Currently Featured: Connecting with Nature
Photography by Jaime Forsythe
I am an amateur photographer residing in Belchertown, raised in Conway, MA. I have a passion for nature and the outdoors. My father gave me my first “real” camera as a Christmas gift in 2017 and then he passed away unexpectedly a week later on New Year’s Day 2018. Since then I have vowed to utilize his gift and share my appreciation of nature with others. Since I began this endeavor I have come to understand how the art of nature photography can connect so many people in countless ways. I Hope you enjoy!
Paintings by Rodney Byron Madison
March 5, 2020 - April 30, 2020
Opening reception: Thursday, March 5, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Second reception: Thursday, April 2, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
“As I dip the brush into paint and then onto canvas the painting’s future is unknown, unforeseen. I begin to make marks on the canvas and these marks eventually relate to others. As these foundational marks settle, I become increasingly unsettled with an anxiousness that arises brought on by the anticipation of the developing piece. As I work through this, a frenzied period emerges which in result is my greatest joy. My intent is rarely to send messages through my work but what is important is that my artwork conveys energy, creativity, beauty and soul.” Evidence of his alchemy of art is left on the canvas. Born in 1959 and hailing from the south side of Chicago, Rodney Byron Madison is a self taught artist who submerged himself into art and painting later in life. He has a Masters degree in education and spent many years in leadership roles as a teacher and activist. Madison lives in Hadley with his wife Eileen.
Seasons in the Forest
Paintings by Christine Copeland
January 2, 2020 - February 28, 2020
Opening reception: Thursday, January 2, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Second reception: Thursday, February 6, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
In the exhibit, “Seasons in the Forest,” Copeland explores her relationship with recovering forested land that she and her husband have conserved “Forever Wild,” as well as the relationships between plants and animals and plants with each other. The property known as Masson Ridge in Northfield, MA was conserved in 2007 with the help of Mount Grace Land Trust.
The exhibition features 25 paintings on canvas and paper and 12 illustrations for an upcoming children’s book entitled “Spring in the Forest.” Copeland uses either soft acrylics with a flow medium that loosens the paint so that it acts like watercolor on canvas or acrylic inks on Fabriano watercolor paper.
Copeland says, “These days, I’m paying attention to how still one must be to see things in the forest. A siting is always very exciting, even if it’s a Painted Trillium hiding behind a tree! Animals are generally shy so to see a forest hawk perched high in the canopy requires senses on high alert. This is good for a painter.” “I never thought that I would consider trees as companions,” says Copeland. “But they have become so and my connection to them deepens all the time. If the wonder of the natural world is something I can inspire in others through my art, then I’m happy.”
Photography by Bernie Kubiak
November 7, 2019 - December 27, 2019
Opening reception: Thursday, November 7, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Second reception: Thursday, December 5, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
As a photographer I want to both tell and provoke stories. There’s a story I want to communicate and there’s the one, often very different, that the viewer brings to mind when looking at the photograph. Portraying the landscape has occupied American painters and photographers since the 19th century. Landscape is not simply about where but what the place represents and the thoughts and emotions it evokes.
Mt Pollux became one of my regular visits over the last several years, in part a response to my challenge to make photographs within two miles of my house and in part because the old trees seemed to stand against time and embody what I later came to understand as wabi-sabi. The old orchard there prompted me to photograph others. These are not grand vistas but small places that have a story to tell in the trees there. Most of the images were made in the fall or winter.
Photography has long been an avocation and I’ve had the good fortune to learn from a number of talented friends and associates. My photographs appear in exhibits throughout the valley. More can be seen at the pvphotoartists.org member gallery website.
“The wonder is that we can see these trees and not wonder more.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Recent Works by Lydia Kinney
September 5, 2019 - October 31, 2019
Opening reception: Thursday, September 5, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Second reception: Thursday, October 3, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
A departure from her smaller works on paper and larger canvas pieces, a new studio has provided the artist with traction and freedom to create larger paintings and drawings on wood panels. The resulting work shown (2018-2019) is free to be sparse, lush, dark, and electrified. Equal parts articulated fictional interiors and fully abstract studies on color and texture, these paintings exemplify the foundation to continue a realized path: How to move forward while living with ambivalence, how to harmonize without compromise.
