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Kenise Showing 10th Iteration of ‘Cool and Collected’

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KENT—Kenise Barnes Fine Art is showing its 10th iteration of its exhibition series “Cool & Collected.” The exhibit at the 7 Fulling Lane gallery will run through Feb. 18.

The 2024 iteration includes artists identified by gallery director Kenise Barnes and associate director Lani Holloway who are not yet represented by the gallery. They say the works have a certain heartfelt, even naïve, charm. 

Each artwork carefully depicts objects and environments with which the artist is intimate. Artists included are Matt Barter, Joan Linder, Mary Tooley Parker and Polly Shindler. 

Matt Barter’s paintings center on Maine, specifically the fishing industry in Frenchman’s Cove where he grew up.

A self-taught painter, Barter is inspired by his father, also an artist, and by the great American painter Marsden Hartley.

Barter researches material for his work by spending time on the fishing piers chatting with the workers and learning about their lives/struggles. He calls this research “Downeast Anthropology.”

Barter lives and works in Brunswick and Gouldsboro, Maine.

In her work, Polly Shindler thinks about the psychology of place. Ideas born from an investigation of solitude and retreat over time became an investigation into the lives and homes of others.

Curiosity about the arrangement of a place itself raises questions for her: how are households organized, who designed the space, how are personal effects displayed, what is on the coffee table, and what is hidden away? 

Shindler’s works have been shown widely in the United States, London and Madrid and has been featured in Juxtapoz Magazine, Forbes, Art New England and New York Arts Magazine. 

In culture hyper-saturated by electronic imagery, Joan Linder uses the traditional materials of a quill pen and a bottle of ink to create images that explore and claim the sub-technological process of observation and mark making.

Linder’s subjects include the banality of mass-produced domestic artifacts, the politics of war, sexual identity and power, and the beauty of the close observation of the natural and man-made. 

Linder draws from direct observation. This exhibition features four small drawings from her Brood” series. Each image is an intricately rendered colored ink drawing of a common egg carton. 

Linder’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States and is in many museum and corporate collections. 

Mary Tooley Parker makes textile art using a time-intensive, historic rug-making technique.

Parker has been enthralled with every fiber-related format since the age of 8 and is largely self-taught.

Her process includes hand dyeing wool yardage, cutting it into strips, and pulling strips up through a linen foundation using a primitive, wood handled hook. She also spins yarn to be used in the work.

Her use of additional non-traditional materials creates a densely textured but still two-dimensional work. 

Parker’s work has been exhibited internationally, including in New York, London and Denmark, and is held in public and private collections. 

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