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The Christopher Brodigan Gallery Archive

By design, the exhibits at the Christopher Carey Brodigan Gallery complement those at The de Menil Gallery by bringing the work of contemporary artists to campus. Located on the first floor of the Dining Hall, the Brodigan Gallery features a more rapidly changing exhibit schedule, and the exhibiting artists often conduct workshops for Groton art classes.
"Desperate Cargo"
Mohamad Hafez

Through May 19, 2017

Gallery talk and reception: May 7, 2:00 p.m.

A U.S. resident born in Syria, Mohamad Hafez creates intricate miniatures of the neighborhoods he wandered and sketched as a teenager, which now are scarred by bombings and other atrocities of the Syrian war.

The artist and architect was born in Damascus, raised in Saudi Arabia, and educated in the United States. Expressing the juxtaposition of East and West within him, Hafez’s art reflects the political turmoil in the Middle East through the compilation of found objects, paint and scrap metal. He creates surrealistic Middle Eastern streetscapes that are both architectural and politically charged.

The works capture the magnitude of the devastation and expose the fragility of human life, but also convey hope through deliberate incorporation of verses from the Holy Quran—offering stark contrast to the pessimistic reality of destruction.

Past Exhibits

List of 27 items.

  • "Perceptual Paradox" by Silas Finch

    January 4–February 24, 2017

    Silas Finch is a storyteller who prefers not to speak. Driven to immortalize the objects that he is obsessed with collecting, Silas strives to keep his sculpture simple, “to strip something down to its last component.” Entirely self-taught, he looks for a story inside his materials, delving into the recesses of human culture and natural history.
     
    “I’m very influenced by the art of craftsmanship, something I feel has gotten lost in the pop culture of today,” he says. His methods of assembly often predate welding or adhesives. “I prefer to find a natural connection, a cold connection [between objects], a balance between the two.”  The possibility of collapse is ever present, yet that risk makes the moment of connection satisfying to the artist.
     
    Silas’ sculptures remind viewers of the multiple narratives that life suggests and the story within every object. “He has a gift for re-imagining the curious debris of the ordinary world,” wrote Stephen Vincent Kobasa in Art New England. “The relationship of part-to-part is always unexpected, but never forced. Every joining point seems the result of a logical connection. Every one of his battered, artful constructions is an instrument for decoding memories—both his and ours.”
     
    The Brodigan Gallery exhibit’s title, “Perceptual Paradox,” hints at the surprises within Silas’ work. “A perceptual paradox,” explains the artist, “illustrates the failure of a theoretical prediction.”
  • "The Insanity of Violence" by Gordon Chase

    September 18–November 11, 2016

    “Why do humans act so violently? Is this what it takes to survive, let alone to flourish and to thrive?

    “In the twenty-first century, how is possible that so many terrible conflicts still occur, that countless refugees have to run or swim for their lives, and that so many perish or suffer when deliberately targeted as the ‘other’? Does the human race possess an urge for self-destruction? Is patriarchy to blame? Why is it so difficult for us to understand that life is sacred?”

    Gordon Chase poses these questions in an artist’s statement, and tackles them in his artwork, on display this fall in both of Groton School’s galleries. Groton’s curators, Monika Andersson (de Menil) and Beth Van Gelder (Brodigan), cooperated to give as much attention as possible to Chase’s theme of non-violence—as Monika said, to “double up on this very important message.”

    Gordon taught art for forty years, including at Groton School from 1971 to 1978. His “art with a social conscience” continues to provoke viewers to think about violence, life, and identity, and to forcefully question ingrained assumptions.
  • “Under, Above, Everywhere: Celebrating Materiality” by Deborah Barlow, Kay Canavino, and Ramah Commanday

    The digital and the virtual have penetrated contemporary culture and consciousness, often resulting in a breezy disregard for the materiality that is so fundamental to life. The primary elements—earth, fire, air, and water, so essential to our sense of ourselves and the reality we share—are easily overlooked in the rush toward what is new, cerebral, entertaining, and ephemeral. And yet an awareness and respect for materiality is the very counterpoint needed to bring a sense of balance to lives increasingly lived in artificial realities.

