Abstract Spaces and Places
10th Annual Invitational Abstract Group Show
Michaele Christian, Roberta Gross, Jeri Dantzig, Edwina Rissland, Martha Mae Jones, Laura Roosevelt, Sian Ballen and Chetta Kelley

Show Dates: August 24 - September 10
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 26, from 5 to 7pm
with Live Music

Results : 53 Photos








It is with great pleasure that the Louisa Gould Gallery on Main Street in Vineyard Haven presents the Tenth Annual Group Abstract Show, “Abstract Spaces and Places” opening on August 24, 2017 and continuing until September 10, 2017.   The artists’ reception will be on August 26 from 5-7 p.m.   The exhibit showcases the work of eight (8) artists, all with long time connections to Martha’s Vineyard:  Michaele Christian,   Roberta Gross, Jeri Dantzig, Edwina Rissland, Martha Mae Jones, Laura Roosevelt, Sian Ballen and Chetta Kelley. These artists create very individualistic works of art by creatively employing a variety of media:   acrylics, glass, fabrics, digital photography, oil and water based monotypes, and mixed media.    Roberta Gross who has curated nine (9) and participated in all ten (10)   of the Gallery’s annual   abstract shows once again has chosen paintings and photographs reflecting a multitude of abstract visions of places and spaces through diverse mediums.   The individual artists and their work are described below:


Michaele Christian has again explored the powerful potential of monoprints to reflect abstract imagery as well as political expression. Her current print making process was inspired by a   monotype exhibit of Degas’ work at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York last year. Degas, who is well known for his paintings and sculptures, is less well known for his monotypes.   Michaele responded to the breadth of images and depth of expression he achieved with black and white, largely created using the subtraction technique where black ink or paint is wiped or smudged away from the plate to create the images which are then printed on paper. She explains this year’s selection as follows: “While color is often a feature of my monotypes, this year the use of black and white was inspired by Degas and the “Homage” series was a humble nod to the master.”   Some of Michaele’s prints also subtly reflect some of the more disturbing events occurring in our nation throughout the United States.


Roberta Gross has chosen to use the fast drying but fluid qualities of acrylic paints to capture   her sense of the Vineyard landscape in her front yard.   “During June and July, I painted outdoors, overlooking a garden patch of budding plants, grasses, oak trees and vines and a large terrain of rolling wetlands leading to the ocean.    I became imbued with the sense of overlapping and interweaving blocks and patches of colors interspersed with darker movement of intersecting lines”   The resulting paintings reflect her energetic flinging of paint, application of bold, black lines, and the process of hiding and revealing earlier layers.


Jeri Dantzig , a long time Martha’s Vineyard glass artist,   began her studies at Corning Glass Company.   She incorporates a wide tapestry of colors, shapes and sizes into her fused glass creations. The process of glass fusion involves the joining of cut and layered sheet as well as crushed or powdered glass into desired patterns, followed by kiln firing for 18 to 48 hours.   The rich palette of the Vineyard sky, Asia and South America inspire the abundance of color in her work   For her, "Nothing surpasses the tone and richness of glass".  


Edwina Rissland ’s goal in her photography is to create painterly images from material found in the everyday, often focusing on boats.   Her camera can capture the beauty in   even something as mundane as paint being scraped or refreshed on hulls.   Many of her images are taken on early morning prowls around boatyards, like the Gannon and Benjamin Boatyard in Vineyard Haven.   During her walks, there are always new discoveries to be found and captured. “Very often it is striking color that first catches my eye and draws me into the process of framing and composing… I take care to do my work up front through the lens. My aim is to visually edit down reality to create tight compositions that will stand on their own…. (which) often do not reveal their original source. They have become abstract ‘lens paintings.’”   Her photographs in this exhibit   are archival pigment prints made from unedited, full-frame scans of 35mm film.


Martha Jones is a fabric artist who uses remnants of silk, cotton, rayon, bamboo, hemp, and other fibers to make art that can define or embellish a space. She creates painterly abstractions using textiles, attaching them to the canvas, like painters use paint.   When she is working, she is “primarily interested in creating harmony between the sedate and the wild, the new and vintage, the bold and subtle, the floral and the geometric. It is challenging and exciting to integrate these seemingly disparate fragments of fabric into harmonious and metaphorical narratives. I never know in advance what a piece of art is going to look like. And, I pray, that when I begin a work, I will not try to control the theme of what will emerge.”


Laura D. Roosevelt, a long time resident of Martha’s Vineyard, has been photographing reflections on water since 2010, disassociating the reflections from resulting abstract images. She is particularly interested in the color, pattern, and composition that results from her process.   She shot this year's photographs in Ireland in October of 2016.


Sian Ballen is a participant in the abstract classes at Featherstone Center for the Arts. She describes her artistic process as “a personal exploration into the world that surrounds me through use of abstract forms and color. I have always been strongly influenced by both Abstract Expressionism and Color Field painting. By combining the dual aspects of these two artistic movements with subtle colors and bold strokes, I hope to create a sense of balance.”   The current pieces on display reflect her preference for neutral tones in varying shades of gray with an intermittent hint of a brighter color.   Her layering of geometric forms provides a tactile, energetic feeling to her compositions.


Chetta Kelley , a Martha’s Vineyard resident, has recently become enamored of abstract art while experimenting with YUPO, a synthetic white, smooth paper.   When she paints on this surface, “colors and dramatic blacks and whites seem to jump off the page.” Usually when she approaches her paper or canvases, she has an idea, a dominant color along with an attitude in mind which evokes and directs her gestures to tell a story.   Her black and white YUPO piece in this exhibit suggests a failing civilization.

Please join us for the opening artist reception on Saturday, August 26 from 5 to 7pm with refreshments, light fare and live music by Micheal Hayden. The show will be on exhibit at the Louisa Gould Gallery from August 24 through September 10 and also on line at louisagould.com. For further information and directions please call (508) 693.7373.

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