Upper School Art Gallery

Current exhibition

Joan Benotti:

Born in Boston, Joan Benotti has exhibited extensively throughout New England. She studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design and printmaking at the Montserrat College of Art.  She was a founding member of the Bromfield Gallery a Boston based artists’ cooperative and was the recipient of a printmaking grant from the Massachusetts State Council on the Arts.  She lives on Boston’s North Shore.

Artist Statement

I recently found a list I had written thirty years ago at the suggestion of an influential artist.  It was a list of materials and objects that inspired me or that I would like to incorporate into my work, among them: gold leaf, stamped edges, Renaissance red, correspondence, maps, wood scraps, those little figures at Tell Asmar, medieval story painting.  My work, in fact, does incorporate most of these things.  It is cut, ripped, patched, woven, sewn, painted, beaded, gilded, and frequently hinged.  Often I build and attach articulated wooden shutters, or the pieces themselves are hinged so that they open and close altering the view.  The painted surfaces are worked and reworked sometimes over several years as one layer wanders into the next in an ongoing dialogue between the story and the paint.

The exhibition runs through October 25.

All of the art is available for purchase. Twenty percent of the proceeds go to support the GUS Scholarship Fund.

Past exhibitions

Picture Books



The group exhibition, Picture Books, features work in all media. All works feature picture books as subject matter, integrate the book form within their structure, or reference a book thematically.

The artists included in the exhibition respond to books as objects and as a source of contemplation. A book has multiple connotations containing history and meaning.

Books mean so many things to so many people. We all have books that have changed our lives.

As new technologies are introduced to replace the traditional bound paper book, Picture Books reminds us of the strong presence of books in art, and their significant tradition of recording important events, stories, and lessons.

The exhibition runs through October 22.

All of the art is available for purchase. Twenty percent of the proceeds go to support the GUS Scholarship Fund.

The Upper School Art Gallery at Glen Urquhart School is honored to present concurrent solo exhibitions by David Fullam and Ilana Manolson.

Wind-swept winter marshes, golden hillsides spotted with gray boulders, and moody clouds reflected in coastal tidal pools are painted with fervent energy and expressive gesture in David Fullam’s recent landscape compositions. Thoughtful observations of place, the paintings incorporate process in an essential way.  Fullam has pushed, molded, and layered his paints while exploring the capabilities of the medium and experimenting with the process of painting.  As viewers, we are directed to study contoured, worn, and battered landscapes common to coastal Maine and surrounding environs.  Stark elements of rock, water, tree, and grass come together in compositions rich with paint, pattern, texture, and brush movement.  In Fullam’s hands, formal landscape painting transcends tradition to intrigue and agitate the viewer with accumulated layers of painted tone and affecting light.

David Fullam’s paintings and works on paper have been featured in solo and group exhibitions at cultural institutions including the Currier Museum of Art, DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Manchester Institute of Arts and Sciences, Nashua Arts and Science Center, McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College, and Fitchburg Art Museum.  Fullam earned his MFA from the Syracuse School of Fine Arts and BFA from Washington University School of Fine Arts.

Seasonal shifts and subsequent cycles of life to decay in the natural landscape are studied and celebrated in Ilana Manolson’s lush paintings.  Distinguished by fluid brushstrokes, richly layered color, and the textured exchange of crackling paints and glazes, Manolson’s compositions carefully focus the viewer’s eye on moments of stillness within the ever-changing landscape.  Each painting records the details inherent to the landscape as expressive abstractions, pushing notions of realism and the perspective with which nature is viewed.  Building her compositions upon panel, Manolson scrapes and sands away forms such as leaves, fern fronds, and twigs.  These actions inform her process as they pointedly illustrate the effects of society’s strong influence on the environment as well as the interplay of stillness and motion within the natural realm.

Ilana Manolson is represented in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Danforth Museum, and Boston Public Library, among others.  She has been awarded grants by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, St. Botolph Club Foundation, and Artists Foundation as well as residencies at Rocky Neck Art Colony, Ballinglen Ireland Artist Residency, and Yaddo Artist Colony.

All of the art is available for purchase. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds go to support the financial aid fund at the school.

8th Grade Shirt Project

The exhibition runs through April.

Sometimes the best ideas arrive as epiphanies resulting from coincidence.

As the Upper School Art teacher at GUS, I strive to design projects for my students that reflect my life long passion for the visual arts. The 8th Grade Shirt Project is one of those assignments that continues to amaze and inspire me.

