Community Art Show 2022
The LAVA Center presents the third annual Community Art Show, on display November and December.
This year the curatorial committee decided to not have a theme but to allow free expression from our community members in a family-friendly atmosphere.
S. T. Gately
Community Art Show 2021
Charmae Bartlett (painting)
Sophie Chambers (collage)
Cara Finch (painting)
Emerald Glenn (painting)
Jay Goldspinner (collage)
Cathe Janke (painting)
Robert Markey (painting)
Billie Mae (collage)
Stacey Ann Pea (collage)
Vanessa Query (photography)
Thomas Ratté (drawing)
Art Schwenger (photography)
Philippe Simon (photography)
Lindy Whiton (photography)
Diane Worth (printing)
“Across The Sky”
A strange land
A barren land
With vastness hard to contemplate
Far from home
And from the vastness
And as we watch this force
The land seems brighter
So we wait
And we watch
And as we watch this force
We are oblivious to the distraction
Off to the side, to obstacles
Forming before us.
And we stand in awe
As the force grows
Sliding across the sky
And bending, as if to reach us
And the force shares of itself
Shares with the land
Shares with us
Tells its stories with its tears
And as we look deeper
We see wisdom at the center
That has no beginning, no end,
And the wisdom casts the inner light.
And as the inner light of the force grows
The stories it tells flow to the land
Drench the land
Quench its thirst
The stories that flow from the force
That drifts across the sky
Even flow to the place where distractions reside
And bring life, and unity, and understanding
And hope of new growth.
Sophie enjoys making art in her spare time as a way to decompress. She finds the collaging process in particular can feel close to a ritual and easy to sink into. As someone who dabbles in poetry, Sophie often includes words in her collages that are more of a poetic suggestion than a phrase or poem. Sophie’s artwork often touches on themes of social justice whether she sets out with that intention or not. Having grown up in southern NH, Sophie moved back to New England in 2014 because she missed the seasons and now lives in Holyoke with her husband.
This piece depicts the creature in the material sense as well as in the spiritual or energetic sense. A mystical crow and the Buddhist “Ah” symbol is in the upper left. I paint in Narrative and Intuitive styles, depicting images of social and environmental topics while expressing my belief that spirituality can be connected to through nature. Painting professionally for over 25 years has lead to a distinctive, recognizable style using heavy line and symbolic subjects that foray into the otherworldly, I reside in Greenfield and hold degrees in Psychology, Behavior Analysis and Social Work.
Emerald Glenn, 35, was born in Northampton MA, but has been a resident of Springfield MA for most of her life. Emerald has surrounded herself with the arts in multiple forms. She is an African American/French Canadian women of many talents from licensed hair stylist to singer to artist to professional ballroom dance instructor. Currently she is a hair stylist at Visage Salon on Main St. Northampton MA.
Emerald started painting in 2017 as a hobby and has no formal education in art. She is proud to have learned all her technique and knowledge from taking classes at the Springfield Museum School. For the past 2 and 1/2 years she has studied the fundamentals of drawing and painting with Don Smith, a local artist and teacher. From this her art has taken new heights.
Emerald’s primary medium is acrylic paint. Vivid color combinations come natural to Emerald and are a signature quality in all her pieces. For Emerald art is her life. “The main purpose of my art is to transcend people to a natural, beautiful, and peaceful place.”
“In Good Company”
As I grow old, I feel I am in the company of friends and relatives who grew old before me; and companions, known and unknown, who are not yet old.
My community stretches beyond this time and this place.
Robert Markey has worked in many media over the years including painting, sculpture, installation, video and mosaics. He has done public art projects in cities around the country. His first video was aired on PBS, and he received national media coverage for his public performance work on domestic violence. He does mosaic murals in many countries and has traveled to Asia and Brazil to do mosaic murals with youth in vulnerable situations. He painted murals with refugees in the U.S. and Greece, and with tribal painters in India. His sculptures have been featured in various locations around the country.
“In my work, I like to play around with color and different tones/shades to determine the overall feeling of the piece before I start to really build on it. I often include excerpts of thoughts and conversations from my own life, but what I really like to do is challenge myself to convey my thoughts through fridge magnet poetry. It’s still the original idea, but with a sort of odd twist.”
Billie Mae is a 22 y/o collage artist living in Brooklyn, NY. They often like to explore abstract thoughts and ideas in their compositions, as well as experiment with color psychology to see if the colors used in a piece affect the viewers perception. What Billie loves about their work is hearing the different interpretations and ideas people draw from it, and how vastly different everyone sees a single piece. They do not like to give away the messages in their works, but rather leave it up to the viewer.
Stacey Ann Pea
The most important instinct that we all share is reaching toward our dreams. 2021 is an opportunity to express new ways of ‘reaching’ in our art, being clever with what resources we have. “See brave dream” capturing someone reaching upward — toward what is up to the viewer. Materials are from Looky Here, Whitney Hill and cut-ups from a book.
Stacey Anne Pea is a Gill resident who likes being playful and carefree. She recently began re-committing herself to her art and is happy to share this side of herself with her local community.
Thomas Ratté is a GCC and Umass Amherst art alum. He has been making art in the valley for over twenty years, working in a variety of mediums from drawing and painting to sculpture and photography, often mixing them. These pieces are hand printed using a special process that makes each piece completely unique and are hand colored using colored pencils. Thomas spent the first year and a half of covid inside like most everyone; unfortunately, he was inside the Cheshire County house of correction in Keene where he was incarcerated for drug possession in New Hampshire. During this time Thomas spent his time reading, making art, and doing mindfulness mediation. These pieces are some of the 1000 or so pieces from that time. Thomas now resides in Warwick and has been slowly reconnecting with his community.
“Kits and Vixen”
Art Schwenger Photo. Capturing artistic exposures of interest and beauty in the hill towns since 1973. email@example.com
Philippe Simon and Vanessa Query
Community is about where we are in space and where we are in time, and how we are connected to things in space and time. Standing among these aging, crumbling places today, we can imagine their heyday, the hustle and bustle of yesteryear. Abandoned spaces and ruins can tell us a lot about humankind’s history in an area—how we’ve tried to shape and mold the earth to our whims. Ruins are also a reminder of our place in the world, as we can see how the earth—more powerful than we can imagine—has begun to reclaim the structures we’ve abandoned.
I am a photo documenter; what I tend to focus on is community, whether human or animal. For me, Vince Tripi was community. A poet and a gentleman, Vince affected many people with his creativity and warmth. This photo was taken of Vince, in his community spot at Rise Above, just before we were shut down by COVID. He died that August. I continue to honor his loved presence in my community as I do in this photo.
My print work is inspired by natural shapes and textures. This print was created using spitbite aquatint and soap ground etching techniques.
Community Art Show 2020
The Community Art Show was on display at The LAVA Center in November and December, 2020.
Organizers Lindy Whiton, Charmae Bartlett and Christine Diani gathered together thirteen Western MA-based artists—five photographers, four painters, three sculpture/installation artists, and a mixed media artist—for a diverse display of art that all centered around the theme of community.
“Community is a large topic for an art show and it allows for tremendous differences in interpretation. Community was chosen because we have been separated from it so much during this pandemic, and we need to find ways to keep it awake in our lives. This show is an attempt to safely bring people together and remind them not only of the importance of community, but of the benefits as well.”