art

Rob Roy, Color Chart #42

Two exhibits – “American Road,” a collection of prints, paintings and mixed media by Leominster artist Rob Roy and the works of four ceramists from Studio Four Potters, a cooperative studio and gallery in Gardner – are on display through March 14 in the East Wing Gallery at Mount Wachusett Community College.

An artists’ reception will take place Sunday, March 9 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the gallery. In addition, Roy will present a talk on his work on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 12:30 p.m., also in the gallery. The events are free and open to the public.

Roy, a professor of painting, printmaking and drawing at the Montserrate College of Art since 1988, past chair of the college’s painting department, and former adjunct instructor at MWCC, has artwork in many public and private collections. Several of the pieces in this exhibit are from his “Witness” series, which explores the imagery of war and American culture.

He has exhibited extensively in the U.S. and in Massachusetts at the Rose Art Museum, the DeCordova Museum, the Danforth Museum of Art, the Williams College Museum of Art, the Berkshire Museum, the Worcester Art Museum and the Fitchburg Art Museum. He earned his M.F.A. from Yale University, School of Art and Architecture, and his B.F.A. from UMass, Amherst.

In the gallery’s glass cases, the pottery of John C. Bennard, Steven Landry, Fe Fandreyer and Marion Lyon are also on display.

Studio Four Potters

Fe and Lyon look to nature and use the potter’s wheel to create unique work. Fandreyer works with beautiful, classic forms created using the potter’s wheel. The work is accented with motifs of horses, flowers, or butterflies that are sculpted or stamped onto the pieces.

Lyon also works from the wheel but combines hand-building elements, carving and/or stamping into surfaces. Hosta plant leaves or ivy are used to emboss or create a relief surface on platters and plates. She is drawn to an asymmetrical edge and then, like a canvas, she decorates or narrates a tale with images of birds, flowers and nature.

Landry focuses on creating functional pieces using a range of surfaces and firing methods. The shiny mottled orange and smoky black pieces on display have been created by pit-firing work that has been burnished with a fine slip called terra sigillata. Landry’s other pieces are fired with a Temmoku glaze and have been made on the potter’s wheel. The symmetrical vase, with the marble-like surface, was made by wedging colored stains into a ball of clay that was then thrown on the potter’s wheel.

Bennard’s inventive pieces are created by pattern making slabs of clay, cutting and joining them. In his words, “the work is inspired by nature as observed on walks along the seashore of Prince Edward Island.”

Alumni Art Exhibit. “Ceramic Head” by Chris London.

Mount Wachusett Community College continues its 50th anniversary celebration in October with an alumni art exhibition and a special performance of Shout: The Mod Musical for alumni, students, the college community and friends of the college.

An evening of the arts will take place Thursday, Oct. 10 featuring an alumni reception from 6 to 8 p.m. in the East Wing Gallery and a special performance of Shout at 7 p.m.

Tickets for the Theatre at the Mount performance have been rolled back to the 1960s price of $6. Admission includes the alumni reception, the art exhibit and performance.

Set in the 1960s, Shout tracks five groovy gals as they come of age during the liberating days that made England swing and features chart-topping hits such as “To Sir with Love,” “Downtown,” “You Don’t Have to Say You Love me,” “Son of a Preacher Man,” and “Goldfinger.” Members of the ensemble cast of include Fatima Elmi, Shani Farrell, Melissa Gates, Alison Laverdiere, Chelsea Young, Katrina Caouette, Amanda Feeley, Amanda Lawton, and Olivia Ryan.

Theatre tickets can be purchased online at mwcc.edu/tam or at the box office, 978-630-9388. Additional performances of Shout will take place through Oct. 13

The art exhibition will include the work of more than 30 alumni of MWCC’s art program and the opportunity to reminisce and reconnect with former professors and classmates.

“During my studies at Mount Wachusett Community College in the early 90’s, I was a painting major and an art history minor,” said Alex Magay, director of the art department at The Winchendon School and a member of the MWCC art department advisory council.

“I studied painting under John Pacheco, Gene Cauthen and Jean Tandy. They provided me as a young artist with direction and insight that would fuel my artistic development, and insight, for many years to come. My experiences in Gardner at the Mount helped prepare me to pursue and complete my next two degrees at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.”

