fashion. Her spontaneous prints and drawings allow viewers a unique glimpse into her sculptural process. This series of abstracted animal figures reveals her process of using two-dimensional works to explore various possibilities of form and color normally restricted by sculptural materials.
The natural forces found in Moerlein’s sculptures and prints are universal and powerful. Using earthy and spiritual elements, his organic creations are vessels of personal symbolism. Upon close examination his message reveals stories of personal conflict and perseverance. Juxtaposing mass and color, his prints are tenuously balanced with the same finesse as his gravity challenging constructions. Suspended in tenuous and powerful arrangements, they remind us of the strength and frailty which we find in our lives and the universe.

The different approaches and shared paths of Dodson and Moerlein’s art reveal a mystical unity they channel from the cosmos, as well as from the natural and animal world. With attuned intuition and inspiration, their art is balanced in natural harmony. “Birds of a feather,” the artists take wing in divergent, intersecting, and parallel directions. They will host a panel discussion about collaboration, shared effort, and individual vision prior to the exhibit reception, on Sat April 14, at 2 pm.

Saturday April 14, 2pm
Panel Discussion: Collaboration

In conjunction with
Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein
Two Artists in Two Dimensions

Reception to follow at 3pm

119 Gallery fosters innovative cooperation between artists, musicians, dancers, performers, video artists and creative thinkers. As part of Two Artists in Two Dimensions, the gallery is pleased to host several notable artists' teams, who will share images of their work and discuss their experiences as collaborators.

The panelists are: Margot Stage and David Crane; Rick Breault and Elaine Wood; Tim Winn and Zehra Kahn; Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein. The moderator is Walter Wright.

The panel will consider these and other questions:
How does the team develop concepts?
How do you negotiate aesthetic decisions?
How do you manage work flow - responsibilities - labor?
What is your team's studio arrangement?
What are the advantages of collaborating?
What is the team's story?...and more

Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein are creative forces to be reckoned with, and 119 Gallery is pleased to rein a portion of their individual and collective energies into the gallery this spring. Two Sculptors in Two Dimensions is a multi-media look at the converging and diverging paths, sensibilities, and media of these two artists, whose work runs the gamut from monumental outdoor sculpture to intimate statues, and compositions.

Dodson and Moerlein are exhibiting in Boston Sculptors Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary, in the University Gallery at UMASS Lowell, April 2 – 26. Reception: April 4, 5 – 7 pm.

Update: I wrote a summary of the panel discussion that was published on the Boston Globe's blog: Global Business Hub titled, Arts Collaborations: Greater than the sum of their parts and the audio recording of the panel discussion can be found here.

Images: Pandas III, 18"x24", monotype 2010, Panda Bear, 16" tall, wood, paint 2010

Boston Sculptors at UMass Lowell


Curated by Univ. MA Lowell (UML) professor Ellen Wetmore

Installation assistance by UML professor Jim Coates

Artist Reception and Gallery Talk with Gillian Christy: April 4, 5 - 7 pm

A Conversation with Nancy Selvage: April 23, 3-4:30 in O’Leary 222

Outdoor Exhibition continues through June 30
Lowell MA: The University Gallery at UMass Lowell is pleased to present a group exhibition of work by the Boston Sculptors. This exhibition highlights the variety of approaches to sculpture explored by 30 of the members and features an eclectic examination of materials and processes. The show includes works installed in the gallery and outdoors in the adjacent quad area. The Boston Sculptors is an artists’ cooperative whose founding members recognized in 1992 that there was a shortage of exhibition opportunities for sculpture in the Boston area. They set about to create more opportunities, in exhibition spaces, public galleries and in public art. What began as a series of conversations over dinner has, twenty years later, yielded two successful commercial galleries and numerous critically acclaimed shows.

