Open Menu Close Menu Open Search Close Search

Third Annual Summer Exhibition 
June 1–July 30, 2006

The Tufts University Art Gallery is pleased to present its Third Annual Summer exhibition celebrating the vitality of the arts in Somerville and Medford, Tufts’ host communities. This year’s exhibition focuses in depth on the work of 11 artists; it offers larger presentations of two-dimensional works in varying mediums and several site-specific installations. It is organized by Amy Ingrid Schlegel, director of galleries and collections, and guest curator Mara Williams, former director of the Brattleboro (VT) Museum & Art Center and principal of Arts Bridge Consulting.

About the artists:

aparna agrawal
Aparna Agrawal was born in India, now lives in Cambridge, and has a studio in Somerville. She earned her M.B.A. at the University of Michigan and worked ten years in the technology sector before studying art at the SMFA and turning her focus to art making and art education.

"For the last fifteen years, I have been making sculpture, paintings, drawings and mixed media works. I move between these mediums fluidly during the year, finding myself drawn to one or multiple dimensions because of imagery or simply a desire to manipulate different materials.

The paintings and works on paper are inspired from my time spent in the natural world. The images in this exhibition are made using mixed media, collage, oil, and drawing materials. I use pages from an ancient dictionary found in the trash, which have inspired and directed these drawings. The text functions as a ground pattern, and a different visual dimension."

kelvy bird 
Kelvy Bird earned her B.F.A. in painting and her B.A. in modern art history from Cornell University. In addition to her painting and her volunteer work with arts organizations in the Somerville area, she is a graphic facilitator in the field of organizational learning. She lives and works in Somerville. 

"My paintings express felt, often silent, emotional tensions. The Pulse images address the bloom, or emission, of human presence from an energetic, intangible field."

Betty bolivar
Betty Bolivar lives in Cambridge and works in Somerville, MA. She received her B.A. in Studio Art and a 5th year certificate from the SMFA. She does paintings, drawings, and assemblages. 

"In these drawings, I challenge myself to stay with an idea, to focus, and to ride it out. Using pen and paper, I write a phrase or word over and over. The process of repetitive mark-making brings about a subconscious arrangement of forms and shapes on the page. This body of work responds to my inability to be present in the moment and my restlessness in life and work. I am addicted to change and believe that change is a good thing. I discovered that this artistic process liberates me from my restlessness and brings me a sense of calm."

jeffrey ellse 
Jeffrey Ellse earned his B.F.A. from the Art Institute of Boston and did an apprenticeship with realist painter Damon Lehrer. He currently lives and works in Medford, MA and works full time at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. 

"Truth is important in my paintings. By capturing the truth of what I see in a person, it allows what is underneath the surface to appear. In everyday life, people like to believe certain things about themselves and often ignore the obvious. My idea of a portrait is not to capture some idolized image of a person, but to find their true self, showing their life experience within the painting."

nona hershey 
Nona Hershey received her B.F.A. from Tyler University in Philadelphia and her M.F.A. from Temple in Rome. She also studied lithography in Italy and woodcuts in Japan. She lives in Somerville.

"Since the beginning of time, clouds have represented uncertainty. Religion, science, and art have continually attempted to determine the specific origin and character of forces larger than ourselves. Clouds have represented the wrath of gods, the benificent containers of rain, and the boundary between this world and the mystery beyond. My drawings are made by slowly building up layers of graphite powder to evoke form and light. It is a medium whose softness lends itself well to mutability."

mary kenny 
Mary Kenny received her B.F.A. from UMass Dartmouth and her M.F.A. from California Institute of Arts in Valencia. She lives and works in Somerville. 

"These short films were conceived after a frightening encounter with a bear in Yosemite. As a city girl, I hadn't realized the unnverving and unpredictable realities of nature and wildlife. This brush with my own mortality led me to examine cultures who live in extreme environments, in close proximity to dangerous animals. The Hunt is inspired by outdated notions of Arctic life in "Nanook of the North". I made Death Down Under after a visit to the Australian Outback where I met with aboriginal peoples. I was struck by their generations-old way of life, and the inherent danger of the hunt. The hunt, hunted, and hunter are the core story elements of the films. The presentation is in the tradition of children's literature, picture books, and animation from the Brother's Grimm to South Park."

kyle larabee 
Kyle Larabee earned his B.S. and Bachelor of Architecture from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is an architect with Pfeufer Richardson in Cambridge and he lives and works in Somerville. 

"My work utilizes a quasi-scientific method that involves carefully observing natural materials and processes. Using various techniques, such as collage and painting with integrally colored plaster, I transform familiar parts of our environment – including the fallen leaves and moon phases seen in these works - in an effort to better see and understand the fleeting world around me."

denise malis 
Denise Malis received her B.F.A. from the University of Manitoba, then went on to her M.A. in Expressive Therapies from Lesley College and her M.F.A. from the University of Cincinnati. She has a studio in Somerville.

"My interest as an artist lies in the interaction between our conscious and unconscious state of mind. In many ways the unseen world—that of our subconscioius—holds the key to how we perceive the world in which we live. I tend to think in layers, which is reflected in the art process and in the imagery that emerges."


maria muller 
Maria Muller is self-taught in the art of hand-colored photography. Her work is represented in several public collections including the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard. She lives and works in Medford.

"My artwork is a blending of photography and painting. With vibrant colors, I infuse my subjects with mood, mystery, sensuality, or whimsy. Accurately representing reality is not my intent. The colors ultimately transform the seeming reality of the photographs into something hyper-real, evocative, or, in the end, surreal."


chris nau 
Chris Nau received his B.A. and B.F.A. from the Univeristy of Washington in Seattle, and followed with an M.F.A. from Mass College of Art. In 2006, he was awarded a Somerville Arts Council Fellowship Grant. He lives and works in Somerville.

"My objective is to bulid images that merge elements that are at odds with one another into a new, more intense permutation. I concentrate on boundaries that are interrupted, altered, or invaded. The possibilities that exist within the figure/ground relationship are limitless in this regard. I physically cut into many of my pieces to introduce a layer that opposes the very unity of the picture plane. Ultimately, I'm after a new wholeness that is more powerful than either the physical or the illusory elements alone—something that is more meaningful in its wholeness because it has been broken, but is brought to a resolution using the very elements that are in opposition."


gabrielle rossmer 
Gabrielle Rossmer earned her B.A. from Brandeis University and her M.S. from Mass College of Art. Her installation In Search of the Lost Object is in the collection of the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg. She lives and works in Medford.

"Recent scientific evidence suggests that clay is one of the building blocks of life on earth. Life from earth itself! Perhaps that's why clay's materiality is so human. Being earth, it answers the pull of gravity, and it accepts every touch. Clay reminds us of its long figurative history. All the work shown here is 'figurine' sized, like the Roman lares or household gods. Working in this materials and scale is a grounding force for me in a time of world-wide upheaval. I can limit my options (clay, modeled and fired) in a time of unlimited change and focus my ambition."