A new modern art venue, gallery19, is opening its doors at 19A Main Street in Essex, Connecticut’s historic downtown shopping area. Founded by Old Lyme artists Judy Friday and Helen Cantrell, the gallery will feature their abstract and expressionist paintings and works on paper, and will eventually include other artists who share the gallery’s commitment to modernism.
Gallery19’s inaugural reception will be Sunday, October 13 from 3 to 5 p.m., with refreshments catered by nationally-known chef Amanda Cushman. On view will be Cantrell’s expressionist oils, evoking the shoreline’s salt marshes, as well as a new series of suburban houses glimpsed from commuter railway windows. “Art is about perception, not nature,” says the artist, quoting Roy Lichtenstein, “although nature inspires me, as does the work of other artists, especially abstract expressionists like Willem de Kooning and Richard Diebenkorn.” Also featured will be Judy Friday’s new abstract work, which bounces between geometry and chaos, including collages from comics, luminous grids and brushy explosions of color, the freer paintings inspired in part by the work of Joan Mitchell.
Judy Friday has shown extensively in New England and Ohio, where she graduated from Ohio State University in 1980. She has studied at the Lyme Art Academy and is well known in the shoreline arts community as a 20-year veteran of the Cooley Gallery in Old Lyme. “The Cooley Gallery has been vital to my exposure as an artist, and I am grateful for their generosity in showing my work,” Friday says, adding: “Now I am launching a new adventure, a new way to explore all avenues of modernist, contemporary art.” Helen Cantrell, a painter and printmaker who moved to Old Lyme in 2010, is a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Diploma 2004). Cantrell says, “We are excited to join Art Essex, the Essex Art Association, the Orison Project, and other artists in this area—we think the time is right to develop modernist and contemporary art synergy.”
Gallery19 will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment. For more information call 860 581-8735, or email Helen Cantrell at firstname.lastname@example.org.