Richard Boyd Art Gallery

September 2013 – “LABOR: THE ART OF WORK”

"ROBERT" by Wyatt Barr
"Unemployment" by Kenny Cole

“Unemployment” by Kenny Cole

(Peaks Island, ME) Richard Boyd Art Gallery pays homage to the American worker in “Labor: The Art of Work” a new exhibit opening Monday September 2, at 10:00 am. The exhibition features a selection of art in a variety of media exploring contemporary issues and imagery that depict workers employed in local and regional industries, works inspired by the 20th century post-war New Deal era and works that speak to the state of employment in America. Many of the paintings on view are set in Maine and speak to the long standing tradition of boat building and tourism along Maine’s working waterfront.

The exhibit features Sumi ink and charcoal portraits by Wyatt Barr, paintings by Gwen Sylvester depicting images of the working waterfront, paintings and collages by Gordon Carlisle reflecting his sensibility growing up in the post-War era, paintings by Claudia Hughes portraying restaurant workers, mixed media works depicting day laborers by Petrea Noyes, paintings in acrylic on canvas or watercolor depicting workers on the waterfront by Wilson Stewart, and modern images by artist Kenny Cole in gouache and mixed media on paper that speak to the state of employment in America. The exhibit is on view from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm daily through September 30, 2013. The artists will be at a reception on saturday September 7, from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm to discuss their work.

Artist Kenny Cole’s work is edgy, graphic and often political reflecting a clear understanding of contemporary issues and modern art. A 1981 graduate of the Pratt Institute in New York, Kenny’s early works were inspired by the neo-expressionist art scene in New York’s East Village. After the 1991 American aerial bombardment of Iraq Cole’s subject matter began to evolve into explorations of military matters and his art became politically engaging. In 1994 Kenny moved his family to Maine where he continues to create politically relevant art. Each piece of Cole’s art imparts a relevancy in terms of meaning, content and style. Kenny’s images are exhibited nationally and held in numerous private collections.

Gordon Carlisle’s images are influenced by his youth in the 1950’s when “B-Science Fiction movies flooded the screens and printed color looked a little more washed out than today.” While the industrial source material for his collage is ancient, the situation depicted should be familar to anyone who’s labored too long at one task. His painting was inspired by the American dream of owning a home, and learning later what that entails. A trained fine and commercial artist Gordon studied at Carnegie-Mellon, the Art Student’s League of New York and the Boston Museum School of Fine Art before graduating from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1973. Gordon is known throughout New England for his murals, portraits, illustrations, graphics and set designs. Since 1984 Gordon has primarily worked as a mural artist in Maine and New Hampshire and was recognized for his work as a mural artist in 1999, when he was awarded a New Hampshire State Council on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship. Carlisle’s works are exhibited nationally and held as part of numerous public and private collections including the collections of Bates College, Lewiston, ME., Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH, and the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA.

Wyatt Barr graduated from the Maine College of Art in 2012 with a degree in illustration. Wyatt captures the soul of the American worker and unemployed workers in America with his large-scale realistic portraits. Currently Wyatt lives in Portland, ME where he founded an art and design publication called Acinonyx Magazine. Image “ROBERT” by Wyatt Barr.

For more than 50 years Petrea Noyes has created art with a focus on the figurative, usually in a landscape or enclosed space. Through the years Petrea’s creative process has changed but her focus on the figurative remains constant. Her current body of work inspired by images of early 20th century day laborers includes the use of newsprint, gesso, large-format inkjet printer, and an assortment of acrylic gels and glazes to create figurative works that depict scenes from by gone days in a throughly modern and captivating way. A trained fine artist Petrea’s work is exhibited locally and nationally and is in numerous corporate and public collections including the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston, Marriot Hotels in Hartford, Connecticut and Colorado State University.

Gwen Sylvester is a trained fine artist with a BA degree in Studio Art from University of California, Davis. Although Gwen received a solid foundation in art beginning in her teen years while attending the Magnet School and the Museum School of Art programs in Fort Worth, Texas her style is intuitive and expressive. Sylvester’s work is influenced by abstract perspectives and vigorous surfaces found in works by Diebenkorn and Thiebaud which she was exposed to while at UC Davis. Gwen’s images capture the powerful seasonal rhythms of Maine’s boat building heritage and long standing shipyard tradition. Gwen’s paintings are exhibited in local and national galleries in the United States and abroad.

Wilson W. Stewart, a self taught artist, took a course in drawing in the early eighties while attending the University of Maine at Orono. A lincensed Land Surveyor for more than 30 years Wilson enjoys working outdoors and the challenges of painting en plein-air. “My maternal grandmother was guite the sketch artist when she was younger and I guess that rubbed off on me. When I was much younger, she used to take me on trips and give me her old unused sketch books and field paints and watched as I drew. With much patience, and only a little guidance she allowed me to draw and paint what I saw, as I saw it.” During the summer months painting en plein-air Wilson is inspired by scenes from Portland and Peaks Island, Maine.” Transitioning away from oil paint to acrylic Stewart has “fallen in love with mixing my colors directly on the canvas, and the textures of the finished product. It is very much a mirror to the emotion of life.” Currently, Wilson resides in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire where he continues to create works in studio and en plein-air.

Claudia Hughes studied painting under Janet Manyan at the Maine College of art in Continuing Studies. Her paintings are influenced by her 30-plus year’s immersion in theatre as actor, director and designer. Hughes finds herself “drawn to the figure in the interior, painting the drama that light reveals on the playing surface.” Claudia’s paintings are exhibited in local venues around Portland, Maine.


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