    “Under, Above, Everywhere” explores the many ways anyone can experience, express, and respond to the natural world. Three artists—a painter, a photographer, and a ceramicist—have comingled their individual methods and media to create a multidimensional celebration of materiality. Deborah Barlow uses paint to explore astral landscapes and patterns. Kay Canavino submerges her camera into the murky underworld of ponds to uncover the phantasms below the surface. Ramah Commanday crafts three-dimensional forms that echo the geologic processes that carve into the topology of the earth.

    Seen together, these works invite viewers to engage with what is part of our everyday world but can frequently be hidden from view. This unabashed embrace of materiality—of the physical world as well as each work of art—offers a rich reminder of what is essential and meaningful.
  • Thornwillow Press: The Handcrafted Book in the Age of Technology

    January 7–February 26

    In an age of disposable communication, handmade books may seem a lost form of art. "The Handcrafted Book in the Age of Technology" disproves that notion through beautiful leather bindings, letter-pressed fonts, and crafted papers.

    A celebration of the written word, the exhibit includes beautifully hand-sewn and -bound works of fiction, poetry, and history, including some with distinct Groton ties, such as Freedom From Fear: The Life and Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt by William vanden Heuvel, about Groton’s 1900 graduate, and Civil Wars: Three Tales of Old New York, fiction by Louis Auchincloss ’35, P’76, ’82.

    Thornwillow, started by Luke Pontifell P’18 when he was only sixteen, has created publications that reside in the permanent collections of the Morgan Library, Harvard University, Yale University, the British Library, the Getty Museum, MoMA, the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, the White House, and the Vatican library. Mr. Pontifell spent two weeks in December on campus as the Mudge Fellow, teaching students the art of bookmaking.

    “The Handcrafted Book in the Age of Technology” provides a convincing argument that, amidst social media, Kindles, and web-based news, the book remains decidedly alive.
  • “Recalculation: Past & Present” by Judith Jaffe

    September 30–November 13, 2015

    Artist Judith Jaffe calls her fall exhibit in the Brodigan Gallery “a pictorial journey of my inner world.” As an octogenarian, Jaffe has had decades of observation, of pain and joy, to color that world.

    “Recalculation” includes somber works from the 1980s that Jaffe once considered finished; she recently discovered that, thanks to a new, more joyous perspective on life, they were not. She went on to repaint and collage them, letting her art play out that evolving pictorial journey.

    The pendulum-swinging nature of life, the inherent switchbacks and contradictions, informs Jaffe’s work. “I once read that in life, there is much cruelty and terror, but also a wondrous and overpowering beauty,” says Jaffe, who received her BFA from Tufts and a degree from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. “Both forces are necessary, and together they create a mysterious and remarkable world, a world that dwells at the heart of all my work.”
  • "Sew What Again?" by Donna Rhae Marder

    September 15 – December 12, 2014

    Donna Rhae Marder derives great pleasure from making something out of nothing.

    She started using paper in her sewing machine around 1980, experimenting with her novice sewing skills rather than applying them within the confines of fine dressmaking.

    Marder began by using throw-away paper as the foundation for her art—anything from snapshots, magazine pages, old teabags, and paper matches to coffee filters, baseball cards, newspapers, and wrapping paper. To these materials she added wire, buttons, and beeswax, and then, finally, machine-stitched it all together. The materials inspire her, and she sometimes seeks materials that will help her explore a particular concept, such as size, negative space, form, or structure.

    Marder began her paper dress series in 2001, basing the dresses on those her own daughters wore, copied from paper patterns. She fashioned details such as piping and lace from old snapshots, children’s playing cards, Mexican oilcloth, and other ephemera.

    For another collection, again making something out of nothing, Marder created a series of unconventional teapots. Inspired by deformed grids produced with a software modeling program, she sewed a wire grid over fabric to produce sculptural teapot forms. One series entitled “Domestic Bliss” reflects upon marriage, family history, and domestic chores.

    Marder’s faded, soiled, and worn materials evoke nostalgia, while her inventive use of everyday objects infuses her work with humor and surprise.
  • "An Experience of Seeing" by Elizabeth Goldring

    “An Experience of Seeing”
    Elizabeth Goldring
    January 11, 2015 - February 27, 2015
     
    Meet the artist at an opening reception on January 11 from 2-4 p.m. Poetry reading at 3 p.m.
     
     
    Elizabeth Goldring calls her “Retina Prints” visual poems that interpret what she “sees” with her own blind eyes—“traces of laborious experiences with seeing, memories of woven words and images ‘sitting’ on my retinas.”
     
