Pandemic can’t keep art bottled up: A look at what’s on tap at some local galleries

  • “Divers VII,” oil and acrylic on canvas by Andrae Green, part of a group show at William Baczek Fine Arts. William Baczek Fine Arts

  • “Plain Song,” watercolor and gouache on cotton paper by El Gato Chimney; part of a group show at William Baczek Fine Arts. William Baczek Fine Arts

  • “The Mystic Hermit, “ oil on wood painting by Mairead Dambruch, whose work will be on exhibit at Hope & Feathers Gallery in Amherst Jan. 14-Feb. 28. Image from Mairead Dambruch website

  •  “Flipflops at the Precipice,” one of the surrealistic photos by Gloria Kegeles on exhibit at Gallery A3 in Amherst. Gloria Kegeles

  • “Farmforms” by painter and illustrator John Krivka, part of his exhibit at Gallery A3 in Amherst. Image courtesy John Krifka

  • “The Body Adorned,” an exhibit at Springfield Museums, features textiles, gold pendants, greenstone ear rods and more craftworks from the ancient Americas. Image from Facebook

  • Drawings by Imo Nse Umeh, inspired in part by the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol building in 2021, can be seen at PULP gallery in Holyoke Jan. 15 through Feb. 6.  Image courtesy PULP Gallery

  • Painting by Amy Johnquest, at Anchor House of Artists Image courtesy Anchor House of Artists

  • “Laughing Man,” assemblage of painted metal and wood by Mark Brown, Anchor House of Artists. Image courtesy Anchor House of Artists

  • Sculptor Michael Tillyer and his wife, Susan Foley, with some of Tillyer’s wood figures; these ones are called “The Protesters.” Anchor House of Artists

  • Black and white painting by Charles Miller, Anchor House of Artists. Image courtesy Anchor House of Artists

  •  “Circle with Two Hexagons,” line drawing by Jon Stark, Anchor House of Artists. Image courtesy Anchor House of Artists

  • “Along the Pamet River,” pastel painting by Stephanie Vignone, part of a show at Oxbow Gallery in Easthampton. Stephanie Vignone

Staff Writer
Published: 1/13/2022 11:46:34 AM

COVID-19 left us with a nasty parting shot in 2021, as the surge in new cases from the Omicron variant led to the cancellation of a raft of New Year’s Eve concerts and events, including all inside events for First Night Northampton (though the events from three different venues were livestreamed).

Area art galleries are also treading carefully as 2022 begins, with stepped-up safety protocols such as reduced hours and limits on attendance. But there’s still much to see — here’s a selected look at some exhibits on tap. Be sure to check with individual galleries on visitation protocols.

Gallery A3, Amherst — Painter and illustrator John Krifka and photographer Gloria Kegeles share space in Gallery A3 this month. Krifka says his work varies between “painted drawings” and “drawings painted,” as he sometimes incorporates elements of both in his small-scale landscapes and still lifes; more recently, he’s experimented with a bit of digital manipulation.

“The style can move back and forth through [my] picture plane as well as through the individual approach [I] put forward with each canvas,” he writes in notes for the exhibit — called, appropriately enough, “Back and Forth.”

Kegeles, whose exhibit is titled “At the Precipice,” specializes in photographs taken at vintage car shows, at which she uses reflected light and the chrome and high gloss of the vehicles to create distorted, surreal images that curve and swirl in multiple ways.

In exhibit notes, she writes that in her most recent photos, some “uneasy connections” have emerged: “To me, the current images evoke feelings of discombobulation stemming from major global crises.”

Due to COVID, gallery hours are limited to 3-7 p.m., Friday through Sunday. Visit gallerya3.com for more information, including an online forum Jan. 20 hosted by Kegeles and Krivka.

Hope & Feathers Framing and Printing, Amherst — Beginning Jan. 14 and running till Feb. 28, Hope & Feathers will feature “Songs of the Sacred Harp,” an exhibit by painter and weaver Mairead Dambruch, a 2020 graduate of the School of Art of Carnegie Mellon University.

