Richard Fox, senior lecturer in art and art history at the University of New Hampshire (UNH), says that when one is doing artistic work, one gets too close to it to judge it. The paintings that he chose to display in an exhibit in the Museum of Art in the Paul Creative
Arts Center were paintings that Fox was unsure how to judge the quality of because of how new they still are.

“Having the opportunity to put them up on the wall and publicly see how they look, it helps a lot to be able to see what’s working and what’s not,” Fox said. “It is a gift. And to also have a space like this that is not about commodity, it’s more pure and idealistic and [is] about the ideas and the process which is becoming [more difficult] to
find.”

The exhibit that Fox displayed these new paintings in is one that displays
works created by teachers from the Department of Art and Art History. According to the UNH College of Liberal Arts webpage, the exhibit reveals the breadth and range of the department’s studio art program. Fox was one of three featured  artists and professors from the univer sity who spoke in the exhibit this past Wednesday for an artist talk in conjunc tion with the exhibit Artists Revealed: 2018 Studio Art Faculty Review. The
other two speakers included Jennifer Moses, a professor of art and chair of the Art and Art History Department, as well as Michael Cardinali, a lecturer in art and art history. The event went from 12:10 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Moses, the first of the three speakers, has been exhibiting since1986 in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and is currently represented by the Kingston Gallery in Boston where she has had four major solo exhibitions.

“Whenever anyone finds out I’m an artist, they say ‘What kind of work do you do?’ And [I might answer] I do cartoon-y abstraction,” she said. “Yesterday when I was thinking about this, I was like, ‘What does that mean?’ What it means to me is that I build a sort of vocabulary… that [is] kind of animated, the color kind of pops, hopefully they might allude to some kind of story… they have a sense of humor, too which I kind of associate with cartoon.”

The biggest foundation of Moses’ work is the influence of pre-Renaissance panel painting. She sees those as the cartoons of the time because they told stories. She particularly likes them because they tell quirky and strange stories about martyred
saints, mostly female, that give her a sense of a “remarkable way of storytelling.”
Eventually, if she hasn’t already achieved it, Moses said that she would like her work to evoke both pathos and humor.

After about ten minutes, Cardinali took his turn to speak about his photographic
art and inspirations. He is exhibited across the United States and internationally, has been recently awarded a 2018 residency at the Vermont Studio Center and teaches photography classes at UNH.

Michael Cardinali looks at his photographs

The work Cardinali had been making for the last several years mostly dealt with landscape in and around Boston, but when he went to Vermont for his aforementioned residency this past May, he wasn’t sure what he was
going to do, but knew he wanted to do something that was different from his
previous work.

What Cardinali ended up doing was working with the landscape in a different way by dislocating pieces of the landscape around him and having it “do some thing on its own.” He described his work as distilling something from the outdoors and bringing it indoors.

Much of Cardinali’s work featured dandelion and other small plants, photographed close up. In one photo, stalks of plants were photographed in a way to make them look like a landscape of trees, when in reality small plants had been captured close up on a
piece of black, velvety material to avoid reflections of light.

Fox concluded the talk by speaking about his fea tured paintings in the exhibit. Fox studied with George Nick, a longtime realist painter and mentor to many art majors in New England. Fox focuses on teaching painting and drawing at UNH.

Fox immediately thanked those who put togethethe exhibit and commended them for doing a great job and spending so many hours putting it together. Much of the work displayed in Fox’s section of the ex hibit was work that he created while in and on the way to New Mexico. Fox said that last year he packed up his car and drove out to the state while painting along the way.

“It is surprising when you’re out in a landscape and you’re still grappling with yourself and the issues and the preoccupations you had before,” he said. “But the colors in New Mexico and the space there is like [being on] a different planet every five hours and the relationship to space was overwhelming and exciting, and the colors were amazing to me, and they were so new and challenging.”

Richard Fox speaks to the audience / Photo Adrienne Perron

Shannon Cahalane, a sophomore studio art major, said that the exhibit and art talk provided a good opportunity for her and other students to hear from their university mentors about their experiences creating art. “I feel like when you’re in class, you learn very fundamental stuff,” she said. ‘You don’t really get to experience [professors] and their work on this level, it’s really eye opening to get to know them as an artist outside of a classroom setting.”

The next talk in the series will occur next Wednes day at the same time and place, and another will occur on Dec. 5. Other featured artists and professors include Sachiko Akiyama, Jamie Bowman, Bradley Castellanos, Brian Chu, Grant Drumheller, Julee Holcombe, Don Williams, Leah Woods and Liese Zahabi.