Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Porter Mill Studios Presents: "Sillage" a show by Sadie Dayton

This January the Porter Mill gallery is very pleased to be featuring one of our best, Sadie Dayton and her wonderful photography in "Sillage". Sadie Dayton honed her craft at the School of Visual Arts (BFA) and Endicott College (AS) graduating with high honors in photography from both. Born on the New England coast her inspiration comes from the transient elements of nature. Drawn to the stark beauty within Japanese aesthetics she too melds elusiveness, simplicity and innate energy. Her evocative images treat landscapes as a portrait and a portrait as a moving force.
Sought for her emotive images and representation of femininity her clients include fashion, beauty and jewelry companies. Her portraiture has appeared in W, Vanity Fair and the New York Times Magazine. Her editorial and commercial work has taken her on location in Europe, Central America and the Caribbean. Dayton has exhibited her fine art photography in galleries in Boston, New York and Tokyo.

Mono no aware is a Japanese phrase used to describe the beauty of an ephemeral thing. Transience underpins Sadie Dayton’s current work entitled, Sillage. The word connotes fleeting sensual experience – the scent that lingers in the air, the trail left in water, the impression made in space after something or someone has been and gone.
Dayton creates visual haiku. Her poetic images offer us the intangible and evanescent with layered textures of fabric, dye and soot. She gracefully conveys vulnerability and strength. Our imagination is engaged by her nuanced gestures and we are invited to complete the cycle with our own envisioning.

Inspired by fellow artists who have captured illusiveness with a similar devotion to her own she notes the words of Anais Nin, lyrics of Leonard Cohen and the Icelandic music of Sigur Ros. 

Featuring the excellent photography work by Sadie Dayton the opening reception with also include a live dance performance in Sadie's studio by Boston dancers Maz and Django in a piece collaborating with musicians Jared & Noni.

Both Broadway performers, singer/songwriters, multi-instrumentalists, choreographers, actors Jared & Noni met performing with the international percussion sensation STOMP and toured the world. Jared starred as Jerry Lee Lewis in the Tony Award Winning show, Million Dollar Quartet on Broadway. Together they formed a Minneapolis-based duo, The Lovers Show, a theatrical band of melodic pop-funk. Today, they run their own Creative Production Company located on the North Shore of Boston, where they work on original musical/theatrical installations, run creative workshops and perform live
at private events and concerts.

Jared & Noni will be collaborating with dancers, Maz and Django in their new performance piece for the reception, 'Ghost Note' fusing fashion, movement and fluid grooves with the photography by Sadie.

"Sillage" will be in our main gallery at the Porter Mill this January 7th 2016 to February 6th with our reception being held on Thursday February 4th from 6pm to 8pm.  Free wine and refreshments will be served in the gallery along with a live musical dance performance in Sadie's studios located next to the gallery.

Mark your calendars and come down to the Mill this January!   

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Andrew Houle is one of our resident artists here at The Porter Mill who curated our September show Urban Romantics as well as our show from October, ABOVE/BELOW/WITHIN, which he also contributed work to. We got a chance to sit down with him and learn a bit about his life, work, and how this show came together. 

Growing up in the 80s, Andy became fascinated by cartoons and comic books and quickly realized he had a talent for drawing them himself. By his Junior year of high school, he began taking advanced placement art courses, and soon enough, he began thinking about which college he might want to attend to pursue his passion. When asked how he decided on Montserrat, Andy said, “I blame Dave Ferreira”. While at Dracut High School Andy met Dave, a current instructor at Montserrat, through mutual friends. “He was by far the best…he could draw comic books the best out of everyone in high school. And it wasn’t even close. What he could do seemed so unbelievable that we idolized him and I found out when he graduated, he went to Montserrat for college. Just knowing that Dave went here, truthfully, is what made me originally look at the school” Andy said. 

Although it was a tough choice between Fine Art and Illustration, Andy ultimately chose Illustration as a concentration at the end of his Junior year at Montserrat. Interestingly enough, he says his professional work doesn’t have a lot to do with being an illustrator (since most of his works are oil paintings), however, he wouldn’t change anything about his career path. 

