Art for your Valentine
Affordable work gathered for “Love, Lust & Desire”
By Heidi Masek firstname.lastname@example.org
McGowan Fine Art Gallery in Concord is embracing Valentine’s Day for its upcoming group show. It sounds cheesy, but if you peruse samples posted at www.mcgowanfineart.com, you might think otherwise.
Gallery director Sarah Chaffee is behind “Love, Lust & Desire,” which opens Tuesday, Jan. 27. Most of the pieces range in cost from $25 to $300 and are smaller than a sheet of paper. That’s a pretty good deal, considering original artwork at McGowan can cost well over $1,000.
Keeping prices affordable was important for this show, said Amanda McGowan (no relation), who assisted Chaffee.
McGowan thinks sometimes Valentine’s presents can get cliché. “We thought it would be nice to offer something for Valentine’s Day ... that would become unique and affordable gifts,” she said.
Giving people a Valentine’s Day theme sounds like it could risk bringing in cutesy work, reminiscent of greeting cards. Are these pieces that can hang all year long?
“We have a wide variety of work. What you might think of as being a subject of love, lust or desire isn’t very predictable,” McGowan said.
Some say an ice cream sundae is what they lust over. Artists have fixated on subjects from salamanders to golden retrievers in this show, McGowan said.
More than 60 artists are involved, and each submitted at least one piece, some as many as 15 small ones. Not all will be hung at the same time, though. Buyers can take their piece home right away. Normally, featured work stays in the gallery until the exhibit is over.
When a piece is sold, another will be hung in “Love, Lust & Desire.” The show won’t be the same every time you visit, McGowan said.
Asked about her favorites, McGowan mentioned scientific illustrations by Adelaide Murphy Tyrol. “They’re really lovely,” McGowan said.
Brett Davis decorated envelopes with mailboxes with thought balloons. “In an e-mail saturated world, the process of writing and mailing a letter to someone is slowly becoming less and less. It is my hope that an illustrated envelope can encourage a rebirth of the dying process of mailing a hand written love letter,” Davis wrote in a press release.
In the struggling economy, this is also a great way to support local artists, McGowan said.
“When we proposed the idea of the show, the artists were thrilled,” McGowan said. They had fun with the theme, and it gives them an opportunity to display works that might not have had an opportunity to sell through a gallery otherwise, McGowan said.
“Love, Lust & Desire” runs from Jan. 27 to Feb. 14, with a reception to meet the artists Friday, Jan. 30, from 5 to 7 p.m. (snow date Feb. 6).
McGowan Fine Art is at 10 Hills Ave. in Concord (225-2515, www.mcgowanfineart.com.) It’s open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Tuesday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and by appointment.