Great American Road Trip
Fiber Art Quilts by Dawn Allen
July 4, 2019 - August 30, 2019
Opening reception: Thursday, July 11, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Second reception: Thursday, August 1, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
"Great American Road Trip" series features fiber art quilts pieces colorfully depicting vintage cars and trucks “traveling” all over the United States. The inspiration behind the show is my experience as a mother of young children, feeling trapped at times, lacking the freedom to go where-ever, when-ever! I chose to feature vehicles because the car is a symbol of total freedom. You can jump in and go anywhere at a moment’s notice. The nostalgia of the antique vehicles from 1940-1970 is an important aspect of my work. The intention is to evoke a sense of “the good old days”. Conveying the idea of being young and free and perhaps of “simpler” times. “Great American Road Trip” series is uplifting with brightly colored pieces, cheerful images of places we can all relate to, or places we would love to go.
Paintings by Michelle Vigeant
May 2, 2019 - June 28, 2019
Opening reception: Thursday, May 2, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Second reception: Thursday, June 6, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Azure Animalia portrays a cast of wild canids amidst surreal butterflies and fields of stars. A coyote rolls in pools of splashed color, while a fennec looks on, glowing in the rays of evening light. Using various media and techniques, local artist Michelle Vigeant explores a fantasy world with animals on the main stage. As they walk, their shadows form creation around their paws. The fox, a trickster armed with a paintbrush of wolf fur, draws surreal dreamscapes and the moon itself. These scenes are depicted in vivid colors playing with light and mood.
The artist’s background in biology and years studying animal bones, tracks and more (yes, even their scat!) gives her a very intimate perspective of their habits, anatomy and placement within the world. She loves to illustrate stories that connect people with animals. On the second floor, take a peek at Vigeant’s most recent project, a series in inks called A Girl And Her Dark, featuring a young girl taming and playing with her dark, a mysterious skull-faced canine. See her work at www.stormslegacy.com
Paintings by Elisa K. Campbell
March 7, 2019 - April 26, 2019
Opening reception: Thursday, March 7, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Second reception: Thursday, April 4, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
As an adult, I began painting primarily as a form of concentrating my attention on a scene or plant or “slant of light” that had caught my eye and my heart. I have always felt connected to the landscape and living beings around me, so I have been an environmentalist all my life and my painting is a fundamental aspect of that.
I primarily work from my own photographs of places I know and love, so most of my paintings are recognizably local, although I have also painted en plein air in the Adirondacks and on Monhegan Island. I continue to focus on capturing the essence of the natural world.
Photography by Dominique Thiebaut
January 3, 2019 - February 28, 2019
Opening reception: Thursday, January 3, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Second reception: Thursday, February 7, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
“Noho Skies" is an exhibit of photographs of landscapes and skies of the Pioneer Valley, captured over the four seasons, featuring the seven sisters at sunrise, or encased in fog, or birds sitting on top of the Northampton town hall, waiting for the sun to rise.
November 1, 2018 to December 28, 2018
Opening reception: Thursday, November 1, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Second reception: Thursday, December 6, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Members of the Belchertown-based Quabbin Art Association will exhibit new works throughout the months of November and December at the Amherst Town Hall. Featured here are three pieces by members Alexandra Walters (pastel), Tina Addison (watercolor), and Roger Duffy (pen & ink). Now in its third year, Quabbin Art Association provides education, support, and opportunity for local artists, and promotes community interest and appreciation in the visual arts. To learn more about QAA members, or to join the organization, visit www.quabbinartassociation.com or stop by the gallery to meet the artists on November 1st and December 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. for Arts Night Plus!
Paintings by Mary Witt
September 6, 2018 to October 26, 2018
Opening reception: Thursday, September 6, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Second reception: Thursday, October 4, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Environments are created spontaneously and intuitively by Mary Witt, an artist of abstract acrylic paintings. Mary loves abstract art, having been raised on it by German parents, and enjoys making paintings that become mysterious places to dive into. Applying layers of paint and digging through and adding and subtracting the medium invents these mysterious places that the viewer can get lost in.
Mary likes working with shapes, textures, and color. Using mostly palette knives to spread paint on her canvases, she layers various colors and thicknesses to bring texture and depth to the work. The finished paintings have a playful, yet serious tone, invoking possible imagery, but also leaving a lot to the imagination.
Mary Witt has made art of most mediums all her life, but she didn’t begin painting until 1993. She has found a voice in the abstract painting process and continues to develop it by working on both large and small pieces, finding that changing scale challenges how she works. She has participated in many art workshops and exhibits around the Pioneer Valley from painting to printmaking to encaustics, finding that each experience brings something new to her paintings. She will be teaching an abstract painting class in Northampton in January 2019.
