, Salem, MA


January 10, 2013

Art is all around

A look at what's on exhibit on the North Shore

There’s so much art to see on the North Shore this month, you could spend the rest of January looking at paintings, photography and works in a variety of other media.

They include the fiber art of Michele Bonner at the Marblehead Arts Association, in an annual exhibit of new members, which this year number 32.

Bonner works at Seed Stitch Fine Yarn in Salem, but she doesn’t knit sweaters or mittens.

“I don’t knit garments, because it doesn’t intrigue me,” she said. “Some of this I just make up as I go.”

“Coralesque” and “Tar Jelly,” the two pieces Bonner is showing, are fiber versions of underwater creatures that will make visitors feel they are snorkeling through the gallery.

Tar jelly is a fungus, which the artist thinks are “amazing-looking creatures” she evoked using felted wool and rubber.

Bonner also creates assemblages from discarded objects like wooden spools or clothing labels and found some of the material in “Tar Jelly” at a work site.

“I happened to be at Habitat for Humanity and found a spool of rubber you use to wedge in your screen windows,” she said. “I like the idea that it’s something someone would throw out, but wouldn’t see. I like to find a new way to see it, find its value.”

Bonner joined the association with her husband, John, who has three paintings in the show, representing two sides of his work.

He paints houses that are usually set within a distant horizon, but are also embraced by sunlight playing on their roofs and windows and on surrounding trees, streets and buildings.

There are no human figures in Bonner’s house paintings, but a second set of his works are filled with people, usually crossing a street or sitting on a train.

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