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At Concord’s McGowan Fine Arts, latest exhibit is all about the new

  • Mending the Sky by Shoap-Ping Wang

    Mending the Sky by Shoap-Ping Wang

  • "Garlic Scapes" by Amy Brnger

    "Garlic Scapes" by Amy Brnger

  • Mending the Sky by Shoap-Ping Wang
  • "Garlic Scapes" by Amy Brnger

Talk about first impressions. McGowan Fine Art is introducing its new artists and new work in a bold show that’s full of adventurous color, unexpected ideas and innovative materials and techniques.

“We’re really excited about all of these artists,” said Jessica Pappathan, director of communications for the gallery.

“New To The Gallery,” which opened this week and runs through Oct. 11, showcases the work of four artists the gallery has recently agreed to represent, complemented by new pieces from two longtime McGowan artists. An opening reception will take place tomorrow from 5 to 7 p.m.

The work ranges from the playful to the dramatic and celebrates both the everyday and the exotic. What you won’t find in this show is anything stuffy or subdued. Inspired color combinations and enticing textures define the collection. And several pieces hint at the qualities aspiring artists must cultivate to survive in a tough field.

Liz Wilson began making her acrylic-on-paper creations as a recent college graduate with little money for materials. “Her grandmother had this whole box of really cheap acrylic paint, and she started experimenting with a Bondo spatula like you would find at a car dealership,” said Sarah Chaffee, director of the gallery. “I love how artists find the tools they need.”

With a little practice, Wilson developed an original technique that produces eye-catching marriages of color. “I like the play between the transparency and the opacity,” said Pappathan, who coordinated the exhibit. “They’re very vibrant but very ethereal. . . . It’s also about the placement on the paper. She makes really good use of white space.”

Shiao-Ping Wang also had to be resourceful when she discovered she had a sensitivity to oil paint. She began working in acrylic and vinyl, layering the paint to get the richness and depth she desired. Her paintings feature multi-colored, looping patterns that she says are her personal interpretations of Chinese myths. “They almost look like knitting,” Pappathan said.

Pat Gerkin’s encaustic paintings seem to interpret scenes closer to home. The textured layers speak of stone walls and snow. In contrast, Jan Roy’s paintings capture the sights of Morocco, one of her favorite places to travel. “She describes Morocco as having abstract shapes everywhere: the scenery, the buildings, even the clothing styles,” Pappathan said. “You can see that she’s very inspired by the colors of her travels too.”

If Gerkin’s paintings make you want to travel to faraway places, Amy Brnger’s will tempt you with simple pleasures: a bloom in a vase, a pair of strawberry cakes, a plate of sushi. “Amy’s paintings are very much about the application of the paint,” Pappathan said. “They have a very romantic quality to them. They’re just luscious.”

The exhibit will also introduce something else that’s new to the gallery: An “Under $500” wall, where art lovers can find good deals on quality artwork.

For information, call 225-2515 or visit

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