Lowell – Small Works at the Ayers Loft

Review by Sandy Donabed
One of 4 reviews by Ms. Donabed of the Lowell Quilt Festival.
(Note: The author had a piece in this show and also helped hang it.)

The Ayer Lofts Gallery hosted the show, “Small Works’, a exhibition juried by painter Gay Tracy, sculptor Steve Syverson, and fiber artist Maxine Farkas. The show represents pieces smaller than 11″ x 17” by 24 artists from 275 submissions. Instead of slides, the jurors worked with scans and color copies so they could inspect and arrange the show in actual size, an approach only possible with such small pieces. Overall, the participants should learn about good presentation as some of the hanging devices were out of scale to the work- this is simply remedied by trying out the hanging mechanism before sending it to a show, so hopefully a lesson has been learned and next year’s entrants will supply proper mechanisms. Several notable pieces included two figure studies machine embroidered by Elizabeth Poole. Poole is interested in planes and forms of the body and has exaggerated the values to create a feeling of mystery and repose. Her pieces are titled, “Study in Agates” and “Study in Moonlight”.

Also represented by two pieces is Nancy Crasco who entered her own digital photographs of walls taken while visiting various concentration camps in eastern Europe. Though only postcard sized, Crasco’s hand embroidery traces images that echo the horrors of the camps.

Small Works 2

Nancy Crasco

“Notes” is a vertical piece by Linda Colsh of Belgium, and the image chosen for the “Small Works” postcard. As a painted collage, it includes musical scores, images of statuary, and a freehand diagonal scrawl, maybe tracing a conductor’s hand, that unites the disparate images together.

Another compelling image came from Els Verezcken, “Clement”. This piece was done in the tradition of a faced quilt, printed face images on cotton and traced all around with brightly colored machine stitches. We want to know more about Clement, even though this is a quiet piece.

Small Works

Els Verezcken

Ayer Lofts Art Gallery, 172 Middle St., Lowell, MA 978-458-4200, http://www.ayerlofts.com, “Small Works”, call for gallery hours

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