    Goldring, the Charlotte Moorman Senior Fellow at MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies, uses a medical device called a scanning laser ophthalmoscope that scans visual information onto the retina. As an artist, she interprets those images.
     
    “Although I use many people’s retinas in my artwork,” she says, “the finished print reflects my way of seeing the words and images projected on my damaged retinas and their indelible ‘after image.’”
     
    Several months after Goldring became blind, only able to perceive light and shadow, her retinal function was tested with a tool that projected stick-figure-like images onto her retinas. When she saw them, she asked to also see a word, “sun.”
     
    “It was the first word I had been able to read for a long time,” she says. “For me, a writer who was beginning to forget the shape of words, this was truly a significant moment.”
     
    She now uses the ophthalmoscope as a “seeing machine” and collaborates with physicians, scientists, engineers, and artists at MIT to create visual “poetry” for the vision-impaired.
     
    The Brodigan Gallery is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. It is free and open to the public.
  • "Sew What Again?" by Donna Rhae Marder

    Donna Rhae Marder derives great pleasure from making something out of nothing.

    She started using paper in her sewing machine around 1980, experimenting with her novice sewing skills rather than applying them within the confines of fine dressmaking.

    Marder began by using throw-away paper as the foundation for her art—anything from snapshots, magazine pages, old teabags, and paper matches to coffee filters, baseball cards, newspapers, and wrapping paper. To these materials she added wire, buttons, and beeswax, and then, finally, machine-stitched it all together. The materials inspire her, and she sometimes seeks materials that will help her explore a particular concept, such as size, negative space, form, or structure.

    Marder began her paper dress series in 2001, basing the dresses on those her own daughters wore, copied from paper patterns. She fashioned details such as piping and lace from old snapshots, children’s playing cards, Mexican oilcloth, and other ephemera.

    For another collection, again making something out of nothing, Marder created a series of unconventional teapots. Inspired by deformed grids produced with a software modeling program, she sewed a wire grid over fabric to produce sculptural teapot forms. One series entitled “Domestic Bliss” reflects upon marriage, family history, and domestic chores.

    Marder’s faded, soiled, and worn materials evoke nostalgia, while her inventive use of everyday objects infuses her work with humor and surprise.
  • “Images of Our World” by Dan Mead and Sally Eagle

    “Images of Our World” is a fast-paced trip around the globe and a meditation on the essence of place. Spanning five continents, this body of work captures the spirit of what it means to live in a global era:  wherever we may be, we are firmly footed on a planet that is teeming with diversity—cultural, biological, geographical.  
     
    In “Images of Our World,”  Mead and Eagle have collected stunning landscape photographs, compelling cultural scenes, and intimate images of animals to transport the viewer to faraway places, if only in the mind. Each image is a story in itself, a porthole to another place and time. The inspiration of enticing topography, of a traditional ceremony, of wildlife witnessed after watching and waiting—these are the rewards that Mead and Eagle confer through these images, which were taken with humility and respect for the subjects.
     
    The Brodigan Gallery, located on the Dining Hall’s ground level, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. It is free and open to the public.
  • "Construction of Light" by Sarah Meyer

    January 13-March 6, 2014

    Artist Sarah Meyer’s work is an exploration of light. She is compelled by its mystery and has discovered that the interaction of light and space drives her creative  pursuits. Windows, walls, and ceilings are critical components in her art, allowing her to construct compositions that reveal light’s consistent yet transient nature.
     
    Sarah seeks to build tension in her work through the marriage of light and shadow, challenging us to decipher whether the subject is light itself, or the presence of shadow. This very ambiguity is critical in maintaining her perception of light—that light is invisible, and only by observing its absence do we become aware of its presence. It is through the very act of creating that Sarah navigates this complex reality. The works in this show speak to light’s elusiveness, subtlety, and clarity within a variety of constructed spaces. Sarah has no desire to capture light itself, thus emptying it of its mystery, but hopes to give a momentary glimpse of the intricacies that light embodies.

    The Brodigan Gallery, located on the Dining Hall’s ground level, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. It is free and open to the public.
  • The Cellar Doors of Kardiani: Photographs by Ivan Massar

    April 9 through May 17, 2013
    Artist reception, open to the public, Sunday, April 21 from 2-4 p.m.

