The George Marshall Store Gallery will kick off its exhibition season on June 20, a month later than usual.
Due to COVID-19, things may be structured a bit differently, but the goal remains the same: to present high-quality visual art in a beautiful, historic setting.
“This is a special year, in many ways,” says gallery curator Mary Harding. “Hard to believe, but this is our 25th anniversary, and we can’t wait to get underway.”
The opening exhibitions feature the work of four area artists: Tom Glover, Douglas Prince, Brian Chu and Shiao-Ping Wang.
The gallery’s inaugural exhibition in 1996 was a solo show by Tom Glover titled “Brave Boat Harbor and Other Views.” It is fitting to begin the 25th anniversary season with another solo exhibition by the artist who, in all these years, has not wavered from his commitment to painting. Like his teacher and mentor John Laurent, Glover alternates between abstraction and realism. His choice of imagery is in response to travels abroad, the study of past great artists, artist residencies and his exploration of New England seashores and forests.
Portsmouth artist Douglas Prince’s most recent project is called Auction Sites. “It originated in 1980 when I came across some Sotheby’s auction catalogs in an English bookstore in Rome,” he recalls. “I was attracted to the elegance of the pieces and in the history they suggested, especially the furniture pieces taken out of context and photographed on the seamless backgrounds.”
By combining appropriated images and his own photography, he introduces a natural landscape inside the form of the furniture which amplifies the play between the two and three-dimensional spaces. In addition to a spatial dynamic, the juxtaposition of the finely crafted cultural artifacts with the natural elements of the landscape create an intriguing narrative.
Prince will also exhibit a number of small pieces from his Bisymmetric Birds series which draw upon his interest in vintage scientific illustrations. Again using the tools of digital imaging, he deconstructs and rearranges the components to emphasize extreme symmetry. “While symmetry is an organizing principle of nature, as is evident throughout the development of plants and animals, I am interested in exploring the somewhat unsettling, sometimes humorous results of the perfect bilateral symmetry possible in digital imaging.”
“Resonance” is the title of the show that brings together a team in life and art: husband and wife artists Brian Chu and Shiao-Ping Wang. They moved from Taiwan to New York in the 1980s and discovered painting while attending Queens College. Influenced by New York School painters, including their instructors, Rosemarie Beck and Harold Bruder, Chu and Wang developed their own painting language. Chu’s paintings represent landscapes and observations; Wang creates abstract environments of colors, forms and patterns. They have augmented their life-long pursuit of painting with travel and teaching.
Brian Chu’s work draws you in with his use of color, technique and choice of subject matter. His portraits of familiar places along the seacoast, objects found in his studio and people he’s met are beautifully rendered with unexpected color and composition. There is a sense of mastery, stillness and harmony in his work. Brian Chu is a professor at University of New Hampshire and teaches courses in painting, drawing and printmaking to undergraduate and graduate students.
Patterns, repetition and rhythm are integrated into much of Shiao-Ping Wang’s work. “Patterns of a constructive nature — architectural graphs, weaving patterns, and city maps — are sources for my composition,” she says. Repetition and shapes are added over time.
The exhibition season will continue through the end of the year, with exhibitions changing every six weeks. The final show will be “Hurrah! Celebrating 25 Years at the George Marshall Store” and will reflect upon past highlights and themes.
At this time, gallery visitation is by appointment only, to manage the number of people in the space and follow CDC guidelines. Health protocols are in place onsite, and hand sanitizer and face masks are available. Appointments can be made on the gallery’s website and by phone. The gallery is a property and program of the Old York Historical Society. Hours by appointment are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The gallery is at 140 Lindsay Road, York, Maine. Call 207-351-1083 or go to www.georgemarshallstoregallery.com for more information.