Debra Claffey

E.N. Wennberg Gallery January 10 – February 7, 2020

My paintings with drawing, in oil, wax, and mixed media, of plants and their foliage, interspersed with objects of “still life”, celebrate the complexity of the natural world and our place in it. These works are both painting and drawing, abstract and representational, with line and shape. Some are monotypes mounted to panel; others are painted directly to paper or panel. All have drawn and incised elements. Pattern and repetition leave hints of still life’s narrative, patches of daylight, and memories of movement.

My experience in horticulture and organic land care has led me to focus in on the plant world and the assaults on the soil, biodiversity of plant species, and the protection of native flora. I feel that all these assaults arise from age-old and widely-held beliefs. One is that all the earth and its resources are ours as humans at the top of a hierarchy to use as we will. Another is that the other forms of life on this planet are lesser than we are, thus less deserving of respect or care.

I celebrate plants: their great age and history on the planet, their intelligence and successful adaptions, their beauty of form, shape, and infinite color. I marvel in our new knowledge of their ways of communication, of making themselves attractive to us and other species, and the trading of “goods and services” that goes on between plants, fungi, bacteria, insects, birds, and even us mammals.
My aim is to help my viewers appreciate plant life a bit more when they enjoy my work and in a hopeful and positive way.

Margery Thomas-Mueller

Clifford B. West Gallery – January 10 – February 7, 2020

Liminal space… the world in between – between a world I live in and a world I listen to, that has always been what has driven my imagery. For 56 years since I read Edna St Vincent Millay’s poem Renascence, the place in between life’s state of being and how we treat the other, has been an internal focus.

In recent years, finally being able to work in my studio full time, the connection has become deeper and stronger. Investing time in understanding the travails of the other, has consumed my emotions and driven my imagery. Watching the world move from continent to continent, seeing humanity being uprooted as they seek a solid resting place makes my landscapes evolve. The branches, the thickets, the thorns reveal the human tales. As I work on Yupo paper, an unstable ground in itself, the moving ink and moving graphite speak to those emotions. Knowing that I can erase the entire picture plane with strokes of water and ammonia relates to what is happening in the human landscape as it transforms.

Liminal space is the space in between. In between, knowing, owning, being connected and permanent into a space that is in flux. Where life is unknown. A landscape where only the ground is stable. My work starts with a basic composition, a layout and then the medium leads me through the fluid reaction. I listen to the ink, as we listen to the land.

Athena Petra Tasiopolous

Rebecca Lawrence Gallery: January 10 – February 7, 2020

Athena Petra Tasiopoulos is a mixed media collage artist and fine art photographer. Originally from Pennsylvania, Athena studied photography at the Art Institute of Philadelphia where she graduated at the top of her class in 2008. She currently resides in Barre, Vermont. Her work is collected internationally.

“I work with recycled and found vintage papers encased beneath a layer of beeswax. I gravitate toward soft, muted colors — warmed and stained by time. Repetitive patterns and primitive marks carved and scraped into the surface of the wax speak to the imperfections of the human hand and the vulnerability of materiality. “

“I see my practice as a meditation on transience, transformation, and the beauty of imperfection. An embrace of what is — as it is.”