The Poetry of Abstraction
Annual Abstract Art Show
Jennifer Ellwood, Martha Mae Jones, Michaele Christian, Roberta Gross, Laura Roosevelt,  Genevieve Jacobs, and Pamela Flam

Reception, Saturday, August 29, 5-7pm
Show Dates: August 27 - September 24

Tuesday, September 1 at 5pm
Curatorial Talk by Roberta Gross

Results : 53 Photos

PRESS RELEASE: It is with great pleasure that the Louisa Gould Gallery presents the Eighth Annual Abstract Show, “ The Poetry of Abstraction” opening on August 28, 2015 and continuing until September 17, 2015. The artists’ reception will be on August 29th from 5-7 p.m., with a curatorial talk about the exhibit by Roberta Gross on Tuesday, September 1st at 5 p.m., both at the gallery at 54 Main Street in Vineyard Haven. The exhibit showcases the work of (7) artists, all with long time connections to Martha’s Vineyard: Michaele Christian; Jennifer Ellwood; Roberta Gross; Genevieve Jacobs; Martha Mae Jones, Laura Roosevelt, and Pamela Flam. Their art work achieves what Archibald MacLeish had in mind when he wrote Ars Poetica: the art “should not mean but be”. These artists create images which capture a sense of a reality beneath the changing everyday appearances of the ocean, lakes, beaches, forests and towns. They do so by creatively employing a variety of media: oil, fabrics, digital photography, monotypes, and mixed media compositions.

Brief descriptions of the artists and their work follows:

Michaele Chamblee Christian is a retired oncologist who returned to her early love of art and painting by pursuing monotype printmaking at Featherstone Center for the Arts on Martha’s Vineyard beginning in 2004. She has studied with several instructors there including Linda Ziegler, Leslie Baker, and Nick Thayer. She has also studied with Skip Barnhardt and Penny Barringer in Washington, D.C. She uses monotype, collagraph, chine colle and collage techniques to explore themes related to nature and the world around us as well as more abstract themes, often incorporating found objects as part of the print making process. While she most commonly works with oil-based inks and paints, some pieces are done in water-based inks, water colors and crayon.

Jennifer Ellwood’s abstract oil paintings, often inspired by nature including Vineyard landscapes, reflect a command of composition, movement of forms and color.  She is not only is a talented abstract landscape artist, she is also a practicing psychotherapist who grew up in Pittsburg, moved to Boston to attend Tufts University and graduated with a BA/BS in 1993. Jennifer has studied painting at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, at the University of Fine Arts in Hanoi, Vietnam, and privately. Her work has been included in juried shows in galleries in Boston including the Gallery @ Green Street and the Bromfield Gallery. 

Genevieve Jacobs a long time resident of Martha’s Vineyard. Genevieve lives and works in West Tisbury with her husband, 9 sheep, and whatever feathered and furried creatures happen to be passing through at the moment. She pursues an active artistic life on the Island, both exhibiting at various venues and offering drawing classes at Polly Hill Arboretum. Her focus for this exhibit is her fascination with the dynamic patterns formed in nature, including rocks, sidewalks, and beaches, appreciating the interconnectedness of all things in the natural world. For these works, she creates depth and translucency by overlaying her photographic transparencies on maps, prints and her older, abstract art work.

Martha Mae Jones turns to fabrics as her muse. In creating her original, coloristic assemblages, she uses textiles she creates as well as remnants of silk, cotton, rayon, bamboo, hemp, and other fibers. She is primarily interested in creating a harmony between the sedate and the wild, the new and vintage, the bold and subtle, the floral and the geometric. Trained as a sociologist, she went to Sweden to study weaving and textile design. For more than thirty years now, she has practiced her deep passion for textiles, exhibiting her fabric-centric creations in boutiques, including her own in New York City and in the Vineyard. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Martha’s Vineyard Magazine, and Essence Magazine.

Laura Roosevelt, a year round resident of West Tisbury, is someone many Islanders know as a poet, journalist, and active community member. She is once again presenting her abstract photography for this exhibit. These photographs reflect her continued interest in bodies of water in which she responds to visual images of boats, pilings, docks, and buildings -- seemingly solid objects -- as they become distorted and transformed by the water’s movement. She aims for her photographs to appear painterly rather than more hard edged and presents colorful compositions of swirling patterns and distortions.

Roberta Gross, the curator of, and a participant in this exhibit, is a resident of Aquinnah and Philadelphia, PA. She shows her work in galleries in Philadelphia and on the Vineyard. She often can be seen at the Featherstone Center for the Arts where she teaches the abstract and mixed media art courses. For this exhibit, she is altering monotypes which suggest land, sea and mood scapes. The oil-based monotypes are remounted on wood panels which are painted with colors mixed with sand or glass beads. Then the pieces are collaged with gilded papers or painted and distressed Tyvek, the material builders use in the early stages of preparing a new house. The Tyvek creates a dimensionality to the strongly textured prints together with the 2 inch deep panels result in low relief images.

Pamela Flam, a long time Vineyard resident, has been "painting" with fabric for 30 years.  Her current pieces are a reaction against the commercially dyed and printed fabrics she usually uses, an effort to tread more lightly on the earth and on the island.  They are inspired by Japanese Boro (patchwork) and the mark making of Agnes Martin.

You can meet the artists at the opening and enjoy light refreshments and also join Roberta Gross for a curatorial discussion of the exhibit on September 1st at 5pm.

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