Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ralph Stone Jacobs: A Little Holiday Show

McGowan Fine Art announces the opening “Ralph Stone Jacobs: A Little Holiday Show”. The show will run from December 20 to January 13. The public is welcome.


Ralph Stone Jacobs lives and works in Northern New Hampshire in close proximity to the White Mountains. While Stoney often depicts the New Hampshire landscape in his paintings, this show will focus on still-lifes and portraits. Stoney is a renowned portrait painter, celebrated for not only capturing the likeness of a sitter, but also their personality. While Stoney is known for high profile commissions, such as his portrait of Jean Shaheen, the former governor of New Hampshire, this show will feature some of his more intimate portraits, including members of his own family.

Stoney’s still-lifes are small jewels, elegant in their depiction of rustic objects. The antique vessels in “Yellow Bottle, Blue Salt Shaker” are perfectly reflected on the table surfaces and are softened by shadows. The bottle and salt shaker are treated like living things, posed together against a muted background much in the style of a portrait. “Mussel Shells”, two delicate shells and a wisp of a flower, attest to Stoney’s ability to capture beauty in the most simple of objects. “Peppermint”, a small piece of cellophane wrapped candy, is tactile and delectable enough to pluck out of the painting. The show is a holiday treat for the whole family.

This exhibit will be on display at McGowan Fine Art at 10 Hills Avenue in Concord, NH. Please call Jessica Pappathan at 603-225-2515 for more information or visit our website at http://www.mcgowanfineart.com/, or contact at jessica@mcgowanfineart.com.

Hours: T-F 10 - 6, Saturday 10-2 and by appointment.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

In Home Art Consultation

I am frequently asked "Do you ever go to people's homes to hang artwork?" To which I respond with an enthusiastic- YES! I find that there are three barriers: asking, cost and quality of my skills.

For some people the hanging of artwork is easy-peasy and for others  it is a daunting process fraught with  potential for gauche missteps, faux pas and lackluster results. For these people, admitting to a professional that they have an art hanging deficit is the first step. I am hoping I have helped you overcome this fear by letting you know that a lot of people have the same question and I can definitely help you with it.

The second hurdle is always cost. Will the cost be to bring in someone with the important sounding title of Art Consultant be expensive? If a consultant is good (and worth their fees) they should be able to see and fix problems quickly. So the hourly rate may seem high but the final bill will be reasonable. I have often waived my fees for people who are purchasing art from my gallery. It is a value add to the transaction.

The final hurdle is the dread many people feel when they invite someone into their home to change things around - "what will they do? what if I don't like it?" I try to allay these fears by finding out what are the favorite pieces of art and how is the home used. I listen carefully and then make suggestions based on what I have been told, the spaces available and if the artwork needs to be viewed from afar or close up. I place the artwork throughout the home in recommended spaces and then ask the homeowner to approve my choices. The hanging part of the job is far quicker than the decision making process. I often hear "wow, you are fast and make that look so easy."

I see many of the same problems in each of the homes I have been in. A recurring one is that buyers  tend to buy lots of small works. It may be a combination of being intimidated by the price and the bigness. A variety of scale in art will add another dimension of visual interest. It will also keep a collection from feeling to choppy- think how inadequate a luncheon-size china set  would look on a big formal table. Same idea. One way to overcome your fear of big is to take home large works on approval to see how they work in a space.

Another art hanging problem is when a piece does not relate to the space that it is hung in. Putting a small horizontal in a very vertical space isn't pleasing. The eye wants to look up and down  instead of across. Think of the space as another frame around the art. You wouldn't have a mat that is only one inch wide on the sides and eighteen inches wide on top and bottom, would you? So make the space around the art somewhat proportional too. Consider stacking two smaller pieces in a vertical space or using a very tall piece.

For more tips on hanging art work you can read my post on hanging here.
middle two photos are courtesy of  All In the Details Interior Design.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"Collage" show at the Sharon Arts Center

The Sharon Arts Center will collaborate with McGowan Fine Art in Concord to present “Collage,” an exhibition featuring the work of Ted Arnold, Catherine Bartlett-Hirani, Avy Claire, John LaPrade, Thomas Meyers, James Palmigiano, Lauren Pollaro, Paul Pollaro, and Jessie Pollock.
Sponsored by People's United Bank, "Collage" will be on display at the Sharon Arts Exhibition Gallery, 30 Grove Street, from November 4 through January 7, 2012. An opening reception will be held November 4 from 5 to 7 pm.

The exhibition is the first sponsored by Sharon Arts Center that focuses entirely on collage--works of art made from the assemblage of various materials. The technique has been employed by artists for hundreds of years, especially in the application of cut or torn papers and gold leaf to enhance a painted surface, but the term collage--from the French “coller,” to glue--first came into common use with the work of Picasso and Braque in the early 20th century.

Collage has evolved with contemporary artists as a way of bringing together disparate materials to create a wholly new object or image. The collaging or layering of elements can make use of the external meaning suggested by the components, including newspaper or magazine clippings, stamps, labels, or sheet music; or by allusion to the previous life of materials such as scraps of fabric, pieces of wood, leaves and other natural objects, or industrial remnants. Collaged works can vary from flat assemblies of colored or textured papers to works using three-dimensional materials that approach sculpture.

Each of the artists included in the Sharon Arts Center exhibition brings an individual vision and interpretation to this style of picture making. In the work of Paul Pollaro and Ted Arnold, color is the primary focus. Bright reds and vivid oranges bind the pieces together, but Pollaro’s focus is on abstract landscape-like forms while Arnold depicts people, wedding parties and tea cups. Thomas Meyers and Avy Claire have a more ethereal approach. Meyers’ delicate ink and casein washes lend subtle touches of color and line to his torn paper collages. Claire prints images onto mylar, which is sewn down and layered with excerpts from her personal journals.

Collage allows artists to explore qualities of depth and texture, as well as the layering of meaning through the cultural references inherent in some of the recognizable elements. The Sharon Arts Center and McGowan Fine Arts expect this exhibition to provide an in-depth look at the diversity possible in this exciting art form.

In conjunction with this exhibit there will be several events held in the Gallery:

Saturday, Nov. 12 and 16 from 10 am to noon: Kids Collage Mini-Workshop for ages 5+. Preregistration required. Call (603) 924-2787.

Saturday, Nov. 19 from 4-6 pm: Panel Discussion with Sarah Chaffee of McGowan Fine Art, Ted Arnold, and others.

Hours at the Gallery are Monday through Saturday 10 am to 6 pm and Sunday 11 am to 5 pm. For more information, call (603) 924-7676 and see http://www.sharonarts.org/.

The mission of Sharon Arts Center, a non-profit organization, is to engage the community in the artistic process, to support and serve artists and craftspeople, and to foster the relationship between artists and the community through education, exhibitions, and the promotion and sale of arts and crafts as well as through special programs and events.

Sharon Arts center offers a wide variety of art classes and programs in the school facility in Sharon, NH--a Fine Craft Gallery, a Juried Artist Member Gallery, and an Exhibition Gallery at Depot Square.

The Sharon Arts Fine Crafts Exhibition Gallery is accessed through Depot Square and 30 Grove St. in downtown Peterborough. The Craft Gallery is located in Depot Square in Downtown Peterborough. Store and Exhibition Gallery hours are: Monday - Saturday 10 am to 6 pm, Sunday 11 - 5 pm.