Gallery 34

A contemporary art gallery at 34 Main Street in Brattleboro, Vermont. A new show opens on the first of every month for Gallery Walk. Enjoy the artwork in person or here online. 

 

June 2021: Kate Spencer 

“The Valley and Beyond”

The painting finds me. Sometimes I see a new work when I’m walking; sometimes an interesting face must be put to the brush, sometimes colors explode in a dream. I am a wanderer as I mix up themes and subjects, eliminating detail and working toward the abstract. The feeling of heavy paint on a big brush fills me with excitement. I am bold and brash as I paint.

In the words of the Bard, all the world is my stage. Flowers from the garden and family crockery or duck decoys are set-ups for still lifes. A friend poses for me. Landscapes emerge from my imagination and from memories in my photos. I study the great artists in museums and books. Most recently I am discovering the Abstract Impressionist women — de Kooning, Mitchell, Hartigan, Krasner and Frankenthaler. Richard Diebenkorn and Tom Thompson are my current go-to’s for ideas and problem solving, and I continue to learn from my friends Eric Aho and Chris Benson.

Color comes to me naturally — I take lessons from what I see. I grew up in Montana, watching the ever-changing, never ending sky, the golden wheat fields, and yes, the purple mountains majesty. Sunsets filled with prairie dust radiated reds and yellows, pinks and oranges that if captured by a brush other than Charlie Russell’s seem false and garish. Looking sixty miles to the west to the Rockies, ochre and rich brown graduate into lavender and azure. These are the colors in my bones. New England is too green, so I search for shady mountain paths or deep cricks of black water. Then I wait for winter to come with her blue whites and luscious grays.

As a friend once wrote, “Spencer brings big skies and Western color schemes to her oil paintings. She is unromantic in her compositions, juxtaposing the wild elements of nature and the objects of civilization. Her paintings are at once real and dreamy, rendered by a loose brush and a keen observation of how the spirit of the land intersects with the material world she sees.”

I invite you to enter my vistas as I explore atmosphere and push the boundaries of the painting on my canvas.

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May 2021: Cyndi Ferrante 

Oil and Watercolor on Paper and Canvas

Local artist Cyndi Ferrante's work is energized by the natural world, taking inspiration from the environment and life within. This leaves ample space for imagination.

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April 2021: Lori Schreiner

Pandemic Heroes 2020-2021 By Lori Schreiner

These portraits were created during a zoom studio class sponsored by River Gallery School of Art

with Lydia Thomson, Teaching Artist. This show is dedicated to George Floyd

This show includes portraits of:

Dr. Anthony Fauci
George Floyd
John Lewis
Ruth Bader Ginsberg
Mother and son reunited at the border
Breonna Taylor’s sister holds Breonna’s ashes
BLM protest “Say Her Name”
ICU nurse NYC 3/20
Masked woman NYC 3/20
Ric Campman an inspiration
 

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March 2021: Gordon Meinhard

- Show will continue through April in Main Street Studio -  

Gordon Meinhard’s work in this series modulates between painting and drawing. Even in paint, his art retains the immediacy and freshness of a drawing. The background and the central figure in each piece (a roughly square table) are richly articulated in paint; the top layer comprises a skein of images imparting the feel and mark making of oil pastel, though much of it, too, is actually paint.

Though depicting humble tables, Meinhard’s creations bear physical and psychological nuances, requiring careful observation to unlock their riches. At first the works seem to be straightforward examples of Modernist still life painting. As one spends time looking, however, the tables take on personality. A leg shows itself off to best advantage; a table gently leans forward as if to bow; another seems to take umbrage, rearing up on its back edge. As the series progresses the tables become more animated, ultimately seeming almost sentient.

 

 

 

February 2021: Alyssa Schmidt

 

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Alyssa Schmidt grew up in Northeast Ohio, and graduated with a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2003 where she majored in Painting. She was selected to attend the esteemed Yale/Norfolk summer painting program while still a student at CIA, and in 2004 she received a fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA for Painting. She has had residency at the Vermont Studio Center, and the Outer Cape Artists-in-Residency Consortium in a dune shack in the National Seashore. Alyssa lives and works in Brookline, Vermont.

 

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January 2021: Joshua Pincus

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These paintings were made with acrylic paint on hand-stretched canvas. Each color is hand mixed, and glazes, gels, and pastes are heavily featured.

I am most interested in creating blocks of semi-translucent colors, in overlapping those blocks to develop a depth of color between them, and in the ratios of sizes among the color blocks and in relation to the canvas dimensions. I have not been depicting or representing any objects but rather aiming to develop a depth within the canvas that fosters an interesting relationship between fields of color, empty space, and color upon color. Though there are some brush textures apparent in the work, my goal is to produce a totally smooth surface under which color blocks float amongst each other.

This work is primarily focused on my interest in color, and to a lesser extent on shapes and size ratios. I have committed to using the simplest shapes, depicted with hard edges, to keep the attention on layers of color and depth. My focus has been on the foundational elements of the visual field, so my goal has been to work as closely as I can with only color, shape, and ratio.

I also conceive of these pieces as complete objects of art, so I strive to be conscious of every aspect of this work. This includes the construction of the frame, the stretching and preparation of the canvas, and the work itself.

 

December 2020: Rebecca Gembarowski

 

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Dance was the art form that I had my first formal training in, however, I have always made things. As a young adult I studied ceramics and continued to be focused on dance. In my late twenties, I entered college with the intention of exploring and learning about painting and sculpture. After struggling for two and a half years, I realized I felt disconnected from the process, and returned to dance in my remaining time there. Interestingly, my study of visual art changed my experience of dance as I began to view dance through an external lens instead of solely as the medium for someone else’s choreography. I began to see the stage as a huge moving canvas with sets, lights, costumes, and dancers becoming my palette and medium. 

 

It wasn’t until several years later, in a sequencing workshop with Lydia Thompson, that I reconnected with my curiosity about and love for painting. I found River Gallery School’s philosophy and approach to making in tune with my own process, and soon enrolled in an encaustic class. Two years ago, I found a studio space where I can make and leave a mess, and work for a few uninterrupted hours a week. In that sanctuary of a space, I have been working in oil and cold wax, and encaustic. 

 

The “Lifelines #1-#4” paintings I started at the beginning of the covid19 lockdown. I was inspired by the idea that even though we were isolated from one another, we were still finding ways to stay connected. I painted these on one large sheet of paper, taped off into four separate sections but allowing mark making and lines to cross over. It was after an online workshop with Lisa Pressman, (another surprising outcome of the pandemic, I don’t think I would have had the courage to take an in-person class with her), that I cut the sections apart and went back into them, finishing them one at a time. 

 

The other six pieces were started during that workshop as well. Lisa’s approach felt very intuitive to me and inspired/reminded me to be curious about what was emerging as the painting developed. Her mantra as we were beginning was “You are not making a painting yet; you are building a surface.” It freed me from planning and allowed intuitive application of paint and medium to the surface over several days. Eventually, something would start to emerge that I was inclined to follow. Like the “Lifelines” series, these paintings are also informed by life during these strange times. During the process of painting, I am aware of feelings of stress, fear, and worry, but as I continue to add layers, something else begins to emerge as well; my sense of hope, my feeling of connection to others, and my immense gratitude. As difficult as this time has been, gratitude is the feeling I experience most often. Sometimes it is only for a moment, but I am awed that it appears in some way every day, and leaves no space for taking anything for granted.  

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