In 2010, the Flatrocks Gallery in Lanesville closed abruptly — a giant tree had crushed the small building after a February storm. Today, the gallery will hold a grand “reopening” with a special show featuring five modern masters. The twist is that the artists are all friends and colleagues.
The inaugural show at the new and larger gallery features the work of Ralph Coburn, Joy Halstead, Bob Anderson, Oliver Balf and Roger Martin. Their work will hang in the new gallery that boasts 10-foot ceilings and transom lighting.
Gallery owners and curators Anne Marie Crotty and Cynthia Switzer Roth will welcome patrons and first-time visitors to their new exhibit space for the show “Modern Masters of Cape Ann,” featuring paintings and sculpture.
“Our vision will be extended a little bit just like the building. The space demands some more risk-taking and we’re ready to do that,” said Roth. “We want to step outside the traditional art and we hope to surprise people, making it lively.”
The owners hope to make the gallery, which first opened in 2007, a destination for residents and visitors. Their mission is to build a reputation as a year-round gallery representing Cape Ann’s tradition of artistic excellence, both past and present.
Roth noted that there will be room too for new talent of all kinds. The next show will be called “The Next Wave,” featuring the work of artists younger than 40.
Roth noted that in this inaugural show, the artists represent the best of what contemporary art offers — exploration, risk and a fresh perspective. Here, in their own words, are the artists speaking about their work through a website by Rockport’s Eoin Vincen:
Ralph Coburn - “I’d look at a scene and see some line and some spaces and I’d reduce it to some geometric elements. It’s as simple as that, no more complicated.”
Joy Halstead – “I’ve always felt the world was mine to imagine any way I wanted. My focus has been on the human condition. I’m a narrative artist, telling stories in whatever medium seems to fit best. After I start with an approach, the work takes on its own direction, evolving into something unexpected. I like being surprised.”
Bob Anderson – “To me, the process of painting is the elusive search for visual completeness… What motivates me is finding new ways of seeing things. There’s got to be something that comes alive and new… The process is about making my thoughts come together (like trying to remember a dream).”
Roger Martin – “I feel aligned with musicians, because they also must think things through to produce. They are going within to see what is there… I am influenced by what I can find within myself. The idea of standing on a beach with the whole continent at your back and the endless sea ahead of you, continues to be awesome to me.”
– “I loved being out here with the clear days, the light changing, and the excitement of the visual stuff (of Cape Ann). Although the subject matter is fruit etc., they are only symbols that allow me to use color, shape, line, and texture to create arrangements in space. I search to find self expression and different ways of seeing.”
Flatrocks Gallery is at 77 Langsford St. (Route 127) in Gloucester. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
Gail McCarthy may be contacted at 978-283-7000 x3445 or email@example.com.
If you go What : Reopening of Flatrocks Gallery When : 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. Free artists' reception, 5 to 7 p.m. Where : 77 Langsford St., Route 127, Gloucester. Details: "Modern Masters of Cape Ann," featuring paintings and sculpture, runs through Oct. 14.