Opening Reception: Friday, August 23, 6-9 pm
“Since the day of the 2016 election, in the ceramics classes I teach, we all made a pact to not discuss the news. It can take up all the oxygen in the room. There has to be someplace that is protected. In that free space, these two huge bowls were made. I had intended to narrow them in at the top, but the rim kept widening, like outstretched arms, as far as it could reach.
Only when I set out to write this statement did I understand what these two pieces are about. The Chinese Taoist philosopher Lao Tzu wrote, “We mould clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that makes the vessel useful.” The usefulness of a pot is not the part we can see, its purpose is in the emptiness. What is the importance of emptiness? It is the space of potential.
These pieces are an act of rebellion. They are a bold reclaiming of creative space in the face of the degradation in the past two years. Everything of value feels endangered, the daily discourse compressing and potentially consuming all our vital energies. This is what compels me, not just to make beautiful objects, but to make something that carves out a space for emptiness, a living breathing parenthesis for potentiality. Here are two radically generous offerings of nothing.”
Susan Bernstein’s work is all hand built, using coils of clay or slab to build up the piece. Her ceramics speak to the time and place where they are made. This is made relevant in the work by her keen awareness and intimate connection to eve-ryday life, yet it can also reveal what it means to be human. “I am inspired by look-ing at images and films of potters around the world from South Africa, Burkina Fa-so, Nigeria, Ghana, Mexico, India, Korea. Even within widely diverse cultures, there is an inextricable kinship within a common craft language. I am in love with the dense physicality and pure nature of clay in all its stages. However, my great-est artistic challenge and passion lies not just with clay and ceramic form but its capacity to transcend its physical state and touch something deeper about our shared humanity.”
Bernstein is a resident studio ceramic artist and teacher at Mudflat Studio in Somerville, MA. She has exhibited her work at AMP Gallery since 2013.
Karen Cappotto is inspired by evidence of the handmade in a world where technology prevails and is known for her distinct palette and combination of medium.
Cappotto’s work is in PAAM’s Permanent collection and she has received multiple awards and prizes for her mixed media constructions. In 2011, her company Peg+Dick was launched when Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams asked her to produce their decoupage accessories. Her work has been seen in Elle Decor, The Washington Post, Provincetown Arts, and This Old House.
Cappotto is a founding member of the non-profit group Provincetown Commons, dedicated to developing a sustainable creative economy in the place that continues to inspire her work.
Cappotto is represented by AMP Gallery.
Title IX, Thoughts on the Education of Daughters
“The two parts of this title are stolen from texts written two hundred years apart. Title IX was first written into law in 1972 as an offshoot of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It was part of US Educational Amendments and mostly concerned giving women equal access to sports programs in high school and college. Barach Obama added sexual orientation, gender identity, mental and physical handicap concerns to this law, as well as protection from sexual harassment and violence at schools, but President Trump removed these elements. Thoughts on the Education of Daughters is the title of a book Mary Wollstonecraft wrote in 1787, encouraging educators and parents to teach independence, self sufficiency, and the intellectual skills needed for women to gain a foothold professionally in the world. When I think about these two in tandem, it makes both become three dimensional in my head, and I feel that while much has changed for humans during the last two hundred years, relative to equal opportunities between different folks, not much has changed at all.
Initially I began these paintings as a way to get into figurative work more, as in the human figure. Particularly in relation to figure ground, as in a person in a landscape. I played around with using photographs as a starting point, my own as well as images from advertisements. While the paintings took shape, I realized that my attraction to a certain type of image had meaning in relation to my experience as a person living here. In this landscape.”
Barbara Hadden was born in 1955 in Hamburg, Germany, and spent her childhood in Europe and the Middle East. She studied painting, photography and filmmaking at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She was awarded an Alumni Traveling Fellowship from that school for her work in photography. Hadden was a finalist in the Regional Fellowships for Visual Arts, awarded through the New England Foundation for the Arts, and has also been awarded a Fund for Individuals by the Berkshire Taconic Artist’s Resource Trust. In the last decade, she regularly attended artist residency programs, which have deepened her commitment to landscape-based painting and photography. She lives in western Massachusetts.
Deborah Martin (b. Boston, 1961) received her BFA and BS Masters of Arts in Teaching, Art Education from The Museum School of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts University. Her artistic work examines the complexities of individual experience particularly in relation to home, isolation and memory. Much of her practice emerges in collaborative conversation with writers and poets, taking form through exhibitions and publications.
Martin's work has been featured in numerous publications including Building Provincetown written by David Dunlap and published by the Provincetown Historical Commission, Provincetown Arts Magazine, The Provincetown Banner, Provincetown Magazine, art ltd., Palm Springs Life Arts + Culture, Palm Springs Life Magazine, Angeleno Magazine, Fabrik, and New American Paintings among others.
Her work has been shown and is included in the permanent collection of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM), Provincetown, MA. She is a recipient of the Orlowsky Freed Foundation Grant sponsored in part by PAAM (2011) and a finalist in the shortlist of seventy for the 2018 BP Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery, London.
Dreaming in White and Sidri Ali #3
"My work can be characterized by continuity and discontinuity: the continuity is reflected in the repeating qualities of the forms while the discontinuity reflects the variability shaped by my momentary experience. No two elements are ever the same. Slowly the ingredients, metal and movement, pins and paint, imagination, lights and shadows, come together to create a splash of color that is bigger than the sum of its parts.
I express myself in metal, mostly steel and aluminum. For my twisted metal elements, I place one end of the metal in a vise while sliding the other end through a slit in the lower end of a “T” shaped primitive instrument that I built. I achieve the form of each element by using the power of my full body on the upper arms of the “T”, pushing and pulling against the inner strength of the metal. Mostly my strength overcomes the inner tension of the metal. Occasionally the strength of the metal wins in this game of arm wrestling, creating the unexpected ripples of the element that speak to the quality of the medium.
Often my patterns are soft, contrasting the hardness of the metals; pleasing and agreeable to the senses they soothe their surroundings. This softness raises doubt about the hardness of the metal. Organic finishes, while exposing the true nature of the metal, create delicate silk-like ribbons. A recent piece, Order out of Chaos, was largely defined by the nature of the work of a national logistics company that receives containers of a product such as soap or cereal, and distributes them across the world to match orders. On the other hand, my piece Zandrian, was inspired by the play of colors of the work of Mondrian and responded only to my whim. The Cosmo Wave represents the playful stream of humanity that meets at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas to enjoy the elegant thrill of uncertainty and possibilities. The Wave is comprised of 380 unique elements; each unique and different like the people who are transported daily between gambling and conventioning. Like life, The Cosmo Wave, undulates to the rhythm of our breath.”
Creating in three dimensions is a challenge that always interested Zammy. Working with raw metal, he brings life and motion to the new and recycled metal. His work does not intend to express a vision of the world, nor specific concepts. Rather they represent images that form in his imagination, which he wants to share with others. Forms connect to each other in space or in their relationship in space. Elements and their finished texture are manipulated to reflect the inner world of fertile and vital imagination.
Zammy Migdal's work is found in private collections throughout the world and Art in Public places. He has had several gallery and museum exhibitions, including at the Armory Art Centerand at the Galerie Bernd A. Lausberg - Düsseldorf.