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Urban Settings

Michele Boll, John Brickels, and Wendy James

March 13 - April 27, 2019

Michele Boll, Waiting
Michele Boll, Waiting
(click to enlarge)

For this exhibit, three artists are sharing selections of their work themed around urban scenes and subject matter. Based in the Lowell Western Avenue Studios, Michele Boll, John Brickels, and Wendy James each explore city motifs as a portion of their larger repertoires. The following excerpts from their respective artist statements offer insight into thought processes and methods.

Michele Boll:

My work is about those moments when light reveals what is beautiful about ordinary places and things. I am generally attracted to run-down buildings, simple objects, alleys glimpsed in passing, or the way light caresses moldings on an old house. My goal is to capture the feeling of a place and moment in time and communicate that through my work. My final composition is never a rendering of an exact scene but rather a reflection of my connection to it. I’ll often remove or add objects to a composition in order to balance and complete the story I want to tell. Somehow, in the spaces between light and shadow, I see reflections of the people who inhabit or built the structures: a hint of the human condition. The presence of the individual is always there –even when absent.

John Brickels, detail from untitled relief sculpture
John Brickels, detail from untitled relief sculpture
(click to enlarge)

John Brickels:

Brickels has no agenda. He has no “Ax to grind”. He makes sculptures that he would want to see if he walked into a gallery or museum. He uses clay because it is elemental and basic. He exploits the plastic qualities of clay by extruding, bending and manipulating it to its technical limits.

Wendy James, Traffic Lighting
Wendy James, Traffic Lighting
(click to enlarge)

Wendy James:

My oil paintings originate from photographs. I look for scenes that are not typically regarded as beautiful and figures experiencing the mundane “in between” moments. The compositions often incorporate wide-angle views, contrasting colors, and unusual viewpoints. Photoshop is my sketchpad as I digitally manipulate and adjust color combinations. I use my newly altered photo as a reference as I paint. My intent is to make the viewer rethink our common, everyday scenes.

There will be a reception for the artists on Sunday, April 7, from 2:30 to 4:30. All are welcome.

This exhibit is made possible by the Groton Public Library Endowment Trust.

Ken Hansen,
Curator