    This spring, the Christopher C. Brodigan Gallery offers a glimpse of the village of Kardiani, on the Greek island of Tinos, courtesy of one of America’s most accomplished photojournalists. Ivan Massar’s photographs have appeared in National Geographic, Life, and numerous other publications; over the years, he has memorialized moments from World War II to the Vietnam War, from the early years of Communist Europe to the civil rights movement in the Deep South.

    This exhibit presents a small, whimsical slice of Massar’s work, capturing the artful complexity of doors made from scraps of wood. He explained: “One day in 1980, while wandering through the village of Kardiani, I was struck by the unusual doors that led into the ground floors of each house. The family living spaces appeared to be on the second floor, while the animals were kept in the lower level or cellar. With few trees on the island, the doors for these animal enclosures were made of odds and ends of scrap wood—driftwood, packing boxes, and a variety of other wooden pieces of different shapes and sizes nailed together. No two were alike. It was as if each owner tried to make his entrance more interesting than the next. There were no rules or limitations.”


    The Brodigan Gallery, outside the Dining Hall, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. It is free and open to the public.
  • "Afloat" by Silas Finch

    January 8 through February 22, 2013

    A combination of Geppetto fashioning metal Pinocchios and Thomas Edison indifferent to utility, Silas Finch has a gift for re-imagining the curious debris of the ordinary world. His workshop is an archive of vaguely identifiable fragments that, once he plots the instructions for their assembly, become small, unofficial mysteries. The relationship of part to part is always unexpected, but never forced. Every joining point seems the result of a logical connection.

    Silas understands history's machinery, traced on skateboard maps of violence with bullet track threads of gunfire and assassinations. But in “Afloat,” he also fashions animals for carousels, dwarf flying ships dangling beneath newspaper balloons, prosthetic limbs for carnival fortune tellers, and a dream of Emily Dickinson in a parachute dress. Every one of his battered, artful constructions is an instrument for decoding memories—both his and ours.
  • “You Mean You Don’t See Them” by Larry Blizard

    September 17 through November 16, 2012

    Artist Larry Blizard says he finds it especially gratifying to produce an image that appears spontaneously executed. “While a painting is a summing up, an accumulation of many small steps resulting in a conclusion, a drawing gives the impression of the artist’s thoughts, manifesting themselves moment by moment,” he says. “ Thus, the drawing becomes a kind of intimate conversation between two ‘friends’ (the artist and the viewer), while painting achieves the status of a formal address.”
     
    Blizard creates narrative art with simple tools—nothing digital or overtly novel—and often puts non-humans in human situations. “My current work involves using critters in everyday situations,” he explains, “inspired by my observation of small creatures struggling to survive in an increasingly urbanized environment.”

    The Brodigan Gallery, outside the Dining Hall is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. Admission is free.

  • "Fish Tales" by Mary Jo McConnell

    April 2–May 25, 2012   
    Artist's reception:  April 15, 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

    Over a time span of 20 years, this is the third show in the Christopher Brodigan Gallery for Marblehead artist Mary Jo McConnell. Mary Jo has always looked to nature for her inspiration—to birds, plant life, insects, and now fish. Her approach to painting fish has grown out of a fascination with Vermeer and the ways he used light to capture his subjects. For Mary Jo, fish provided an excellent subject for exploring the various qualities of light: how light is reflected reveals form and creates mood. Opportunities for using fish to explore light came to her in myriad forms, from the iridescence of sardines in a can to the Marblehead town dock. She describes her freezer as filled with “finds,” miscellaneous parts discarded by local fishermen or leftovers from the local bait shop. This show reminds us that sustained, close-up observation of the natural world reveals incomparable gifts of beauty.

    The Brodigan Gallery, outside the Dining Hall, is open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays.
  • "Images and Allegories" by Norman Laliberté

    Brodigan Gallery
    January 9-February 24
    , 2012
    Winter in particular makes an exhibit by Massachusetts artist Norman Laliberté welcome. The artist’s spirit jumps from the canvas, exuding warmth and energy.

