Among the Trees / Christina Bertoni, Deborah Coolidge, Kat Ely,
Mollie Hosmer-Dillard and Aki Nurosi

November 17 to December 7, 2011

Christina Bertoni (L), Deborah Coolidge (C), Kat Ely (R)

Mollie Hosmer-Dillard (L) Aki Nurosi (R)

The Chazan Gallery is presenting Among the Trees, a group exhibition of works by Christina Bertoni, Deborah Coolidge, Kat Ely, Mollie Hosmer-Dillard and Aki Nurosi from November 17 to December 7, 2011. There will be an opening reception for the artists on Gallery Night, Thursday, November 17, from 5 – 7 p.m. The public is invited.

Christina Bertoni creates sculpture from found wood. Particularly fascinated by the strength and endurance of the cores, she collects parts of trees that have been weathered by natural and human events. Inspired by the interdependence of birds and trees, she often includes feathers, creating works that "appear to be in a state of transformation from tree to bird, or a state of general transformation."

Bertoni has exhibited widely throughout the USA, and her work is held in prestigious collections worldwide, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA, The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK, and The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA. She teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Deborah Coolidge's large scale works on paper evolve from close interactions with trees. She creates graphite rubbings directly from the tree bark, then returns to the studio and begins a lengthy process of "deciphering, studying, enhancing and erasing." The variety of characteristics across species and ages is revealed. She writes, "Each drawing pays homage to the character of the tree. Some seem stoic, others bold and extraverted. The trees record their experience in the bark, and I examine, interpret."

Coolidge received her MFA in Ceramics from the Rhode Island School of Design. She has exhibited in numerous solo and group shows throughout New England, including the New Bedford Art Museum. In addition to teaching at the Rhode Island School of Design since 1981, she has led various workshops and held residencies at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, MA, and the Art and Design Academy, Bratislava, Slovakia.

Kat Ely creates glass and metal 'reliquaries' to house and showcase natural found objects. She is interested in the transitional period between life and death, and seeks to give permanence to materials which would ordinarily rot and decay in the natural world. Ely's work "illustrates the sacredness of the natural world by housing, protecting and showcasing the things most people ignore and overlook."

Ely received her BFA in Glass from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Her work has been included in various publications such as Glass Quarterly and 500 Pendants and Lockets. Her work is held in the collection of Fidelity Investments and has been shown at the Velvet da Vinci gallery in San Francisco, CA, and the Providence Art Club in Providence, RI.

Though her painting is rooted in landscape, Mollie Hosmer-Dillard's recent work demonstrates a wide selection of visual sources. She writes "my experience of the world is much more varied than landscape alone is able to represent - daily life consists of startling combinations of natural and manmade forms; exterior and interior events; emotions, confusions, and abstract thoughts." Through proliferations and juxtapositions of images, Hosmer-Dillard examines interiority and the subjectivity of personal experience.

Hosmer-Dillard has exhibited extensively in Berlin, Germany, and throughout the USA. She was artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center in 2009 and in Kemijaervi, Finland in 2010. She received her BA in Studio Art from Oberlin College.

Aki Nurosi creates detailed pencil drawings inspired by bare tree branches. She carefully observes the forms, the spaces in between, and the interaction of shadows. On her process she writes "as time passed the shadows became integrated with the void among the branches. I found myself pausing in and out between the void and their shadows. And thus my 'dialogue with silence' began."

Nurosi received her BA from the Ecole Superieure Des Arts Modernes in Paris and her MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University. She has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at numerous New England galleries and her work is held in private collections internationally. She teaches Graphic Design at the Rhode Island School of Design.