Unabashed Gratitude

Julie Shelton Smith, A Sprightly Dance, 36 x 36 inches, oil on canvas, 2017


Unabashed Gratitude
Four Eleven Gallery, 15-28 September 2017

Opening: Saturday, 16 September 2017, 7-9 PM

Four Eleven Gallery • 411 Commercial Street • Provincetown MA

Contact: Pete Hocking, 401-272-7248, phocking@gmail.com

Four Eleven Gallery presents Unabashed Gratitude: Paintings by Seven Provincetown Painters, including Matthew Capaldo, Liz Carney, Janie Evers, Helen Grimm, Pete Hocking, Laura Shabott, and Julie Smith. The works presented in Unabashed Gratitude invite viewers to consider how artistic engagement with Provincetown’s landscapes—whether they emerge from Thoreau’s wild rank places, the tranquility of cut flowers on a kitchen table, or the town’s splendid gardens—alter perception of time.


For poet Ross Gay, gardens mirror life’s processes, essential impermanence, and perhaps most importantly draw us into deep reflection. In an interview with PBS in 2016, asked about the connection he sees between his three passions, poetry, gardening and basketball, Gay replied:

“I guess you could say that I think all three things alter our notion of time. There’s something about beautiful moments in sports that alters our experience of time. And I’d say the same thing about poetry and gardening. Gardening slows me down. I want to stop and observe everything.”

Extending Gay’s thinking on the relationship of art and time, and drawing from imagery in his poem, “Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude,” this show holds space for the many ways painters enter, reflect, and create “gardens” of meaning and gratitude.

In Smith’s floral paintings, viewers are called to consider how the domestic impulse to capture nature has the effect of wilding our interior spaces and interior lives. The bold searching within Shabott’s landscapes remind us that the artist’s inquiry is a process of developing visual language that mirrors, but never replicates, the natural world. Capaldo’s gardens point to the parallel between the structures within formal gardens and the human psyche. The abundance of Evers and Carney’s floral paintings hold the ephemeral moments of our short, intense season. And finally, the landscape paintings of Grimm and Hocking bring us into dialogue with the uncultivated, often ferocious environs at town’s edge. For all these local painters, acts of observation, seeing, and composition are also acts of celebration. And the gratitude they inscribe on canvas and panel invites us to consider our own place in time and abundance.

Unabashed Gratitude runs at Four Eleven Gallery from 15-28 September 2017 with an opening on Saturday, 16 September.

Four Eleven Gallery is an exhibition space for emerging and mid career artists from Provincetown and beyond. Four Eleven Gallery also provides a new platform for guest curated group shows.  https://www.fourelevengallery.com/

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