Sunday, May 19, 2019


"March Metamorphosis"  by Mary Buchan
The Oxford Gallery
May 4 - June 15, 2019
267 Oxford Street, Rochester, NY

This season brings may new art shows and each year I anticipate the theme show presented in late spring at the Oxford Gallery.  The theme is chosen on an annual basis by the gallery owner and director James Hall.  This year the show has opened and we are presented with over fifty artists dealing with the subject of Metamorphosis.  When you think of this word you immediately have to deal with change, and maybe even stages or steps that are needed to evolve.  A perfect illustration of this kind of transformation comes this season with the butterflies that flutter past.

There is the glass case, even before you enter the main gallery where small panel paintings on the theme attract your eye.  The artist is Bridget Bossart van Otterloo and she portrays the stages of the monarch butterfly from caterpillar, to chrysalis, and to a beautiful adult on the wing...and her medium is oil paint.

Alice Chen presents her "Metamorphosis"
ink and watercolor on rice paper

Once inside the show you can view bright flowers by Kate Timm and some unexpected works like the circular composition by Alice Chen.  She paints an astronomical picture that is highly imaginative and active, perhaps taking advantage of the medium she works with.  There is the benefit of having a theme like "Metamorphosis" to work with -because it is open to interpretation and contemplation.  My own entry is a monotype and the image flips back and forth with the forms presenting the viewer with a movement that is achieved through bright colors in opposition.

"Transformation", monotype by Alan Singer

Some of the artists were having fun with the subject as you can see looking at the painting by Ken Townsend called "Unmade Bed", in which the bed sheets become stormy wavelets  at the beach.  There are other surprises in store for the visitor including a painting by Daniel Mosner called: "Fruit Rot on Table Not".  I am not sure that this painting would be good in my dining room, but maybe the den!

"Unmade Bed" by Ken Townsend

"Fruit Rot on Table Not" by Daniel Mosner
Oxford Gallery, Rochester, NY

There are many fine works here and I was drawn into looking closely at the small print by Liz Durand which tells a mythological tale of "Selkie", which is a literal transformation.  Other artwork in this show dealt with the realm of nature and the changes of the garden that happens in March when the "Snowdrops" start to flower, as shown in the painting by Mary Buchan  ( seen at the top of this post ).

Geology, and the vision of petrified wood is the subject of a large watercolor by Barbara Page, a very slow metamorphosis indeed!

Watercolor by Barbara Page

A grand portrait of a racing dog is painted by Amy McLaren surprises me with the title: "Retired".

She is such an energetic painter that her focus on this creature is so sympathetic...  I guess that the idea of metamorphosis is all rolled into one clear statement here.

Painting byAmy McLaren

Before I leave the show I have to congratulate the artist Kristine Bouyoucos for her sensitive and interesting use of layers  in her print in honor of the music by composer Arvo Part.  She reproduces part of one of his scores behind blue blooming flowers in this work on paper called "Spiegel Im Spiegel".  Here she is with her print on the left.

Artist and Printmaker Kristine Bouyoucos 
with her print honoring Arvo Part

Take the time to visit the gallery, and you will leave with many new ideas about the word Metamorphosis,  and I think you will have a new understanding and a feeling for how artists can respond.

Bill Keyser is at Oxford Gallery
Thru June 15, 2019