A beautiful warm evening, jazz and swing music by the Seasmoke trio, work by four talented New England artists and a capacity crowd marked the 2017 opening of York’s George Marshall Store Gallery. Work by Vermont painter Kate Emlen and ceramics by Paul Heroux are nicely paired in the entryway and front room. Paintings by Anna Dibble are exhibited in the smaller gallery space that looks out to the York River, and the lower “dock level” gallery is filled with paintings by University of New Hampshire professor Brian Chu. The four, complementing exhibitions continue through July 9.
Kate Emlen’s command of composition and luminous color are the foundation of her paintings. Tilted horizons, tree trunks in conversation with one another, and skies laden with weather conspire to draw in the viewer. These paintings are a response to the artist’s view of the natural world and her intimacy and passion for her northern New England surroundings.
Paul Heroux is a ceramic artist and a maker of vessels. His surface decoration references plant life, erotics, landscape, and a number of other changing influences. The painterly quality of the surfaces is achieved by combining various reduction glazing techniques and transfer printing on the clay body. Gold and silver luster give added reflective qualities to several of the pieces.
Anna Dibble’s show, Confluence, is reflective of her recovery from a series of deaths, and her interest in the losses and changes in ecological biodiversity due to human activity. Dibble uses symbolic images of evolution, ancient marine life, birds, boats, and humans to explore a personal mythology that’s based on her love of the natural world, and concern for its future. Despite this concern for the fragility of the environment, the paintings have a sense of hope.
Brian Chu has titled his current exhibition “Curious Vision.” Rooted in observation, Chu’s work maintains a dialogue between objectivity and subjectivity in all subjects: landscape, figure and still life. His intense perceptual engagement with the world is evident in textured layers of vibrant colors. He chooses to paint extremely ordinary in an extraordinary way. These are paintings about painting that are both beautiful and thought provoking.
The exhibitions continue through July 9. Gallery hours are 10 to 5 Tuesday through Saturday, 1 to 5 on Sunday and by appointment. The gallery is a property and program of the Old York Historical Society and is located at 140 Lindsay Road, York. For more information call 207-351-1083 or visit www.georgemarshallstoregallery.com