“When you go into the Woods: Dogtown and other treasures of the forest”, a solo exhibition by Vanessa Michalak, opens October 2, 2018 at Jane Deering Gallery Gloucester, Massachusetts. Reception 6-8pm on October 6th.
Read more about the exhibition and the artist from printed matter announcing the show:
“When you go into the Woods,” features oil paintings by Vanessa Michalak highlighting some of Cape Ann’s well known gems. Works depict imagery of a variety of places including Annisquam Village, Lanesville’s Vernon Quarries and Babson’s Dogtown boulders. The exhibition will be on display throughout October at Jane Deering Gallery, Gloucester, MA with and opening reception scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 6th from 6pm-8pm.
The Exhibition, “When You Go Into The Woods” is a reflection of Michalak’s exploration of Cape Ann and her ongoing investigation of the painting process. The works reflect a fascination with a specific place and its hidden treasures. Many of the works are plein air paintings that brought her to the edges of quarries and sent her trekking through Dogtown’s rocky paths. As much as these works pay tribute to a specific place, they also reflect Michalak’s gestural painting style that at times borders on abstraction. Much like her wanderings in the woods, there is a sense that she doesn’t mind getting a little lost in brushwork, layering and mark before finding her destination.
Vanessa Michalak grew up in Maine before moving to Boston where she lived and worked for over a decade. While living in Boston she visited Cape Ann often and eventually moved to Gloucester last year. She received an MFA in painting from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 2013. Residencies include: Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Snowmass Village, CO; Emerging Artist-in-Residence, Penn State, PA; and Playa, Summer Lake, OR. Michalak’s work was featured in New American Paintings #110 and Fresh Paint Magazine (cover artist 2014). She was selected as a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellow in Painting in 2014.
“Ideas about escapism, adventure and our relationship with nature are explored in paintings created by the synthesis of memories, imagination and found photos. Although some paintings place sole emphasis on the landscape itself, indications of human activity are often present. Figures move through forests and viewers are forced to make their way through overgrown paths. Particular structures within the landscape allude to impermanence or more speciﬁc interactions with the environment. As a Maine native, traveler and avid hiker, the spirit of searching and exploring parallels my painting process.” Vanessa Michalak, 2018