Art at Arabica: Gay Freeborn, Liese Gauthier and Sally Jo Pollard

Posted by Christopher McClure on

Currently we have art from three New England-based artists in our stores. If you haven't had a chance to stop in and see the artwork, it's a pretty good excuse to visit! But if you have seen it, you might be wondering a little about the artists.

The large oil paintings of animals at both locations are by Gay Freeborn. Freeborn comes from an artistic background, and considers herself lucky to not only have a family that was both interested in and supportive of the arts, but also a high school with an exceptional art program. After graduating from Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, Freeborn went into a career of interior and landscape design, while still painting and taking classes on the side.

Freeborn is deeply interested in capturing the relationship between the owner and the animal, the physical and emotional likeness of the creatures, and bringing forth each unique personality. Her technical prowess accurately depicts motion and body language in a way that fosters a connection between the animals and the viewer that any pet owner will recognize. In her own words:

 I try to capture the emotions, the movement and shape of the animals more than the actual photographic image and use oils and other mediums on canvas to do this. I use sweeping brushstrokes as well as pallet knifing, always searching for a technique suited to my mood and what I would like to convey. It’s the aura of man’s best friend, those devoted animals we keep close to our hearts, that I want to present to the viewer.

You can find Liese Gauthier's miniature paintings at Arabica on Free. Gauthier's paintings are tiny little windows into the New England landscape, tried glances of landscape, fauna and foliage that you may see on a walk in the woods, on your drive home or sitting on a porch, staring out into the world. Part of the process for Gauthier is capturing her delight in the world and translating for everyone to see. The focus is the calm delight that nature brings, a kind of peace and joy that Gauthier carries through all of her work:

And so I paint- sipping tea at an old wooden desk, or outside on a warm spring day. Small brushes, tiny piles of paint, pieces of gessoed hardboard that I can hold in my hand. It is quiet. My brush traces the ridge of a distant mountain. An old blue shirt splattered with color keeps me warm. I paint.

Sally Jo Pollard's art is on display at Arabica on Commercial. All of Pollard's work is made with repurposed or sustainably sourced materials. She creates a range of mixed media and photography.

Fueled by years of interest in shore birds, back yard birds and raptors, as well as coming from a family of birdwatchers, her work has recently expanded to include bird sculptures comprised of stone, metal and wood. Her sculptures are intended to capture the essence of our favorite avian personalities with abstract simplicity, and some of these are on display at Arabica on Commercial. Some of her other sculpture works include bird feeders and planters, as well as other 'garden art' sculptures, and a series of heart-rock creations that are based on years of hiking and enjoying the White Mountains in New Hampshire. As for her photography:

All of my images are intended to reach beyond aesthetics and evoke metaphors for human experience. It is my goal for viewers to identify with my images on the level of soul... communicating, connecting, and bonding with your fellow man on a deeply meaningful level.

We hope you enjoyed learning about the artists who have created the art on our walls! Keep an eye out for future posts about upcoming exhibits.

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