During his time at Montserrat, Andy, like many who visit Beverly, fell in love with this “coastal town that really embodies New England and has such a great sense of community, with music and galleries, and all the culture up here” Andy said.

Not long after he graduated, Andy found an apartment in Beverly and began working out of a studio in Lynn. His everyday commute from Beverly Farms to work, then to Lynn to paint at the end of the day, became exhausting. One day, as Andy was driving down Rantoul Street, he saw a banner at Porter Mill Studios advertising studio spaces. Andy immediately pulled over and ran inside to meet the Gallery Director; he inquired with the director of the gallery about renting a space. Andy didn’t know much about the former RedBrick Art Center other than the fact that many talented artists had worked out of these studios. That, along with his discovery that there was an open studio space in such a convenient location (three blocks away from his current home), was enough for him to decide to join this new community.

Over the past four to five years since he’s moved in, Andy had a variety of studio-mates. His first studio was shared with two of his friends. When they left and he wanted to stay, he knocked on the door of jewelry maker Jesse Dangers’ studio and said “hey, you don’t have anything on your walls, do you mind if I move in?” Although they weren’t aware of it at the time, Andy and Jesse had been renting studios in the same building in Lynn before they moved to Porter Mill. The two realized they had more in common than they thought and quickly became friends.

During his time at Porter Mill, Andy has gotten to know many of his neighbors. “The community here is fantastic” he said of the Porter Mill; “The community here is so good, that I get absolutely no work done when I come here. I tend to come in and most of the people here I’ve met are so warm, friendly and welcoming that you end up wanting to catch up with them like they're your friends. Which I think is the best part about this building, coming in and seeing a lot of the people that are doing all of the same things that you're doing; they're trying to find success as an artist, and they're trying to further their career.” Although sometimes he finds it hard to be productive in such a social environment, Andy clearly finds a way to focus on creating his rich, luminous paintings. He seems to have found the perfect place for his practice to call home, he said, “unless they throw me out of here, I’m never leaving”. 

Andy had a hand in curating September's show “Urban Romantics” as well as October's “ABOVE BELOW WITHIN”. This particular show featured the work of Andy, Morgan Dyer, Anthony Falsetto, George Frary III, and Loren Doucette; each interpreting landscape in their own unique style. Andy explained the ties between the realist and abstract works:

“Lauren is sort of the glue of the exhibition, where we are exploring a range of approaches to the landscape and interpreting landscape. I admittedly am on one end of the spectrum, as I guess a Realist, although I’m not super comfortable calling myself a Realist. Although I guess if I was to fit into a category, it would be sort of American realism. It doesn’t appear that way, but I’m trying to not actually be an American Realist. I think Loren is really the bridge to Morgan’s work next, then George’s work, then at the opposite end, Anthony’s work, where interpreting landscape really breaks down to abstract shape and form, push and pull, and mostly dealing with colors that you find in landscape, and line, and it’s a gorgeous show, I’m really proud of the show and all the work everybody put into it. There was too much really, really wonderful work that came into the show and it was difficult omitting some of the pieces”.

With such different approaches to painting, arranging the show was not a simple task. Andy said “the connections between line and space were big parts of what we were doing hanging the show. It was this really fun thing happening, laying the pieces next to each other and seeing these similarities in work that most people… would not put together, but the way the show has been hung…curated and installed, you really can see connections in the pieces as you walk through the show, and I think …you’ll be able to put that together as you walk in.” 

This carefully curated show is an excellent display of tying together such varied depictions of landscape. The pieces are able to complement each other in a way that creates a strong sense of visual rhythm and motion. Andy continued: “I can’t speak highly enough about these other artists and about how great it is to finally get this together and we’re already talking about this show maybe going somewhere else after, maybe going to Boston, or finding proposals for somewhere else.” 

Check out more of Andy's work on his website