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

Charles Movalli Award for Excellence in Painting

By Mickey Myers

Bryan Memorial Gallery announces the Charles Movalli Award for Excellence in Painting to be presented at the 2018 Land and Light Awards on September 9, 2018.

Artist Dale Ratcliffe Movalli and Timothy Neill are pictured with a maquette for the Charles Movalli Medal for Excellence in Painting
Artist Dale Ratcliffe Movalli and Timothy Neill are pictured with a maquette for the Charles Movalli Medal for Excellence in Painting

The Award, a gold and copper relief medal of Movalli, designed by sculptor Daniel Altshuler of Gloucester, MA, is made possible by the Estate of Charles Movalli, with arrangements made by Dale Ratcliffe Movalli, his widow also of Gloucester, MA.  The Award will be presented annually over the next eight years.

Charles Movalli (1945 – 2016) was a friend of Bryan Memorial Gallery, dating back even before the gallery was in existence as he came here to paint in Jeffersonville, and maintained a friendship with Alden Bryan, whom he knew originally from Gloucester, MA.  Movalli and Ratcliffe juried an earlier Land and Light exhibition (2008), and he was a participating artist in several subsequent Land and Light exhibits, winning the Second Place award in 2011.

Known and esteemed both as a painter and a writer, Movalli grew up in the home of artists and was inclined to teaching about art from his youngest years.  Though earning his PhD in English from University of Connecticut, Movalli’s texts were most frequently about art.  In the course of his career, he edited nine texts on artists, and American Artist magazine published 80 of his articles.  He painted at least 5,000 paintings in his lifetime, and he was best known for his landscapes and marine paintings.  

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What his friends and fellow artists recall about him was his infectious enthusiasm for all the fine arts, especially architecture and opera, and his generosity in sharing what he had learned with others, through his writings, workshops, lectures and casual conversations.  Popularly called The Ambassador of Cape Ann, he maintained a vivid interest in the history of the Rocky Neck Art Colony in Massachusetts throughout his lifetime.

The Charles Movalli Medal for Excellence in the Arts has been presented at the North Shore Arts Association and the Rockport Art Association, both in 2017.  It will be presented in at the Bryan Memorial Gallery in Jeffersonville at the Gallery’s Annual Awards ceremony on Sunday, September 9, 2018.  

 

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.   

Courthouse Update / August 21, 2017 / The Day of the Eclipse

Jeanette Fournier "Song of Spring"
Jeanette Fournier “Song of Spring”

On this auspicious date, Bryan Memorial Gallery’s curators installed the Second Segment of Vermont Landscapes at the Lamoille County Courthouse in Hyde Park. It had been seven months since the prior installation, which was well received to the point that the Courthouse invited Bryan Memorial Gallery to refresh and re-install the paintings, with some more appropriate for the fall and winter months ahead.

So on a day when just about everyone was giddy about the Eclipse of the Moon, Gallery Manager Tom Waters filled his truck with 37 paintings by 18 artists and returned to the now familiar but still hallowed halls of the Courthouse. Among the artists were three watercolorists new to this show: Lisa Forster Beach of Stowe, Kathrena Ravenhorst-Adams of

Kathrena Ravenhost-Adams "Winter on the Farm"
Kathrena Ravenhost-Adams “Winter on the Farm”

Northfield and Jeanette Fournier of Littleton, New Hampshire. Most of the artists previously in the exhibit had returned with new paintings.   Some didn’t have new work to offer, which presented the curators with their first challenge – to make that which was not new look new.

Here is where the flexibility and majesty of the Lamoille County Courthouse comes into play. The building sings. It is lyrical to the point that a painting can be moved and look as good in the second space as it did in the first. It can even look new all over again. Different lighting or wall color can contribute to the viewer’s observation of something they hadn’t seen in the painting the first time.

