Four Rochester artists will present their latest works in various medias inspired by travel in “4 Directions” from Jan. 9 through Feb. 17 in the Patricia O’Keefe Ross Art Gallery at St. John Fisher College, 3690 East Ave., Rochester.
The exhibit will feature color photography of Ireland by Jim Barclay, collagraph monoprints of the U.S. and Ireland by Elizabeth King Durand, encaustic images and monoprints of Iceland by Constance Mauro and photographic gum bichromate paintings influenced by the U.S., Greece, Italy and France by G.A. Sheller.
“There are so many opportunities in our community to participate and observe,” Mauro said. “This is a great opportunity support for the arts in Rochester.”
There will be an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 12.
Barclay, who is known at local art festivals for his atmospheric images of Rochester, turned his lens toward Ireland, the country he left as a young boy.
“I wanted to rediscover a homeland that I had known only through distant childhood memories, family stories and the romanticized lore of the Emerald Isle,” he said.
His grandfather and father were painters; his father also created bronze sculptures from plaster models and carved wood.
“As I traveled the paths that my mother and father had, I tried to capture with my lens glimpses of those different realities and gain a better understanding of the kinds of origins we all have,” Barclay said.
Barclay is patient and exacting as he strives for the image he has in mind, persevering until he finds the desired light and weather. His work pairs evocative landscapes with Irish verses.
Durand, who recently received Best of Show in Print Club of Rochester’s annual exhibition, said that her inspiration for her distinctive prints came from her family traveling extensively from coast to coast.
“I view work as a way of life,” Durand said. “I am inspired by the wide beaches and ever changing ocean around Nantucket Island and the contrast of the imposing tall forests and mountains of Washington state. The riches of California’s Napa valley add color and abundance to my work. Color, form and energy inform the images I take away from these places. Not to be forgotten, however, is the always inspiring remote west of Ireland that keeps returning in my prints.”
Her prints celebrate surfaces, intaglio and subtle relief. She uses traditional etching techniques and innovative monoprint processes to achieve a broad range of expression, both descriptive and abstract. Viewers will find that layers of textured surfaces on Durand’s printing plates reflect the earth strata and topography. She is known for building up thin layers and veils of color to reference atmospheric changes in each locale.
Mauro produces monoprints in her studio at the Hungerford Building in Rochester by layering colors of ink one at a time onto a Plexiglas plate. The ink is then transferred to paper using an etching press. Mauro uses textures to block out areas and maintain the color beneath it.
“Art is a release and is a part of me, not a choice,” Mauro said. “My work is an expression of my life experience and what comes from within.”
Her work has a sense of depth and mystery. She also works with encaustics. This ancient process involves heating a mix of beeswax, damar resin and pigments to form a liquid. Mauro then must apply the liquid material to a birch cradleboard quickly before the wax pigment solidifies.
She draws inspiration from her time spent overseas in Ireland, France, Italy, England and Iceland.
Sheller’s images derive from her travels in Ireland, France, Italy, Greece and across the U.S. She has conducted painting workshops in each of those countries and has built a following of artists eager to work with her.
Her images combine her photographic and painting skills. Many of the images are also enhanced by gum bichromate, a 19th-century photo process.
Sheller said her paintings are not the record of a particular place, but a personal distillation of those elements that are distinctive to her about that place.
“My work often combines the particular elements of a locale with an overlay of the general locale,” she said. “I reveal and interpret. Paint and light are my tools.”