Arts & Culture

The Paths of Trees: A Spotlight on Local Artwork

Rick $ Laura Brown's "Namassakeesett" at MassArt


On view now at MassArt’s Bakalar and Paine Galleries is a show called Selections, featuring work by new or freshly returning teachers of the college. An abundance of media is showcased, as multiple sounds, moving images, and designs fill the first floor. The second floor, though equally diverse, is unified by a single artwork spanning the diagonal length of the room.

This piece is Rick and Laura Brown’s Namassakeesett from a series called One Tree Works. Its name is the Wompanoag word for “place of much fish,” referring to the mouth of the North River, on the banks of which this lumber was sourced. The idea of a river’s flow is appropriate to how this work creates a definite flow to the way a viewer experiences the gallery as a whole.


This enormous sculpture appears as if a tree trunk has unfolded across the floor, taking steps, up and down. The form is reminiscent of the water referenced in its title, though ridged, milled lumber and handmade hardware recall constructivist form. Hard, angular cuts into sap-leaking tree trunks act as grounding points for latticed lumber to travel a geometric path, unraveling the trunk, introducing light and shadow into an otherwise completely solid form.


^^^look at that handmade hardware! **ugghhpphhh**^^^


Viewers are invited to walk through part of the sculpture as they enter the gallery. The smell of pine overwhelms you as you approach and interact with its arching form. Art Attack will be following up with an interview of Rick and Laura Brown about the abundance on their other wood based projects.
Selections is open now through March 5th, there is plenty of time to view this work and the twenty other artists being featured.

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