Sunday, December 28, 2008

33rd exhibit: CONFIGURATIONS curated by Sand T

May 13 - June 10, 2006
Potluck reception: Saturday, May 20, 2006, from 2 – 5pm
An Artist Talk Moderated by Jennifer Flores (Exhibiting artist, art educator and former Education Director at the Arlington Center for the Arts) beginning at 3 pm. On view these Saturdays: May 13, May 20, June 3, & June 10. Hours: 12noon - 5pm & by appointment

Invitation Image: 'what's-not-to-love' by Stephen Anderson

CONFIGURATIONS implies a melding of different layers, styles, materials, and ideas into a new and different whole. In terms of art making, it's not just about a piece constructed from mixed media. There are other essential elements involved as well. Exploration of self, nature, society, culture, relationships, memories, design, and patterns are some of the issues that are explored in this exhibit.

The seven participating artists are: Stephen Anderson (Santa Ana, CA), L.E. Ashley (Shirley, MA), Jennifer Flores (Medford, MA), John Gamache (Shirley, MA), Wesley Kalloch (Malden, MA), Melissa Kulig (Malden, MA), and Heather Pilchard (Ipswich, MA) work in mixed media. The artists use their personal vocabularies to create pieces that fuse layers of elements into statements concerning their individual subject matter. The works on display include collages, assemblages, and sculptures that kindle observation, deliberation, and discovery. These works demonstrate the inventive and creative uses of materials as well as the ability and sensibility of these seven artists to combine various materials with their inspirations into artwork.

Image: Work by Stephen Anderson (Santa Ana, California)

In CONFIGURATIONS, Stephen Anderson presents his current work series entitled “Material Issues”. The series takes mass produced imagery and slogans and spins it to create a humorous, honest and critical view of the world we live in. Utilizing found media from magazines and advertising, Stephen reinterprets such messages of consumerism and targeted marketing into an introspective, critical and sarcastic overview of life. Stephen projects the elements into the 3D sculptural world, so one must look at the layers of elements as if peering into the layers of hidden conscience.

Stephen Anderson received his BFA from California University Long Beach, and makes artwork from his studio in Santa Ana California. During the day he works as a Textile Designer for the surfware apparel industry, then pursues his artistic endeavors after quitting time. Recent exhibits include the collaborative video, fiber-optic, site specific installation, 'Origins of Influence' and 'Schematica', which included kinetic video and the 3-D collage work shown here in ' CONFIGURATIONS '. His prior work, 'Burned Fingers Series of 1,000’, has garnered much praise and awards. The series took 5.5 years to produce and examined Anderson’s personal observations of society and his own life, essentially becoming a visual diary. Other current endeavors include producing alternative monthly free film screenings and experimental concert events under The Eclectic Company, which is a collaborative artistic think tank and production group which he co-founded.

Image: Work by L. E. Ashley (Shirley, Massachusetts)

L.E. Ashley’s current body of mixed media work is a series of small oil paintings combined with vintage architectural elements intended to instill a feeling of solitude and memories of the past. She paints in her home studio from her photographs and imagination. She works in oil, creating scenes on such objects as old wooden panels and cabinet doors. She often adds vintage hardware, rusty metal, and bits of natural materials such as birds' nests, bones and twigs. “I think of myself as a scavenger, a recycler,” Ashley says. “I want my work to convey a sense of the history that I felt growing up among the old stone walls and barns of New England.” Most of her pieces are miniature; creating a sense of intimacy with the viewer. They often have a lonely, dream-like quality expressed through the depiction of a solitary tree or roaming animal.

L. E. Ashley grew up in southeastern Massachusetts, studying painting as a teen with Leland Smith and later graduating from the University of MA. at Dartmouth. She has lived in many cities and towns around the state, but the rural areas remain her favorite. Ashley currently resides in Shirley, MA with her two ginger cats, alternating her painting sessions with gourd-craft and woodworking. Her works have been shown in various group and two-person shows, and can be found in personal collections throughout New England, Washington D.C., and Florida.

Image: Work by Jennifer Flores (Medford, Massachusetts)

Jen Flores, who maintains a studio in Somerville, presents her “Scene of LA story Plaques” which is part of her continuing exploration into assemblage art. These “story plaques” are assemblages of collected objects and materials; some found, some fabricated and some modified. All are inspired by the people, places and events from her childhood time in the California Southland. The created imagery is the result of those life experience filtered and translated into imaginative memories. The original influence is from Mexican folk art, altars and dioramas. They have evolved into a broader array of ideas and feelings based on personal experiences, fantasy and dreams. “I grew up in Los Angeles, a place that has given me a fusion perspective of instantaneous history, Hispanic influence and pop culture. My ideas for this series range from being spontaneous, based on the "things" she found or planned and calculated process.” Flores added, “For me this type of art making is intriguing because it’s a puzzle with missing pieces that I get to find, buy or make!”

Jen Flores graduated from Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA M.S.A.E. in Art Education in 1996. She has been teaching printmaking, watercolor, beginning drawing, color theory, figure drawing classes at Arlington and Winchester Adult Education since 1991. She has exhibited artwork from coast to coast, continuing to stay active in the art community as well as continuing to pursue personal artistic goals and interests. Flores’ recent shows included Somerville Open Studios ('06), “Love Small” juried by Adria Arch at artSPACE@16, Malden (‘05); “December Salon” at the Nave Gallery, Somerville(‘04), “December Show” at Somerville Museum, Somerville (‘04); “Day of the Dead” at PACE Gallery, Easthampton (‘03); “Printed Matter” printmaking group at Tufts Gallery, Arlington (‘03); “Open Studios” at Gibbs Gallery, Arlington (03).

