Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"He slept with his eyes open"

Gallery218: Victor Pisini - Portrait

“He would sleep with his eyes open while posing.” Victor Pisini said as he talked about Shaney Ward, the model for one of his paintings now on display at Gallery 218. “He was a tiny fireman. He would stand only about four foot five inches tall. It was good for us painting to have him sleep with his eyes open. I did that painting about 1957.”

Allison Sherlock explained that one of the two paintings she had in the show was from her “post-stick” period. Her Art teacher at Assumption referred to it that way for an exercise she had Allie do in class. She had Allie paint with her brush taped to the end of a four foot stick. You try doing that. It is not easy to manipulate the brush holding it from such a distance.

Gallery218: Sherlock, Pisini deep in discussion

Victor complained that he used to be able to find subject matter to paint in the daily news paper. “You can't find that any more. The pictures are all about war, and accidents. I used to be able to find a woman working in a field, or a grandfather holding a child, or someone leading a horse. I could then go and paint from that picture.”

“Imagine that, a real discussion about art right here in Franklin,” remarked Rosanne Walsh as she caught part of the conversation between Allison and Victor. This conversation almost covered the extremes amongst the alumni represented. There are works from the Class of 2008 but Victor was from the Franklin Class of 1947 and Allison was from the Class of 2004.

There is quite a range in the type of work featured in this Alumni Show at Gallery 218. There are oil paintings, ceramics, photography, prints, mixed media and an animated video being shown on DVD. Something for everyone.

Refreshments were served in the cafeteria while Andrew Barry played some background music on his electric guitar. Andrew, a senior at Franklin High has already been accepted at Franklin Pierce College but is waiting to hear from Emerson and Berklee. He would like to pursue studying music and those are his #1 and #2 choices.

Gallery218: Victor Pisini views the gallery

Victor's second painting is more recent. He completed a “Meditation” about a year ago. Mike Caple had stopped by the Pisini Shoe Store to pick up the two works for the show. Victor was grateful that he did. “We need more art here in Franklin. Whenever I traveled, I would find the art community. They were very nice people. They were always helpful.”

I think that given the expressive nature of art, given the creativity found in art, Franklin can use more art as we approach this budget season. Stop by Gallery 218 to view the Alumni show. It will be worth your time and may help Franklin's future.

A photo slideshow of Gallery 218 on opening night is available here

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