Stoneleigh-Burnham School presents a retrospective of the artwork of local artist Laura J. Kaye from 1964-2014 in the school’s Geissler Gallery from September 19 through October 30.
The show includes more than 50 paintings by Ms. Kaye, a resident of Northfield, from the 50-year time span. Drawings from her college years as an art student at Reed College in Portland, Oregon open the retrospective, followed by five decades worth of drawings, oil paintings, watercolors, and a few graphics.
Each piece in the exhibit is a product of its time and place of origin. Ms. Kaye studied at the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture from 1966-1967, at Reed College, and completed her art education with a stint in the Midwest to pursue a Master’s in Fine Arts at Indiana University in Bloomington. Her work progresses through the traditional studio genres of portraiture and still life. Later work retains realism while developing her personal vision.
“My art brain has absorbed not only the stunning beauty of this part of New England, but also the social and political upheavals of the era,” Ms. Kaye said. “My art reflects my involvement in progressive activism including feminist, peace, social justice, and environmental movements, and my observation of the unfolding beauty of our landscape.”
Watercolor has been Ms. Kaye’s primary medium for many years. She is fascinated by the challenge of mastering established watercolor techniques while learning to put the medium to use in some unusual ways. Abstract forms within unconventional subjects, such as the contents of a compost bin or the detritus left by natural disaster, bring the exhibit to its present-day conclusion.
In addition to being an artist, Ms. Kaye describes herself as a “sometime activist for peace, justice, and the environment, as well as a food gardener.”
“Political content runs through my personal art history; at times reflected visually in the subject matter of graphics and paintings and at other times running as an unseen theme in the background as I work,” she says. “However, I don’t want this exhibit to come across as only a political position. I want people to just enjoy the work, be stimulated to think a bit, and hopefully appreciate the artistry.”
More information about Laura J. Kaye can be found here: http://conscientiousobject.com/home.html
The Geissler Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located at 574 Bernardston Road, Greenfield, MA 01301. For more information, please call 413-774-2711.