Image: Work by John Gamache (Shirley, Massachusetts)

John Gamache’s passion is for the earth and its beauty, intermixed with elements of the past. Old, cast-off objects — run-down barns, abandoned houses, old cars in a field — he infuses with new life through his paintings and mixed media works. He works in a traditional style of painting, but is unconventional in the application and type of surface materials he uses. This merging of the two media, form a synergy of unique visual appeal. These pieces, like miniature theater set models built in antique boxes are tributes to artists whose works he grew up with, artists that made a large impression on how he now views his emotional and creative links to the past. These pieces (Tributes to Andrew Wyeth, Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, N.C. Wyeth, and Howard Pyle) are three-dimensional painted works composed of cut-out wood layers, stone, and Plexiglas, with small human and animal figures. They are semi-abstract, yet infused with a sense of nostalgia.

Presently working as Art Director and Senior Designer for an international corporation, John Gamache’s early training was completed at the Swain School of Design in New Bedford, Massachusetts and at Southeastern Massachusetts University. He spent many years after working as a freelance illustrator for advertising agencies, publishing companies and corporations. Within the last several years has he returned to show his personal works to the public. Gamache currently enjoys living and working in the old New England town of Shirley, Massachusetts.

Image: Work by Wesley Kalloch (Malden, Massachusetts)

Malden resident Wesley Kalloch presents his recent mixed media collage works for the CONFIGURATIONS show. In this work, Kalloch reveals his interest in the artistic potential of old photo processing envelopes. The envelopes were discovered in his Grandfather’s slide carousel boxes after his death in 2001. The envelopes have been manipulated primarily with inks, water colors, pencil, and gouache. A reason Kalloch gives for mounting the envelopes is that he simply wanted to make drawings incorporating the colors, text and handwriting the envelopes possess. He also wanted to create a series of drawings commemorating his grandfather’s interest in slide photography. The pieces represent his investigation into both an objective visual sensibility and a subtle family history of sorts.

Wesley Kalloch was born in Maine and lived there until 1992 when he moved to Massachusetts upon graduating from the University of Maine. His art making involves works on paper, photography, and painting. His recent exhibitions include: BLUE, at Cambridge Art Association, Cambridge; PHOTOLAB(oratory) juried by Leslie K. Brown at artSPACE@16, Malden; No0965859F - Exhibition Series 2004 at WAS (Westbrook Artists' Site), Winterset, IA; and COLLABORATIONS curated by Adria Arch at BrickBottom Gallery, Somerville.

Image: Work by Melissa Kulig (Malden, Massachusetts)

Melissa Kulig shows a series of mixed media on wood panel. She uses layers of acrylic paint, found objects, collage, tintypes, photos, and colored pencil. She combines these with imprinted and hand written text that produce unique and detailed textures. The words used in each piece are taken from her writings and journals. Each artwork should be read as well as observed to take in its full meaning. Kulig attempts to solicit a response from the viewer to those intimate corners in her work that contain simple phrases and words. They stimulate slow observation, contemplation, and discovery. Melissa Kulig states, “This multi-layered mixed media work uses old objects, photos and collage elements that conjure thoughts of the past, memories, and ways of life that are gone. What remains is the commonality of human emotion. I attempt to connect current thoughts, ideas and feelings with people of yesteryear. From different generations, anxieties, joys and hopes are similar and can be shared.”

Melissa Kulig graduated with honors from Emmanuel College with a BFA in 1989. She helped co-found the Washington Street Art Center in Somerville in 1997 and obtained her first art studio space. Following 5 successful years in Somerville and participating in many Open Studio events, group shows and 2 solo shows, Kulig outgrew her space and moved her studio to East Boston. Since 2002 she has been accepted to numerous juried exhibitions, received several awards, and has participated in local events including the popular Boston Arts Festival. She received a mural grant from the city of Chelsea last year, and was accepted into the Cambridge Art Association for 2006. Melissa Kulig remains an active member of the East Boston Artists Group and also is on the Board of Directors for the AtlanticWorks cooperative gallery in the East Boston Arts District. Additionally, her current involvement in the Malden arts community includes helping develop affordable live/work space for artists in Malden and surrounding towns.

Image: Work by Heather Pilchard (Ipswich, Massachusetts)

Mixed media fits Heather Pilchard’s interdisciplinary style of working. She combines found objects, drawing, parts of text, Polaroid emulsion transfers, encaustic, and Xerox transfer in her art. In this show, Pilchard has a trilogy of assemblages made up of found objects such as seed pods, shells and stones placed in a grid format. It is hard not to try to create a meaning behind the placement of the seeming randomness of the objects, but as M.C. Escher said “we adore chaos because we love to produce order.” The sensuousness of the shapes and colors of the ordinary objects, such as a rock or part broken shell, transforms them into extraordinary close ups of what is going on around us all the time. We just need to take the time to stop and notice. There is a meditation in taking an object out of context; we can ponder the meaning of life in the wonders of nature.

Heather Pilchard graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Art with a BFA in 1995. She has a studio at the Vernon Street Artist Building in Somerville and recently exhibited work at the Somerville Open Studios. Pilchard’s paintings are represented by Jules Place ( in the South End of Boston. Sharing her skills as a book binder and paper maker, Pilchard has taught at various venues around Boston such as SMFA, the Elliot School in Jamaica Plain, Paper Source, and at Horizons in Western MA. Pilchard currently lives in Ipswich on the North Shore where she is continually inspired by the beauty of the landscape. Her recent art events included Somerville Open Studios ('06), and will be participating in the upcoming 5th Annual ArtsFest Beverly ('06).

This exhibition is supported in part by the LEF Foundation’s Contemporary Work Fund. It also received in-kind support from the Artists Foundation and the artist-volunteers of artSPACE@16. For more information please visit

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