Hippo Manchester
November 24, 2005

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Arts: East Colony Fine Art has gone jazz

New exhibit focuses on ‘The Color of Jazz’

By Bill Copeland  news@hippopress.com

“The Color Of Jazz” required all of the member artists at the member-run gallery to work hard over the last several months to create a painting with a jazz related theme. Each of the 22 artists has submitted an artwork interpreting jazz. The exhibit runs through Nov. 27.

When asked what it means for jazz to have color, gallery director Dale Begley said “That was up to each artist to interpret.”

East Colony members attempt to fit their creative process into a different theme throughout the year. “We do two or three themes a year to challenge ourselves to come up with new approaches to painting,” Begley said. “So we’re not stuck in a rut doing the same type of things. We kick around different ideas between members, and we vote on something we all think we’d like to work on.”

The work is hard but rewarding to the artists. “Typically, the artists find the theme pieces quite challenging sometimes,” Begley explained, “and then they’re always happy at the end when they push themselves in a new direction.”

Featured artists Jane Romps and Mary Walker, whose artwork is displayed regularly, have also contributed to this new exhibit. “They’re featured artists, and so we’re featuring all their work, but they are also part of the exhibit. So they are also working on jazz pieces.”

Begley expects to draw attention from musicians as well as the arts crowd.  She said art lovers and music lovers should have no preconceptions of what they are going to view at the Color Of Jazz exhibit. The artists had the creative freedom to interpret the theme any way they chose. Begley assures it will not be limited to just pictures of musicians with their instruments.

“It’s a very diverse group of subjects,” she said. “It could be an interpretation of just an instrument. On my piece for example, I’ve painted three cute cavalier King Charles Spaniels on a piano. One is looking at a sheet of music. This piece is called ‘The Entertainers’ and the sheet of music on the piano is ‘The Entertainer.’ It has a little bit of a comical element to it.”

“You get a little glimpse of this and that,” artist Jane Romp said. “It’s amazing how some people go toward the abstract and hook on to the instruments, and some people did people with the instruments, so you have the figure in their.”

Romp painted a piece she calls “Take The A Train,” named for a Duke Ellington song.  “I’m from New York, so that hits me. So mine might be a little different from the others. With the train I worked in the musical notes. It’s my interpretation of what comes to mind when I think of jazz. I think of the ’30s and Harlem.” 

East Colony operates as a  private sector for profit business. Works are sold to the public. Each artist does his or her own thing voluntarily.

Open Wednesday through Sunday, East Colony Fine Art is located at Langer Place, 55 Commercial Street, Manchester. For more information, call East Colony at 621-7400.