 

Artist and MWCC instructor Joyce Conlon will lead a free workshop in collage for high school art teachers and advanced students.

Area high school art educators and their advanced art students are invited to participate in Mount Wachusett Community College’s annual high school art collaborative workshops this spring. The free workshops are sponsored by the college’s Art Department.

A collage workshop with artist and educator Joyce Conlon will take place Wednesday, March 27 from 3:45 to 6:45 p.m. Collage is a playful and inexpensive medium for teaching design principles, illustration, abstraction and color. Participants will experiment with different papers, glues and acrylics. The workshop will include a brief presentation, historical and contemporary examples and studio time. All materials will be provided, although participants are welcome to bring in photographs and other paper collage materials.

A printmaking workshop will be led by artist and educator Susan Montgomery on Wednesday, April 24 from 3:45 to 6:45 p.m. The workshop will provide an artist’s approach to water-based print-making techniques ideal for the high school and middle school classroom. Materials, techniques, monotypes, hand printing and use of the printing press will be discussed. The workshop will include demonstrations, different approaches and projects and time to experiment with the methods.

Registration is required and requested by March 15. To register, high school art teachers may contact Professor Joyce Miller at jmiller@mwcc.mass.edu or 978-630-9221.

“Purification” Rubbing of charred wood from the burning of Purification sculptures at Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL. 2011 on handmade paper with flower petals. 24″x 30″ New Years Day 2012.

“Purification,” traditional Buddhist sculptures and contemporary work by Thomas Matsuda, will be on exhibition at Mount Wachusett Community College February 18 through March 15 in the East Wing Gallery of the Raymond M. LaFontaine Fine Arts Center.

An artist’s reception will take place Thursday Feb. 21 from 5 to 7 p.m., and an artist’s talk will take place Wednesday, Feb. 27 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., both in the gallery. The reception and talk are open to the public. Regular gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Born in Connecticut in 1956, Matsuda earned his BFA in drawing and painting from Pratt Institute, and his MFA in sculpture from the University of Massachusetts. He began his career as a lithographic printer in New York, creating abstract drawings, paintings, and prints influenced by Eastern philosophy. His interests led him to accompany a group of Japanese Buddhist monks on a peace pilgrimage that involved walking across America for six months. He then spent six months in Arizona with the Navajo.

Following these experiences, he traveled to Japan in 1983, where he apprenticed under the renowned sculptor Koukei Eri for two years, before moving to a remote mountain village for 10 years. There, he carved sculptures from wood he hauled out of the mountain forests and from stones he selected from riverbeds. While in Japan, he created more than 200 sculptures for temples, shrines, villages, businesses and individual patrons.

“Fire, air, water, earth and space are the five elements in eastern culture,” says Matsuda, an art professor at Mount Wachusett Community College. “I use these natural elements in my work, often burning wood. Each time, my work evolves with the situation, site, inspiration and materials. I have created large fire ritual/performances at many venues. I have collaborated with dance troupes, musicians, Buddhist monks, and Native Americans. I deal with the environment, natural and human, addressing environmental issues, cultural relationships, and the integration of art, culture, and spirituality.”

Matsuda has had solo exhibitions in major cities in Japan and throughout the United States. His outdoor sculptures are in sculpture parks, parks, and universities nationally and internationally including Pedvale Open-Air Museum, Latvia; Maria Howard Arts Center, North Carolina; Morton Arboretum, Illinois; Western Michigan University, Michigan; Fields Sculpture Park, New York; Abington Sculpture Park, Pennsylvania; Smith College, Massachusetts; University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Leverett Peace Pagoda, Massachusetts; Grafton Peace Pagoda, New York.

The Conway, Mass. resident has exhibited in group exhibitions in major galleries in New York City including Exit Art, as well as at galleries in Qatar, Egypt, Germany, London, Bejing, Hungary, Rumania, India, and Japan. He has been awarded many grants, including from the Adolph and Ester Gottlieb Foundation, U.S. Embassy, the Japan Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Blanche Colman Award.

In 2009, he created and curated the traveling exhibition ‘Prayer Flags Around the World,’ which has traveled through New York and Massachusetts to Boston, France, Romania, Netherlands, and Germany, and will proceed to Australia, Switzerland, Sudan and Vietnam.

