GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

September 26, 2013

Ripples in past to wave of future

Rockport exhibit looks at legacy, present, future art

By Gail McCarthy
Staff Writer

---- — The Rockport Art Association opens a new exhibit showcasing a continuum of the legacy of art on Cape Ann featuring artwork by artists of the past, present and future.

The exhibit, “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: A Special Legacy Exhibition,” opens with a free public reception Friday, Sept. 27, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Carol Linsky, the association’s executive director, said the new exhibit weaves three shows together as one featuring works from the art association’s extensive museum collection, works by current members and three invited artists whose works embody the wave of the future.

The “Yesterday” section showcases some works not often exhibited, while the “Today” section represents the work of present artist members.

“The ‘Tomorrow’ section showcases the work of younger artists who have tremendous talent,” said Linsky.

Education programs, gallery walks and lectures will be held in conjunction with this show.

Judith Curtis wrote an article on the “Yesterday” section in American Art Review magazine, which features one of the exhibition paintings — by Harriet Lumis — on the cover.

Lumis’ husband, artist David Curtis, curator of the museum collection, also curated the ‘Yesterday’ show, which features 27 paintings and a sculpture.

“He was looking to find pieces that haven’t been shown regularly,” Lumis said.

The Rockport Art Association’s museum collection has grown to more than 200 works of oils, watercolors, etchings, lithographs and sculpture. These works were purchased with museum collection money, or were given as gifts by artists and patrons. The “Yesterday” section includes works by well-known forebears of Cape Ann art, including A. T. Hibbard, Paul Strisik, Stow Wengenroth, Marguerite Pearson, Harriet Randall Lumis, Theresa Bernstein and Charles Allen Winter.

The “Today” section features work from the nearly current 300 artist members, who work in oils, acrylics, sculpture, graphics and photography.

“With the understanding that we can always learn from the past, it is also important to look to the future, which becomes the third part of the show,” explained Linsky.

The “Tomorrow” section features paintings by Jill Whitney Armstrong, photography by Phillip Jones, and sculpture by Chris Williams.

Armstrong, a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, has painted the landscape and seascape of Cape Ann for the past 14 years. She captures the iconic images with a new perspective with strong shapes, color and form. She and her husband, Bob Armstrong, a writer, will present a gallery talk about how two artists share the artistic process together.

Williams, a third-generation metal worker, continues the family tradition. Over the past two decades, Williams has specialized in creating one-of-a-kind bronze works “that not only catch the eye, but also provoke conversation and engagement.”

Born in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area, photographer Phillip Jones, now based in Boston and Atlanta, is known for his silver gelatin photographs. Jones has a predilection for night photography.

“I like to photograph things that I’ve never seen before, that throw me off guard and make me ask questions. This seldom happens during the day,” he said.

In his quest for that perfect nocturnal composition, Jones often has to field unsettling questions from security guards, who often ask “How soon can you leave?” and “Does anybody buy this stuff?”

The show runs through Nov. 17. For more information, www.rockportartassn.org.

Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3445, or gmccarthy@gloucestertimes.com.

If you go What: "Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow, A Special Legacy Exhibition." Where: Rockport Art Association, 12 Main St., Rockport. When: Friday, Sept. 27, to Nov. 1; reception Friday, Sept. 27, from 6 to 8 p.m. How much: Free to the public.