This month, we are pleased to bring together artists, Pamela Melvin, Steven Cabral, River Huston, and Amy Medford for a group show, “INTERIORS”. Opening Friday, December 3rd and on view through Sunday, January 9th.
INTERIORS, is a group show reflecting on the physical and metaphorical. The show will explore various interpretations of interiors, the spaces we both imagine and occupy.
After the last year, conversations continue to develop around spaces, the interiors of our minds and bodies, as well as contemplating and lamenting our “personal space”. With this in mind, we have put together a group of artists whose work is nuanced and introspective. We look at the abstraction of pattern, the emotive power of color, and textured surfaces in works by artists River Huston and Steven Cabral. In a similar capacity, the shallow, intimate, and dream-like spaces depicted by artist Pamela Melvin are juxtaposed with her fellow artist’s colorscapes and macro-patterns, as well as Amy Medford's emerging figurative stone sculptures.
Sheltered within their often intimate boundaries, interiors foster collaboration and gathering. This is a pivotal component to creativity and the overarching experiences surrounding the visual arts.
Steven Cabral is a Boston-based painter and has shown his work in several group exhibitions in the greater Boston and New York City areas. He is a member of the Vernon Street artists’ community in Somerville, Massachusetts. In letting past actions be visible, Cabral wants the viewer to see the interiors of his paintings.
His work investigates the psychology of painting through an exploration of patterns, hard edges, soft edges, geometric and organic shapes, and color experimentation to form new meanings and spaces. Cabral’s awareness of his inner dialogue strengthens his working process, allowing for a chain reaction of thoughts and ideas focused on mark-making to form the composition. This listening process clarifies painterly space, including the risks he needs to take to break his visual grammar by using thin and thick paint, shapes, and colors. He explores and layers a new palette of contemporary hues, and allows his past geometric abstractions to combine with new freehand geometric shapes of squares, circles, triangles, and lines with undefinable biomorphic shapes. This has led Cabral to a more focused desire to construct an aesthetic that creates challenging and unconventional viewing experiences.
“It’s important that my work gives a sense of openness. I also work in layers, which both hold individual marks and color while also building effects... and for me, layers of encaustic embody the human quality of lived time. Immersing myself in the act of painting, I accept and celebrate imperfection along with transience. Whether encaustic or oil, I work with the properties of the paint and not against them, creating edges that are never perfectly straight and surfaces not completely flat.”
Cabral works with the sensuousness of his materials, and the flaws are part of an organic language of human touch. He often sees himself between the need to create order and his desire to be spontaneous. Steven holds a BFA in painting from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and an MFA from Lesley University College of Art and Design. He currently lives and works in Somerville.
Amy Medford creates her works through the use of a variety of mediums. The bronze, stone and clay materials she uses are as important to the work as the subject that is ultimately revealed. She strives to reveal a certain truth through her work, and the materials themselves perform much of the communication. Medford’s work is rooted in ancient Middle Eastern conceptualizations of death, birth, and renewal, and these themes are directly bound to the materials chosen. Her stone sculptures are firmly grounded by heavier bases, reflecting the natural quality of the stone.
The artist chooses the human body as her primary subject matter in order to reflect her personal connection to the human spirit. In her eyes, a successful piece will resonate with the viewer, evoking a response to the truth she strives to employ.
River Huston is a sex educator and college speaker, as well as an award winning poet, journalist, performer, activist and painter. She travels throughout the United States speaking at colleges, conferences, and corporate events on issues related to sexuality, addiction and overcoming challenges.
“When you look at my work you are given the opportunity to be transported to where the subtleties of color, texture and composition take you. My goal is to unleash your feelings and let them roam around the work and take in what appeals to you. I am an abstract artist and it fits my abstract mind.”
Huston’s richly-hued abstract paintings with complex surface textures invite inspection and exploration. According to Huston, her paintings develop organically; sometimes taking many years to reach completion, yet occasionally they are created within just minutes. The highly-textured paintings are made with a combination of found materials; ranging from coffee grounds to roofing tiles, marble dust to gold dust. These unusual, luscious and tactile elements are mixed with acrylic paints and applied to canvas or paper, resulting in images that can be sensuous, luminous, spacious, and mysterious, always beckoning the viewer into a world of uncharted territory.
Huston has been painting and showing her work consistently for the past 35 years, showing primarily in galleries in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Mexico, California and the Caribbean. She was included in an exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Huston spent two years as the co-director of the Alternative Arts Alliance in The US Virgin Islands and was involved with teaching outreach classes in the community as well as being the resident artist at sevenminusseven art gallery. She has been featured on Good Morning America, Showtime, NBC, Nightline and CNN. She has a degree in Physical Education and Music from Hunter College and was awarded an honorary Doctorate from Albright College for her work in the community. River was given the Dorthea Lange/Paul Taylor award for her book, A Positive Life: Portraits Of Women Living With HIV, and is the creator of Goddess: A New Guide to Feminine Wisdom. She was honored with the Karen Sofield Award, William Patterson Recognition Award and Hyacinth AIDS Foundation Contribution Award for 10 years of service. In 2009 she was the recipient of the Leeway Transformation Award in recognition of her work over the past two decades. River currently resides in northern California where she spends most of her time painting and writing.
Amy Medford was born and raised in New Jersey, received her A.B. in Theater History from Cornell University, and went on to earn an apprenticeship at the Johnson Atelier Technical Institute for Sculpture, where she mastered the “lost wax” technique of bronze casting.
The artist later traveled to Italy to study stone carving and further her practice of creating sculpture at Studio Palla, in the small town of Pietrasanta, Italy. Medford’s work has been shown both nationally and internationally and is represented in several international collections.
Pamela Melvin is a local artist living and working in Lake Worth Beach, FL. Working with oils, after compositional drawings, Melvin expresses emotion through the figurative and color. Melvin’s influences are varied. Originally from Morocco and then moving to the Washington D.C. area, she visited many museums starting with her childhood and continuing while living in New York City. Abstraction, Fauvism, Expressionism, and classical art have all influenced Melvin and continue to inspire her to discover herself as an artist. Her artwork is painterly, expressive and spontaneous. It is an endless journey to self-realization for Melvin, when creating and producing an object of art. Her paintings have decorative elements at the same time having symbolic and expressive qualities. Often contained within shallow interiors and exteriors, Melvin’s human figures are given additional context. This slight addition of decorative elements serve to heighten the emotional and expressive qualities of her subjects. Anxiety, anticipation, sorrow, death, contemplation, and love are all emotional tropes labored over by Melvin through a painterly approach with strong brushstrokes and nuanced color theory.
Pamela Melvin started her artistic training at the Corcoran School of Art studying with Washington Color School painter Gene Davis. During her young adult life in Manhattan she continued her studies at The Art Student’s League. She is a life-member of The Art Student’s League and one of their listed artists.