Rocks & Eggs: Tom Gaines and Gail Savitz

In the exhibition “Rocks & Eggs”, Tom Gaines’ rock-inspired series of oil paintings are paired with Gail Savitz’ series of ceramics egg forms. On View July 29 – September 3.

On view: July 29 – September 3, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, July 29, 5-8pm. Gallery talk at 7pm

In the exhibition “Rocks & Eggs”, Tom Gaines’ rock-inspired series of oil paintings are paired with Gail Savitz’ series of ceramics egg forms. On display side-by-side, these works evoke a visual conversation of texture, form and color as well as other elements – both similar and contrasting with one another. “Rocks & Eggs” is on view July 29 – September 3, 2016 with an opening reception on Friday, July 29, 5-8pm. Both the exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

The intent of this show is to allow the viewer to experience the work of a two dimensional painter and a three dimensional artist, the ceramic sculptor, who share similar concerns with color, surface, shape, scale, and most of the formal elements of art. The distinction of the two bodies of work is that the painter expresses his ideas with movement of paint on a surface with images that are created through a series of layered distinct shapes, random color and breaking down the surface through a process of erosion. The egg shape of Savitz is elemental, first born and comes in many iterations.

Tom Gaines’ series of rock paintings and Savitz’ high temperature stoneware sculptures reference each other in many ways. The shapes that Gaines paints are similar to Savitz’, the works playing off each other in both form and palette. Both are earth inspired. Gaines forms, muted tones, and textures recall the minerals and chemicals Savitz uses in her glazes which, when fired to the high stoneware temperature of 2240 degrees, take on the colors of earth’s palette of cobalt, copper, iron browns, grays, and whites, brought to life in the melting temperatures of the kiln. The sculptural shapes contain volume, one piece suggesting the birth of another. It is the intent of the artist that the pieces hold the promise of emerging life.

Tom Gaines 
Tom Gaines of Belfast is a contemporary oil painter. Gaines describes his work, “The subject matter in the earlier more representational work is recognizable, but it has strong abstract considerations. The more recent paintings, “The Rock Series”, are even more abstract… enigmatic in composition and more complex in surface and color. The surface appears eroded to reveal multiple layers of subjectively selected colors.” Click here to view Tom Gaines’ full artist resume

Gail Savitz
Like Gaines who works in a series, Savitz likes to work in editions. Savitz details her process: I make both functional and one-of-a-kind pieces, using high temperature stoneware clay. Whether it is a wheel-thrown bowl or complex hand-built sculpture I collaborate with the clay, seeking to reveal the essence, balance, and truth of each piece. Glazing and firing is a long process with hazards along the way. Even after years of working in my studio I find glazing a challenge. There are plenty of unexpected and stunning outcomes and well as disasters. Slight differences in glaze viscosity, clay body, layering of glazes add up to pieces coming out of the kiln that surprise. Some welcome and others not. All are part of the challenges that bring me back to my studio. Never bored, but curious about working with and manipulating clay and observing the effect high temperatures have on the work, melting the glaze and interacting with the clay body and glazes. There is much that one has little control of. A hard lesson for one whose natural inclination is to exert control over as much as possible. Life lessons found in the studio.”

Savitz continues, “I received a BA in comparative literature at Scripps College in Claremont, California and an MFA degree in Ceramics from the Claremont Graduate School. After graduating, I lived and made pottery in NYC. I moved to Belfast, Maine in 1971 where I married and raised two sons. I established my ceramics studio on Front Street in an 167 year old building across from Penobscot Bay and have a small gallery in the front with my kiln, wheel, and work space in back. I’ve shown work at The Work Of Hand show at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art and Watermark in Rockport, at the New Era Gallery in Vinalhaven, The Fire House Gallery in Damariscotta, High Street Studio and Gallery in Belfast, at CRAFT and at The Carver Hill Gallery in Rockland, Flye Point Gallery and Hand Works in Blue Hill, and in my studio/gallery on Front Street. An image of Savitz’s tea set, “In the Deep Deep Woods” was included in Larks Books, “500 Teapots”.

Rocks and Eggs is sponsored by Front Street Pottery and by Diana Scully.

2016 exhibition season at the Harlow Gallery has been made possible by our season sponsors: Capitol Dental CareCamden National Bank, the City of Hallowell, the Jennings Family, Kennebec Savings Bank, Rosemary Presnar, Scrummy Afters Candy Shoppe, Summit Natural Gas of Maine and by grant funding from the Quimby Family Foundation.

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