Lisa Forster Beach "Golden Vermont"
Lisa Forster Beach “Golden Vermont”

With the last installation, the curators had noted that paintings with animals in them had a particular fascination for some of the Courthouse guests, and so they made sure there were several more this time, including two bright bird paintings by Jeanette Fournier. Many of the artists offered paintings of fall and winter scenes: Marilyn James’ “October,” Lisa Beach’s “Golden Vermont,” and John Clarke Olson’s “Winter Barns,” among them.

For us at Bryan Gallery, returning to the Courthouse felt like familiar experience, like an extension of what we normally do, adding a special dimension to the Day of the Eclipse.   Many people will remember this day for a long time, but especially for us at Bryan Memorial Gallery, we will remember the particular satisfaction of returning to the Courthouse to share artwork and artists with a wider community.

More photos and the original post of the Courthouse Gallery can be found here.

Dianne Panarelli Miller and Her Students

by Mickey Myers

Bryan Memorial Gallery presents Dianne Panarelli Miller and Her Students in its Middle Room this summer. 25 paintings by Miller and paintings by 9 of her students are included in the exhibit.

DianneDianne Panarelli Miller, a native of Massachusetts, has been painting since studying at the late commercial art school, Vesper George, in Boston.  One of the last graduates of the school (1983), Miller went on to attend the Ives Gammel Atelier formed by some of the former Vesper George faculty, specifically Robert Douglas Hunter and Robert Cormier.  Her five year atelier education led her to parlay the classic atelier training of the “Boston School,” including a mastery of oil painting technique, with her own personal style, expressed through the harmony of color and design.  When her formal education concluded, Dianne continued.

Painting tirelessly for 35 more years, neither the birth of her daughter nor her employment as a bartender for 17 years distracted her from painting “en plein air,” in natural light, every day.  Her tenacious approach has earned her the distinction as “a Copley Master” at Boston’s legendary Copley Society, in addition to numerous awards.

From her mentors, Miller developed a love of teaching and mentoring herself.  In addition to teaching classes through the South Shore Art Center in Cohasset, MA, Miller offers private painting instruction and provides opportunities for painting trips both in New England and farther afield, including Florida and Europe.  Recently she has returned from painting in Spain with a group of her private students.  MillerSundown

Miller originally came to Bryan Gallery’s attention through the New England Plein Air Painters.  She joined us in 2016 as one of the students in the exhibition ROBERT DOUGLAS HUNTER AND HIS STUDENTS.  Bryan Gallery has been exploring the relationship among students and teachers, particularly when the teacher’s reputation as an artist extends far beyond the classroom.  In getting to know Miller, it became clear that her distinct style of mentoring, including almost daily trips to paint outdoors, regardless of weather, up and down the East Coast, was to be explored.

MillerUpperPleasantValley

In addition to her work in plein air, Miller teaches and is commissioned forportrait work, and also for wedding in situ paintings.  As she has said of herself, “Never one to take the easy way out,” Miller’s boundless energy propels her into a wide spectrum of locations, always working with and encouraging others.  She has said of herself that she can hear the voice of her mentor Robert Douglas Hunter in everything she teaches, as she passes on the lessons that re-shaped her life and her art.

MillerOuttoPastureCurator’s Note:  Dianne Panarelli Miller has painted in many locations in preparation for this exhibit, including familiar situations in Lamoille County, Vermont, where she visited with her students a few months prior to the exhibition.  Subsequently she has returned twice for more plein air sessions.  She is a friendly figure outdoors  in front of an easel, known to carry on a banter with passers-by without taking her eyes off the canvas.  She’s also known to paint a passer-by into a painting, which she reports doing in particular at the beach.  Beach-goers will pass her and on their return, she’ll say, “By the way, you made it into my painting.”  Likewise at weddings, she not only involves the guests by depicting them on her canvas, but also she asks them to make a few strokes of color on the painting, under her direction, so it becomes a genuine keepsake for the new family.

