It was a perfect day on Sunday to be a bit too early to get into theGeorge Marshall Store Gallery. Walking around the back to the lazy,salty inlet and traipsing around barefoot for one of the first times inthis warmer weather was one of the perks to making a special trip toYork, Maine.
The other, of course, was seeing the work of Tim Gaudreau and hisfellow finalists for the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation’sPiscataqua Region Artist Advancement Grant. Gaudreau’s eco artinstallation work fills the walls of the small back room of theupstairs gallery, and is interrupted only by windows that are apertureslooking out to the very thing he’s making a statement about.
He calls it "Self Portrait as Revealed by Trash: 365 days ofphotographing everything that I threw out." It won him the grant. Theentirety of the piece equals 5,000 photos. Calling this a self-portraitis the most accurate description, there are revealing objectsinterspersed among the cotton swabs and empty coffee cups. Gaudreauwill be holding a gallery talk there Sunday, May 21 at 3 p.m. titled"The Evolution of Eco Art." As he says in his statement, "I believeartists have considerable responsibility as cultural instigators to askquestions, raise issues and challenge assumptions." Even though you maywant to deduce that there might be a feeling of a heavy-handed activismover you when you see this piece, don’t. The personal nature of theseobjects - condom wrappers, endless empty boxes of various veggie meats,tons of Ben and Jerry’s containers, and even his wedding ring - aremore emotionally charged than if you had taken a photograph of the manhimself.
Five of the eight finalists were photographers. Each onebrings another style to the show, contributing another facet ofsatisfying imagery set apart mostly by method. Douglas Prince’spainterly revisions of digital floral images are printed on canvasscrolls, offsetting Alexandra de Steiguer’s emotionally rich gelatinsilver prints of the barren, lonely Isles of Shoals. That in turn isoffset by the quirky and thoughtful Nancy Grace Horton, whose "Tonya inthe Kitchen Series" is printed on small plaques.
Curator Mary P. Harding had a good point. She sees the plaquesand Scott Kuckler’s chemically treated gelatin silver prints as objectsin themselves - as more than photographs, transformed from twodimensional images to three dimensional, textured artifacts.
Concurrent to this show, in the dock-level gallery, are theceramic works of Don Williams. Found objects, irregular and yetwell-planned panels of glazed ceramic, sticks, and stainless framesdefine a body of work that is organically reminiscent of circuitboards. Useful objects abound as well, like sake sets, plates, bowls,vessels, and tables. You’ll find yourself looking at these things for along time. If it’s not the beautifully glazed surface that pulls youin, it’ll be the texture, or the asymmetry, or the odd touches ofangular perfection mixed with intentional scars and imperfections.
A ‘field trip’ to his studio is planned for May 19. To reservea spot on the list for a mere $5, call the gallery in advance. Itshould be a real treat.
Ann Bryant has waited for right here and right now for always and ever. Time baffles her, but she gets email - firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT MOMENTUM IV, exhibition of the grantee andfinalists of the 2005 New Hampshire Charitable Foundation's PiscataquaRegion Artist Advancement Grant; dock level gallery: CERAMIC LANDSCAPESAND FUNCTIONAL WARES by Don Williams,
WHEN through June 4
WHERE George Marshall Store Gallery, 140 Lindsay Road, York, Maine,
CONTACT (207) 351-1083, www.georgemarshallstoregallery.org