Nice time for cool, cool art: Local galleries feature a range of work in August

  • “Divers XIV,” oil and acrylic on canvas by Andrae Green at William Baczek Fine Arts in Northampton.  CONTRIBUTED/William Baczek Fine Arts

  • “Harold, the Faux Rabbit,” acrylic on board by Travis Louie, at William Baczek Fine Arts in Northampton. CONTRIBUTED/William Baczek Fine Arts

  • “Connecticut River UFO,” painting by Anne LaPrade Seuthe at Gallery A3 in Amherst. CONTRIBUTED/Gallery A3

  • “Love Songs,” stylized photo by Racel Cyrene Blackman at Galley A3 in Amhers Image courtesy Gallery A3

  • Daniel Kojo Schrade, an artist and Hampshire College art professor, made the selections for a juried show at Gallery A3 in Amherst this month.  Image courtesy Gallery A3

  • Untiled etching by Joan Dix Blair for her exhibit “Marking Time” at Oxbow Gallery in Easthampton. Image courtesy Oxbow Gallery

  • “The Road Home (Mt. Tom),” pastel on paper by Marlene Rye, at the Elusie Gallery in Easthampton.  CONTRIBUTED/Elusie Gallery

  •  “Topal,” digitally altered mixed media collage by Jason Montgomery at PULP Gallery in Holyoke. Image courtesy PULP Gallery

  • “Symbiotic,” acrylic on canvas painting by Erika Slocumb at PULP Gallery in Holyoke. Image courtesy PULP Gallery

  • Jules Jones, whose paintings and drawings are on exhibit at Anchor House of Artists in Northampton, uses a layered look that combines elements of painting and printmaking. CONTRIBUTED/Anchor House of Artists

Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Summer heat getting you down? One good way to escape it and put your mind at ease is to visit an air-conditioned gallery and immerse yourself in art. Here’s a look at what some selected local galleries are featuring in August. 

William Baczek Fine Arts, Northampton — Work from more than 15 artists is on display this month, primarily oil and acrylic paintings, but also ceramic sculpture as well as abstract prints with hand-applied crystals, covering styles from realism to abstraction.

For instance, “Divers XIV,” an oil and acrylic painting by Springfield artist Andrae Green, features a colorful, expressionistic style that draws from European masters and Green’s experience growing up in Jamaica; he describes his artistic background as “a little of Europe, a little of Africa, and a lot in between.”

“Harold, the Faux Rabbit” is one of a  number of acrylic on panel paintings by Travis Louie, a  Brooklyn, New York artist who specializes in odd portraits that reference Victorian and Edwardian photographs, with strange beasts wearing formal outfits. The rabbit in this case sports a strange coat and flashes a peace sign.

PULP Gallery, Holyoke — “Emergence: QT/BIPOC Aesthetic Abundance” is another group show that features work by a range of Valley artists who, according to exhibit notes, have been invited “to decolonize and disrupt the notion of who gets to have access to the art world, who gets to be known.”

“The theme of emergence is also a generative invitation to participate in, honor and nourish our own emergent processes of BIPOC creation and BIPOC community building,” as exhibit notes put it.

The exhibit, which includes a variety of work, has been organized by Chelvanaya Gabriel, an artist and activist who also oversees several facilities for the science department at Hampshire College. In addition, Gabriel also heads the Creative Resilience Project, a community art/performance/dialogue space for BIPOC creatives that’s next to PULP Gallery.

Participating artists in “Emergence” include Ella Alkiewicz, Julissa Rodriguez, Ebbie Russell, Jason Montgomery, Keyona Jones/Onkey Cosplay and Erika Slocumb.

Gallery A3, Amherst — After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, Gallery A3 this month has brought back its annual Juried Show, which will run through Aug. 27. The work of some 41 artists will be on display, work that’s been selected from 340 images reviewed by the exhibit’s juror, Daniel Kojo Schrade, a professor of art at Hampshire College.

The exhibit offers a range of images. In her painting “Connecticut River UFO,” Anne LaPrade Seuthe has produced a semi-abstract green landscape of a body of water that reflects the rounded shapes of nearby trees; a darker line in the background represents low, distant hills, while just over the water a series of strange, somewhat circular objects traces a line.

The stylized photo “Love Songs” by Rachel Cyrene Blackman, meanwhile, appears to be a close-up of a cassette tape, with a plastic spindle visible at the left, while to its right appear the characters “90 min.”

Schrade, the exhibit juror, studied art in Germany and Spain and has shown his paintings and installations in Mexico, Germany, Poland and Indonesia, among other places.

Hope & Feathers Framing and Gallery, Amherst — “Afterimage II,” an exhibit of work by the late Greta Gundersen, has been extended from July through August. Gundersen, a painter and drawer originally from New York City, relocated to western Massachusetts in the 1990s; she died in 2017.

“Afterimage II” features a selection of Gundersen’s graphite drawings that focus on identifiable single subjects — bats, nests, bulbs of garlic — but that exist, as exhibit notes put it, “in a hazy liminal space like they’re emerging from dream-like visions. She captured the essence of her subjects and gave us delicate images that feel like dream visions preserved before they fade upon waking.”

Oxbow Gallery, Easthampton — The Oxbow Galley is also featuring a group show in August, “Black and White,” in which the collective’s members are contributing a variety of work designed to explore “the implications and aesthetic possibilities” of artwork with just two basic colors.

The back space of the gallery features a solo show, “Marking Time,” by Joan Dix Blair consisting of color prints based on copperplate etching, painted monotypes, and woodblock monoprints.

Elusie Galley, Easthampton — An exhibit featuring the work of area painters David Brewster, Laura Radwell, and Marlene Rye continues this month, as does its unusual arrangement: Any purchased painting can be taken home immediately, after which another painting from the same artist will be put on display.

Brewster offers abstract outdoor scenes that strive to make sense of what he calls “an increasingly bizarre and incongruous synthetic landscape”: fast-food restaurants, shopping plazas, and “post industrial detritus.” Radwell, meanwhile, presents oil-based abstract landscapes where light and color are prominent.

Rye, who works with oils and pastels and also makes Giclee prints, brings a bit of both Impressionism and Pointillism to her colorful landscapes, which are inspired in particular by the woodlands of western Massachusetts.

At the nearby ECA Gallery in Easthampton, Pamela Acosta’s exhibit, “Fragmentos de un Naufragio” (Fragments of a Shipwreck), a collection of colorful paintings and illustrations, also continues from July; the show runs through Aug. 25.

Anchor House of Artists, Northampton — Anchor House is promising some “wild art” for August from two new exhibitors in its space, Jules Jones and Dean Nimmer.

Jones, who studied art at Greenfield Community College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is, according to their website, a queer disabled artist who paints and does works/drawings/collage on paper. The artist uses a distinct layering process that incorporates “print media like monotype, lithography, and screen prints with pieces of other paintings on paper, each adding diversity in texture to the paintings’ surface.”

These “mosaic-like pieces” are designed to “challenge the notion that painting and printmaking are separate artistic actions,” Jones writes.

Nimmer, a professor emeritus of the Massachusetts College of Art and an author of books on abstract art, is an abstract painter who has had over 200 exhibits worldwide, according to Anchor House: “Currently, he is creating impressive art along with his alternate ego, Unique Frédérique. Never has formalism and intuition collided with more force.”

Work by James Brown, John Landino, and Charles Miller will also be on exhibit this month at Anchor House.