Fiber hydrangeas, wood and copper lily pads, bricks printed on aluminum... These describe just a few of the pieces in a Cambridge art gallery.
“Still Life: Captured Moments” is located at University Place Gallery, and is held by the Cambridge Art Association. The gallery focuses on--you guessed it--still-life artworks. Only around a five minute walk from Harvard Station, it's fairly accessible. The gallery is also free and open to the general public.
The first thing that I noticed when I arrived at the gallery was how very unique each individual piece is. They all seem to have their own life and style that is unlike the other works featured.
The first two specifically really show the contrasting styles artists can have. The first piece (“Blossom” by Judy Robinson-Cox) is a photograph in pastel colors. It focuses on a flower stem in a glass vase of water - the reflection in the glass hinting at the lovely pink bud above view. It is hung in a simple black frame with white surrounding the photograph and glass protection.
The next work (“Red Path in the Studio” by Jane Coder) has a very different feel. It's a quartet piece, meaning that it's actually made up of four different pieces that connect. It was made using acrylic paints on canvas, large brush strokes, bold colors, and is overall rather blunt in its appearance. It's surrounded in a simple wooden frame with no glass coverage.
The pieces continue to vary as you move on. You must move forward to a passageway in order to see the rest of the gallery. The hallway is lovely and well suited for showcasing art. The overhead lights and large windows on one of the sides provides for ideal viewing during the day. The walls are a mix of white and the lightest of pink, so not to be too distracting. There you find everything from film print to mixed media collages to a quilted work.
It's certainly interesting to see how each artist brings their own unique take on still life. Some are incredibly abstract, while others are almost hyper-realistic (or photographs). Some are colorful, some are pastels or muted tones, some feel grimy, and some are in grayscale. The subjects of the art vary as well--animals, plants, objects, etc.
All of the works, with the exception of one, are also for sale. The most expensive piece in the gallery has the listed price of $3,500. It's a piece by Lisa Russell, who graduated from Massachusetts College of Art with a BFA and got her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University. The painting is titled “Emergence #37.” Though I was unsure of exactly what the work was supposed to be, it held a strange draw to it, seemingly creating a compulsion to view it more deeply.
A choice that I found the most intriguing was that of Louise Morin Dichard, who painted “Garlic on Bubble Wrap”--which is precisely as it sounds--using oil on a board. I spent a while staring at the four bulbs atop the pink and blue layer of bubble wrap, wondering what made the artist decide to use that as her subject.The end of the hallway features a beautiful and colorful mosaic, between potted plants (“Magical Mystery Tour” by Cassie Doyon).
Overall, it's a unique gallery with a lot of character and is certainly worth a visit if you're exploring the Harvard area.
Note: “Still Life: Captured Moments” will be open until August 31st. For more information, you can visit the Cambridge Art Association's website at www.cambridgeart.org.