February can be a pretty drab month – color wise. But a new art exhibit at the Chaffee is all about color.
Long time visitors to the Chaffee Art Center in Rutland love the old fashioned grandeur of its historic headquarters. But while the stately Chaffee mansion is closed for weatherization and electrical renovations, art lovers can visit the Chaffe’s new downtown gallery on Merchants Row.
Meg Creed Barros is the Chaffe’s new Executive Director. She says the crisp white walls and clean lines of their new space is perfect for showcasing art.
"When you’re here in the evening and it’s dark outside – you feel like you’ve just walked into Boston or New York – you don’t feel like you’re in downtown Rutland anymore and that’s the kind of experience we want to provide."
Barros says they’ve extended their hours to encourage people to enjoy the gallery before going to dinner or a show. She says their new Full House exhibit – which highlights work from four member artists, will be especially welcome at this time of year.
"Winter gives us this wonderful pallet of white everywhere you look and when you walk in the Chaffee it’s the opposite of white – it’s color everywhere you look – it’s complete eye candy."
Rutland artist Brian Sylvester’s mandala paintings of geometric circles and petals are deceptively simple, but their vivid colors draw you in and their shapes seem to move and shift the more you look at them.
Katherine Langlands, who recently opened a new studio in Bridgewater, has contributed several paintings from her Ladies series – works which combine bright colors, figurative images of women and evocative layers of text.
Johanne Durocher Yordan and Dick Weiss are the other artists included in the exhibit. Yordan’s paintings are perhaps the most abstract while Weiss’s works are part of series that he says began with a ladder.
"And then my mind started thinking of the metaphors of climbing and transition and ladders and moving from one area to another – and it sort of took over and now I have seven of them."
A retired art professor, Weiss says his work has been displayed at the Chaffee before. But he says in the old space his paintings would often be separated by walls or rooms from the work of other artists. In the new downtown gallery, he says all four artists are on display together which he says creates a whole different effect.
"Seeing your work with someone else’s work makes you see your work differently and I think that’s really interesting."
Note: The Chaffe’s Full House exhibit will be on display at their downtown gallery until March 23rd.