Gallery Oak Studios is our Artist-in-Residence Program. Located a few hundred feet from the gallery, this workspace is occupied only in the summer months.
Artist in Residence
I make loud, shy paintings. Despite their large size and bright colors, they are constantly trying to slip as far back into the weave of the canvas as possible. I build up thin glazes of dye using wax resists, which result in areas that feel deeply spacious next to areas that are abruptly shallow. I weave together complex silkscreened passages on the surface to function as a speed bump, to slow down the viewer’s navigation of my paintings. A quickly read painting is the enemy. I think of my paintings as screens, allowing air to flow freely through the interlocked layers. I leave space for air to get through, as it is the only relief in otherwise claustrophobic paintings.
My paintings encourage looking. The narrative, which initially appears to be the main attraction, is only the opening act. At a distance, the scene depicted seems clear, but moving closer doesn't bring more clarity. The image instead disintegrates, leaving only the colorful residue of the first impression. I paint marks to draw attention to the surface instead of working in service of the narrative. The ambiguity of the story may at first feel frugal, but is made up for with the richness of color and texture that sit in the surface. Once inside my paintings, the hope is that the viewer is no longer concerned with getting immediate answers and can start to adapt to the visual language of brushstrokes and color. (pulled from The Umbrella Arts)
Elizabeth King graduated in 2017 from RISD with her MFA in painting. In 2011, she received her BFA in painting from Boston University. She makes paintings that showcase her interests: ranging from printmaking to textiles. Growing up in Massachusetts, her tropical paintings rely primarily on imagination. (pulled from The Umbrella Arts)
A statement from the artist:
I am honored to announce that I have been awarded a residency in the Gallery Oak Studios at Dedee Shattuck Gallery in Westport, MA for the months of May - June 2018.
My goal while in residence is to interact and engage with the Westport community by asking residents to carry a dialog with me at the studio and gallery. I strongly emphasize that I have an open-door policy and invite donations of materials they see fitting to becoming part of an idealogical community collaboration. In exchange, I offer my time, demonstrations and accounts of life at sea that have contributed to this stage of my creative process.
Rope To Trope
Arguably the most vital material utilized across the ever-industrious maritime industry by rugged expendables, tells a story greater than the one it mimics by being weathered, strained, discarded and replaced. Now tattered and frayed, its imperfections become intentional and humbly individualize themselves, reflecting personal experiences, conquests over the horizon, and even moments of vulnerability. They echo, “We are sailors and we come from the sea.”
If they told you they were going to show you the ropes, they’re not really talking about rope at all. That’s a trope, and in this case I’m not only referencing figurative and literal meaning simultaneously. The elements which culminate what you see become a tangible trope. It is meaning beyond the material, but with respect for the fiber strong enough to believe in a cherished commodity, both new and old. Your desire to interact with its tactility reflects not only object quality and subtlety of texture in the source material, but the solitary state of life at sea, and the transcendent state of yearning.
Alex Buchanan (Born in Boston, Massachusetts) is an artist and merchant marine who received a BFA from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Alex also served four years active duty and began his journeys at sea in the U.S. Coast Guard. He focuses on his nautical influences and conveys them as a visual language by layering literal and conceptual translations in plain sight. Alex has exhibited on the East and West Coast, and he resides in New Bedford, Massachusetts.