A number of years ago, an auction of commissioned artwork was organized to benefit a women’s shelter in Cambridge, MA. I was on the list of invited artists asked to create a specific object over a period of months to be exhibited.

The event and benefit came to be known as the Boston Cardigan Project.

Each artist was sent an identical box with the same materials for the commissioned work.   Upon opening the box I found a beautifully folded, simple, white, cardigan sweater.  The pristine white sweater had become a metaphor for shelter.  Months later, upon entering the exhibition, I was profoundly moved by the incredibly imaginative treatments the sweaters received and by the highly emotional responses they evoked.

Several days after the auction, I was in a local goodwill shop and happened to gaze at a row of hanging crisp white shirts being offered for a dollar each.  It was at that moment that our annual 8th Grade Shirt Project was conceived.

Subsequently, I now make an annual pilgrimage to a warehouse in Cambridge where people are able to purchase clothing for a dollar a pound. I enter the warehouse where clothing is strewn knee-deep over the floor. With garbage bag in hand, I wade through this sea of garments in search for white shirts for our GUS 8th graders to transform.

Since its inception, this simple, quirky assignment has become the highlight of our 8th Grade Art Show.  Wondrous, amazing, inspired and thoughtful, these shirts confirm my belief that art has the ability to provide meaning to our lives. The shirts have come to reflect our students’ engagement with society, as well as the hopes and aspirations of these brilliant young minds.

Assignment: Artist – Shirt Project for 8th Grade Art Show

Each student will research an assigned artist and complete the following two components:

1.  Each student will be given a white shirt.  Each student, using the white shirt,

must create an autobiographical mixed media statement, with original ideas and symbolism, utilizing aspects of the assigned artists style and techniques.

2.  Create and write a two-page paper (minimum) providing the following: a biographical profile of the assigned artist; and a critical assessment of the assigned artists’ contribution to his times.  Visual presentation of papers should be considered. Research papers will be displayed in the gallery during the art show.


MURMUR: Photographs by Richard Barnes


The GUS Upper School Art Gallery is honored to present an exhibition of photographs by Richard Barnes entitled Murmur.

At first glance, the photographs in Richard Barnes’ Murmur series appear as abstract compositions of sweeping arcs and undulating forms in smudged ink or charcoal. The subject of Barnes’ photographs, however, are the vast flocks of European starlings foraging in the countryside surrounding Rome.

The recipient of the prestigious Rome Award, Barnes lived in a suburb of Rome from 2005-06 and photographed the seemingly choreographed flight patterns of the flocks
as they avoided predators and found insects or olives to feast upon. The fluid clouds of birds stretching up and down across the sky create compositions at once elegant and sinister, as the sheer number of birds in the sky is realized. The darkness of the gathering mass is emphasized by the landscape below, which is populated by buildings in the style of the facist architecture heralded by Mussolini.

Richard Barnes is an important contemporary American photographer. His work is represented in numerous public and private collections, including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Hirshhorn
Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and New York Public Library.

In addition to the Rome Prize, Barnes has received the Alfred Eisenstadt Award in Photography for his photographs of the cabin of Ted Kaczynski as well as numerous grants and fellowships to support his photographic projects over the last decade.

A monograph of his work entitled Animal Logic, featuring images from Barnes’ various series, was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2009.

The exhibition runs through December. All photographs are for sale. 25% of each acquisition benefits the GUS scholarship fund.  Please contact Dawn Southworth for price requests at Extension # 109, or email to dsouthworth@gus.org.

Seeing is Believing

This exhibition runs through October  22, 2010.

Seeing is Believing features seven artists employing photography as a tool to trace the arc of different realities, memory and the various meanings associated with time, place or identity. Artists included in the exhibition are: Thomas Birtwistle, Jim Dow, Andy Freeberg, Cynthia Greig, Pamela Ellis Hawkes, Dave Jordano and Christopher Sims.

Thomas Birtwistle makes photographs at state fairs in Maine. Though the origins of the county fair can be traced back centuries, Birtwistle portrays the subject with a decidedly 21st-century inflection. His images explore the dynamic intersection between subject and time, the real and the surreal, with an offbeat and charming strangeness. Largely absent of festive attendees, his photographs are penetrating gazes at the colorful visual vocabulary of the fair, ranging from garish stuffed animal prizes, concession stands, to Osama Bin Laden and Sadam Hussein cans riddled with bullet holes.

