During September, Dowling Walsh Gallery will host four exhibitions: “To See is to Forget” by Jordan Seaberry, “Splitting the Difference” by Will Sears, “Paintings from Wheaton” by Betsy Eby and “Warm Days Never Cease” by Madeleine Morlet.
An opening reception will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Sept. 2 outside, behind the gallery. Masks are encouraged while inside the gallery.
Dowling Walsh Gallery is at 365 Main St. in Rockland. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and by appointment on Sundays and Mondays. Visit www.dowlingwalsh.com, or call 207-596-0084 for more information.
“To See is to Forget”
Sept. 2 to Oct. 29
Jordan Seaberry’s paintings reference narratives of his family’s history and themes of migration and racial justice, alongside his personal experiences. He states, “I approach each piece as call-and-response, wherein each element calls for an answer — a subtraction, addition, reboot. For me, each painting’s meaning is discovered within the lifetime of its creation, on the canvas itself. They move as social movements do: evolving in real time, bound by the edges of the canvas, but free to grow within those bumpers.”
Born and raised on the Southside of Chicago, Seaberry first came to Providence to attend Rhode Island School of Design. Alongside his art, he built a career as a grassroots organizer, helping to fight and pass multiple criminal justice reform milestones, including Probation Reform, the Unshackling Pregnant Prisoners Bill, and laying the groundwork for the Ban the Box movement in Rhode Island.
Seaberry serves as co-director of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, a people-powered nonprofit agency, and most recently worked as the director of public policy at the Nonviolence Institute.
Seaberry attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2015. His work has been included most recently in the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art exhibition State of the Art, 2020 and the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum New England Biennial, 2019. Recent solo exhibitions include We Speak Upon the Ashes at Steven Zevitas Gallery, Boston, Black Light/Black Heat at Steam Gallery, Lincoln School, Providence, Rhode Island and A Blacker Landscape at University of Rhode Island, Providence.
In this library, an executioner’s hook hangs above the stacks. The fiction section sits behind a heavy metal door. The view from the Children’s Section window is through bars, and the gallows rumble under the steps of students.
If my grandfather had not been chased from Mississippi by the Ku Klux Klan, this library might have been a place he knew. It was built in 1901— 15 years before he was born— to be the Noxubee County Jail. Nearly 80 years later, a few years before I was born, it was transformed into the Noxubee County Library. What carried through that century are the bars. What exists now is a surreal space, a literalized poetry stanza, an actualized picket sign.
These drawings spring from this unusual place, and my unusual relationship to it. Had my grandfather not been a racial terror refugee, I may have grown up in this place doing my homework, reading books, seeing magicians, making friends, all under the hook. The surfaces, damaged and referencing sheetrock and architectural material, create a platform to learn: meticulous drawing with no more material than a schoolkid might have on hand: watercolor and graphite.
I believe drawing is an act of listening: to draw this space is to learn it. This exhibition represents the first small step toward hearing this space, and growing into it. —Jordan Seaberry
“Splitting the Difference”
Sept. 2 to Oct. 29
Will Sears works in painting and assemblage, layering media, color and texture or piecing together found wood to create dynamic perceptual compositions. These linear abstract structures push and pull, constructing abstractions of repetition and depth. His practice extends to public art including multiple large scale murals in Portland.
Sears has exhibited nationally in exhibitions at Montserrat College of Art (Beverly, Massachusetts), White Walls Gallery (San Francisco) and New Systems Exhibitions and Able Baker Contemporary (Portland). Sears has been an artist in residence at the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation (Rockland) and Hewnoaks (Lovell) and received a fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center. Sears lives in South Portland.
“Paintings from Wheaton”
Sept. 2 to Oct. 29
Betsy Eby’s plein-air works were done on Wheaton Island, offering dramatic rhythms amid the crashing sea. These landscape abstractions are loose, free-play, full of discovery. Influenced by a lifelong practice of classical piano, her paintings are organic and lyrical. Eby’s primary medium is encaustic, which uses layers of hot wax and pigment to build up color and surface.
Eby received her BA from the University of Oregon. She splits her time between studios in Columbus, Georgia, and Wheaton Island. Her work has been shown at Winston Wachter Fine Art, Octavia Gallery, Cadogan Contemporary, Ogden Museum, Center for Maine Contemporary Art and other venues. Works are held in collections of the Georgia Museum of Art, Columbus Museum, Morris Museum, Lauren Rogers Museum of Art and numerous additional collections throughout the country.
“Warm Days Never Cease”
Aug. 5 to Sept. 24
Madeleine’s Morlet is interested in the ways photography translates reality and the restrictions set by a single frame or point of view, often thinking about her role as the photographer being similar to a subjective third-person narrator who both writes and discovers their story. Her work explores themes of memory, home and belonging and looks to understand its subjects within their geographic space. In this way, the camera becomes a tool for connecting and finding purpose, especially when it comes to engaging with new environments and communities.
Morlet is a photographer from London, now based in Maine. She studied classics and English at King’s College London and worked in video production for almost a decade. Her photography has been exhibited nationally and internationally. It was awarded the 14th Pollux Award, Feature Shoot Emerging Photography Award, honorable mention for the 14th Julia Margaret Cameron Award, honorable mention for the Don’t Take Pictures Prize for Contemporary Photography, Maine Arts Commission Project Grant, Lucie Foundation Photo Made Scholarship, Ellis-Beauregard Studio Residency, and shortlisted for the Lucie Scholarship Chroma X Luxe, Belfast Photo Festival, and Felix Schoeller Photo Awards.