Representative works from Massachusetts Cultural Council award-winning artists Laura Baring-Gould, Rosalyn Driscoll, Beth Galston, Mags Harries, Sarah Hutt, and Julia Shepley will be included as well as important works by B. Amore, Caroline Bagenal, Kim Bernard, Benjamin Cariens, Gillian Christy, Murray Dewart, Donna Dodson, Laura Evans, Sally S. Fine, Peter DeCamp Haines, Ken Hruby, David Lang, Michelle Lougee, Joyce McDaniels, Nancy Selvage, Jessica Straus, Marilu Swett, Dan Wills and Andy Zimmermann. Outdoor works are on view through June 30th and include work by Andy Moerlein, Margaret Swan, Hannah Verlin, Joseph Wheelwright and Leslie Wilcox. This show is offered in conjunction with the yearlong activities throughout New England to celebrate the group’s twentieth anniversary.

Curator Ellen Wetmore is an established artist who has been a member of the Boston Sculptors Group for over eight years. She works with a variety of materials and media, including sculpture, video, sound art, and interactive environments. Ellen joined the UML Art Department faculty in 2008 and teaches foundation courses.

Jim Coates has taught sculpture at UML for over 30 years. He’s an established artist whose site-specific work revolves around an interest in shelter forms (primitive, modern and contemporary) and their ephemeral relationship to the natural environment.

The Dugan Gallery in Dugan Hall hosts a coinciding companion exhibition of sculpture by the B.F.A. students enrolled in the Spring 2012 Sculpture class working under the direction of Prof. Coates.

The University Gallery at UMass Lowell is coordinated by the Art Department and funded by the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Funding for the outdoor exhibition provided by the Lowell Cultural Council, a local agency, which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. Additional funding provided by the Office of the Provost at UMass Lowell. All events are free, open to the public & handicapped accessible. Gallery Hours: Mon. – Thurs. 10 am - 7:30 pm, Fri. 11 am – 4 pm, Sat. by appt

Image: Tiger Frog, 25" tall, wood, paint 2006 by Donna Dodson

In the Grain

Sculptural and Functional Wood creations
April 1 - August 19th
Reception: Sunday, April 29th 3-6pm

Don't miss this unconventional, cutting edge exhibit focusing on the art of wood. Among this extraordinary collection of innovative useful, decorative and thought-provoking objects, "In the Grain" features sophisticated, highly-crafted works by many leading craftsmen and sculptors.

Anne Alexander, Michael Alfano, David Belser, Peter Bloch, Jon Brooks, Dustin Coats, Jeff Cooper, Judith Cooper, David Crane, Michael Crocker, Stephan Fowlkes, Donna Dodson, Sharon Dugan, Tom Dunne, Dan Dustin, Deb Fanelli, Jon Garcia, Eric Grant, Gints Grinbergs, Steven Hayden, Linda Hoffman, David Hurwitz, David Leach, Wendy Lichensteiger, Bob Katz, John Magnan, William Martin, Stephen Mauren, JoHannes Michelson, Joseph Montroy, Clifford Moran, Andy Moerlein, Rogers Myers, Myrl Phelps, Suzanne Newbold, Scott Ruesswick, George Saunderson, Antoinette Prien Schultze, John Weidman, Jere Williams, and others.

Mill Brook Gallery & Sculpture Garden
236 Hopkinton Road, Concord, NH 03301
Images: Top to bottom, Elk Goddess, 32" tall, wood, paint 2004, Golden Lion, 36" tall, wood, paint 2007 by Donna Dodson

Update: Wednesday, May 23rd @ 7 p.m. Sculptors Donna Dodson & Andy Moerlein are presenting a fascinating artist's talk:

Donna Dodson has been carving images out of wood since 1996. Her sculptures explore feminine beauty and evoke humor and playfulness but also grace, power and emotional strength. Her unique vision responds to the relation of animals to the human spirit that have existed since ancient times.

'My work today seeks out eccentric branches, expressive trees, vivid grain, and uses the woven flow of growth and experience to trace my personal story. My work has many aspects - but wood, trees and the patterns they mark upon the landscape is a foundation of structure I depend on.' Andy Moerlein