From Sept. 25 through Oct. 27 "Dogs and Their People," mixed media collages by John Vander will be presented at Gold/Smith Gallery in Boothbay Harbor. This is a new collection of paintings by Vander and the first time ever shown in the U.S. There will be an opening reception at the gallery Saturday, Sept. 28 from 5 -7 p.m.
Being a gallery owner as well as an artist, sometimes when there's a break and there's no one in the gallery, John Vander likes to sketch what's going on outside the gallery. These sketches ofttimes become his raw material to paint larger versions or additions to other paintings in his studio in Boothbay. Being a dog friendly community, the models are many and subjects are in all shapes and sizes.
Many years ago Vander had an exhibit at Gold/Smith called “Tourist Season.” Tourists being the life blood of this coastal Maine community Vander never lacked material to draw. The exhibit was a sell-out but the idea of featuring the tourists and visitors to Maine with their dogs remained.
Said Vander, "Someone walking a dog animates a landscape in a very particular way. Nothing could be more ordinary but endlessly various. Each pair has their own body language - the Strollers, the Amblers; the Purposeful Striders, with agendas and appointments, and the Runners out for exercise or two dogs and people sharing a social moment or a bit of a flirtation. This makes the landscape more intimate, domesticates and makes it more humane for dogs bring out the best in humanity and shame us into being better than we are.
“I discovered in the process of painting just the two figures of person and dog I could evoke the whole landscape,” Vander continued. “Quality of light, seasons, time of day. The relationship is emotional and also very physical which, for me, give the work a reassuring grounding the earth.”
Gold/Smith Gallery is located at 8 McKown St. The gallery is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays noon to 5 p.m. For more information the gallery may be reached at 633-6252 or firstname.lastname@example.org