exhibit

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.”

“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.

Joyce Conlon

“Camouflage,” an exhibit of 28 paintings by artist Joyce Conlon, an adjunct instructor of art at MWCC, is on display through Nov. 21 in the East Wing Gallery of the Raymond M. LaFontaine Fine Arts Center.

“Like a shadow cast or an image reflected on water, my work involves the transformation of form on a surface. I locate my work within the tradition of modern American landscape artists and others like Thomas Nozkowski who have been inspired by nature and its intersection with culture,” Ms. Conlon writes in her artist’s statement.

The series, Fence, began with a walk in the woods, where she came across a neglected antique wire fence. “I was and continue to be struck by the sculptural beauty of the forms that were once so similar and now bend and distort. The fence, that had stood straight and determined to mark the boundary between one side and another, sporadically recalls its former shape and purpose. Like many artists, I attempt to represent my subjective experience. As with the fence, I am affected by change both short and long term. Working with acrylics on board, I begin work by seeing and creating pattern as an organizing principle. I am interested in disrupting and reasserting connections with pattern and scale.”

A resident of Amherst, Ms. Conlon’s work has been on exhibit throughout New England and overseas. She earned a bachelor’s degree in art from Pratt Institute, a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Massachusetts, and a master of fine art degree from the Hartford Art School. An instructor at MWCC since 2010, she teaches Introduction to Drawing and Introduction to Painting.

Regular gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The gallery will be closed on Nov. 12 in observance of Veterans Day.