Functional to Abstract in Concord MA

September 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

White shino vase by Warren MacKenzie.

White shino vase with marks by Warren MacKenzie.

Visiting Concord, MA is always a treat with its quaint town square, a beautiful countryside, rich history and a bit of culture thrown in for good measure.  Being a tree-hugger, one of the first trips that I asked my parents to take me on was to Concord to walk around Walden Pond and envisioned myself following the footsteps of Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau.

On a recent trip I was thrilled to see an engaging exhibit in the Lacoste Gallery at 25 Main Street.  This little gallery features American crafts with a focus on ceramic artisans.

Warren MacKenzie American National Treasure at Lacoste Gallery.

Warren MacKenzie American National Treasure at Lacoste Gallery.

Their current exhibit has a vast array of pieces by well known potter Warren MacKenzie.  Warren considers himself a functional potter and produces about 5000 pieces per year.  He’s interested in forms, surface texture, gesture and perhaps decorative devices.  Warren’s work is collected by connoisseurs of pottery and found in the finest museums and considered to be a master by many.

Assortment of cups by Warren MacKenzie.

Assortment of cups by Warren MacKenzie.

Warren has been producing his work and teaching for over 65 years.  His pottery has been influenced by Bernard Leach of England, for whom he apprenticed, and Shoji Hamada.  His pieces reflect the Japanese sensibility of pureness and simplicity that takes years of dedication to perfect.

Large stoneware platter with iron drips.

Large stoneware platter with iron drips.

Warren’s pieces are sought after and coveted by many.  The Lacoste Gallery is the exclusive gallery for Warren’s work on the East Coast so don’t miss this special exhibit that runs through Sept 13, 2014.

Art Book Dept. at Albright Art.

Art Book Dept. at Albright Art.

While visiting Concord I always make a point to visit the Albright Art Gallery & Supplies downstairs at 32 Main Street.  Although I had recently made a pilgrimage to my favorite art supply stores in Cambridge and Boston I thought this little jewel had a better selection of new artist tools, paints, pastels, mediums and color choices.

Tiny store-massive selection.

Tiny store-massive selection.

Everything is well organized and a friendly staff to help out with all my questions.  If you’re looking to see that obscure paint color or ask about the newest water soluble oil paint medium-this is the place to go.

Candy store for artists...

Candy store for artists…

Find inspiration with new art supplies and acquire new friends for your paintbox.  Another benefit is there’s plenty of free parking (in the shade) around the corning in the town parking lot.

Paintings by Julie Vinette.

Paintings by Julie Vinette.

Surprise…  right in the next room over the Albright has a rotating art exhibit with engaging artwork like these beautiful paintings by artist Julie Vinette.

'Tidepool' by Julie Vinette.

‘Tidepool’ by Julie Vinette.

These high gloss oil and pencil on board are abstracts inspired by realism with a hint of Bernhard Richter.  This exhibit runs through Sept 28th with an artist reception on Sunday, Sept 14th, from 3 to 5 pm.  Seek out and find this art supply store + gallery for inspiration and professional tools of the trade.

holiday cheer

December 4, 2012 § 3 Comments

Recent monotype print entitled 'fruit bowl.

Recent monotype print entitled ‘fruit bowl’.

The holidays are here and, even though stress levels are high, I find myself looking forward to the local creative community putting out their wares with open studios and craft sales.  There are so many talented folks out there and I splurge with the sentiment that I’m helping the local economy and artisans and always discover some new creative find that I will cherish.

This week there are some of my favorite events which I am eagerly anticipating.  Starting on Friday, Dec. 7th, at 7 p.m. Local Pottery hosts it’s Annual Open Studio with a wide assortment of beautifully crafted work with a focus on pottery.  This is a sale not to be missed and if you can’t make the opening the shop is open thru December 24th.  Lisa Howard is the owner and curator with a keen eye for quality pieces.  Check out Lisa’s own creations and you will be in awe!

On Saturday, Dec. 8th, Ann Schunior will be opening her doors for a Studio Sale of her hand-crafted pottery.  Visit an authentic ‘pottery barn’ where Ann throws her pots and has them on display where she works.  Ann puts lots of care into researching traditional methods and motifs in ceramics and incorporates these inspirations into her work

Also on Saturday is the hallowed RISD Holiday Art Sale which brings together a large culmination of RISD alumni and students selling their wares under one roof at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence from 10am to 5 pm.  Admission is $7.  Another favorite stop off after visiting the RISD Sale is the Foundry Artists Holiday Show in Pawtucket, RI.  If there’s time to squeak it in I always enjoy Olga’s Cup and Saucer for a little nosh.  Be aware that they do close at 2 pm on Saturdays.

If that’s not enough the SOWA Holiday Market will be operating full tilt in Boston on Dec. 7th and 8th.  This craft market started a few years ago and has gained a cult following.  Be prepared to wait in line to get in.  It looks like they’ve worked on getting a new location so hopefully it will add more space to this very popular event.

Cambridge, Ma also has a few great spots including the Harvard Square Holiday Fair that runs every weekend and the Holly Fair that will be on tap on Dec. 15th & 16th, 2012.  Enjoy the season and support your local artists and artisans!

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