Art Complex Museum

Exhibitions - 2017

Duxbury Art Association Annual Winter Juried Show

February 5 – April 23
Awards Ceremony, April 8, 6-9pm

Best in Show

Margaret Bruno, Marshfield, Massachusetts, Winkle Harvest, Back Cove, pastel - Best in Show

This year marks the forty-third year that the Duxbury Art Association (DAA) has held their Annual Winter Juried Show at the museum. The popular exhibition encompasses artwork by artists from all over New England but predominantly from Greater Boston, South Shore and Cape Cod.

Artists enter work in all media and a panel of working artists and art educators select approximately one hundred pieces for exhibition. Cash awards are given in each category for First Place and for “Best in Show.” Ribbons are awarded for Second, Third and Honorable

Founded in 1917, the Duxbury Art Association is one of the oldest arts organizations in the country. The organization has attracted and nurtured some of America’s greatest artists including DAA founders, Charles Bittenger, John Singer Sargent, and Frank Benson.

Rotations: Objects from the Permanent Collection

February 5 – April 23


John Singer Sargent, United States, The Confession, 1914, oil on canvas, 53.09

J Michael Sullivan: A Magical Narrative

February 26 – May 14
Reception – February 26, 1:30-3:30pm

Night Photo

J Michael Sullivan, Marshfield Hills, Massachusetts, What Lies Beyond?, 2016, Photograph

Talking about his work, Photographer J Michael Sullivan says, “What is reality? What is an illusion? In ancient Vedic literature, Māyā connotes "a magic show, an illusion where things appear to be present but are not what they seem”. This philosophical dichotomy has resonated throughout my life. From the eastern concepts of māyā and yin-yang, to Alice in Wonderland to the illustrations of M. C. Escher, to the writings of Joseph Campbell, to the paintings of Robert Estes, to the music of the Moody Blues, to movies like Blade Runner & the Matrix, to today’s virtual reality my life has been peppered with persistent examples of this fascinating duality. The lesson for me is clear: Every person we encounter and every object we see hides a deeper story or mystery. Māyā or illusion is everywhere around us – for me most notably in the magic of the mountains, rivers, ocean, sky, and stars. And I take it as an act of faith to see the world as such. For those who know me, it should come as no surprise that I prefer to approach photography using a conceptual narrative. Especially given that the widespread assumption of popular culture is that photography must somehow always depict a “reality”. Instead, I want to engage the viewer with my conceptual art and give them a chance to ask themselves: Where does reality begin & end? And which is an illusion?"

J Michael Sullivan has over thirty-eight years experience as a professional photographer. He has been a Contributing Editor to HOW Magazine, lectured numerous times at Macworld and The Seybold Seminars, written the first layman’s book on flatbed scanners in 1994. In 2001, Sullivan offered an exclusive art reproduction service for artists of all media known locally as The Printwright Studio. He lives in Marshfield Hills, Massachusetts with his artist/wife Liz Haywood-Sullivan and their two poodles.

Cold hearted orb that rules the night,
Removes the colours from our sight.
Red is grey and yellow white.
But we decide which is right.
And which is an illusion?

The Moody Blues

Wood as Muse

May 7 – September 3
Reception – May 21, 1:30-3:30pm

Guest Curators: Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein

Click here to visit Donna and Andy's, Wood as Muse blog.


Andy Moerlein, Maynard, Massachusetts, Plume, 2016, red oak, plywood (left), Donna Dodson, Maynard, Massachusetts, Hawkeye, 2016, cherry wood, pigment (right)

Speaking about Wood as Muse, Curators Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein say, “Making art with wood is not an arbitrary decision. For the artists in this show, wood is their muse and the source of their inspiration. Each artist has an affection for wood that comes from a very personal place. In fine art, the mastery of materials and craft must serve the aesthetics of the work. We selected contemporary art for this exhibition that speaks through wood as its medium. We placed several different approaches to using wood in juxtaposition, bringing individual voices into focus. We see wood, as a medium, in the true sense of the word — an intervening substance or agency for transmitting or producing an effect. Each artist in the show approaches wood from a conceptual framework that yields surprising and divergent results.”

Artists in the exhibition include: Amy Archambault, Thomas Beale, Donna Dodson, Breon Dunigan, Vanessa German, Pat Keck, Jennifer Maestre, Jason Middlebrook, Andy Moerlein, Martin Ulman and Mike Wright.

