An exhibit entitled “Spiritual Connections: Landscapes Inspired by the South Coast and Martha’s Vineyard” featuring paintings by Willoughby Elliott, will be on display at the Maser Gallery at Falmouth Community Television from September 28 through October 30, 2014.
Willoughby (Bill) Elliott was born in Los Angeles, California. He received his BFA from the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles, and his MFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design. Following a studio teaching career of over forty years, he is currently Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus of Painting and Printmaking in the College of Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. He has been exhibiting his works since 1968 in prestigious group shows such as the Boston Printmakers National, as well as in galleries across the United States.
Although he resides off-Cape, Bill’s Cape and Island connections are varied and long-standing. He has exhibited his work in area galleries such as The Left Bank Gallery in Wellfleet both currently and for many years. More recently he had a showing at the Cotuit Center for the Arts in Cotuit. On the Vineyard, Bill has been a member of Old Sculpin Gallery for over twenty years. The Vineyard’s special connection inspired the works he calls “the Mill Pond paintings.” They were all based on a pond that backed up to his mother-in-law’s house in West Tisbury. Bill explains, “I am inspired by the complex and varied atmospheric effects that happen when a moisture-laden sky is affected by light. Our coastal environment can be seen at times as primordial because of how the basic elements of land, sea, sky and light interact. I relate to the way color can be made to suggest light and atmosphere.”
Sometimes the titles of his work may suggest a specific place or time of day, morning or evening. He is, however, a studio painter. He works indoors, usually from a number of photo references. These references become transformed into images of imaginary places and light conditions that could exist, but really don’t. “They are idealized and sometimes threatening spaces that somehow inform us about our origins,” says Bill. “I’m also after the general mood and the expression of painting through abstraction. I use combinations of color, shapes and marks that work in an abstract way to create a spiritual resonance within the viewer. I’m less interested in the things in the landscape but rather in how the subject matter serves the space. In some of my paintings, the subject matter could easily dissolve into the space. I’m interested in the abstract configuration of a space itself. Many of my paintings have been of salt marshes, but my more recent work has moved in the direction of depicting trees or tree groupings reflecting on water. My main concern is still with abstraction and the abstractness of the tree shapes as the light and mood affects them.”
Elliott’s work has been selected for numerous exhibitions and juried competitions of note. The Harrison Gallery, MA, featured Willoughby in a solo show at the Tunnel City venue in 2007. Others include The Attleboro Museum, MA; Duxbury Art Complex, MA; Marion Art Center, MA; Newport Art Museum, RI; New Bedford Art Museum, MA; UMass Dartmouth, MA ; The Worcester Art Museum, MA; Art Institute of Boston, MA ; Brockton Art Museum, MA; DeCordova Museum, MA; Framingham Art Museum, MA; Boston Center for the Arts, MA; Danforth Museum of Art, MA; Boston Printmakers National, MA; Dakota 100 International Works on Paper, N. Dakota; and The Parkside National Exhibition in Kenosha, WI. He has also exhibited at the Tamarak Gallery in Naples Florida, and the Amsterdam Whitney Gallery in New York City. The New Bedford Art Museum mounted a retrospective of Mr. Elliott’s work in 2011. Willoughby is represented by the Left Bank Gallery in Wellfleet, Artana Gallery in Boston and Jules Place in Boston.
Maser Gallery Exhibit Hours: Sunday & Monday, 2-10 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 10 -10 p.m., Friday 10-6 p.m., Saturday-CLOSED
COMING IN NOVEMBER: The Artwork of Chris O'Dell Ferguson and Daughters Cailyn and Kelly.