Dambruch, whose paintings offer surrealistic tableaus with vivid colors, says in a statement that she “cultivate[s] inspiration from historical and personal narratives that are visually coded in handmade objects … My work takes the form of a visual allegory which pulls from the endearments of craftsmanship and reaches to the ethers of spirit and folklore.”

William Baczek Fine Arts, Northampton — Continuing an exhibit that opened last month, the Baczek Gallery is featuring new and older work from more than 15 artists, primarily painters, in a show that includes digital prints, photography, and sculpture.

Along with work from artists long associated with the gallery, the exhibit showcases work of newer Baczek artists, including painter Andrae Green of Springfield. Green’s colorful, expressionistic style draws on both European masters and his experience growing up in Jamaica; he describes his artistic background as “a little of Europe, a little of Africa, and a lot in between.”

Also part of the show is El Gato Chimney, the pen name of an Italian artist who got his start doing graffiti and other street art. Now he presents watercolor and gouache canvases featuring surrealistic tableaus such as “Plain Song,” which depicts, among other things, a giant swan with an over-long bill and a flaming wooden tower balanced on its back.

Anchor House of Artists, Northampton — Five different exhibits of varying size are on display at Anchor House through Jan. 22, including an entertaining array of painted wooden sculptures by gallery founder Michael Tillyer, who has shown some of these pieces individually at Art in the Orchard in Easthampton and has now gathered them together.

Also on exhibit at Anchor are hand-painted, vintage photographs of babies by Amy Johnquest; face assemblages by Mark Brown; single-line compositions by Jonathan Stark; and large-scale black and white paintings of jazz musicians by Charles Miller, a percussionist who once performed with many of these players.

Miller’s paintings are part of a yearlong retrospective of work at Anchor by the 90-year-old Northampton artist.

Visits to Anchor ideally should be arranged by appointment, though drop-ins are welcome if numbers permit (six people per hour at the gallery).

A.P.E. Gallery, Northampton — A.P.E. features a different kind of art this month, as Northampton’s No Theater will present “Let Go,” a play with Roy Faudree and Jane Karakula that’s described as “a short adult comedy about love, death and piles of papers.” Performances, which are limited to an audience of 15, take place at 8 p.m. Jan. 20-22 and 26-29; tickets can be ordered at notheaterbpt.me.

Oxbow Gallery, Easthampton — The Oxbow, which just reopened in December in its new Easthampton location after 17-odd years in Northampton, this month features work by painters Stephanie Vignone in the front room and Martha Armstrong in the back room. Vignone presents impressionistic landscapes in pastel and oil, while Armstrong specializes in landscapes that offer a blend of abstraction and realism.

PULP Gallery, Holyoke — The country just noted the anniversary of a frightening event: the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol building. The insurrection has also served as inspiration for a show by Imo Nse Imeh, a Nigerian-American artist and Westfield State University art professor, whose exhibit “and I’ll be there with you” takes its name from something former president Donald Trump said to his supporters shortly before they stormed the Capitol.

According to exhibit notes, Imeh has used the insurrection as a starting point for taking a “historical dive into the intersections of race, religion, and American identity from the perspective of a Black Christian man.” His large-scale drawings consider “other related moments of violence, hatred, and abuse by White people throughout American history, who have veiled their destructive desires behind their self-made image of ‘Christ.’”

D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield — “The Body Adorned,” a new exhibit at the Springfield Museums, examines the handcrafted pendants, earrings and other ornaments people wore in the ancient American cultures of Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru and Mexico. The exhibit, which runs through Feb. 27, also considers the influence that metalwork, textiles and ceramics had on future generations of artists.

Work on display was made between about A.D. 400 and 1550. The show includes works by 20th-century American designer and jewelry maker William Spratling, who spent over three decades in Mexico and was inspired by Mesoamerican art and architecture. The exhibit is presented in both English and Spanish.




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