I am so excited to be co-curating an exhibition, Reclamation at the Nave Gallery in Somerville, Ma with two of my favorite ladies. The show will be up in November of 2015 – all you emerging female artists out there, submit your artwork! See the exhibition prospectus below. Or click here to read more info on the Nave’s website.
I am a proud graduate from Umass Amherst. I left the zoo with a BFA, concentration in still digital imaging and a minor in art history. And my final send off into the art world was my BFA thesis project, “Borrowed Memories.” It was my first taste of being an administrator within the art world. I remember being so scared and very intimidated to call the Umass Fine Art Department to schedule a space for my thesis work. I was standing in my dinning-room-turned bedroom in a big purple house I rented with my best friends. I called and stammering out I was looking for gallery space and would like to request the gallery that was a northeast dorm, and for the reception brought a ton of wine and got in trouble. It was perfect!
Earlier this fall I had some break throughs with my artwork, I got into the flow and created several new works. And of course, the first thing I did was show my art-teacher sister and soon to be art-teacher brother-in-law for their feedback. They are my artistic sound boards. I was working on some imagery that I actually took while I was with them – back in the summer of 2013 when we drove from San Diego across middle
earth America, home to Massachusetts. Over the past year I have been mixing landscapes with some portraits I have taken of the beautiful women that come into my life (my Pretty Young Thing, Women Americana Series).
In every piece of artwork, one must first start at the drawing board, but in my case – the blank photoshop canvas. I wanted to make some work that reflected the warmth of the time; the temperatures and colors of summer slowly slipping out.
First, I came up with this gem:
But it felt too busy, I was working in some mountains from Utah and two portraits I had taken from a cramped bathroom in Somerville, of my friend Grace (Dali, the best decor ever). I started moving towards highlighting the portraiture features – which lead me here:
I got rid of the mountain and threw in a photo I had just taken on Labor day of my friend’s family compound (very new england esque, bistro lights strung across the yard, camp fires, egg toss, the works). And it started to reflect the feelings of nostalgia I was going for. But alas, it still wasn’t right…. then I started to play around with the contrasts/brightness factors as well as erasing certain portions of each layer of the photographs, and my final piece was born – drum roll puh-lease.
Introducing, PYT Woman Americana – North East Campfire
The lighting is a subtle difference from the image above, it was exactly what I was looking for. Although there are only three examples I posted, I had many different versions of the same photo in the works. Some people look at Photoshop as a cheating tool – I look at it as my primary medium. Like I said earlier, we all start off with a blank canvas – mine just happens to be on a screen!
(Please note, all imagery use in this post is subject to Copyright, all works belong to artist Cory Shea, 2015)
The past month my gallery (Cambridge Art Association) has been closed to prepare for our fall exhibition season. This time period always feels like the calm before the storm… before those ‘back to school’ feelings take over and everyone has a case of PPD – Post Party Depression.
Within this month of calmness, my director and I went on a couple local gallery adventures – first was to the Concord Art Association to see the show, that sadly just came down, Sight Specific Exhibition – it was absolutely amazing. “Curated by George Nick, this exhibit is one of the most significant undertakings to date for the Concord Art Association. For this show, Nick selects a range of artists from legendary to mid-career painters, assembling more than 70 paintings from more than 50 artists. He comments, “The goal of the show is to celebrate the tradition of careful observation as the basis for an important aspect of American painting and to emphasize the remarkable variety of imagery it has generated.”
What I appreciated most as a local artist, as well as local art appreciator was the fact the Concord Art Association opened me up to artists I wasn’t familiar with, yet the artists hold national recognition. My favorite works that were presented were the following:
Mathew Cerletty, The Bath 2002 – I mean come on – what is not to love about this piece, the colors, the texture, the raw human emotion! It has everything.
Haley Hasler, Saginati Animali, 2013 – this lady, I just want to be this lady with her extravagance. And I think Rachel Zoe would see her vest, and say “I die.”
And lastly but certainly not least –
Joseph McNamara, Window (Yankee Stadium Demolition), 2012-13, Oil and mixed media on panel, 24 x 18 inches. To really understand the intricate work and details this piece is definitely one you need to see in person. I love the texture/overworked feeling of the canvas, with unfinished edging and evidence of grid lining, it brings the piece to another level of grittiness that would have be lost if the piece was polished and ‘finished’ as some fancy art reviewers might say. I also really loved this piece because it reminded me of something my Dad would enjoy, and would pull me aside at a museum and say, “Kid, come look at this one…”
Well that wraps it up for this show – stay tuned for more gallery boppin’ adventures.