Matsuda describes his work as a culmination of all of his experiences and ideas. “I am constantly striving to realize a synthesis of East and West. Koukei Eri said, ‘In the West, sculpture, like most forms of art, is viewed as a medium of artistic self-expression. By fixing his name to his works, the artist seeks to manifest his individuality – as well as to seek eternal recognition. With Buddhist sculpture, however, what is important is for the artist to devote himself wholeheartedly to his task in an attitude of benevolence. That’s why you will find no signature or seal on a Buddhist image.’ In this way, I approach my own art and the work that I pursue,” Matsuda says.

Matsuda teaches drawing, design and sculpture at Mount Wachusett and also teaches at the College of New Rochelle Graduate School, New York. He previously taught for many years at Pratt Institute. For more on the artist and his work, visit www.tmatsuda.com.

Artists and former MWCC students Matthew Gaspar and Danielle Darling during the Nov. 30 artists' reception in the East Wing Gallery.

“Recent Works,” an exhibit featuring paintings by local artists Matthew Gaspar and Danielle Darling, is on exhibit through Jan. 2 in the East Wing Gallery of the Raymond M. LaFontaine Fine Arts Center.

Gaspar, a native of Gardner, studied art at MWCC and Assumption College before earning his bachelor’s degree in fine arts education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2010. Darling, a Worcester native, earned her associate degree in art from MWCC in 2005.

An artists’ reception, sponsored by the Art Department, took place on Nov. 30.

Sculptor and MWCC Professor Emeritus Gene Cauthen, former chair of the college’s art department, will present a lecture on Dec. 11 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in Studio III. The talk will include a slide review of Professor Cauthen’s work.

 

Alumnae Return for Art Exhibit

September 24, 2012

Artists Samantha Hanson and Naida Knox

MWCC alumnae Naida Knox and Samantha Hanson returned to the Gardner campus last week for an artists’ reception in the East Wing Gallery. Their exhibit, “New Work in Clay,” continues through Oct. 12.

Ms. Knox, a 2011 graduate, created her stoneware pieces using hand-building techniques such as pinching, coiling or slab building. Most of the pieces were glazed and fired in the electric kiln, with the exception of beautiful orange and black, smoke-patterned pit-fired work. Many of the high-fire glazes used on the pieces were uniquely mixed by the artist. A whimsical teapot was inspired by a painting by Toulouse Lautrec and the other pieces were initially inspired by the rock formations and natural structures the artist saw on her trip to Utah. Her delightful sense of humor and inventive dialogue with the clay, as a medium in an art tradition, is revealed in all the work.

“When I create a piece I have an idea, but it isn’t fully formed. As I work on the piece, the piece creates itself,” she said. “At the beginning this work was inspired by natural structures from Utah – a natural growing from the earth, and then my whimsical sense of humor took over. I was surprised at how my inner self and thoughts revealed itself.”

Ms. Knox graduated in May 2011 with an associate degree in art, having previously taken classes at Massachusetts College of Art. She has won several awards from local art organizations and continues to be actively involved in the Greater Gardner Art Association, Gardner Area League of Artists, Circle of Artists and the Princeton Portrait Society.

Ms. Hanson created her work in stoneware, also using hand-building techniques as well as the potter’s wheel. As an advanced student in ceramics, Ms. Hanson made it her goal to try as many different firing and decorative techniques as possible. This beautiful body of work includes chicken forms that have been burnished with terrasigillata and pit-fired, tall vessels decorated with slips or underglazes, sculpted surfaces with varying incised marks, and several pieces that are bisque-fired and waiting for future decisions about color and surface.

“Growing up on a farm was an amazing experience. It taught me to work hard and to respect everything in life,” she said. “I have become more courageous and less timid. This new self-worth has allowed me to explore my love of working with clay. Clay is seductive and once you learn the basics it begs to be made into something beautiful. My recent clay pieces have been inspired from the colorful, playful ink drawings in my sketchbook. The pieces are created by exploring the relationship between the surface of the clay and the new and interesting spaces that I can create. Inspiration for these pieces comes from anywhere and everywhere, my daily life, everything in nature, art history, architecture, modern art and different cultures.”

Ms. Hanson graduated in May 2012 with an associate degree in art and is transferring to Maine College of Art, where she was accepted with scholarship.