Way After Canaletto

Two Boston College  faculty, Mary Armstrong and Stoney Conley, exhibit their work in a duel series at Salem State College’s Winfisky Gallery.

Exhibtion runs: January 19th – February 18th 

Reception: February 3rd at 2:00pm.

The Winfisky Gallery at Salem State College, is proud to begin the spring semester by featuring the work of two prominent Boston College painters. This dual series first began while BC Art Faculty Mary Armstrong and Stoney Conley were both teaching at Venice International University in the fall of 2006.

When asked to comment on her experience, Armstrong explicated: “The absence of cars allows a freedom of movement that cannot be imagined in our vehicle dominated urban streets… with every breath, I took it all in: the cobalt green of the lagoon, the molten gold light reflecting on water, the pink palaces on the Grand Canal, the golden filigree of late afternoon ripples and the smell of salt air, diesel fumes, fresh coffee and freshly baked pastries.”

Armstrong’s paintings use Venetian maps as a vehicle for this poetic experience of color, texture and place. She explains that “for many years, I have wanted to use ancient maps as the starting point for some work. It is a purely instinctual response to exploring the infinite variety of the arterial rivers of Venice.”

Professor Conley’s paintings distill color, light and atmosphere into images with a concrete sense of place.  Through many hours of looking, he creates drawings and watercolors as source material but the paintings are painted primarily from memory.  In this way, the forms are simplified and the colors are freed from pure description.  For Conley, “the paint and mark must congeal into the image, the making revealed in each stroke.  These images strive to find a balance between nature and culture, which are so intertwined in Venice.”

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