Oxbow Gallery exhibits ‘Confluence’

Date: 8/6/2014

NORTHAMPTON – Oxbow Gallery, 273 Pleasant St., is pleased to announce Confluence, a group exhibition that brings together six of the gallery’s newest members – Linda Batchelor, Jess Soules Greene, Elizabeth Lehman, Will Sillin, Catherine Swift, and Jessica Tam – by presenting a selection of their latest work through Aug. 31.

The work in this exhibit engages, on various levels, the theme of water and the ways in which a single body of water can span diverse landscapes. The title is specifically inspired by the Connecticut River, which flows from Canada through New England, out to the Atlantic, drawing from 148 tributaries. Like the Connecticut River Valley in which the gallery is situated, the exhibit also contains a range of scenes, from the vividly familiar landscapes of Lehman’s and Sillin’s plein-air paintings to the topography of Greene’s encaustic panels to Batchelor’s meditations on blues to the “internal landscapes” and narratives of Swift’s and Tam’s abstract work. The valley’s landscapes have long inspired artists to produce widely different work that nonetheless converges, like the river’s tributaries, into the collective life of the river’s valley. Confluence extends that tradition.

Batchelor is a printmaker and collage artist whose images range from abstract to loosely figurative. She grew up on oceans and rivers in Florida, and now lives in the Connecticut River Valley. The work in this show will be mostly abstracts reflective of the water theme through the use of color and pattern. She has exhibited her work regionally and nationally, and is represented by Jacqueline Becker Fine Arts of Boston. Her work can be found in the collections of Baltimore City College, Boston Public Library, and Alan Alda. She is a graduate of Brown University and attended the Maryland Institute of Art.

Greene is a painter, entrepreneur, and educator who teaches science to teenagers and encaustic painting to adults. Her current work, which is narrative and personal, records experiences that typically deal with home or life lived within particular geographical lines, places delineated by the paths taken in an individual’s journey. Her paintings thus examine how the journeying self interacts with and establishes itself in different places.

Having developed a strong sense of place and love of the natural world from her childhood in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York, Lehman paints outside directly in the landscape, usually returning to the same location in different seasons and at various times of day. Her recent work depicts views near her current home along the Connecticut River. She received an AB from Mount Holyoke College, and has studied with Marion Miller, Marjorie Portnow, and Richard Yarde. She is represented by the Julie Heller Gallery in Provincetown.

Sillin has been painting for 35 years and has always been focused on the landscape, especially enjoying the challenges of depicting water. His work includes Paleo-reconstruction murals on permanent display at Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, Connecticut, and at the Beneski Museum of Natural History, Amherst College. In addition to contributing scientific illustrations to college level textbooks, scientific journals, and popular books on natural history, he has been the creative partner at Mike’s Maze in Sunderland for the last 15 years.  He is represented by Francesca Anderson Fine Arts in Lexington.

Painting has become a critical form of communication and expression for Swift, whose “internal landscapes” are a confluence of feelings rich with movement, texture, and mood, and have allowed her the freedom to make the intangible – emotions, ideas, and thoughts – concrete. While her career has been focused in the field of education for over 20 years, she has been actively painting for the past 10 years. She has a B.A. from Temple University and a Masters of Education from Smith College.

Tam draws from the spectacle of professional wrestling for abstract painted struggles, including ones staged on a boat. Her work has exhibited in New York at Schroeder Romero, The Painting Center, and Slag Gallery as well as in Chicago at LG Space. She was an NEA Fellowship Recipient at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and an Al Held Affiliated Fellow at the American Academy in Rome. She received a BA from Dartmouth College, BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and MFA from the Yale School of Art.

For more information, visit www.oxbowgallery.org or contact the gallery at 413-586-6300 or oxbowgallery@gmail.com.