    Laliberté was born in Worcester but grew up in Montreal with his French Canadian parents. His first international recognition came when he designed 88 banners for the Vatican Pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair. Since then, he has had more than 100 solo shows in North America, and his work hangs in many major public and corporate collections, including those of the Smithsonian Institute and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

    Describing a Laliberté exhibit for a gallery in Quebec City, Thérèse Dion (mother of Celine) wrote: “Between abstract and representational, Norman Laliberte’s works choreograph a dance of being, somewhere between the world of dreams and that of reality, using figurative elements as the base for abstraction. … Along with expression of joy, life, and festiveness, there is also the expression of tensions within compositions, the painterly versus the sculptural, the classical versus the lyrical, the ambiguous and the mysterious versus the poetic and the mythological.”
  • "Something in Everything" by Peter Madden


    "Something in Everything" is an interactive, site-specific installation of prints, books and collections inspired by and fashioned from the detritus of everyday life. Peter Madden enjoys the challenge of taking what he sees everyday and reorganizing, transforming, and re-presenting it in a new light, in a manner that poetically charges it.
    2010 Mudge Fellow Peter Madden Exhibits at the Brodigan Gallery
    Reported by Daniel Hong '11

    As Christmas Break was fast approaching, Peter Madden came to the Circle as the 2010 Mudge Fellow with strings, staples, stickers, and scraps. "Something in Everything;" his exhibit at the Christopher Brodigan Gallery is an interactive, site-specific installation of prints, books and collections inspired by and fashioned from the detritus of everyday life. Mr. Madden has been collaborating with Groton School art students whose contributions are also on display in the show.

    Artist’s Statement
    My work is an ongoing, visual journal of everyday reflections, musings, obsessions and memories. I don’t really see myself as an artist, but more as a diarist, inventor, biographer, exhibitionist, archivist, narrator, antenna. Much of the content of my projects evolves from a desire to relate stories: histories, memories, dreams and biographies. I tell these on a small scale appropriate to the intimate subject matter and the detail of the work. Even my larger constructions are composed of several smaller, individual components. I work with the least promising materials: rusted metal, brown paper bags, rubbings, weathered wood, ash, old flowers.
     
     
    I’ve found that common place materials with a past life enrich my work with the mysteries they inherently carry. I enjoy the challenge of taking what we see everyday and reorganizing, transforming, and re-presenting it in a new light, in a manner that poetically charges it. I often use the book format because it allows me to incorporate my interests in collage/assemblage, writing, photography and moving pictures. Generated by a desire to reminisce, teach, preserve and collect, most of my books fall into one of three basic categories: biographies, travel logs and scrap books. For me they are a means of expressing admiration and postponing loss, whether of places, events or individuals.

    The Brodigan Exhibit "Something in Everything" will run from January 6, to February 26, 2011
  • BOSTON, BALI AND BETWEEN THE WATERCOLORS OF PAUL NAGANO

    OCTOBER 4 - NOVEMBER 12, 2010
    In 1984 Nagano went to Bali for the first time and has returned annually for 25 years. For many years his watercolors captured the colors, textures, and atmosphere of the lush tropical landscape. Then in 1997 he began to move away from purely representational landscapes to focus on a more introspective, interpretive approach to his Bali surroundings.
    Paul Nagano’s paintings, primarily watercolors, have been inspired by the natural beauty of the landscapes he discovered through his travels. Born in Honolulu, Nagano is a graduate of Columbia University and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. A traveling scholarship in 1967 launched him on a painting career that now allows him to divide his time between Honolulu, Boston, and Bali, Indonesia. His style has been influenced by post-Impressionism and a method of Japanese watercolor painting known as Nanga, which he used to paint naturalistic landscapes in various parts of the world including France, Italy, Crete, Yugoslavia, and Madeira Island.
     
    In 1984 Nagano went to Bali for the first time and has returned annually for 25 years. For many years his watercolors captured the colors, textures, and atmosphere of the lush tropical landscape. Then in 1997 he began to move away from purely representational landscapes to focus on a more introspective, interpretive approach to his Bali surroundings. He developed a unique style which he named symBALIsm, a style which went beyond the obvious to penetrate more deeply into the connections among the nature, spirit, and culture of the island and its people. These paintings are colorful, multi-layered, ethereal “dreamscapes,” complex scenes which invite interpretation and stimulate the imagination.
     
    Nagano’s work has been in numerous group and solo exhibitions and is collected by major museums. This exhibition is a retrospective of the artist’s work.
  • "Unreal Estate" by Elizabeth van Gelder

    Unreal Estate: The Art of Beth Van Gelder
    Mixed media on paper, canvas, and board
    APRIL 12 – May 28, 2010
    Artist’s reception: May 2, 2-4 p.m.

