21
Jul
10

Am I an Exhibitionist????

LOCAL ARTIST AN EXHIBITIONIST?

BENNINGTON, Vt. — …Apparently the answer is yes, because Bennington painter and multimedia artist Viola Moriarty shows new work in six local exhibitions opening in the next four months.

“This has been a year of quieter, more introspective work,” Moriarty says, “primarily still lifes and figure works — and study with other artist friends, experimenting with new media and working on my drawing skills. So, the exhibitions coming up relate to that kind of work, like a string of pearls: smaller, more intimate exhibitions in some of my favorite local venues showing personal works that are meaningful to me and my artistic process.”

Moriarty’s multi-venue opus begins with “Recent works, 2010” at South Street Café, 105 South Street in Bennington, on Sunday, August 1. This month-long show includes oil paintings of flowers from her lush garden, and figure works — including a series of small works titled “Nudes on Guest Checks,” and Moriarty’s self-proclaimed “favorite new pen and ink painting, ‘DJ.’” An artist’s reception is at South Street Café on Friday, August 13, from 5 to 7 p.m.

“As a walking person and ‘townie,’ South Street is the hub, not only for coffee and great snacks, but for community,” says Moriarty, who has hung an annual exhibition in the café since 2003 — with the exception of 2007, when she was undergoing chemotherapy.

September brings “El Idioma de mi Corazón” at Coyote Flaco, 505 Cold Spring Road in Williamstown, Mass, opening with a reception on Saturday, September 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. The first art exhibition to be held in the restaurant, Moriarty includes works of local subjects, created alla prima in oil and in pen & ink.

Moriarty says that the work for this exhibit is particularly personal in terms of working method and subject. The exhibit’s title, “El Idioma de mi Corazon” (“The Language of My Heart”), inspired by a quote from César Chávez, reflects Moriarty’s own bilingual life and its influence on her art. She specialized in English Learner Education since 1980, after taking her first teaching job at a private bilingual school in Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico; in 2008 she left her role as director of English Learner Education for North Adams public schools to focus on her art. The exhibit runs through the fall/early winter.

“Los Días de Los Muertos” (“The Days of the Dead”) is on view at Images Cinema, 50 Main Street in Williamstown, Mass., Friday, October 8 through Sunday, November 14, with an artist’s reception on Halloween, Sunday, October 31, from 2 to 4 p.m. The exhibit includes 10 new skeleton and graveyard images in oil and in reed pen & ink.

The Days of the Dead are a Mexican tradition dating back to the Aztecs, but which is becoming more and more popular throughout the United States, says Moriarty. “It is an ancient and artistic celebration of life, and the honoring of those loved ones who are always with us. It’s long been a goal of mine to have this tri-state border town area become a Días de Los Muertos celebration destination. Unlike its darker, scarier relative, Halloween, Los Días de Los Muertos are two beautiful days full of life, food, marigolds, music, dancing, storytelling and feature lots of interesting characters as well as friends and relatives visiting from the other side.”

Moriarty may get her wish, of sorts: in addition to her exhibit, the opening reception features movie shorts by Pownal, Vt., artist and activist Rico Dovey that makes use of Días de Los Muertos images created by Moriarty during the past eight years; a short film by Bennington native Georgia Roxon and Jessica Polaniecki, recent graduates from New York City’s School of Visual Arts, where they studied stop-motion animation and puppetry, (information and videos: http://www.vimeo.com/groxon and http://jpolaniecki.com); a short film by NYC filmmaker and mixed-media artist Katie Armstrong, another School of the Visual Arts alumna, (information and videos: http://www.katiearmstrong.com); and a live performance of the “Dance of the Dead,” choreographed by Anna Moriarty Lev, Moriarty’s eldest daughter — a Brooklyn, N.Y., playwright, filmmaker, comic book creator and alumna of Mount Anthony Union High School and of The New School in Manhattan, where she studied dance and choreography, (information: levhardware.wordpress.com). The dance performance is accompanied by guitar music by Brooklyn musician and filmmaker Dylan Pasture.

“I am very enthusiastic about the Días de los Muertos opening,” says Moriarty. “Each of us is contributing what we love to do, the thing we spend our time, money, energy and lives doing. It’s going to be a gas for people who enjoy different forms of visual art.”

Moriarty is one of more than 100 featured artists in North Adams Open Studios, an annual, city-wide showcase of works by established, mid-career and emerging artists. The weekend arts celebration opens with a reception at MASS MoCA on Friday, October 15, at 7 p.m., and galleries, art studios and other venues are open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, October 16 and 17, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. A small collection of Moriarty’s portraits, figure work and still lifes are on view at the NoAMA Mill, 234 Union Street, North Adams, (information: http://www.northadamsopenstudios.com).

Moriarty’s “Nudes on Paper” opens Wednesday, December 1, at Stone Soup, 27 Park Street in Adams, Mass. Of the longtime artistic hotspot, formerly operating as Café Topia, Moriarty says, “The menu is fantastic and the place is unique in its willingness to have nudes on the walls.”

December also brings “Veggiescapes” to Wild Oats Market, 320 Spring Street in Williamstown, Mass. “December seems like a good time to show off beautiful still lifes from the vegetables of summer and fall,” says Moriarty. “… A tasty visual something to hold us through the winter ’til spring.”

Moriarty is also involved in a seventh exhibit, as one of 50 exhibiting artists in the 13th annual North Bennington Art Park, which opened on July 17 and runs through Sunday, October 10. Her contribution, “La tortuga y la planta,” a new work in reed pen & inks — inspired by a taxidermied turtle in the Savoy Hollow General Store (Savoy, Mass.) — hangs in the North Bennington Train Station Museum on Main Street / Route 67, North Bennington.

