Trio of artists exhibits at Framingham State

 By Chris Bergeron/DAILY NEWS STAFF

GHS

Posted Dec 08, 2008 @ 07:39 PM

 FRAMINGHAM

As director of the Mazmanian Art Gallery in Framingham State College, Assistant Professor Tim McDonald wants to send visitors on a visual journey with three very different painters.

Viewing the current exhibit, visitors will walk from a city street into the sunlit interior of a house and settle into the silent stillness of a single room.

Along the way, McDonald hopes visitors will discover how a trio of artists including one from Framingham and one from Natick use "their powers of observation" in deeply personal ways.

Featuring 19 paintings, this mid-sized exhibit titled "streetroomobject," showcases striking works by David Wells Roth of Framingham, Carole Rabe of Natick and Gwen Strahle, a Connecticut resident who teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design.

"My mandate at the gallery is to show contemporary work created over the last few years," said McDonald. "They're all working artists, local or regional, who are all dedicated to making their art grow."

McDonald said he decided to show these artists' paintings together after discovering certain common approaches in their work following a call for submissions to local and regional painters.

"After seeing their work, I thought they were deserving of a show," he said.

McDonald said the exhibit's title reflects the trios' focus in this show.

Roth paints moody street scenes in a broadly realistic style. Rabe aims to capture the dance of light in rooms in her home. And Strahle creates still lifes that pull the rug out of under commonplace perceptions.

The three midcareer artists have followed divergent paths in pursuit of their muse.

Raised in Sudbury, Roth studied painting at Boston University and sold his art on New York streets before moving to Paris, France, where he spent 15 years pursuing the elusive nature of light. Now living in Framingham, he paints out of the Fountain Street studios.

After studying painting at Boston University and two-dimensional art at the University of Hartford, Rabe has shown her work in more than 20 exhibits. She has taught art at several colleges and serves presently as assistant professor of visual arts at Pine Manor College.

McDonald described Strahle as "very contemporary and someone who'll challenge peoples' perceptions." She earned a Guggenhein Fellowship in 2000 and presently teaches at RISD.

The show runs through Dec. 12 in the Mazmanian Gallery in Justin McCarthy Hall on State Street, Framingham. Admission is free. For information, call 508-620-1220.