MARK BECK & MARCIA BURTT
Alive with Color
In the paintings of Mark Beck and Marcia Burtt, viewers may initially be pulled in through their uses of strong and full color palettes and then struck by the scenes that play out before them. From July 14 to 27, the Gallery at Tree’s Place in Orleans, Massachusetts, will present a two-artist exhibition featuring Beck’s and Burtt’s newest pieces. For the show, titled Alive with Color, both will present work focused on water, but in vastly different interpretations.
Burtt’s paintings are landscapes of the water’s edge. They range from rivers and oceans to estuaries and canals, allowing her to explore the architectural and natural surroundings as well. Beck emphasizes water as a symbol for social and political issues. His paintings are filled with imagery and titles that spur conversations that may oftentimes be considered taboo.
When creating a work, Burtt explores a full range of colors. She says, “I like all of the colors that one has available now because if you don’t have them on your palette, you don’t see them.” This has allowed her to take notice of the small subtleties and color changes that can happen in
varying lights and shadows as she works.
Among her pieces for the show is Arrival, of Pismo Beach, California, where figures are running out and wading in the water. The terrain there, she has found, is similar to Cape Cod beaches where there is a gradual shelf of sand. “I’m in California, so mostly I paint on the Santa Barbara channel, which has a steep slope. It falls off and is a deep trough. You get one or two big waves coming in, and that’s all you see,” she says. “I went to a place on the central California coast called Pismo Beach, and it has that very gradual shelf and a kid can run out safely. The waves rush to the shore and kids race right in because it’s a beautiful, gradual shelf.”
In his group of paintings, Beck says, “I use the water was a visual unifier to discuss issues that I don’t personally see discussed as much as I think they should be. They are slavery, the treatment of black America by white America for over four centuries now, empire and global warming…It’s using water to try to address those things without hitting one over the head.”
In Empire Revival, a red couch with a fabric in the Empire Revival design style sinks into the water below, while in There Goes the Neighborhood, a house plummets down a waterfall. The pieces are the artist’s commentary on the current times.
From 5 to 7 p.m. on opening day, July 14, the gallery will host a reception for the show.
The Gallery at Tree’s Place 60 Route 6A
Orleans MA 02653 • (508) 255-1330 • www.treesplace.com
There Goes the Neighborhood, oil on canvas, 24 x 36"
Marcia Burtt, Arrival, acrylic on panel, 24 x 24"
Marcia Burtt, Canal at Salleles d’Aude, acrylic on panel, 9 x 20"
Empire Revival, oil on canvas, 20 x 30"