    This series began seven years ago when I was searching for a subject to paint that had significant resonance for me, and the word “house” kept reappearing. The word “house” was loaded with more meanings than I could possibly address, and the opportunities for visual associations were unlimited. House, as an image, could be portrayed literally, symbolically, imaginatively.
    Artist's Statement
    This series began seven years ago when I was searching for a subject to paint that had significant resonance for me, and the word “house” kept reappearing. The word “house” was loaded with more meanings than I could possibly address, and the opportunities for visual associations were unlimited. House, as an image, could be portrayed literally, symbolically, imaginatively.
     
    I began to research the subject of house as a concept, both psychological and physical. There are two books in particular that I found especially illuminating. In Psychology of the House, Olivier Marc commented that, “… architecture was perhaps the first of all the arts” and “… the house was the most perfect expression of the self.” In The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard says, “The house shelters daydreaming, protects the dreamer, and allows the dreamer to dream in peace.”
     
    A house can be so many things—a cave, villa, hut, castle, nest, palace, tent, cottage, igloo, yurt, apartment—to name a few. A house is a sanctuary, a refuge, a dwelling place for the body and the mind. It is a container for rituals, traditions, and cherished possessions. It holds memories, secrets, grief, joy, fears, and fantasies. It can be a place for solitude and camaraderie. It has been compared to the mother’s womb, a place where we can listen to our own heartbeat.
     
    Although I have had the good fortune to live in beautiful homes throughout most of my life, I have never lived in a house that I have owned. Since we are so often told that home ownership is synonymous with the American dream, this subject is one that has weighed heavily on me for quite some time. One of the most wondrous things about being a painter is that painting is like magic: you can make things appear and disappear; you can create dialogues and relationships by merging the shapes, tones, and colors; you can invent whole worlds. So I began to paint houses, real and imagined, mostly imagined—hence the title “Unreal Estate.”
     
    The colors in these paintings are reminiscent of houses in my life, past and present. Many of the patterns refer to textiles I have collected. Some of the shapes are recognizable decorative objects; others are personal or universal symbols. Since this body of work was produced over a seven-year period, there is a great deal of stylistic variation. I have enjoyed playing with ideas as well as materials, while attempting to give a poetic voice to a lingering preoccupation.
  • "Far" by Monika Andersson

    Traveling around India, photographer Monika Andersson, an instructor in Groton School Arts Department, has captured some spectacular and informative images of the Monpa, photographs that span her trips from a Tibetan refugee colony in New Delhi to the most remote Arunachal Pradesh villages. Now, in “Far,” the Christopher Brodigan Gallery’s winter exhibit, her superb photography is on view.
    Photography By Monika Andersson, Member of the Arts Faculty
    January 11, 2010 through February 26, 2010
     
    Very few outsiders have ever visited the Himalayan towns and villages in Arunachal Pradesh, the eastern-most state of India that is located in the remote mountain peaks between Bhutan and Chinese-ruled Tibet. Its inhabitants are people of the Monpa tribes, direct descendants of the nomadic Tibetans who roamed this land with their herds before the Chinese overtook their lands.
     
    As a result of this isolation, modern civilization has barely made a mark in this area; and traditional Monpa culture flourishes, as the men and women, wearing colorful clothing, including spider-like yak hair hats, raise their families, keep animals, and farm the Himalayan slopes.
     
    Traveling around India, photographer Monika Andersson, an instructor in Groton School Arts Department, has captured some spectacular and informative images of the Monpa, photographs that span her trips from a Tibetan refugee colony in New Delhi to the most remote Arunachal Pradesh villages. Now, in “Far,” the Christopher Brodigan Gallery’s winter exhibit, her superb photography is on view.
     
    Arunachal Pradesh is contested territory, with both India and China claiming ownership; and the Chinese closing of the border between India and Tibet has cut off the Monpa living there from their nomadic lifestyle and from other Tibetan tribes. As a result, they face many threats, such as a lack of access to health care, education, good nutrition, and clean water; and the loss of land to the encroachments of the Indian military. Still, their beautiful culture survives; and Anderssons’s photographs show the Monpa striving to protect it.
     
