Exhibition: Artist of the Month - Zig Mantell

Throughout December, Gallery on Main's "Artist of the Month" series features an exhibition of digital collage works by Zig Mantell.

Meet the artist at a free opening reception at Gallery on Main on Saturday, December 2 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

Artist and musician Zig Mantell has explored many art forms throughout his life, from pencils, photography and painting to piano. There are many facets to his works that do not fit neatly into a single category, and many layers to his visual and musical creations.

In 1990, after a 20-year period of painting large oils and pencil works, Zig spent time working primarily on musical composition and performing his piano works, recording two CDs in the process — all while maintaining his industrial career.

round 1994 when he returned to visual arts, it was to use photography as a means of exploring the concepts of collage. Then, in early 2000 everything went digital and Zig began using a Mac computer, not only to record and produce music, but also to use Adobe Photoshop with his digital camera. Mantell says, “This changed the way I approached all my creative projects in a very dramatic way,” and he began a new phase of artistic development.

Mantell explains, “Whether it's music or visual, my work has always been improvisatory. The randomness and momentary connections we make are the most interesting. Dreams we have exhibit that randomness the same way being in a public space among others can. We have always wanted to interpret those dreams as meaningful. I marvel at the environments we have made for ourselves all over the world.”

He continues, “I use my camera to record the iconic material we surround ourselves with. It all represents our collective aspirations and dreams through the personal act. I look for the essence of our environment and how we live in it. I think of it as a study with no end.”

Regarding his current preferred medium, Mantell says, “My use of Photoshop instead of any other means of expression may only be temporary. My urge to paint is ongoing, even now. And it is probably why I like to turn my photos into paintings.”

Artist of the Month exhibition: Conny Jasper

Throughout November, Gallery on Main's "Artist of the Month" series of exhibitions features a selection of photographs, as well as a recent pastel drawing, by Conny Jasper of Somerset.

Meet the artist at a free opening reception at Gallery on Main on Saturday, November 4 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Refreshments will be served, and the reception features live music by guitarist and banjo player Edmund Baranowski.

Says Jasper, “Life is an adventure and inspiration is everywhere. I enjoy working with the various media and exploring the way each one contributes to the development of a piece. For me, art is a reflection of both natural and human-made elements and the interaction of the two. There tends to be a component of similar themes that connects each piece, as I include a sense of flow and an abstract expression of the world. I am a visionary looking beyond the external appearances of life and highlighting this experience. My art is a dream made concrete.”

Find of the Week: Antique "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" print, framed

Antique theatrical lithograph poster promoting performances of the play "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," starring actor Thomas E. Shea.  Printed by Miner Lithography, ca. 1910's. Logo on print is the Miner Lithography logo the company used from 1916 through 1922. Poster is in fair condition. Newly custom framed with all acid-free and archival materials, including True Vue Conservation Clear U.V. glass. Ready to hang.

American director and dramatic actor Thomas E. Shea (1861-1940) was best known for the 1914 silent film "The Man o' Warsman."

To learn more about this piece and see additional photos, visit our Etsy shop or come see it in person at Gallery on Main.

Find of the Week: Victorian revival art deco vanity table and chest with drawers

Two very special finds at once! We're in love with these gorgeous pieces, which feature lovely curvilinear details and striking use of contrasting wood grains. Ca. 1930-1940. Available individually or as a set.

Stop in and see these beauties at Gallery on Main today, before someone else takes them home!

Artist of the Month exhibition extended through October: "Look Again: Photography and Artwork by Dana E. Benner"

Throughout September and October, Gallery on Main's "Artist of the Month" series of exhibitions features Look Again: Photography and Artwork by Dana E. Benner.

Says Dana, "I have been a photographer for most of my life. As the daughter of a photographer, I grew up with a camera in my hand at an early age. However, it wasn't until college and after graduation that I pursued photography as a career. I enjoy capturing the scenery of the beautiful places I visit along with the serendipitous moments that appear all around us."

She continues, "Over the past few months as I prepared this new body of work for my exhibition, I took the time to slow down and really look at the beauty that surrounds each of us always. This selection of my photography focuses on the sublime and often subtle beauty and grace found in many things forgotten or left to ruin. Have you ever stopped long enough to observe nature's palette in the lush ivy draped across an old stone wall, or the crackling paint on a car from decades ago? Do you see color, texture, pattern and form? Do you see beyond what something is to the layers below? In this world of fast paced movement and frantic days, it's important to remind ourselves it's okay to stop and breathe.

I hope my exhibit challenges each viewer to take pause, to enjoy the gifts around you. Make and take time to see. Plentiful is the unexpected beauty. It lies in everything. Slow down and look again."

Meet Dana and see her work at a free opening reception at Gallery on Main on Saturday, September 2, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Refreshments will be served. Admission is free.

Photo: Dana E. Benner, Broken Heart. Inkjet print on archival paper, 20" x 16".

Artist of the Month exhibition: Susan Antin

Throughout August, Gallery on Main's "Artist of the Month" series of exhibitions features Susan Antin: Experiments in Acrylic — a series of paintings utilizing unusual paint processes and non-traditional tools.

Meet Susan and see her work at a free opening reception at Gallery on Main on Saturday, August 5, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Refreshments will be served. Admission is free.

Susan uses a variety of media, but primarily acrylic paint, colored pencil and ink. Her images often represent playful, childlike ideas in a surreal, abstract style. She received a B.A. in Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and an M.B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. While continuing to develop her artwork, She established a career in corporate training and marketing.

She has been represented in many exhibitions, including the Lyceum Hall Center for the Arts in Burlington, NJ, The Westmoreland Nationals, Westmoreland College, Pennsylvania; Montgomery Center for the Arts, Montgomery, NJ, Johnson & Johnson Corporate Gallery, Skillman, NJ and Williams Gallery, Princeton. She teaches art classes for The Arts Council of Princeton and in Downtown Somerville.

Susan is an Executive Board Member of Somerville's Arts on Division, and is a member of the Arts Council of Princeton, NJ; Farmstead Arts Center, Basking Ridge, NJ and The Printmaking Center of NJ, Branchburg. She spends much of her time coordinating art events and promoting artists for the local community.

Find of the Week: Mr. Quarterback Football Passer

Vintage backard game by Coleco!

In its original box, dated 1977, this automatic passing machine for one or more players is in excellent condition. Machine works great -- nothing cracked or broken.  It appears that there were screws to hold the yellow "hand" that's attached to aluminum arm; screws are missing and need to be replaced before using. A very easy fix.

The original football and spikes to anchor it into the ground are missing. Visit our Etsy shop to see more photos. Everything you see in those pictures are what's included including original instructions!

Put on your suede Pumas or Adidas sneakers (or Sears, JC Penney, or K-Mart Special knockoffs) and striped tube socks, and ride your 3-speed or 10-speed bike to Gallery on Main* -- you could be playing Mr. Quarterback in no time! Bonus points if you arrive in a 1970s Camaro or Firebird -- don't forget, Fridays are Cruise Night in Somerville!

*Sneaker, tube socks, bicycle and car not included. ;)