August 4, 2021

“Pieces and Places” Exhibit At Stover Mill Gallery

“PATTERSON FARM AUTUMN”: This oil painting by Ilene Rubin is featured in “Pieces and Places of Bucks County,” on view August 28 through September 26 at the Stover Mill Gallery in Erwinna, Pa. 

Two Bucks County artists — Ilene Rubin, a painter of places and things related to the bucolic surrounding environs, and Kathleen McSherry, a sculptor who utilizes unique and locally found elements — will present “Pieces and Places of Bucks County” at the Stover Mill Gallery on weekends beginning August 28 and running through September 26.

Rubin is a self-taught artist who has lived in Elkins Park, Pa.; Thousand Oaks, Calif.; Boulder, Colo.; and now calls Doylestown, Pa. home. She has received numerous awards, including the Ty Hodanish award for oil painting in the Artsbridge 2021 Member Show in March 2021, and is also a published author of two novels. She is a participating artist in the 2021 Bucks County Chamber of Commerce Virtual Studio Artist Tour and was the featured artist in Bucks County Magazine in June 2021. She is a member of most Bucks County Art organizations and previously served as vice president of the New Hope Art League. She is currently the artist of Bristol chair of the Art Show at the Lower Bucks Hospital. 

“I’m an artist who feels very strongly about the emotional and instinctive force which drives the creative process,” said Rubin. “I want to feel that a location or object must be explored. That exploration creates a reality on canvas and makes it real. That sense that I must document it is urgent and required or I will not rest until I have conveyed everything about it. It is organic and ever evolving, but unless my painting can reveal the artist in the art while at the same time be an inner mirror for a viewer, it’s merely a rendering of color and form but not stirring.”

“I strive to reveal what is below the paint, an invitation to walk in and look around,” she continued. “Then I know I have captured a moment in time. It may not be what is seen outside your window or on your table in perfect clarity, and maybe it is really only sensed, but if it made a viewer consider its innate beauty, then I feel I have conveyed something about me that they did not realize until seeing my paintings. My greatest joy is when someone looks at my paintings all together in an arrangement on the wall and then looks at me differently. That’s a wonderful moment and I never tire of it. For me that is the creative process, driven by an instinct of what is compelling vs. merely ordinary. My job is to understand that capturing the ordinary can reveal the compelling.”

“PEACE OFFERING”: This work by sculptor Kathleen McSherry is part of “Pieces and Places of Bucks County,” on view August 28 through September 26 at the Stover Mill Gallery in Erwinna, Pa. 

McSherry has a longstanding appreciation for the abandoned and obscure. Her approach to sculpture can be described as archaeological. Her work references multiple strata of American culture, refusing to be tethered to a singular aesthetic. Her choice of composition and media are benefited through their familiarity, giving the chimeric aspects of her sculpture a sense of uncanniness, yet wonder. This observational quality in McSherry’s work is self-evident; her media is as much the refuse of modern culture as it is the thematic components of our everyday lives.

McSherry’s unique deconstructive techniques elevate the mundane and forgotten, rather than focusing on the traditionally beautiful. The act of freely altering and misusing the intended purposes of her media allows her a wide range in the field of irony. Deforming the personified and anthropomorphizing the lifeless gives even the most unsettling of her sculptures an almost religious quality, no doubt influenced by the religious tropes McSherry references. In this regard, her sculptures serve as altars to alteration and the art of assemblage, where the bodily remains of a child’s doll could just as well be reused for their inherently unnerving attributes as for their aspiration towards the ideal.

The Stover Mill Gallery, sponsored by the Tinicum Civic Association, is located at 852 River Road in Erwinna, Pa. Gallery hours are 1-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Mid-week viewings are available by appointment. All are is for sale. For more information, contact Stover Mill Gallery at (610) 294-9420.