New England Artists of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
Jeanne Staples, Liz Taft, Debra Hope Colligan,
Saskia Eubanks, Deena Gu-Laties and Sarah Son-Theroux 

Show Dates August 30 - September 10
Opening Reception Saturday September 1, 5 - 7pm
Results : 22 Photos

Louisa Gould Gallery is very pleased to announce a new exhibit, “New England Artists of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA)”, which opens on August 30. This exhibit is a pre-show highlighting six PAFA Alumni who are featured in an all ages PAFA Alumni exhibit at Cape Cod Museum of Art, which opens in late September. We are delighted to have distinguished and well known local Martha's Vineyard artists Jeanne Staples, and Liz Taft, in addition to, Cape Cod artists, Sarah Son-Theroux, Deena Gu-Laties and Debra Hope Colligan as well as Saskia Eubanks from Boston. Please stop by the opening reception, Saturday, September 1, from 5 to 7 PM to view the new artwork, meet the artists, and enjoy light refreshments. The show will be on exhibit from August 30 to September 10.

This show was organized with PAFA Alumnus Debra Hope Colligan and Alison Campbell, PAFA's Manager of Government and Foundation Relations. PAFA is the pre-eminent institution of American realism. Collectively, these artists are brought together as they nurture their personal expression and fluency in visual language on canvas and paper with all of the depth and dimension of their artwork. These artists continue to carry out PAFA's renowned history of artistic accomplishments, as part of PAFA's vibrant community of working artists with all of their own rich heritage of serious artistic achievement, all finding their own unique voice and direction as artists at PAFA and displayed at this beautiful exhibition of seascapes, and landscapes.

PAFA in Philadelphia, PA was founded in 1805 by painter & scientist Charles Willson Peale and sculptor William Rush. It is the oldest and first art museum, and art school in the United States. The Academy continues to be a cultural destination to audiences locally, nationally & internationally. Cecilia Beaux, Mary Cassatt, Maxfield Parrish, Charles Sheeler, Thomas Eakins, John Sloan, Charles Demuth, Arthur B. Carles, architect Louis I. Kahn, and filmmaker David Lynch are among those who studied at PAFA.

As a classically-trained painter, Jeanne Staples (PAFA 1982) with interests ranging from the evocative and timeless landscapes of Martha'sVineyard to figurative, narrative work - to more modernist interests with her series of 3-D paintings which explores the nexus of traditional realism and popular culture. Jeanne has lived and worked in Martha's Vineyard since 1973 where she has captured the beauty in her light-filled, dramatic landscapes with intense shadows and colored skies. As Ricardo Barreto, Director, Urban Arts Institute in Boston states, “there is an austere elegance to the landscapes and a keen sense of light and atmosphere... the appreciation of the materials is evident, as is the mastery of them.”

Elizabeth Taft (PAFA 1997) is another wonderful local Martha's Vineyard artist and can often be found painting en plein air on the Vineyard or neighboring Nantucket. Liz works on location where she creates both small studies and large scale paintings. Her love of nature is clearly evident in her richly colored landscapes. As Liz describes her work, “my approach is to let the forms in the painting emerge from faithful attention to the bold colors I see. For me, painting is all about communicating the peace and serenity of a particular time and place through color in the landscape”.

Sarah Son-Theroux (PAFA 1993) from Cape Cod, MA is also an en plein air painter who displays a looser palette and brush strokes. Sarah's notes, “ my approach to painting is to open myself to whatever unknown and unexpected visions nature allows me to see as I watch. Every time I go out to paint with my easel and brushes is like going out for the first time.” Sarah formally began landscape painting in the summer of 1991 in a painting class at PAFA, studying with Louis Sloan and although she did not even have an easel, she was perfectly content to prop and balance a palette and canvas wherever she found a view to paint.

S askia Eubanks (PAFA 2003) finds inspiration working from direct observation of nature. She was trained at the Museum School of the PAFA where she completed the classical fine arts program in painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture. As Saskia describes her approach, My interest lies in exploring relationships I notice through observation and expressing them in ways that both defy and define the boundaries of representation. I find greatest inspiration working from nature, observing sublime dualities of destructive and reconstructive elements through temporal relationships of color, subject, and form”. Saskia's works display loose and fluid brush strokes with lush colors in each of her dramatic landscapes.

Deena Gu-Laties (PAFA 1997) was born in Shanghai, first studied with several masters in China before coming to the United States to continue her studies in the PAFA. After success as a contemporary artist, she returned to her roots, working in watercolor on rice paper --- a long standing tradition in her native China. Her work incorporates both Eastern and Western influences, emphasizing color and space plus a sense of their relationship. Deena 's art work has been the focus of numerous solo exhibits and her work is featured in many private, university and museum collections. Her work, Orchid , is a simple and elegant exquisitely detailed piece, which harkens to the rich traditions found in Chinese works with a more contemporary flair.

Debra Hope Colligan (PAFA 1979) finds inspiration from many years of creating paintings in oils en plein air on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Debra notes, “The unique vibrant daylight on the Cape & Islands inspires me to use a palette knife coupled with a variety of brushes, creating a great deal of texture and color that I incorporate into my paintings. My roots on the Cape & the Islands, as well as, working with animals and people give me a "soulful impression" of texture, color, & impact upon the creation of each canvas of seascapes, landscapes, & portraits.” Her charming paintings, large works, and her small treasures, have a timeless feel and act as a means for Debra to communicate her experiences.

We look forward to having you join us for our opening to meet these wonderful PAFA Alumni artists on Saturday, September 1  from 5 to 7PM and you can view this artwork online at  

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