COVID-19 has left us with a bad start to 2021 as the spike in new cases of the Omicron variant has led to the cancellation of a series of New Year’s concerts and events, including all indoor events for First Night Northampton (although events from three different venues were broadcast live).
Art galleries in the area are also moving cautiously into early 2022, with heightened safety protocols such as reduced hours and attendance limits. But there’s still plenty to see – here’s a look at some pressure exhibits. Be sure to check with individual galleries for visiting protocols.
A3 Gallery, Amherst – Painter and Illustrator John Krifka and Photographer Gloria Kegeles are sharing space in Gallery A3 this month. Krifka says his work varies between “painted drawings” and “painted drawings”, as he sometimes incorporates elements of both in his small-scale landscapes and still lifes; more recently he has experimented with a bit of digital manipulation.
“Style can come and go through [my] image plan as well as by the individual approach [I] put forward with each canvas, ”he wrote in notes for the exhibit – aptly called“ Coming and Going ”.
Kegeles, whose exhibition is titled “At the Precipice,” specializes in photographs taken at vintage car shows, during which she uses reflected light and the chrome and shine of vehicles to create surreal distorted images that bend and swirl in multiple ways.
In exhibition notes, she writes that in her most recent photos, some “difficult connections” have emerged: “For me, the current images evoke feelings of confusion resulting from major global crises. “
Due to COVID, gallery hours are limited from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday through Sunday. Visit gallerya3.com for more information, including an online forum on January 20 hosted by Kegeles and Krivka.
Framing and printing Hope & Feathers, Amherst – From January 14 to February 28, Hope & Feathers will present “Songs of the Sacred Harp,” an exhibition by painter and weaver Mairead Dambruch, a 2020 graduate of the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University.
Dambruch, whose paintings offer vivid surrealist paintings, said in a statement that she “cultivates[s] inspiration from historical and personal narratives visually coded into handmade objects… My work takes the form of visual allegory that draws on the ties of craftsmanship and reaches into the ethers of spirit and folklore.
William Baczek Beaux-Arts, Northampton — Continuing an exhibition that opened last month, Baczek Gallery presents new and older works by more than 15 artists, mostly painters, in an exhibition that includes digital prints, photographs and sculptures.
In addition to works by artists longtime associated with the gallery, the exhibition features the work of new Baczek artists, including Springfield painter Andrae Green. Green’s colourful, expressionistic style draws inspiration from both European masters and his experience in Jamaica; he describes his artistic journey as “a bit of Europe, a bit of Africa and a lot in between”.
El Gato Chimney, the pen name of an Italian artist who got his start in graffiti and other street art, is also part of the show. Now he presents watercolor and gouache canvases with surreal paintings such as “Plain Song”, which depicts, among other things, a giant swan with an overlong beak and a flaming wooden tower balanced on its back. .
Artists’ Anchor House, Northampton – Five different exhibitions of varying sizes are on display at Anchor House through January 22, including an entertaining range of painted wooden sculptures by gallery founder Michael Tillyer, who showed some of these pieces individually at Art in the Orchard in Easthampton and has now brought them together.
Also on display at Anchor are hand-painted vintage baby photographs by Amy Johnquest; assemblages of faces by Mark Brown; one-line compositions by Jonathan Stark; and large-scale black-and-white paintings of jazz musicians by Charles Miller, a percussionist who once performed with several of these musicians.
Miller’s paintings are part of a year-long retrospective of the 90-year-old Northampton artist’s work at Anchor.
Visits to Anchor should ideally be arranged by appointment, although walk-ins are welcome if numbers permit (six people per hour at the gallery).
OxBow Gallery, Easthampton – The OxBow, which just reopened in December at its new Easthampton location after 17 odd years in Northampton, this month features works by painters Stephanie Vignone in the front room and Martha Armstrong in the back room. Vignone features impressionistic landscapes in pastel and oil, while Armstrong specializes in landscapes that offer a blend of abstraction and realism.
PULP Gallery, Holyoke – The country has just marked the anniversary of a frightening event: the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol building. The insurgency also served as the inspiration for an exhibition by Imo Nse Imeh, a Nigerian-American artist and art professor at Westfield State University, whose exhibition “and I’ll be there with you” takes its name from something former President Donald Trump told his supporters shortly before storming the Capitol.
According to exhibit notes, Imeh used the insurgency as a starting point to take a “historical dive into the intersections of race, religion, and American identity from the perspective of a black Christian.” . His large-scale drawings consider “other related moments of violence, hatred, and abuse by white people throughout American history, who veiled their destructive desires behind their self-made ‘Christ’ image.”
D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield – “The Body Orned,” a new exhibit at Springfield Museums, examines the handcrafted pendants, earrings, and other adornments people wore in ancient American cultures from Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, from Peru and Mexico. The exhibition, which runs until February 27, also examines the influence that metalworking, textiles and ceramics have had on future generations of artists.
The exhibited works were made between 400 and 1550 AD. The exhibition is presented in English and Spanish.