    Groton School
    Farmer’s Row, RT 111
    Groton, Ma 01450
    Gallery Hours : Monday through Friday, 9-5
  • "Aprons" by Ann Emerson, Groton MA

    Ann Emerson has been considering “Aprons” since she first began teaching Art twenty-five years ago. Each apron testifies to hundreds of thoughts, emotions, and hours of effort in the studio. Each starts in the studio as a blank canvas, and each inadvertently becomes a work in progress in its own right, as the students focus on canvas after canvas.
    By ANN EMERSON, Member of the Arts Faculty
    September 21- November 14, 2009
     
    ARTIST RECEPTION:
    Tues, Nov. 3, 6:00-8:00
     
    Ann Emerson has been considering “Aprons” since she first began teaching Art twenty-five years ago. Each apron testifies to hundreds of thoughts, emotions, and hours of effort in the studio. Each starts in the studio as a blank canvas, and each inadvertently becomes a work in progress in its own right, as the students focus on canvas after canvas. She thinks that the aprons worn by students over and over, day after day, accumulating various stains and marks such as cadmium red splotches and black charcoal smudges, might one day be an exhibition by themselves. In this way, the works in Anne’s show were inspired by her students’ messy hands and sloppy habits.
     
    Over time, her thoughts on aprons have swung toward their historical utility, their significance as protective apparel…the chain mail apron for medieval battle, the blacksmith’s leather apron protecting against sparks, the pioneer woman’s apron used as a carry all, the servant’s apron, early man’s aprons of fur and snakeskin, and the first apron mentioned in literature, Adam’s fig leaf!
     
    Ultimately, she decided to build on the student aprons, the ones where she saw a new painting every day. Admiring the abstract and unusual color combinations on the high quality canvas when she first started to paint on last years sudent aprons, she intended to add only a few of her own intentional marks to her students’ inadvertent ones, and successfully did this with three. However, attempts to maintain the casual haphazard canvas failed, and intentional painting of the aprons took on a life of its own.
     
    These “Aprons” have finally evolved as a history and a mystery. Each suggests a history in a narrative style telling a visual anecdote. With the “Pie Lady,” one can imagine the type of woman serving all those scrumptious desserts, someone who loves to create and serve food, even though she’s headless in the painting. In the “Pearl Necklace,” the handprint was done by a student. “The question becomes “Did she steal the necklace?” “Did she find the necklace? What is her story? It is the artist’s hope that the apron paintings will entice the viewer to make up their own story.
    Groton School
    Farmer’s Row, RT 111
    Groton, Ma 01450
  • The Paintings of Resa Blackman

    The Christopher Brodigan Gallery spring show features the work of Boston-area artist Resa Blatman. Blatman has been teaching at the Massachusetts College of Art since 1997 and has shown her work in scores of shows. As her artist’s statement explains, by playing with the contradictions of emptiness versus fullness, lush versus barren, and rapture versus displeasure, Blatman attempts to show nature at odds with itself. Inspired by Baroque, Romantic, and Victorian decorative art, as well as by botanical imagery, her compositions create a visual feast of fruit, flora, wildlife, and pattern. She takes these elements out of their context and gives them a surreal landscape or contemporary stage.
     
    Through their decorative qualities, Blatman's paintings also deal with themes of excess and beauty. These ornamental, invasive patterns creep into the fecund environments of the birds and bats—sometimes overtaking, even strangling the animals—and, along with the ominous berry, create a picture of sensuality mixed with undertones of wanting and dismay.
     
    Blatman’s paintings and prints are in private collections throughout the United States, and in Italy, England, Switzerland, and South Africa. She is also a lending artist to the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Fourteen of her paintings currently are on loan to the museum’s corporate members throughout New England.
    Blatman’s work will be on exhibit at the Christopher Brodigan Gallery from April 1 through May 10, 2009.
  • Pipeline Dreams

    Phyllis Ewen is a Boston artist and a member of Brickbottom Artrist Studios in Someville, MA. In her wall installations, Phyllis Ewen combines laboratory equipment, three-dimensional drawing, and scientific texts to explore natural phenomena. Cast in latex, laboratory beakers, funnels, and tubes explore notions of containment: filling, emptying, pouring and holding. She has been interested for many years in the ways in which science and art intersect. The pieces in the series, Pipeline Dreams, funnel-shaped are whimsical and playful. At the same time, Ewen comments on environmental issues through the inclusion of wall text. The excerpts reference the flow of oil through Alaskan pipeline and its effect on wildlife, and to the political controversies over water resources.
     
