University of New Hampshire Art Gallery

Durham, NH



University of New Hampshire Art Gallery Opens New Season Featuring a Local Artist and Women in Religion


The spring semester season at the University of New Hampshire Art Gallery kicks off Monday, Jan. 24, 2000 with a preview reception for two exhibitions.

"Religion: Contemporary Interpretations by Women" runs Jan. 25 through April 25, and "Past into Present: Paintings by M. Zabarsky" runs Jan. 25 through March 9. The reception is planned from 5 to 7 p.m. at The Art Gallery in Paul Creative Arts Center. Both exhibitions and related events are free and open to the public.


Religion: Contemporary Interpretations by Women

Complementing the campus-wide series "Women in Religion 2000," this exhibition offers works by five women artists, each influenced by her religious experience and background. "Religion: Contemporary Interpretations by Women" covers a range of cultural identities, from Christianity to Haitian Vodou.

Exhibiting artist and co-curator Jennifer Moses says religion continues to play a vital role in the visual arts. "Women in Religion 2000" gives us the opportunity to look at the influence of religious themes in both a contemporary and feminine context," says Moses, also a UNH associate professor of art. "It has been exciting to put together a range of artists" responses to religion." (left: Debra Olin, The Daily Reminder, 1997, monotype construction, 34 x 48 x 8 inches)

Other exhibiting artists are Arlene Shechet, of New York City, who illustrates her Buddhist connections in her sculptures and paper works, and Marilene Phipps, of Cambridge, Mass., who explores the influence of Haitian Vodou and African culture in her paintings.

Somerville, Mass., artist Debra Olin incorporates Jewish images into her work, while Boston photographer and installation artist Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, uses her face and body as a canvas to explore her Cuban roots. (right: Arlene Shechet, Madras Buddha, 1997, hydrocal and acrylic paint, 45 x 25 inches)

Rich imagery is a prevalent characteristic of the works chosen for the exhibition, with color and texture drawing viewers to the expressive subject matter. "The works of these artists demonstrate that spiritual and religious needs still find expression through artistic media," says Professor Mara Witzling, coordinator of the UNH Women's Studies Program.


Past and Present: Paintings by M. Zabarsky

Melvin Zabarsky, UNH professor emeritus of art, is a figurative and narrative painter with 28 years' experience teaching and many more as one of New England's most accomplished artists. "Past into Present" focuses on Zabarsky's work in the 1990s, with selected works from his earlier years. (left: Melvin Zabarsky, Tropical Tropism, 1994, mixed media on composition board, 56 1/2 x 56 1/2 inches)

According to Vicki Wright, director of The Art Gallery, "In Zabarsky's paintings during the past decade, he has figuratively turned past into present by deconstructing earlier canvasses -- cutting out meaningful passages and figures -- and using them as collaged elements in new compositions. This layering of images is his way of reconstructing and redefining his past while producing a body of work that signifies his present life as a contemporary painter."

Also a history buff, Zabarsky uses books and historical photographs as inspiration for his paintings. His earlier work includes representations of historical figures such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Luxemburg. Zabarsky earned his BFA from Boston University and MFA from the University of Cincinnati. His work is also known internationally and has been exhibited in Spain and Japan. (right: Melvin Zabarsky,Guardians, 1994-95, mixed media on composition board, 43 5/8 x 72 1/2 inches)

Read more about the University of New Hampshire Art Gallery in Resource Library Magazine.

rev. 12/23/10

Search Resource Library for thousands of articles and essays on American art.

Copyright 2010 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.