Sunday, August 24, 2008

Gem sparkles

So much going on; so little time to blog. Good news: weather improved stupendously this past week. The air literally changed on Tuesday and I could tell September was near. I gallery sat at the Gem that afternoon, and was simply glowing in the collective sunshine of the work on display. Diane Wiencke and Carol Cartier are two consummate makers and shakers. They collaborated to hang a seamless show that radiated good energy and uncanny talents.

On their price list, they didn't even indicate who did what. Those of us that know them can tell their work apart and the rest, well, get with it. Here is one of my favorites of Carol's. She has a knack for finding curiosities on the beach and elsewhere. Here a collection of soles becomes a pod of whales.

I do marvel at the range of work that has paraded through this wee gallery. Earlier this summer, Mary Lavendier Myers posed for me, and we had a good yak about how to make a collective less fractious, more effective, etc. Truly, getting a consensus of artists is like herding cats. But islanders have nothing if not patience and persistence. We've all missed our share of boats. We can figure this gallery thing out, right?

Somewhere in July, Jeanne O'Toole Hayman showed some staggeringly beautiful oils that paired so perfectly with the pottery of Rick Boyd and Pamela Williamson.

During that same show, Jane Banquer showed these block prints, some inspired by a stint at Haystack. I know Jane from the life drawing group here, and these block prints have a bold line and energy that are a contrast to her delicate nudes. She does it all!

Currently at the Gem, Jane's husband, Norm Proulx, is showing his paintings. He shares the gallery with Claudia Whitman, another long-time islander, in a show called Sense of Peace, Sense of Place. Claudia is an activist against the death penalty and her passion shows in her multilayered paper collages of doves, doves of all colors, shapes, silhouettes, patterns. Exquisite.
Norm is primarily self-taught. In a sense, all artists learn by doing, but Norm continually challenges himself. His paintings conjure up imaginary places, villages of invention. Norm and Claudia's work together is another serendipitous pairing of shared color surprises.

All of these artists mentor me, by their example, by their hard work, their unique approaches to making art in a challenging environment. These shows are up and down in the blink of an eye, or about 6 days. Right now I am scrambling to finish pieces for my turn, which happens this week. I am piggybacking my pastels with a posse of potters, thanks to Peg Astarita.

Stay tuned!

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