As summer gives way to autumn, the George Marshall Store Gallery continues its 25th anniversary celebration with three new exhibitions.
Pam Brown, Gail Spaien and Julia Zanes combine sculpture with paintings of imagined worlds and interiors; “Animalia,” by Michael Stasiuk, presents creatures both big and small; and “Quotidian Views,” by Grant Drumheller, includes gouaches and oil paintings that depict travel and people engaged in work and leisure.
There are numerous visual connections between the paintings by Portland artist Gail Spaien, Vermont artist Julia Zanes and the copper wall sculptures by New York artist Pam Brown. “Cottage Bonsai #4,” by Spaien, dominates the front wall of the gallery. The painting depicts the interior of a seaside, summer cottage filled with tables and chairs, books and flowers, and a dog curled up on a rug. Through the window are stylized ripples of the ocean, and oval shaped clouds float above. Although busy with many patterns, there is a zen-like quality to this series of paintings.
Julia Zanes’ work is rooted in storytelling. Through color, collage and various pictorial devices, she leads one into the artist’s world of fairytales and myths. Zane’s paintings are rich in symbolism including many examples of redemption motifs that are designed to break evil spells. The artist explains, “If all other efforts fail, love always prevails.”
The flowers and vines found in Zane’s paintings are repeated in the copper wall sculptures by Pam Brown. The artist collects remnants and salvaged materials from abandoned factory sites and then, using a process similar to needlework, assembles them. Instead of the traditional fabric and thread, she darns together the found sheet metal with wire. These elegant pieces float on the white gallery walls and the copper and brass patinas blend with the colors in the paintings.
A menagerie of animal sculptures made by Portsmouth artist Michael Stasiuk are exhibited throughout the gallery. By combining found materials — mostly wood, metal and assorted fragments from broken chairs and toys — Stasiuk creates playful, nostalgic sculptures. The creatures in “Animalia” range in scale from a 5-inch aardvark to a 5-foot giraffe. Stasiuk’s many years of teaching and collaborating with both children and adults has kept his whimsical sensibilities intact, delighting the viewer with his imagination.
Figures feature prominently in much of Grant Drumheller’s work. His paintings reflect ordinary life by capturing crowds in a city park, fishermen on their boats, people digging for clams, or quiet domestic life and the private world of a home’s interior. His exhibition makes everyday activities something to celebrate. There is a freshness and brightness in the small gouache paintings on paper — elements that he brings to his newer oil on linen canvases. After decades of teaching, the artist seems very content and productive in his new-found retirement years.
The exhibitions continue through Oct. 18. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Appointments can be made on the gallery website or by calling curator Mary Harding at 207-752-0205.
George Marshall Store Gallery is at 140 Lindsay Road, York. See www.georgemarshallstoregallery.com for more information.