Saturday, April 18, 2015

Montserrat College of Art Senior Shows: "Así Es Como Yo Lo Veo"

Our last Senior Thesis Exhibit is upon us featuring some extremely talent work from two excellent painters. Porter Mill Gallery and Montserrat College of Art is proud to present Así Es Como Yo Lo Veo, featuring Montserrat students Kai Michelle Cruz Jiménez and Maria Isabella Echavez. "Así Es Como Yo Lo Veo" translates from Spanish to English as "This Is How I See It." The works of Kai Michelle Cruz Jiménez and Maria Isabella Echavez sit side by side in this exhibit representing the middle ground that they occupy between language and culture. The nature of the mediums are seen prospering in both Cruz's ink works and Echavez's paintings. A connection to the natural is undeniable and can be seen in the organic forms and lines that are involved in this show.

"Canto"Kai Michelle Cruz Jimenez 2015 Ink on Yupo

Kai Michelle Cruz Jiménez, a Puerto-Rican artist raised in Lowell, Massachusetts works exclusively with ink on yupo. Focusing on openness and allowing the reactions of the ink to the paper lead her through the piece, she creates a place. These places rely heavily on gradients and mark-making, and they differ from full greyscale works to works with a hint of color. Large, looming, amorphous forms sit on a paper 5’ by 11’ while other forms sit in much smaller spaces of 5” by 6.” Each of Cruz’s works welcomes the viewer to this inherent feeling of neither here nor there.

"(Love Sounds) Sleepwalker" Maria Isabella Echavez 2015 Acrylic on Raw Canvas

Maria Isabella Echavez is an Argentinian-American artist born in California and currently  based in Portland, Maine. Traveling between coasts and being an avid sufer; the ocean is the underlying influence in Echavez’s work. Working in exclusively water-based media, she creates paintings that play with fluidity and spontaneity. Color, light, and space are all carefully examined in her art. These works exist on large, raw, unstretched canvas in order to limit the paint to a specific composition or predetermined structure. Over all this is a series of works that demonstrate Isabella's experimental approach to painting.

Both artists challenge themselves with scale and expand the gallery space with large and small works. The artworks of their final year at Montserrat College of Art encompass both their growth as artists as well as their life experiences. Familiarity and strangeness exists in how each of their discrepant roots communicate and this communication and place of being is expressed harmoniously in their work.

"Así Es Como Yo Lo Veo"  will be on view from April 22nd to May 2nd. The opening reception will be held on Wednesday, April 22nd 5pm - 8pm at the Porter Mill Studios in Beverly, MA.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Montserrat College of Art Senior Shows: "To Whom It May Concern"

Spring is finally upon us after a long winter with warmer weather coming soon, but the Montserrat senior thesis exhibitions are coming up now this April at the Porter Mill. The first one of two this month is Corinne D'Orsi, Melissa McGinty, and Melanie Simpson's "To Whom It May Concern".

Each artist explores subject matter that is much too difficult to confront or reveal without the use of a vehicle such as photography. Their work conveys powerful expressions of emotion, bringing the viewer along for the ride.

Concerning the balance of her conscious and unconscious mind, D’Orsi creates a collection of work in which her desires play a large role. Her photographs have a soft, illusory atmosphere, inviting the viewer to step into her dream-world, where the impossible becomes possible. With landscapes that are unfamiliar, and portraits that are mostly unrealistic, she finds a balance between subtlety and the romantic. In doing so, D’Orsi awakens feelings of desire, freedom, and attraction, in an idealized view of reality. Combined with her installations, which explore the physicality of these emotions, an environment unfolds where one can truly experience her subconscious.

Through photographs and handwritten text, McGinty explores the healing process that occurs when being faced with the loss of a loved one. Her photographs of black and white landscapes document the physical journey she is taking, while creating a new association with each location. By reclaiming these locations in this way, she is able to move on from the memories that she wants to forget. Pairing the photographs with the text of her own lingering thoughts after someone has left helps to enhance the experience that McGinty is leading you through.

Simpson’s work is about the struggle and healing process that can be experienced through dealing with sexual assault. She creates photographs in physical layers for the viewer to search through and explore on a deeper level. Simpson is asking the viewer to understand each layer individually, and together, to help portray the feelings associated with this issue. By talking about her own personal experiences, she opens the floor for conversation about the prevalence of sexual assault in today’s society. Simpson shows
that the healing process is not just about moving forward, but sometimes having to take one step forward, and two steps back, to inevitably get to a point of feeling whole again. Her work is showing her own journey out of the darkness and into the light. 

To Whom It May Concern will be on view from April 8th - 18th. The opening reception will be Wednesday, April 8th 5pm-8pm at Porter Mill Studios in Beverly, MA.