Jim Dow explains, “…My interest in photography centers on its capacity for exact description…I use photography to try to record the manifestations of human ingenuity and spirit still remaining in our country’s everyday landscape.” Dow’s interest in those places where people enact their everyday rituals, from the barbershop to the baseball park, has guided the path of his photographic career. Magnificently capturing the presence of America’s beloved baseball stadiums, his images have been described as having the “grandeur and loneliness of ancient ruins.” Jim’s work has been cherished for documenting the disappearing uniqueness of America’s playing fields.

It is with slight uncertainty that viewers approach the color photographs of Cynthia Greig. Her Representation series is sometimes mistaken as drawings or illustrations. Her compositions present, in her words, “photographic documents of three-dimensional drawings.” Greig selects objects, ranging from coffee cups to ice cream cones to books, conceals their existing surface with white paint, and then outlines the objects with a thin black line. She then places the objects on a white background and photographs the arrangement with a large format view camera. The result is a conceptual challenge to conventional approaches of representing and categorizing objects and art.

Comfortably seated in cavernous galleries installed with priceless paintings in gilded frames, the female figures in Andy Freeberg’s Guardians series are the guards assigned to protect the collections of Russia’s most esteemed museums. Wearing orthopedic shoes and colorful jackets, these grandmotherly figures have protectively and, to our eyes, aesthetically formed strong relationships with the artworks hanging nearby. The resulting photographs vividly document these uncanny similarities between the female guards and the spaces in which they sit each day. As Clifford Levy states in the introduction to the Guardians monograph, “These guardians are not only visible, but exert a powerful hold over the viewer, in some sense, helping to bring the art to life.”

Pamela Ellis Hawkes makes photographs of complicated still life arrangements that resist clear-cut visual interpretation. This series of images, carefully created in her studio, is entitled Surrogate Reality. Her compositions, set against a rich black background, are occupied by both two and three-dimensional objects. Pamela makes flat photographic reproductions of etchings and prints, depicting the actors in her still life drama. These flat two-dimensional stand-ins rest atop actual tables and interact with other real three-dimensional objects in the unfolding drama set before her view camera.

Dave Jordano has been making images from the abandoned Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, Illinois, which was the largest single military building in the United States before the construction of the Pentagon. The base closure, a decade ago, was a catalyst for the economic decline suffered by Rantoul and the surrounding region. Jordano’s images of its steady decay and deterioration serve as a compelling illustration of the United States’ involvement with international peace-keeping efforts and the ways in which our standing as an esteemed world power has been thus affected.

Christopher Sims, with remarkable access to our military bases, has been working on a series entitled Theater of War. Sims makes photographs within fictitious Iraqi and Afghan villages on the training grounds of U.S. Army bases, places largely unknown to most Americans. The villages are situated in the deep forests of North Carolina and Louisiana and in a great expanse of desert near Death Valley in California. Each base features clusters of villages spread out over thousands of acres. The villages are places of fantastic imagination and serve as a strange and poignant training station for people heading off to war.

The Glen Urquhart School is located at 74 Hart Street, Beverly Farms, MA. Gallery hours are Mon-Fri, 9 AM – 4 PM.
For information, please call 978-927-1064.
25% of sales benefit the GUS Scholarship Fund.

Photos by Raymond Nance

May 3 – June 17

An exhibition of photography by GUS school principal Raymond Nance, entitled:
We’ve Come a Long Way, Maybe: New York and Louisiana in the 1970′s

Monday-Friday 8:30-4:00

(excluding holidays)

Raymond Nance, You’ve Come a Long Way Baby, New York, 11” x 14”, 1972, Archival Inkjet Photograph made from scanned 35mm negative.

Paintings by Elizabeth Awalt

The Upper School Art Gallery of the Glen Urquhart School is honored to present the work of Elizabeth Awalt through April 30. Ms. Awalt’s visionary and magical paintings delve deeply into the expressive possibilities of paint.  Her large-scale sensuously painted anthropomorphic imagery have implied narratives and become vehicles to express primal emotions of love, joy, and sorrow.  Rather than explorations of specific sites, her meditations on the natural world are experienced by the paint’s sheer physicality and transformative potential.

“My work has developed from observational studies to expressive, evocations of nature. The micro and macro view of nature interest me simultaneously and recent paintings weave the two worlds together.”

