Repurposing with style: I recently checked out Union printmaker Kathy Felch’s “Upcycled and Repurposed” show in the Hall Gallery at LincolnHealth’s Miles Campus, 35 Miles St., Damariscotta.
Felch’s exhibit, which runs through Friday, Feb. 9, is definitely worth taking a good look at. Not only is she skillful at block printing (wood and linoleum), but she ups her game by beautifully incorporating recycled materials into her work. Her frames are used and she prints on such surfaces as old sheet music, brown paper bags, and pages torn from dictionaries.
Felch likes to reproduce images of animals – cats, owls, and fish are prominent. “Amber Shades” is a lovely print of a cat’s face in oranges and browns. Hanging next to it is a print using the same carved block repeated four times, resulting in a piece featuring the face of four identical cats in four color schemes: yellow-orange, red, deep blue, and purple.
Felch, an upbeat person who is also a special education ed tech at Lincoln Academy, has a sense of humor that comes through in some of her work. For instance, “Mouse Trap” is the title of a print of a cat’s face. “Gutless” is an attractive print featuring the skeleton of a fish.
“Upcycling discarded items from thrift store shelves stirs my imagination,” Felch writes on her website, kathyfelch.wixsite.com/mysite. “My process is simple: I use repurposed picture frames to surround my canvases of sheet music, dictionary pages, brown bags, or handmade fine papers. I then apply my image, which I carve out of wooden blocks from my kindling pile. Matching these discarded objects with one of my carvings ignites my artistic expression. Each print is unique and breathes new life into the materials that had once been forgotten.”
A portion of the sale price of Felch’s prints goes to benefit the Miles Memorial Hospital League.
Cool classes at Starfire Studio: Last week, I devoted my column to Bristol artist Joy Vaughan’s thought-provoking show in The Carey Gallery at Skidompha Library in Damariscotta through Wednesday, Feb. 28. It consists of 53 pages of Vaughan’s art journal, many the equivalent of small paintings, clothespinned along stretches of string.
Vaughan emailed me recently to tell me about a silkscreen class and an exploratory workshop she is offering at her studio, Starfire Studio.
From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on either Saturday, Jan. 27 or Sunday, Feb. 18, one can take Vaughan’s silkscreen class. “This class is just plain fun,” she wrote. “You experiment with color and shape, exercise your brain, and end up with really pleasing images. Print on fabric or paper, make notecards, or create papers for collage.”
The cost is $75 and all materials are included (and one should bring a lunch).
Vaughan’s “Off the Edges and Outside the Lines” workshop will be held three times: Friday, Feb. 9; Saturday, Feb. 10; and Friday, Feb. 16, each from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The workshop costs $65 (bring a lunch).
“This workshop is for people who want time to explore imagery and art materials, increase their intuitive faculties, and try out ideas on paper without facing criticism or judgment,” Vaughan said.
Participants will have access to a wide variety of art materials, including acrylics, oil crayons, watercolor crayons, watercolors, inks, and collage materials.
Vaughan says that both “art-phobic individuals” and practicing artists are encouraged to attend.
Email Vaughan at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and to sign up for instruction.
(Email me at email@example.com or write me a letter in care of The Lincoln County News, P.O. Box 36, Damariscotta, ME 04543. I love to hear from readers.)