We are proud to present the work of artist Karen L. McCarthy in the Portal Art Gallery. She has made available a selection of her superb and labor- intensive mixed media collage constructions, each of which is printed and composed to create unique visual and emotional responses. Included in this show are several of the artist’s most recent works which are taking McCarthy in new directions. Please read her Artist Statement below, and plan to join us between 3 and 5pm on the afternoon of Saturday, February 17th, 2018. The show runs until April 4th.

As a collage and fiber artist I revel in taking similar or disparate parts and melding them into something new, encountering how individual elements are transformed when combined with others. I explore the subtleties and complexities of color, light, and movement with constant fascination.

I frequently juxtapose ordered, compartmentalized images with those which are indistinct, amorphous, and obscured. Sometimes the elements have obvious connections, sometimes more surprising ones. With a subtle use of detailing, I often employ layering to create an interplay between what is revealed and what is concealed.

There are often references to the landscape and other natural forms in my work, while inspiration derives from a range of influences. From the engaging details of Italian Renaissance masters’ panel paintings, to otherworldly rock formations I have encountered in the American Southwest, to the abiding dualities of nature and cityscape that I observe on daily walks, I draw from a pool of varied sources.

Very recent pieces reference window-like forms in a contemplative manner, exploring dreamlike experiences, the notion of inside/outside, and the all too often unsung beauty of a quiet gesture.

I fabricate my own collage materials, implementing painting and printmaking methods (paste paper printing, gelatin plate printing, stenciling, etc.) which allow for a gradual and incremental buildup of imagery. I choose techniques which can result in a wide range of textural effects and moods with varying degrees of transparency and depth. In the final stage I machine stitch the constructions, utilizing the stitched line as a design element while celebrating my passion for textiles.

I hope to create some sense of reprieve from the bombardment of images which confront us from day to day…it is an attempt to find an antidote…a breathing space…and a personal respite from some of the chaos and hectic pace of life we collectively experience.

Karen L. McCarthy

Entry is always without charge, except for special events. See the full list of upcoming Portal Events here.  The Gallery is open at least 5 hours a day – 7 days a week – but call to make sure we’re open: 781-859-5397.

Newly opened in Arlington Center, the Portal Crystal Gallery devotes an entire section of its gallery space to showcasing outstanding paintings and photography, with new Artists exhibiting every other monthly.

Visit our site www.PortalCrystalGallery.com and sign up for our updates – we’ll be having Openings like this semi-monthly – here’s how to get onto the mailing list: http://bit.ly/PORTALNEWS

If you or someone you know would like to exhibit in the future, please fill out the Call to Artists’ survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SJCBR83

Any questions, please email Kyle@PortalCrystalGallery.com, and visit the site: www.PortalCrystalGallery.com.