Artistic 'alchemists' get creative at Fountain Street Fine Art

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by Chris Bergeron
January 18, 2015

 Lisa Sibley,  Reflective  Color Photograph 30 x 20

Lisa Sibley, Reflective Color Photograph 30 x 20

FRAMINGHAM - In ancient years, alchemists spent lifetimes trying to turn base metals into gold or create elixirs to confer eternal youth.

In 2015, they could save their time by visiting Fountain Street Fine Art gallery where 34 area artists have transformed everything from dustpans and dollhouse furniture, from computer chips to memories of a Catholic girlhood into fascinating art.

Founding co-owners Cheryl Clinton and Marie Craig have organized their thought-provoking work into “Visual Alchemy,’’ an exhibit of original art that might not make you live forever but will surely make you think.

Formulating a theme for this show, Clinton said she and Craig wanted “an open-ended idea with a bit of a twist that would be subject to artistic interpretation.’’

“We were hoping the show’s theme excited and inspired artists and triggered them to do something new,’’ she said.

Clinton credited sole juror Elizabeth Devlin for selecting edgy, original artists whose genre-busting work should surprise and intrigue viewers.

In a statement describing her intentions for the exhibit, Devlin wrote “artists are scientists (who) … don’t need to collide atoms or titrate complex substances in order to cause explosions.”

Casting a wide net that brought in local and out-of-state artists, Devlin lit the fuse of a very strong exhibit that’s full of exciting surprises.

Look around the ground floor gallery in the Bancroft Building at 59 Fountain Street and you’ll see she found what they were looking for.

 Dianna Vosburg,  Strange Autumn,  Clear nail polish on paper, mounted on board

Dianna Vosburg, Strange Autumn, Clear nail polish on paper, mounted on board

Dianna Vosburg used clear nail polish to replicate the shimmering effect of gasoline on wet asphalt to create her own “Strange Autumn’’ of haunting beauty. Fusing old circuit boards onto airborne images of cities, Corinne Fryhle created a “fictional topography’’ of a world on the brink of ecological disaster.

Experimenting with “destruction as a means to creation,’’ Katie Short melts glass around familiar objects, like glasses or a whistle, to create artifacts of sentimentality and loss. Sarah Alexander painted a multilayered scene of startling complexity that reflects her current interest in “recurring patterns in nature.’’

An independent curator who founded the online artistic resource FLUX Boston, Devlin sifted through more than 200 entries by more than 75 artists, before eventually selecting 34 artists whose 54 works “not only represent the output of creative thought and unsinkable passion but (whose) collective presence … introduces the viewer to a new way of seeing.’’

 Corinne Fryhle,  Network Density,  acrylic, computer parts, gold leaf on wood panel, 24 x 24

Corinne Fryhle, Network Density, acrylic, computer parts, gold leaf on wood panel, 24 x 24

Mixing old computer parts and acrylics and gold leaf, Fryhle’s “Network Density’’ presents a cautionary environmental message in a lovely, yet disturbing image.

For this show, the Wayland artist “resurrected an idea that had been kicking around’’ in her mind for some time to create something new by blending “disparate elements,’’ including discarded circuit boards, onto an imaginary cityscape that appears to be a port with oil storage tanks and wharves as if photographed from the air.

While normally a painter, Fryhle’s juxtaposition of three-dimensional digital detritus and acrylic images enhanced with gold leaf create a “fictional topography’’ that resembles an image from Google Earth but conveys the sense of urban sprawl run amok.

Alexander said she “really pushes the limit’’ by painting more than 20 layers of watercolors to create her complex micro-landscapes like “Reckless Abandon’’ and “Allow (a non-reactive mantra).”

Reflecting her work at Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary where she teaches painting, the Hopedale resident begins by depicting intimate natural scenes that include seed pods and tangled grasses that take on their own “metaphorical life’’ as images of great fecundity.

 Sarah, Alexander,  Allow (a non-reactive mantra) , watercolor on Aquabord, 24x36

Sarah, Alexander, Allow (a non-reactive mantra), watercolor on Aquabord, 24x36

“There are many different ways I like to look at and approach things. Each painting reflects a different point of view both literally and figuratively,’’ she said.

Describing her work for this exhibit, Alexander explained that she layers her pigments in such a way to imbue of her images with “chaotic and tangled depth’’ so what begins as a closely viewed natural scene has the almost neurological complexity of “human consciousness.’’

In a statement describing her intentions for the exhibit, Devlin wrote “artists are scientists (who) … don’t need to collide atoms or titrate complex substances in order to cause explosions.”

She might have been describing Fryhle, Alexander and most of the other artists in this show.

Chris Bergeron is a Daily News stafe writer. Contact him at cbergeron@wickedlocal.com or 508-­626-­4448. Follow us on Twitter @WickedLocalArts and on .

Artistic 'alchemists' get creative at Fountain Street Fine Art -Facebook. “Visual Alchemy” WHEN: Through Jan. 25 WHERE: Fountain Street Fine Art gallery, 59 Fountain St., Framingham INFO: 508-879-4200; www.fountainstreetfineart.com

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