Problem at the Groton Public Library … the Owen Smith Shuman Gallery is vibrating. The epicenter seems to be coming from A Flock of Days, the works of printmakers Pam Lawson, of Harvard, and her long time friend and associate, Heather K. Lenz, who have compiled a joint exhibit of high energy prints and paintings. The exhibit is open now, and on display through Saturday, January 18, 2014. A free, open reception with the artists is set for Thursday, December 12th, from 6:30-8 p.m.
A Flock of Days takes its name from a poem by the late poet Judith Goodenough, of Carlisle, that suits both artists in sublime fashion:
At the pasture pond
A flock of days
Rises and is gone
Lawson’s red-winged blackbirds are real in a way that only a partial abstraction of a living thing can achieve. It is as if they are arrested in a moment, suspended in air, heart fluttering, chest expanding, wing tips slightly raised. Her technique for painting with rollers allows her to play with color and composition in a spontaneous fashion. Working quickly on a plexiglass plate with oil-based inks, she captures the essence of bird, sky, and grass.
By creating layers of oil paint on panels, Lenz provides encourages viewers to dive into her work. Floating on the surface is an opaque layer of rolled on oil paint representing the surface of the water on which float lily pads and pond scum, a semipermeable membrane through which can be seen the glittering colors of a riotous New England fall. The colors themselves are merely a reflection of what is happening above the surface, obscuring the darker, colder space beneath the water. Delving in the viewer is invited to explore not just the painting, but the meaning of reality itself- the question of what is real, and how much of what we see is merely an illusion, a floating world.
This exhibit is made possible by the Groton Public Library Endowment Trust. Works by P.C. Lawson are on display courtesy of the Powers Gallery in Acton, Massachusetts. Library hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 10 a.m. — 9 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. — 5 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m.-3 p.m., and Sundays from 1-5 p.m.. For more information, www.gpl.org (click Events and Activities and then Art Gallery) or email the curator, Deborah Santoro, at email@example.com. If you are traveling to see the show, it is recommended that you call first to see if there are events taking place in the gallery.