West Branch Gallery’s summer galas are a not-to-be-missed event. On a beautiful summer evening immerse yourself in the dynamic and colorful world of art. Four shows are being featured at West Branch this July featuring seven painters. Not only will you have the visual delight of wandering among the paintings, you will
be listening to soft jazz while savoring delectable hors d’oeuvres.
The Water show in the Central Gallery features four artists, all exploring the dynamic force and joys of water. Mariella Bisson’s large landscape paintings of waterfalls are alive with motion and drama. Her rocks cut deep shadows amidst the bright cascades of sparkling waters. Applying many geometric layers of archival paper on linen, creating a three-dimensional affect, Bisson uses a variety of media to achieve her unique vision of the Vermont landscape.
Well-known painter, Rebecca Kinkead, depicts the magic of summer play in water. In one painting, we see a happy swimming dog carrying a stick in his mouth, eager to return it to his master. In another large oil on linen, Kinkead shows two children cannonballing into spraying water. You can almost hear their screams of delight as the pond explodes around them.
Craig Mooney paints dreamy landscapes of ocean vistas in soft tones, using a thick impasto layering of paint. These are lush and Turneresque, without human forms, dropping you into an epic land of power and beauty. The oil paintings of Carol O’Malia take you into the world of summer swims. We witness them frolic and play in water. Her children see stars in the water and dream of weightlessness.
American Zen, in the South Gallery, is Beth Donahue’s world of abstracting nature, relating to the literary works and teachings of Hindu and Zen masters. Using mixed media including gold leaf, she creates a kaleidoscope of patterns and forms. Her work is textural, applying thick layers of paint to evoke a contemplative atmosphere of generous marks and color, infused with spirit.
In the Upstairs Gallery, Scenes Remembered, is Julia Jensen’s series of oil and encaustic paintings. Even though abstract, you can easily imagine landscapes, carrying you into memories of actual places or into your dreams. The paintings show shifts of light, ladders of fencing, footprints in the snow, or a walk down a country lane. It is up to the viewer to find what your imagination sees within Jensen’s richly beautiful paintings.
Finally, Susan Wahlrab’s show, Seasons (watercolor on claybord), is a call to the immense complexity and interconnection of life that has no edges or definition. Her washed landscapes are worlds of energy, describing the essentially indescribable. Through the intricacies of color, texture and shape, Wahlrab captures the pulse and spirit of a place.
All seven of these artists can be enjoyed to the strains of jazz and blues standards played on guitar and saxophone by musicians, Jessica Friedman and Andy Pitt. Along with the inspired global cuisine of Susanna’s Catering, like smoked trout, maple apples & leek sushi rolls, all of your senses will be saturated in the celebration of art.
Come to the Gala Reception at West Branch Gallery. Wander with your wine through the outdoor Sculpture Park, listen to Chris Curtis speak about the four shows, taste an inspired global cuisine while “Georgia on my Mind” wafts through the gallery. All of this. And art, art, art.