, Salem, MA


January 10, 2013

Art is all around

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


Starting with original photographs, Underhill may paint them, make a composite with other photographs, or filter their colors through a software program called Color Efex Pro.

“I like to create images that are not photographs, and not paintings, but create a new interesting world for people to look at,” she said. “Someone who saw my work at Firehouse said, ‘Who thinks like that?’ and I liked that.”

The Swampscott Art Association is currently holding two group shows, at the Gallery at Grosvenor Park in Salem and at Marblehead Public Library.

“The difference between the exhibits,” said Nancy Ferguson, a Marblehead artist who coordinates shows for the Grosvenor Gallery, “is that one is a retrospective — at the library — while this is new, judged work, their latest work, at Grosvenor Park.”

The Swampscott association has more than 70 members, Ferguson said, 25 of whom are exhibiting two works apiece at Grosvenor.

“What is interesting is the breadth of expression here,” Ferguson said. “There is absolute abstraction, as well as representation, with some very fine drawing and beautiful photography.

“All media are represented: watercolor, oils and acrylic,” she said, “and also wax encaustic works. There’s even a wonderful, three-dimensional clown head, made of paper and cardboard and maybe wool.”

Sarah Johnson, who is guest curating at The Gallery at Porter Mill in Beverly, has paired two artists who work with found objects.

“Brian Thomas works from home in Salem,” Johnson said, “creating assemblage art with found objects and different materials he finds — he’s a big walker, he goes on hikes.

“He rearranges these things in orderly, very time-consuming fashion,” she said.

This is Thomas’ second show in the past year, after taking several years away from working on art, Johnson said.

Sarah Rutherford, who is from Rochester, N.Y., also “collects treasures, anything with character that sticks out to her,” Johnson said. “It’s like she’s painting with a nail gun and hammer. The overall experience lends itself to these little worlds she creates.”

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