Students of Dianne Panarelli Miller in the exhibit:
Lauren Bass
Bob Beaulieu
Maureen Brookfield
Cheryl Curran
Rita Delvechio
Margaret Finnegan
Ellen Little
Dottie Pentheny
Kate Sotolova

FRANK MASON IN VERMONT: Artist and Teacher

– Mickey Myers

Bryan Memorial Gallery presents FRANK MASON IN VERMONT: Artist and Teacher in its Main Gallery this summer.  22 paintings by Mason and 60 paintings by students he taught in Vermont workshops over 40 years will be included in the exhibit.

Frank Mason (1921 -2009) was a classical realist painter of international repute and a beloved instructor at the Art Students League in New York City for over fifty years.  If he had done nothing else he would have found his place in American Art History by virtue of his teaching classical realism with steadfast purpose through the era of abstract expressionism.  Early in his life, however, he had the singular distinction of studying with Frank Vincent DuMond (1865 – 1951), who set him on course as both a painter and a teacher.

DuMond taught Mason not only classical skills, but also the cadence of his life, spending summers in Vermont, painting the atmosphere.  Though ultimately their works were distinctly their own, Mason assumed the “Mantel of the Masters,” offering his students the opportunity to study painting “en plein air” with him in Vermont during the month of June from 1968 until shortly before his death in 2009.

Smuggler's Notch
Frank Mason – Smuggler’s Notch

Mason was completely at home in the environs of Stowe, Lamoille County and Peacham VT, surrounded by students at their easels along dirt roads, often in a downpour.   Their loyalty to him and his ideas about painting has lasted throughout many of their lifetimes, as evidenced not only in their artwork, but also as many continue to meet in Vermont for the month of June, painting together daily and critiquing each other’s works, to this day.

Frank Mason - Peacham Orchard
Frank Mason – Peacham Orchard

To open the exhibition, Mason’s nephew, Scott Mason, will speak on the Bryan Gallery’s Artists Roundtable, Sunday, July 2 at 1 PM.  Mason’s widow, Anne, will be in attendance at the Roundtable and the opening reception for the exhibit.

Frank Mason will be the subject of a feature article in the July/August issue of American Art Review: Frank Mason in Vermont: Artist and Teacher by Mickey Myers, Executive Director of Bryan Memorial Gallery and co-curator of this exhibition.

Frank Mason - Forest Retreat
Frank Mason – Forest Retreat

This exhibit was co-curated by Bryan Gallery Executive Director Mickey Myers and the gallery’s Exhibitions Chair, Fiona Cooper Fenwick.

Bryan Memorial Gallery is at 180 Main Street, Jeffersonville, VT.  802-644-5100.  A digital preview of this exhibit can be seen at www.bryangallery.org after June 29.  Summer gallery hours:  Open daily, 11 – 5.

Curator’s Note:  Frank Mason painted massive classically realist canvases, portraits, still lifes and landscapes.  His landscapes painted in Vermont and elsewhere in New England possess a particular atmosphere, relaxed and pungent with rich coloration and the lavish effect of the passage of light across a scene.

His work came to Bryan Gallery’s attention through its Exhibitions Chair, Fiona Cooper Fenwick, who studied with him over the last several summers of his life, and who continues to meet with other Mason students in Vermont each June.  Last summer (2016) she served as the “monitor” in setting up all the locations for the group painting in Vermont.

In 2015 when Bryan Gallery was preparing for the exhibit GENERATIONS, featuring the paintings of many artists and their teachers, Cooper brought a painting by Mason, and one also by DuMond to include in the show.  So captivating was the GENERATIONS exhibit (summer, 2015) that Bryan Gallery has pursued the concept of featuring just one teacher, to show how influential a great teacher can be.  In summer 2016 the works of Robert Douglas Hunter and a selection of his students were featured in the main gallery.

For the Mason exhibit, his widow, Anne Mason, who still resides in the Mason loft in Little Italy, has advised the curators and generously made the works available to Bryan Memorial Gallery.  Scott Mason, Mason’s nephew and executor of Mason’s Estate, has assisted in curatorial matters as well and will speak at the opening of the exhibit.

Frank Mason - Dawn Fantasy
Frank Mason – Dawn Fantasy