SPARK is a mid-winter exhibition opening at the Carla Massoni Gallery on Friday, February 5th. It seeks to explore the artist’s process of observation, inspiration and the creation of work.
Visiting artist Eve Stockton lives in Alexandria, VA. She is known for her large- scale woodcut prints inspired by close observation of nature and an eclectic interest in science. Stockton received degrees in architecture with a minor in fine arts from Princeton and Yale and worked as a registered architect. Stockton’s varying levels of abstraction simultaneously evoke landscapes and cellular activity, influenced by the natural world observed and the primordial world imagined.
Katherine Allen, like Stockton, draws our attention to the natural world. Allen has previously exhibited in the gallery and her initial works were inspired by botanicals. Her “soft paintings” combine subtle textural stitching on canvas with bold colorful abstract mark making. This new body of work influenced by current fascination with the Conowingo Dam. Allen holds a BFA from the University of Arizona and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. In 2013, Allen had a one- woman exhibition at the Academy Art Museum in Easton, MD.
Photographer Anne Nielsen has long been interested in the entwined histories of art and photography. She draws on the work of the early photographers to sharpen her eye and give depth to her own photographic expression. Over the past few years she has been working on a project titled “Green Mansions”inspired by William Henry Hudson’s novel published in 1904. Using the Eastern Shore landscape, she creates photographs seeking to explore the intersection of the natural world and the world of imagination. Following this exhibition, the works shown will be exhibited at the 4th Edition of The International Biennial of Fine Art and Documentary Photography in Berlin, Germany /October 2016.
The foundation for the current imagery Janet Christensen creates comes from walks on her farm in Kent County and early morning rows on the Chester River. Although familiar with multiple mediums, her current fascination with encaustic can be traced back to her early years as a glass artist. In 1984 she secured an apprenticeship with noted glass artist Narcissus Quagliata. She worked with the master for three years using her experience to pursue interior design projects in the San Francisco Bay area. Christensen is drawn to the sensuality of encaustic – the lushness of color and the exquisite textures. Mastering the technical aspects of the medium only enhances the experience for her.
Ken Schiano shares a similar history with Eve Stockton as both began their careers in the field of architecture. He received his degree from The Cooper Union and taught at the college level for many years as an Assistant Professor. He continues to accept special architectural projects but since the late eighties has worked as a full-time artist. He is fluent in all mediums and his style would be classified as abstract in that he seeks to break away from the traditional representation of physical objects. His work explores form, color and perspective but his goal is to transcend the seductive physicality of paint and surface to create a deeper emotional experience. Schiano was also honored with an exhibition at the Academy Art Museum in 2015.
Zemma Mastin White lives in Washington, Connecticut and New York City. She received her degree in fine art from the University of Maryland. Her work has been exhibited in numerous museums and exhibition venues. The continuous voice in her work is derived from a mixture of layering line, color and forms, to create patterns and texture. After years of exploring multiple mediums, she now devotes herself to making one-of-a-kind prints. Each printmaking technique offers its own unique attribute. Combining several of these techniques – monotype, collograph, solarplate etching and chine colle – enables endless possibilities in printmaking. The deliberate layering of abstract data and organic material yield a joyful richness unique to her work.
Larry Schroth is highly regarded for his masterful curatorial work with MASSONIART for over twenty years. Trained as an artist, he devoted his career to the field of education only returning to “making art” since his retirement and relocation to Chestertown. His work is in numerous corporate collections and has been exhibited internationally through the Art in Embassies Program with theState Department. For Schroth, the act of painting is a form of meditation. Influences include the gestural quality and surface pentimento found in both ancient and contemporary wall graffiti and the forms and compositional elements found in Oriental and Arabic calligraphy.