Father and Son

A few Bryan Memorial Gallery staff members ventured southeast to Gloucester, MA a few weeks ago for the opening reception of A Father and Son’s Journey in Paint, featuring the works of Tom Nicholas, NA and his son, T.M. Nicholas.  As a staff, some among us are usually on duty at the gallery, so rarely if ever do we make it together to opening receptions.  However for this occasion, the stars aligned and 3 of us were able to attend, along with one of our artists, Andrew Orr, and literally 100’s of others.

TM Nicholas Late Autumn Rockport Harbor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The exhibition at the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester brings together over 100 paintings by father and son, a veritable conversation in paint between the generations.  In brief, T.M. studied with his father as well as with others, and such a dual exhibition had been a career goal since he was a teenager.  In fact, the timing of this exhibit (Tom is in his 80’s’ T.M. is in his 50’s) is perfect as the presence of both painters and Gloria Nicholas, Mrs. Tom Nicholas, informed the undertaking.

Bryan Gallery has shown the works of Tom Nicholas almost since the beginning of the gallery (35 years ago), and of T. M. Nicholas just as soon as he was ready to participate.  As painters in the great Cape Ann tradition, they raise a bar and set a standard that grows and develops continuously, with fluidity and graciousness that reflects their personal, respective integrity.

Tom Nicholas Rockport HarborBoth are extraordinarily generous artists: generous with their time, with their ideas and thoughts, with the expansiveness of their vision and with a kind of risk taking that always surprises.  Just when you think you’ve seen the best from either one, there’s another thought in paint, another location, another idea that surprises and solidifies one’s estimation, another notch above the last.

While Gloria Nicholas is herself not a painter, one understands completely the contribution of her superb organizational skills, in addition to the same from Laurel Nicholas, mother of the 4 Nicholas granddaughters.  Blood can be thicker than paint.

Tom Nicholas and Mickey(Mickey Myers with Tom Nicholas)

Wishing we lived closer, it might be possible to attend one of the three lectures that accompany this exhibition: February 15: T.M. Nicholas and Stapleton Kearns; March 14: Judith Curtis and April 4, T.M. Nicholas.  In addition, an informative catalogue sets the tone for the scholarship about both artists which will undoubtedly be woven into the legend and lore of the arts on Cape Ann.

Tom Nicholas and T.M. Nicholas: A Father and Son’s Journey in Paint

Cape Ann Museum, 27 Pleasant Street, Gloucester, MA 01930 through April 12, 2020, open daily except Mondays.  978-283-0455. www.capeannmuseum.org

The current issue of American Art Review includes an article by Judith Curtis about this exhibition

Cabin Fever: Collaging Spring

by Mickey Myers

“After December, all weather that is not wintry is springlike.”  – Thoreau

. . . .and so it seemed during the first CABIN FEVER event of the 2019 season, spring had sprung.

Bryan Memorial Gallery introduced its Cabin Fever Series four years ago as an antidote to winter.  Whether crawling the walls or gazing endlessly out the cabin window, our artists and patrons have told us the gallery offers solace, especially as an alternative to the endlessness of the winter months, particularly this year.

The Cabin Fever series was launched to formalize this proposition – that the winter months offer the opportunity to hear new ideas, and/or affirm old ideas.  Regardless, ideas are prime.

. . . . and so, with this year’s Cabin Fever series, we introduced a new medium (new to us,  that is) to lead off the entire Cabin Fever series with a collage workshop.  It was a daring idea.  Collage has never been a mainstay of the gallery, but Sandra fw Beaty, a part-time resident of Montgomery VT (and Atlanta GA,) came to us, willing to take the risk with us and introduce the gallery to collage.

We did all those things you do when you haven’t done something previously – breathe deeply, fantasize, cross all t’s and dot the i’s, and in general prepare and publicize as thoroughly as possible.  And wouldn’t  you know, collage struck a chord.

Our members were just waiting for Sandra’s workshop.  They filled the ranks, showed up on time, and are already asking for more.  What was her message and her magic?  Well, her message was largely contained in the playful display of her own work, which is on view for YOU to see during the winter months through March 31, in the gallery’s Pop Up Gallery.  If you can’t make it over, check it out on our website.  The magic?  Largely it was dependent on each participant in her workshop, whose afternoon explorations can be seen below.

“What happened?”  Sandra came with her suitcases full of art papers she has collected all over the world, spread them out on the floor and invited the participants to dive in and make art.  Photographs were provided for source material, and Sandra circulated through the sold out crowd through the day, exclaiming and encouraging.  She was an enthusiastic partner in the process.

In the end, we can summarize it as follows:  art may be the most gentle antidote to the endlessness of winter.  When you really let it in, spring has sprung regardless of the date on the calendar.

Sandra 1 Sandra 2 Sandra 3 Sandra 4 Sandra 5 Sandra 6 Sandra 7 Sandra 8 Sandra 9 Sandra 10 Sandra 11 Sandra 12

On Line Art Auction

by Mickey Myers

Bryan Memorial Gallery is presenting its first ever on line art auction, a fundraising event, featuring 71 donated artworks.  The auction raises operating funds for the non-profit art gallery, devoted to New England landscape painting. 

Jan Brough, Lily Pads on #10 Pond 16" x 20" oil
Jan Brough, Lily Pads on #10 Pond
16″ x 20″ oil

On Line Art Auctions, as a vehicle for fundraising, have increased in popularity nationwide, with some presenters raising a major portion of their operating funds from such events.  While Bryan Gallery has held silent auctions as a feature of its fundraising efforts in the past, this is the first time the gallery has isolated the event and limited its presentation exclusively to the Internet.

It’s a new step for us, and two weeks before its conclusion, so far, so good.   In the past, the Gallery had heard from many of its patrons from far away that they could not get to the annual gala, which featured a silent auction, but wanted to see what was available and bid from afar.  After colleagues weighed in with reports of the success of their on line art auctions, the Bryan Gallery Board was willing to give it a try, separating it from a public event.

Jeanne Marler, Winter in Full Splendour 14 x 12 oil
Jeanne Marler, Winter in Full Splendour
14 x 12 oil

Most gratifying so far has been the generosity of artists and donors of artwork.  We even had many artists who were new to us offering artwork to the auction, and an increased number of donations over previous years.  Many of the artists are familiar from their association with the gallery, such as Eric Tobin and Julie Y Baker Albright.  Others are historic figures from the area, such as Walton Blodgett and Robert Barrett. 

The Gallery hired the services of the On Line Auction Company, Bidding Owl, which came recommended from associates, and has proven to be quite user friendly.  Bryan Gallery Manager, Tom Waters, whose responsibility was building the site, expressed appreciation for the easy procedure of posting the auction. 

Mary Bryan, Red Barn with Wagon 5 x 7 pastel
Mary Bryan, Red Barn with Wagon
5 x 7 pastel

He noted that the auction concludes on Saturday, November 11 at 6 PM, and he’s expecting an increase in the number of visitors to the gallery’s website between now and then.  “We expect the last few days to be busy with bids and phone calls.  We’ve re-enforced the staff for the grand finale, and all of us are ready to assist the bidders if necessary.”

So far, there have even been some outright sales from the website.  The Internet has made it possible for us to connect with art lovers everywhere.  Some may visit us on their annual vacations, and increasingly, they stay in touch throughout the year via our website and blog, and social media.  We do it all, and it makes a difference. 

Monique Dewyea, Nymph's Delight 11 x 15 watercolor
Monique Dewyea, Nymph’s Delight
11 x 15 watercolor

Bryan Memorial Gallery’s On Line Art Auction can be accessed through the gallery’s website: www.bryangallery.org.