Old York’s George Marshall Store Gallery opens the exhibition season with five artists, each with a perspective influenced by their experiences and surroundings.
Boston artist Steve Imrich and Maine artist Richard Keen paint the landscape from opposite points of view. Imrich’s aerial vantage point comes from his love of flying. He learned to fly at the age of ten when his father tied blocks of woods to his son’s feet so he could reach the pedals. Throughout his career as an architect he flew across the country many times and always preferred the window seat to see and photograph the landscape below. Seven large canvases in the show include views of approaching Boston, Los Angeles, Huston and Chicago. A breathtaking aerial view of the Newburyport Joppa Flats dominates the front gallery wall. On the opposite gallery walls are abstracted “landscapes” by Richard Keen. When not painting, Keen is often underwater setting and maintaining moorings along the Maine coast. The keels of boats and the fractured geometry of filtered light are a source of his inspiration. He often simplifies his views into line, shape, color and texture.
The painters’ perspectives of above and below are complemented by the abstract and architectural forms by ceramic artist Don Williams. William’s is a frequent exhibitor at the gallery and well known for his functional wares. This exhibition features his sculptural forms which combine metals, found materials with hand-built ceramic forms. The shapes and colored glazes are a perfect pairing with many of the paintings, almost as if the three artists were responding to the same assignment.
The smaller back gallery room that overlooks the York River is an installation of fifty small sculptures by Boston based artist Jessica Straus. Hand carved, three-inch-high figures are combined with found objects creating humorous vignettes. Working primarily in carved and painted wood and incorporating found objects, she explores the poetry of unexpected juxtapositions between recognizable and invented forms. Alternating between narrative and abstraction, Straus’s well-crafted sculptures are infused with a quirky, yet subtle, humor and a finely tuned sense of aesthetics.
The lower level of the gallery, referred to as “the dock level” is primarily used for one person shows and for the opening of the season, the space is filled with work by Ogunquit artist Michael Palmer. Palmer has been a central figure in the Ogunquit art scene since the 1960’s always painting as well as running the successful PS Galleries. He currently splits his time between Ogunquit and Key West. Both places are the inspirations for his imaginary bird’s eye views of towns, country and people going about their everyday lives. He also is interested in abstracted views emphasizing form and design and less on content and narrative. His work has been collected both locally and across the country by individuals and institutions.
The exhibitions continue through July 7 th . Gallery hours are 10-5 Tuesday through Saturday and 1-5 on Sunday. 140 Lindsay Road, York, Maine. The gallery is a program and property of the Old York Historical Society. www.georgemarshallstoregallery.com phone: 207-351-1083