The Smithy Loft Gallery is pleased to announce a new exhibit featuring infrared photography by Litchfield, CT photographer Wendy Costa, and contemporary drawings and paintings by Stony Creek, CT artist, Barbara Marks.
The show will be on view through October 1, 2017.
Wendy Costa has spent much of her artistic life encouraging the viewer to pay a little more attention to the world. She has been a dedicated photographer since inheriting her father’s Argus C3 rangefinder camera in high school. As a grad student at the University of Michigan, mentor photographer Joanne Leonard, encouraged Wendy to combine photography with drawing, painting, and collage. After the completion of her MFA in 1989, she pursued other alternative photography media, including Polaroid transfers. This medium again allowed her to combine drawing, painting, and collage with photography.
Several years ago, Wendy discovered the world of infrared photography, and with it she shares the familiar nature of the photographed image with the surprises of infrared vision. In infrared, the familiar is not so familiar and so it inspires deeper discovery. With infrared photography, live green foliage and grass reflect infrared rays, and thus appear white or very light gray. Blue skies and deep water absorb infrared rays, so they appear black. While she has been photographing in infrared and understands the basic rules, there is always a mystery to the medium which is what she loves. She never knows how the picture is going to appear until she clicks the shutter. Perhaps it is a throwback to the days when she worked with film, when one had the excitement of waiting for the developing process to see how the photograph would turn out.
Wendy’s work has been featured at the Center for Photographic Art, the University of Connecticut, the Litchfield Historical Society, the Westover School, the Harwinton Public Library, Goshen Public Library, and most recently, the Loft Gallery.
Wendy has been an art teacher for 36 years, at the Hotchkiss School, the University of Michigan, Avon High School, and currently at Wamogo Regional High School. Wendy resides with her family in Litchfield.
“I use color to create space. My paintings and drawings are rooted in observation. My drawings are a visual journal of the situations I find myself in every day. For my subject matter, I look to the ordinary and the local. An individual tree is singularly interesting to me. ”
For her subject matter, Barbara looks to the ordinary and the local. In her work, she oscillates between geometric and representational abstraction—driven by her interest in economy of expression, and her belief in the role that color can play in the situation of a particular painting. Her work lodges itself at the intersection of nature, culture, and place.
Barbara’s motivation is the desire to represent an ordinary moment—in a painting—by manipulating color, shape, and composition in such a way that the possibility of multiple interpretations (or reads) engages the viewer and invites closer investigation. The practice of painting is what sustains her. She paints carefully, deliberately, and with pure pleasure.
Barbara is currently working on a long-range project—“Recollection”—a series of smallish, square, colorful paintings on panel and on paper, which began last spring, and she has completed 99 paintings to date. She intends to grow the series into an aggregate composed of hundreds of small-scale paintings that, when installed as a whole, will take on a monumental scale.
The Westport, CT native grew up with creative parents, who were makers of things, which is where her love of working with her hands must have come from. She studied anthropology in college, and eventually fell into graphic design. In 1978, she started her own studio specializing in book design. In 2001, she left that behind to study painting at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, earning a BFA (2005) followed by an MFA from Brooklyn College CUNY (2008).
Barbara has been a resident artist at Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Fowler Dune Shack (Cape Cod), MIRA (Martignano, Italy), and Jentel Foundation (WY). She has twice been a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome. Barbara’s work has been shown at the Cape Cod Museum of Art (MA); Providence Art Club (RI); Ground Floor Gallery, (Brooklyn, NY), The Painting Center, and First Street Gallery (NYC); Drawing Rooms (NJ); New Britain Museum of American Art; DaSilva Gallery, Silvermine Arts Center, Whitney Center, and The Chase Family Gallery (CT); and Artist-Run at Satellite (Miami). Barbara is an artist member of The Painting Center (NY); NY Artists Circle (NY); Westport Artists Collective (CT); and a Guild Artist at Silvermine Arts Center, (CT). Her work on paper is represented in the flatfile at Artspace New Haven. She is a Trustee of the Vermont Studio Center and a former board member of Artspace New Haven.
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 19, 4 – 6 pm
The Smithy Store
10 Main Street