Robert Bent of Greenfield paints using a loose brush stroke, sometimes incorporating pastels and charcoal into impressionistic paintings that retain a certain lovely openness about them. Bent explains, “For the most part I take my work in a representational trajectory running along an expressionist/modernist/abstract spectrum. I like to consider my painting and drawing as aiming for non-fictional expression, revealing my decisions about mark-making and my multiple responses to the chosen subjects. I recognize that there are certainly fictional (abstracted) components in individual pieces.” He intends for these explorations, responses and perceptions to “reveal the questions and tensions flowing from that process.” Mostly self-taught and with several stints in art school, Bent believes that “painting records, in a form of visual poetry, the practitioners placement in the world, in community, in what is recognized as reality. Putting color and line on canvas becomes a form of verse with each painter’s dialect revealing the artist’s development and the experience of knowing.”
Suzanne Conway of Colrain is a humor illustrator, and her drawings are notable for the expressive lines. “I have always had ‘twitchy’ hands,” she explains, “with an insatiable desire to draw humans, usually humans in motion, at rest, thinking, dancing, playing, bumping around in crowds.” Although she studied International Relations at Mt. Holyoke College, and received a Masters in Education at UMass Amherst, “my passion for Art always drowned out any drive towards any ‘high-powered career’… My college notebooks were always littered with human torsos, breasts, expressions, legs, etc. Later on, as I paid my bills working in law office cubicles, I continued to ‘spit out’ humans in motion on post-notes, message pads, etc. throughout the years.” Growing up in a boisterous family of 11, she became an illustrator at the young age of three and has sought to master the art of cartooning ever since. Her keen eye captures the personality of each subject and the general mood of everyday scenes with loving detail.
Jeff Wrench is a relative new-comer to the Valley, moving to Northampton from Connecticut last summer. He is a experimental musician (or noisician) working under the name Brutum Fulmen, as well as a painter. Says Wrench, “I like to examine the things we see every day, which are often taken for granted and may have a beauty that is overlooked. This includes making paintings of average (non-celebrity) people, and the incorporation of found materials such as paint chips and wallpaper samples. Likewise, I draw attention to the paint itself by using heavy brush strokes and colors that may not necessarily conform to reality. These techniques and the use of ‘ready-made’ surfaces create opportunities for serendipity.” He points out that people are most interested in other humans as subject matter, and seeks to capture the shared human experience. His music parallels his attention to the ordinary and the found by composing with “noises of ordinary objects which make sounds that are usually only ignored.”
by appointment: 413-834-8800.
125A Avenue A in Turners Falls, next to the Black Cow Burger Bar.
Visit online at www.ninasnook.com.