Of her bevy of local exhibitions, Moriarty says, “I’ve always liked showing my works in local business venues. One of my best friends calls me an ‘exhibitionist’ because I show my work in so many local venues. I relate strongly to small business owners and non-profit organizations. There’s the mythology of the lonely artist working all alone, but it’s almost never been true. Artists have always been working for and with organizations that value art, that want their walls and space to say something meaningful and to support a handmade thing. The people and organizations with which I collaborate have this reverence for handmade life and work.”

Moriarty’s life, too, is steeped in her art, particularly after a long battle with breast cancer in 2007 inspired her to shift her priorities to enable her growth as an artist. Now, “I’m either painting or thinking about painting,” she says. “It’s the mechanism through which I process information and experience. I see the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and it makes me think even more sharply about paint disposal, and not use any toxic solvents in my work. I can’t solve the big things happening, but I can live my life along the same axis of decision-making. It’s very satisfying to respond to inspiration or to a visual problem, and just work intuitively. I don’t really plan. I respond to what I feel with a paintbrush. I’m still the same ready-fire-aim person I’ve always been. ”

She adds, “At first I was just happy to put a mark on the canvas. Frankly, I still am. But I also have an agreement with myself about what matters to me in the construction of a piece, and that is inner life. Either that brushstroke or color contributes to the inner life of the painting, or I brutally take the palette knife to it. A fair amount of paint gets scraped off. Sometimes the paintings that look the most spontaneous are the ones that have suffered major attacks by the palette knife. And then there are those drawings completed in six minutes that say everything that needs to be said. When that happens, and it’s not very often, I’m just grateful.”

Visit vimorpainter.wordpress.com for more information about Moriarty, her work and these exhibits. 


CALENDAR LISTINGS:

THROUGH OCTOBER 10: Painter and multimedia artist Viola Moriarty of Bennington is one of 50 exhibiting artists in the 13th annual North Bennington Art Park, which opened on July 17 and runs through Sunday, October 10. Her contribution, “La tortuga y la planta,” a new work in reed pen & inks — inspired by a taxidermied turtle in the Savoy Hollow General Store (Savoy, Mass.) — hangs in the North Bennington Train Station Museum on Main Street / Route 67, North Bennington, Vt.

AUGUST 1-31: Bennington artist Viola Moriarty shows “Recent works, 2010,” her annual exhibit of new artwork, at South Street Café, 105 South Street, Bennington, Vt. The month-long show includes oil paintings of flowers from her lush garden, and figure works — including a series of small works titled “Nudes on Guest Checks,” and Moriarty’s self-proclaimed “favorite new pen and ink painting, ‘DJ.’”

Artist’s reception: Friday, August 13, 5-7 p.m., South Street Café.

SEPTEMBER 4: “El Idioma de mi Corazón” (“The Language of My Heart”), an exhibit by Bennington artist Viola Moriarty, opens with a reception at Coyote Flaco, 505 Cold Spring Road in Williamstown, Mass. The first art exhibition to be held in the restaurant, the show includes works made of local subjects, created alla prima in oil and in pen & ink. The exhibit is ongoing.

Artist’s reception: Saturday, September 4, 6-8 p.m., Coyote Flaco.

OCTOBER 8-NOVEMBER 14: Bennington painter Viola Moriarty shows “Los Días de Los Muertos” (“The Days of the Dead”) at Images Cinema, 50 Main Street, Williamstown, Mass. The exhibit includes 10 new skeleton and graveyard images in oil and in reed pen & ink.

Artists’ reception: Sunday, October 31, 2-4 p.m., Images Cinema. Friends, talented artists and community members help Moriarty celebrate this Mexican holiday honoring of those loved ones who are always with us. Includes: movie shorts by Pownal, Vt., artist and activist Rico Dovey that makes use of Días de Los Muertos images created by Moriarty during the past eight years; a short film by NYC stop-motion animation and puppetry artists Georgia Roxon, (a Bennington native), and Jessica Polaniecki; a short film by NYC filmmaker and mixed-media artist Katie Armstrong; and a live performance of the “Dance of the Dead,” choreographed by Anna Moriarty Lev, Moriarty’s eldest daughter, now living in Brooklyn, accompanied by guitar music by Brooklyn musician and filmmaker Dylan Pasture.

OCTOBER 15-16: Bennington artist Viola Moriarty is one of more than 100 featured artists in North Adams Open Studios, an annual, city-wide showcase of works by established, mid-career and emerging artists. Galleries, art studios and other venues are open to the public 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Moriarty’s small collection of portraits, figure work and still lifes are on view at the NoAMA Mill, 234 Union Street, North Adams, (information: http://www.northadamsopenstudios.com.

Opening reception: Friday, October 15, 7 p.m., MASS MoCA

DECEMBER 1: Bennington artist Viola Moriarty shows “Nudes on Paper” at Stone Soup, 27 Park Street, Adams, Mass. The exhibit is ongoing.

DECEMBER 1: Bennington artist Viola Moriarty shows “Veggiescapes” at Wild Oats Market, 320 Spring Street, Williamstown, Mass. “A tasty visual something to hold us through the winter ’til spring,” says Moriarty. The exhibit is ongoing.


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viola moriarty

(American, b. 1958)
Modern Expressionist Painter
2012-13 Recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant

Upcoming Exhibitions

Current and ongoing: New Works, Allegro Ristorante in Bennington on Main Street.

Elm Street Market, Bennington

Spiral Press Cafe, Manchester, Vermont (2013) details TBA

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