Rotations: Objects from the Permanent Collection

May 7 – September 3


Netherlands, St. Matthew Folio, from a Book of Hours, ca.1440, Illuminated manuscript, ink and paint on vellum, CU-3

Painted Shapes: Contemporary White Line Woodcuts

May 21 – August 13
Reception – May 21, 1:30-3:30pm

Guest Curators: Lisa Houck and Amy McGregor-Radin


Julie Gray, Boston, Massachusetts, Andrea’s Orchid, 2014, white line woodcut

Painted Shapes: Contemporary White Line Woodcuts honors the historic tradition of the white line print method, a form of handprinting which is widely held as the only form of woodcut printing indigenous to the United States. Devised in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and sometimes referred to as the Provincetown print, this technique involves incising lines into a block of wood, painting individual shapes with watercolor paint, and printing a single image. The block can be used again and again, but no two prints will be the same.

The prints in this show demonstrate the wide variety of effects, moods, and color saturation contemporary artists achieve with this deceptively simple technique. Many of the artists are interested in themes that have been explored in white line woodcut from the beginning such as still lifes and scenes from nature and landscapes. Barbara Epstein, Fay Giarratani and Barbara Neel present cityscapes animated by fanciful color choices. Annie Bissett uses quilt-like geometries and subtle colors to create a series of related images. Julie Gray works on a large scale and finds the abstract shapes within flowers. The subtle use of watercolor washes and the grain transferred from the woodblock during printing make white line woodcuts unique; they walk the line between painting and printmaking.

Highly acclaimed Provincetown white line printmaker Sally Brophy, who wrote the essay for the exhibition catalog, highlighted the connection she and other Massachusetts artists have with the white line woodcut technique, “I studied white line woodcuts with Kathyrn Smith in 1999, who learned it from her grandmother, Ferol Sibley Warthen, who in turn learned the technique from Blanche Lazzell. I like being able to make this connection to the original printmakers for myself and for my students. It’s rare to be able to trace an artistic technique back to the beginning. White line woodcuts are an American original.”

Participating in the exhibition are: Annie Bissett, Barbara Adner, Barbara Epstein, Barbara Neel, Dean Bandes, Elizabeth (Zibby) Pyle, Fay Giarratani, Lisa Houck, Gayle Smalley, Jeanne Heiple, Julie Gray, Maggie Mattson, Mary Beth Maisel, Amy McGregor-Radin, Maureen Cook, Nancy Crasco, Patti Ryan, and Sally Young.

Mel Leipzig and Friends

August 20 – November 5
Reception – September 17, 1:30-3:30pm


Linda Pochesci, Boston, Massachusetts, 3 Chairs on the Cape, 2016, oil on canvas

For more than forty years, Trenton-based artist, Mel Leipzig who just turned eighty-three, has been painting portraits of people around New Jersey, New York, and Cape Cod where he spends his summers. Most are rendered with just four primary colors and black. For this exhibition, we are showing a handful of Leipzig’s paintings of artists in their studios and along with them, paintings by the artists themselves. Leipzig paints entirely free-hand, and for the past decade without any underdrawing or studies, many of the pictures distort perspective in a way that renders character. His backgrounds swirl around the artists in their studios, providing at once a glimpse of their inner sanctum with a dizzying diary of underlying personal clues. Leipzig was elected to the National Academy in 2006 and has work in the Whitney Museum, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, and the New Jersey State Museum, as well as in many private collections. Artists in the exhibition include Carmen Cicero, Lois Dodd, Laura Tryon Jennings, Linda Pochesci, George Nick, and Tom Smith.

Close to Home

September 17 – January 14, 2018
Reception – September 17, 1:30-3:30pm

Guest Curator: Elizabeth Michelman

View Elizabeth Michelman's video, What Happened to Emilie D on Vimeo, featuring
sculptor Emilie Lemakis, creator of the Emilie Doppelganger Project by clicking here.

Artists in the exhibition - Fran Bull, Louise Farrell, Maryellen Latas, Nora Valdez, Roya Amigh, Heather Park Hanlon, Emilie Lemakis, Kirstin Lamb and Susan Alport.