    In installations, such as (e)motion, FLUID DYNAMICS, and TURBULENT e/MOTION, Ewen layers 'found' text and illustrations from scientific textbooks with sculptural elements to create a three-fold visual language: object, written word, and mathematics. Ewen's texts are fragmentary, each chosen for its emotional resonance and reference to the human body; their meanings remain elusive and suggestive. Attempting to capture ephemeral moments, steel wires become linear elements to suggest, delineate and define space between the vessel-like pieces.

    The Ewen Show will run in the Brodigan Gallery from January 7, 2008 to February 6, 2008
  • 13 Sculptures: Megan Bogonovich

    The Christopher Brodigan Gallery currently features an exhibit of thirteen sculptures by Megan Bogonovich, a Concord, NH area ceramic artist. Adjunct Professor at New Hampshire Technical Institute, and instructor at the Kimball Jenkins School of Art in Concord, NH, Ms. Bogonovich is a juried member and artist with the League of New Hampshire Craftsman who recently won Best of Show in their Biennial Juried Exhibition. She will be giving two master classes later this term to Groton ceramics students.

    Artist's Statement about her show:
    I like to tell intimate stories. I like to feel like I am sharing a quiet and detailed secret, one that you want to lean in and listen to. Clay is a good material for stories. It is inviting. A richly detailed and repetitively patterned surface makes a viewer come close. Clay has craft connotations, and relationships in scale to the figurine that make it feel accessible. But still, clay inspires a "how did they make this?" kind of wonder. Clay is known to be fragile and that brings out a gentle and cautious side to a viewer. It can slow down the rush, and inspire patience.

    Many of my sculptures, this year, question the safety of the environments and relationships we create. They present scenarios about the comforts and the limitations of our secure personal worlds. Does Dorothy really think there's no place like home, or does she decide, as she did in the books, to go back to Oz and take her family with her? We are driven to the tops of high mountains, to the moon, to the ocean depths; we select door number two when we know what is behind number one. We build four walls around us, but still there is strong motivation to seek out risk and change. What would bring satisfaction to our daily existence? The sculptures combine naturalistic and abstracted imagery to suggest the possibility of the real and the imagined co-habitating, a whimsical reality. Unusual growths, curious routes, unlikely pairings, strange predicaments, surprises and wonder, comfort in the unlikely.
  • Otto Piene's Sketchbooks

    Internationally renowned painter and sculptor, Otto Piene had Sketchbooks on display at the Christopher Carey Brodigan Gallery from April 6 through April 29, 2005. "Artists are often asked where their ideas come from. Piene is about to show us with an exhibition of more than two dozen of his sketchbooks gleaned from the personal journals he's been filling 'from 1943 to the day before yesterday,'" explains Leon Nigrosh of ArtsMedia magazine (March/April 2005).
  • Guido Garaycochea's Order and Equilibrium

    Peruvian artist, Guido Garaycochea had an exhibition on display in the Christopher Carey Brodigan Gallery at Groton School. Garaycochea, artist in residence at The Griffis Art Center in New London, Connecticut, has exhibited his work throughout Latin America and is represented by the well-known Praxis Gallery in Santiago, Chile.
  • Retina Prints and Poems by Elizabeth Goldring

    Goldring, a Groton, Massachusetts resident and a Senior Fellow at MIT's Center for Advanced Visual Studies, has presented her poetry, multimedia environments, and installations at venues in Europe and North America. She uses a scanning laser ophthalmoscope to create a visual language of words and symbols. As an artist, she interprets what she sees by working with scans of the retina, looking at images that she has selected, modified, or created for people who cannot see. Seeing and vision loss are two of the subjects encountered in Goldring's three published books of poetry. In her current research, she seeks a means to visualize vision loss and to create visual language and a poetry of visual experiences for people whose sight is limited.
  • Esther Garcia's In the Studio

    Artist Esther Garcia Eder's In the Studio was on display in the Fall of 2002 . Eder studied painting in Buenos Aires, London, and New York, with a lifelong interest in art developing into a passionate career. Her work is concerned with capturing the immediacy of beauty and emotion in landscape and interior and in conveying the interplay between human form and its surroundings. Eder's oil and water color, woodcuts, etchings, and monoprints are shown in private collections in London, Madrid, and the United States. In addition, her work is on display in many corporate and public collections. "Glorious-ecstatic-euphoric, life-enhancing. Just what the world needs," writes art critic John Russell of The New York Times about Eder's paintings.
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