Old York’s George Marshall Store Gallery 2016 exhibition season is underway. It is the fourteen year running that the river front gallery opened by recognizing and presenting he work of the grantee and finalist of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundations Piscataqua Region Artist Advancement Grant. Many in attendance were also there to honor York artist Michael Walek, whose small gouache paintings are featured in the dock level gallery.
Since its inception in 2002, the Charitable Foundation’s annual grant program has inspired artist from the Piscataqua region to compete for up to $25,000 to support plans that can make a significant difference to the advancement of an artist’s work. The exhibition “Momentum XIV” features the 2015/16 grantee Cheryle St. Onge and finalists Sarah Haskell and Carly Glovinski.
In her series “Natural Findings” photographer Cheryle St. Onge focuses her large format camera on simple forms and objects in nature. Much like a naturalist gathering scientific specimens, her photographs capture moments of discovery and wonderment. Over the years her young children have brought home their discoveries: spiders, snakes, frogs and other small creatures. She shares their enthusiasm and awe of these findings and is taken with “the limitless scrutiny that is possible through a photograph.” She began this particular series during a Guggenheim Fellowship and the series is on going. She received her M.F.A from the Massachusetts College of Art. Her photographs have been widely exhibited and have been included in four books. She divides her time with her family between Durham, New Hampshire and coastal Maine.
Finalist Carly Glovinski investigates patterns, objects and organizing systems found in everyday life with a mixed media practice heavily rooted in all aspects of drawing. Things are not always as they first appear as she skillfully uses trompe l’oeil techniques to make books, puzzles, chairs and other objects that can’t be read, taken apart, or sat upon. Her conceptual ideas are presented with humor and quirkiness. One of her favorite medium to paint with is the product “White Out” which is used to cover up mistakes. Her use of the material is quite contrarian and ironic as it is used as an opaque positive. She has recently been juried into exhibitions at the De Cordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts and the Maine Center for Contemporary Art, in Rockland.
Finalist Sarah Haskell has a passion for thread, public art and building community through creative endeavors. Her textile artwork explores the cross over between text and textile, investigating the mystery of encoded fabrics and the hidden language of cloth. In her community art projects, she seeks to reveal our common threads as well as those that define our differences.
Her selection for the “Momentum” exhibition include two large weavings of hand-dyed and hand woven fibers called “Unhinged. Simple shapes represent the curve of the earth, a home and a figure all on a beautiful indigo blue colored ground. In her four panel piece titled “HELP” she has embroidered the American Sign Landguage gesture for each letter to spell the word as well as imagery to reference the four elements: fire, earth water and air.
The gallery is also presenting a solo exhibition by York artist Michael Walek. His show it titled “Atmosphere” and feature his small gouache paintings. Gouache is a water based medium, much like watercolor, but with a more opaque pigment. Walek is very skilled with the medium which he uses on various colors of Canson paper, a high quality fiber paper. Before he begins a painting, he carefully considers which color of paper best suits the scene as it will show through in parts of the painting as both forms and highlights.
The artist travels extensively, from the woods and garden around his York home, to far away places such as Egypt and Portugal. His travels are the central theme of his plein air gouache paintings, a medium that allows his to capture the subtle changes in light and to explore the formal elements of color and texture. Ultimately, it is the color of the atmosphere that drives the direction of each painting.
The exhibitions continue through July 10th. Gallery hours are 10-5 Tuesday through Saturday and 1-5 on Sunday. 140 Lindsay Road, York, Maine. www.georgemarshallstoregallery.com