Heather Park Hanlon, Kingston, New Hampshire, ChurchFire (detail), 2016, photograph

Close to home. It’s a condition–not a place but an ache. It’s a hope of returning, a refuge where we long to dwell or dwell to dream. It’s the residue of a life wrested from us, one that we never lived, but might have lived, or the best we can do with what we have. Close to home we encounter those moments of intimacy, separation and disappointment that mark the course of our lives. It’s the site of our chains to early family roles and social bondage from which only art, wit, and our fellow prisoners can extricate us.

Speaking through multi-generational and multi-cultural perspectives, nine women artists passing through or living in New England probe experiences of intimacy and vulnerability embedded in fantasies, memories, and social constructs of “home.” Widely ranging in their use of materials, artistic ideologies, and metaphors, the artists explore the fluid boundaries of self, home, and family. A female presence and sensibility makes itself known through installations of objects, sculptures, videos, photographs, drawings, and paintings.

In one corner Heather Park Hanlon’s photographs and altered furniture document the destruction and rebirth of a family’s home–formerly a church–from the scars of fire. Maryellen Latas’s rippling expanse of ball-pen ink covers a wall with obsessive jottings on her father’s maritime career and her own life consumed with caring for others. Shrouded archetypical figures in Fran Bull’s Stations on wall and floor enact the bedroom intimacies of love, birth and dreams. Photographs, videos and vitrines of charred relics bear testament to the flaming trajectory of Emilie Doppelganger, the stuffed alter ego of museum-guard/artist Emilie Lemakis.

Encapsulated in limestone, Nora Valdez’s migrant women drag their homes like Sisyphus from one perch to the next. Roya Amigh’s paper-and-thread constructions interweave anti-immigrant slogans with fragments of illuminated Persian myths. Kirstin Lamb’s portraits, flower arrangements, and folk patterns, in dizzying layers of details, lay bare the ambivalence of middle-class homemakers seeking identity and security within the conventions of décor and fashion. Louise Farrell reconstitutes the estrangements of her long-lost Louisiana family in a tableau of heirlooms and soft-sculpted figures. Susan Alport’s wall-archive of personal letters, photographs, drawings and ephemera narrates her formative memories and life-choices–with no regrets.

Meditations, polemics, and memories fuse here in a dialogue about the home as a central life-giving force in women’s experience. The shapes of our lives may be tempered through migration, marriage and caregiving or threatened by conformity, anonymity and sexual violation. In the gap between relatedness and loneliness, home is a mythical site of creation, sustenance, and destruction. It may inspire us to re-envision, rebuild, or move far beyond our known selves. It can all take place, be imagined, or return to haunt us–close to home.

Elizabeth Michelman

Rotations: Objects from the Permanent Collection

September 17 – January 14, 2018

The Immediacy of Abstraction

November 12 – February 18, 2018
Reception – November 12, 1:30-3:30pm


Diane Novetsky, Somerville, Massachusetts, Fruits of My Labor, 2017, acrylic on canvas

Diane Novetsky and Jo Ann Rothschild, two New England painters, share an expressionist style of painting, an emphasis on the primacy of color, gesture, and process, and a concern for the nuances of “touch” or paint handling. Both arrived at a personal brand of abstraction through improvisation, a work process that has much in common with music.

Early on Rothschild saw the grid used in her paintings as corresponding to a music staff. The grid became a way of determining the placement of marks — how close or how far away the marks might be, established a rhythm; size and color established weight and emphasis. Music became a way to think about composition as a form of drawing with color or marks, independent of reference to nature.

Novetsky sees her work process as related to jazz improvisation. While her abstract paintings suggest references to landscape, clouds and the sea, they emerge through an intuitive process. Structure is more fluid and atmospheric than in Rothschild’s work. Tone, contrast and texture are emphasized over drawing.


Jo Ann Rothschild, Boston, Massachusetts, Oct. 15, 2016, oil on canvas

Each artist has arrived at the mastery of their respective painting materials — oil paint and acrylic paint on canvas. Rothschild uses oils, a slow drying medium that is ideally suited to the slower development of work over long periods of time. Novetsky uses acrylic paints and a variety of polymer-based mediums such as textured gels and pastes that allow for a generally faster speed of working. Her work is painted upright on an easel, as well as horizontally on tables, allowing for pours of paint as well as the use of brushes and paint knives.

While both painters remain steadfast to abstraction — “what you see is what you see” — they also share a strong humanist mission. For Rothschild, the compassion found in the work of Rembrandt remains a strong influence. Their work is adventurous, intimate, playful and sometimes dark — sharing the full range of human expression.

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