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The Figure Speaks: Clayworks by Andrews, Consentino & Olds Goldie
From Friday, September 01, 2017 -  11:00am
To Sunday, October 29, 2017 - 06:00pm
 Contact Donna Gates:

The Figure Speaks: Clayworks by Andrews, Consentino & Olds Goldie

The Figure Speaks blends the works of three sculptors, all working in clay: Marilyn Andrews of Plainfield, MA, Cynthia Consentino of Buckland, MA and Claudia Olds Goldie of Newton, MA. Each artist has deeply explored the impact the human figure makes in their art, all with powerful statements. Salmon Falls Gallery hosts the exhibit September 1 - October 29, with a reception to meet the artists on September 9, 4-6pm.

Marilyn Andrews has been working in clay since 1976. Among the works she shows at Salmon Falls Gallery are salt and pepper shakers. These pieces are two figurative sculptures that are made in relationship to each other. First, the figures relate through the simple function of being salt and pepper shakers, then we see that it’s the relationship between the figures that is so arresting. Marilyn’s focus for The Figure Speaks in her own words:

"The figure is us. In the most minimal marks we see the shape of our world – dark ground, light sky – and ourselves in it – circle of face, upright body.  “Standing” means us and the things we build.

When I strip away clothing and hair, with their signals about gender and class, I have a powerful basic symbol to work with. When I depict figures as I see them around me, I get the same symbolic power with the weight of culture added. When I create an imagined figure I have a symbol of the Self removed to a perspective that moment-to-moment living can’t access.

It’s the power of the symbol that fuels my play with it. Such a rich resource – the smallest gesture of the body or face is full of meaning for us. This is the material I use to make a new connection between myself (physically, emotionally and intellectually) and the physical and social world around me. This is my understanding of art-making and the capability it offers us for understanding our world and communicating with each other.”

Cynthia Consentino’s sculpture pushes boundaries in many directions. She exhibits nationally and internationally and has won many residencies including the John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry Program. For this exhibit, Consentino will be showing works from her Face Vase series. These portrait vases explore the human condition. They depict different states of mind, moods, and emotions via a playful exploration of form and abstraction. In her own words:

“I have always been interested in what forms our perceptions and values regarding gender, social roles, and art. My work utilizes the figure along with references to familiar literary and visual symbols to delve into our collective experience and explore influences. We are constantly ingesting stories and images. Embedded within these are value systems and designations of what is normal and abnormal, good and bad.

I am interested in stripping things down and reassembling parts from different worlds. By taking what is familiar and making it unfamiliar, exaggerated, or inverted I am able to look more clearly and reconsider the messages that are part of both the original and altered states. I am better able to see incongruities and hidden messages.

My work started with exploring my own family’s ideas of gender and role, and expanded to look at common fairy tales and mythology. More recently I have focused on the knickknack and religious figurine and searched for and incorporated visual symbols and ideas that illustrate western values of not only gender, but art. At times our ideas and language regarding beauty, function, and worth directly parallel ideas we have of gender.”

Claudia Olds Goldie’s sculptures of women show the viewer something internal, powerful and emotionally exact. She currently works as an instructor for Harvard’s Ceramics program and is celebrating her 40th year teaching sculpture at Dexter Southfield School in Brookline, MA. She exhibits in galleries nationally and her work appears in numerous publications. She describes her art as follows:

“My figurative ceramic work investigates the complex contradictions of body, mind, and perception. Focusing on the lives and bodies of women, I examine how living and aging changes the psyche and the physical body—in a sense, how the forces of nature inevitably alter our human design.  I do not work from models.

In 2010, I was inspired to draw with graphite pencil directly on the surface of my work after seeing Sol Lewitt’s exhibition of wall drawings at Mass MOCA.  The texture of the fired ceramic clay serves as a perfect foundation for this type of exploration, and I continue to discover new ways in which these pencil marks create a second skin to enhance the form, intent, and intricacy of each sculpture.”

The Figure Speaks is on exhibit September 1 – October 29, with the reception on Saturday, September 9, 4-6pm with music by Loren Feinstein improvising on sax and other instruments. For more information, or call the gallery at 413.625.9833.

Photo captions (from left to right):

“Stairs to Street Level” by Marilyn Andrews, 25.5” x 14” x 8”, 2016, stoneware clay, slips, glaze

“Big Ol’ Gal” by Claudia Olds Goldie, 29" tall, 2016, Stoneware and graphite pencil drawing

“Curly” by Cynthia Consentino, 15.75″ x 9.25″ x 9.25″, 2013, stoneware, glaze

Location Salmon Falls Gallery
This event is free. Parking is available.