Ordinary Splendor - selected watercolors by Kara K. Bigda
July 5, 2018 to August 31, 2018
Opening reception: Thursday, July 5, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Second reception: Thursday, August 2, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
“Ordinary Splendor” is a collection of watercolors on clayboard by local artist, Kara K. Bigda. The exhibit contains simple yet compelling compositions in the genre of contemporary realism, capturing the austere beauty and nostalgia contained in every day. Kara's work often aims to highlight the elements of life that may often be overlooked, elevating ordinary objects, places, and moments in time, into the extraordinary and this collection is no exception.
Detailed renderings through the use of transparent washes of color make up the work included in this compilation. The clayboard surface allows pigment to be lifted with ease throughout the painting process, allowing the artist to create a visual believability of the subject matter. When complete, the painting is sealed with a protective finish eliminating the need for a glass barrier between the painting and the viewer, thus providing a more intimate experience between the two.
Kara grew up in Ware, Massachusetts and graduated from Amherst College in 1991 with a concentration in Fine Art. She has worked in both education and the insurance industry. In 2008, after ten years as an art teacher in the Quabbin Regional School District, Kara resigned from teaching in order to focus on painting. Most days you will find her working in her home studio nestled in the beautiful, serene landscape of West Brookfield and spending time with her husband Dan and their two dogs.
A Visual Celebration of the Valley: Urban and Rural, Day to Night
May 3, 2018 to June 29, 2018
Opening reception: Thursday, May 3, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Second reception: Thursday, June 7, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Local pastel artist Meg Bandarra’s new exhibition is a collection of scenes from around the valley, many painted en plein air (outside), both during the day and at night. The public is invited to come celebrate “Local” with the reception on May 3rd from 5-8pm. After the reception, the exhibit can be seen Monday- Friday 8am-4:30pm until June 29th. This program is supported in part by a grant from the Amherst Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.
Margaret Gammell: Works on Paper, Wood and Plastic
March 1, 2018 - April 27, 2018
Opening reception: Thursday, March 1, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Second reception: Thursday, April 5, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Margaret Gammell enjoys working on a large sheets of paper with color splashed over them. Drawing on these stained and collaged backgrounds disrupts the drawn line in unexpected ways. She uses charcoal or graphite, adding ink, markers, colored pencil, or the latest item she came home from the art supply store with or discovered online.
She attends the Visual Fine Arts program at Manchester Community College in Connecticut, where her concentration is in drawing, sculpture and printmaking.
The Emperor’s New Clothes
Paintings by Laure Dennery
January 4, 2018 - February 24, 2018
Opening reception: Thursday, January 4, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Second reception: Thursday, February 1, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Laure began painting penguins after seeing the documentary “March of the Penguins” in 2005. For the past 12 years, she has kept coming back to these beautiful and fascinating birds that have inspired her to experiment with different artistic techniques and play with composition. In addition to penguins, Laure is often inspired by animal imagery. Animals represent a trueness to who they are, and it is that authenticity with themselves that she admires and tries to convey in her work. For more of Laure’s work, please visit www.dennerydesignart.squarespace.com.
Paintings by Janet Pozar
September 7, 2017 - October 27, 2017
Opening reception: Thursday, September 7, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Second reception: Thursday, October 5, 5:00pm - 8:00pm
“Changing Landscapes" features vibrant, scenic paintings by local artist, Janet Pozar. Janet has been painting, drawing, and making art for over 40 years. Working in acrylic, mostly on canvas, some pieces are mixed media and include components such as thread. Janet has captured scenes from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where she grew up, plus other states where she has lived. From the historic stone ironmaster’s house of Charming Forge, Pennsylvania, to the round barns and tobacco barns of Illinois, and currently local landscapes in and around her home in Leverett. Janet’s artwork has been shown in Albany, NY, Reading, PA, Westfield, MA, and Paper City Studios and Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke, MA.
Artist Statement: When I am engaged in art making, I am fully caught up in the medium and tools and mission. I’ve learned not to think about the product that I will end up with because the time spent engaged in the creative activity is what is most important to me. I enjoy the detached feeling I get when painting —it’s like a dance with my hand and my mind and they take turns leading!
Impressionistic paintings of landscapes and nature, utilizing intensity in color and contrasts of lights and darks. Brightness and vibrance, as well as an element of the unseen, are evident in the paintings. Below: Lily Pads on Poets Pond Race Point
Photographs from near and far are presented as images in black and white that have been produced by traditional wet‐chemistry darkroom techniques. The images that are shown range from landscapes that suggest serenity, to images with a smaller field of view that reveal textural details, to images that are relatively abstract. The abstracts invite the viewer to explore the image to see if they can see what the photographer might have seen when he captured the image; they provoke discussion.
2015 - March/April - Alex Markiewiecz - Charcoal Drawing