“Water is life’s matter and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water.” Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
The 2022 season at MassoniArt was inspired by the above quote attributed to Szent-Gyorgyi and featured in marine biologist Walter J. Nichols’ landmark book, Blue Mind. Nichols spent years researching the crucial importance of our connection to water and the remarkable effects it has on our health and wellbeing.
The gallery will use this theme throughout the year in a series of exhibitions. Our first exhibition, Thinking Downstream, opens in the High Street Gallery on April 1st. Thinking Downstream was inspired by featured gallery artist Grace Mitchell. Channeling William Carlos Williams – so much depends upon – Mitchell reminds us that in the world of the wild, “almost everything depends upon water. But in fact, water also depends upon almost everything else in some way or another. The trees, the soil, the grasses depend on one another. What happens downstream depends upon what happens everywhere upstream. And all depends upon all of it, working together in the beautiful and wonder-filled pageant of life on earth.”
As a 21st century artist painting landscape, Mitchell’s oil paintings attest to the importance of all parts to the whole. She is joined by thirteen artists who embrace similar themes: Deborah Weiss, Catherine Kernan, Heidi Fowler, Eve Stockton, Simma Liebman, Kathryn O’Grady, Lisa Lebofsky, Blake Conroy, Jon Mort, Katherine Cox, Emily Kalwaitis and new to the gallery, Leslie Grigsby and Wendy Prellwitz.
How can the artist move us to examine the environmental challenges threatening the earth and all who call it home?
“Art can do what the scientists can’t do,” says Rachel Bronson, president and CEO of the Bulletin(1): make accessible, relatable, and understandable the abstract-sounding science of climate change. Rather than push us away from acting to mitigate the menacing future the studies warn we’re trending to, art can invite us to come closer, and help us envision a different future that we can also help shape.
There is an interdependency with the natural world that goes beyond ecosystem, biodiversity or economic benefits. It was once thought that the duty of the artist was to celebrate the “wonder-filled pageant of life.” The artists exhibiting in our current show are up to the challenge. “After all, what is creativity but a form of optimism that there is more that can be done?”
Last October, MassoniArt expanded our exhibition space with a new gallery at 113 South Cross Street. The galleries are within two blocks of each other in downtown Chestertown’s Arts and Entertainment District. The Cross Street location is hosting a revolving show of gallery favorites and features a body of new work by Massachusetts artist Deborah T. Colter during the month of April. Also on display at Cross Street are Ken Schiano, ZemmaMastin White, Marcy Dunn Ramsey, Claire McArdle Sculpture, James Tatum, Michael Kahn, Greg Mort, Katherine Cox and more.
(1) Weinberg/Newton Gallery, in partnership with the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, presents Human/Nature, an exhibition addressing one of the most urgent issues of our time-climate change.
WATER /WAYS 2022
April 1 – May 4
High Street Gallery
Gallery Hours: Thursday and Friday 11-4, Saturday 10-5,
Sunday 12-3. Monday-Wednesday by appointment.