Elizabeth Awalt received her MFA degree at the University of Pennsylvania under the direction of Neil Welliver. As an undergraduate, she studied Fine Arts at Boston College where she returned to teach and became a tenured professor. The artist has been the recipient of both a Massachusetts Artists Fellowship in Painting and an Individual Artist Grant in Painting from the National Endowment of the Arts. Elizabeth has been an artist-in-residence at several art colonies, including the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Yaddo, and the MacDowell and Millay colonies.
The artist has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally. Selected one person exhibitions include the G.W. Einstein Company, Inc., NYC,  Samuelis Baumgarte Gallery, Germany, Caldbeck Gallery, Rockland, ME, and Thomas Segal Gallery in Boston, MA. The Danforth Museum of Art in Framingham, MA presented, “Sanctuary of Light”, a one person show, in 2007.
Her work has appeared in numerous group exhibitions in museums and galleries, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT, the Decordova Museum, Lincoln, MA, and the McMullen Museum of Art, Boston. Her work is in numerous public collections including: the Danforth Museum, the Decordova Museum, and the McMullen Art Museum.

The Glen Urquhart School is located at 74 Hart Street, Beverly Farms, MA. Gallery hours are Mon-Fri, 9 AM – 4 PM.  For information call 978-927-1064.

25% of sales benefit the GUS Scholarship Fund.

through Feb. 17th

Eighth Grade Shirt Project

How the Eighth Grade Shirt Project Began.

by Dawn Southworth

Sometimes the best of ideas arrive as epiphanies resulting from coincidence.

In my capacity as the Upper School Art teacher at GUS, I continually strive to design projects for my students that reflect my life long passion for the visual arts and also emerge from my experiences in the contemporary art world.

The Eighth Grade Shirt Project is an example of such a project that continues to amaze and inspire.  A number of years ago, an auction of commissioned artwork was organized to benefit a women’s shelter in Cambridge, MA. I was on the list of invited artists asked to create a specific object over a period of months to be later exhibited at the Copley Plaza Hotel, and then be put on the block at the gala benefit.

The event and benefit came to be known as the Boston Cardigan Project.

Each artist was sent an identical box with the same materials for the commissioned work.   Upon opening the box I found a beautifully folded simple white cardigan sweater.  The pristine white sweater had become a metaphor for shelter.  Months later, upon entering the exhibition, I was profoundly moved by the incredibly imaginative treatments the sweaters received, and by the highly emotional responses they evoked.

Several days after the auction, I was in a local goodwill shop and happened to gaze at a row of hanging crisp white shirts being offered for a dollar each.  It was at that moment our Annual Eighth Grade Shirt Project was conceived.

Subsequently, I now make an annual pilgrimage to a warehouse in Cambridge where people, trying to get by, are able to purchase clothing for a dollar a pound. I enter the warehouse with clothing strewn knee-deep over the floor. With garbage bag in hand, I wade through this sea of garments in search for white shirts for our GUS eighth graders to transform.

Since its inception, this simple, quirky assignment has become the highlight of our Eighth Grade Art Show.  Wondrous, amazing, inspired, and thoughtful, these shirts confirm my belief of art’s ability to provide meaning to our lives. The shirts have come to reflect our students’ engagement with society and often reflect the hopes and aspirations of these brilliant young minds.

In October each year, our eighth graders are given an assignment which reads as follows:

Eighth Grade:   Artist – Shirt Project for Eighth Grade Art Show

Each student will research an assigned artist and complete the following two components:

1.  Each student will be given a white shirt.  Each student, using the white shirt, is to create an autobiographical mixed media statement, with original ideas and symbology; and utilizing aspects of the assigned artist’s style and techniques.

2.  Create and write a two page paper (minimum) providing: a biographical profile of the assigned artist; and a critical assessment of the assigned artists’ contribution to his times.  Visual presentation of papers should be considered. Research papers will be displayed in the gallery during the art show.

For those of you wondering, I unraveled my sweater thread by thread, and hired a retired woman from my church to knit tiny white sweaters with little buttons.  For the finished piece I adorned them on the shoulders of discarded naked Barbie dolls, that I then stood proudly in a battered suitcase inverted on its side.

January 2010

Rebecca Kinkead

Hushed yet compelling figures convey a strong sense of emotion and weighted meaning in Rebecca Kinkead’s work.  The generously applied paint is built up in a tactile way, dripping and puckering to create rich surfaces from which the figures emerge. A graduate of the University of Vermont and Minnesota State University, Kinkead has been featured in solo and group exhibitions at galleries throughout the United States and, regionally at Clark Gallery, the New Art Center and Cushing Martin Gallery at Stonehill College.  In 2004, she received the Ballinglen Arts Foundation Fellowship.

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