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Meet The Artists of Girard

Christine Vaillancourt

The imagery in Christine Vaillancourt’s paintings is inspired by contemporary industrial urban design and architecture, but also influenced by the patterns and designs of the 1950s, the period of her childhood in Detroit, Michigan. Christine’s paintings have the look and feel of encaustic without the fragility. After much experimentation over several years, she developed a technique of manipulating acrylic gel mediums to look like encaustic. As part of the process, she applies multiple translucent layers trapping the geometric shapes beneath and allowing some shapes to pop the surface. The result is an implied and actual depth. Her paintings are in private and corporate collections in the United States and Canada. Her work is represented by Lanoue Gallery in Boston, Nikola Rukaj Gallery in Toronto, Andrea Schwartz Gallery in San Francisco, Alan Avery Company in Atlanta, and Dean Day Gallery in Houston. Christine’s studio in the Fort Point neighborhood of Boston.
Carole Allen

Carole Allen is graphic designer, surface designer, and potter. Early in her career she worked with Polaroid film, exhibiting SX-70 and 8x10 images at Polaroid, and as a founding member of the original co-op Gallery Naga. For the past twenty years she has focused on ceramics, studying with the late Makoto Yabe, and Lisa Dolliver of Earth Changes Pottery in Maynard Massachusetts. After a long career as a freelance designer and art director in educational publishing, Carole is now involved in combining her two passions, graphics and crafts, through a new focus on surface design, applying her bold, nature-inspired graphic sensibility to both three-dimensional clay vessels and two-dimensional silkscreened fabrics. She works from her home and studio in the Westinghouse Lofts complex in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Boston.
Stoltze Design

Founded by Clifford Stoltze in 1984, Stoltze Design is a print and interactive design studio delivering innovative solutions for a wide variety of business, education, and non-profit clients. The firm applies a collaborative process, informed by research and leveraging the diverse skills of its team, to deliver original and effective design solutions that are carefully planned and exceptionally well executed. Stoltze Design’s work aims to delight the eye, engage the mind, and reward the viewer’s interest. Honored by such prestigious organizations as AIGA, the Type Directors Club, Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Graphis, and the Society of Publication Designers, the firm’s work succeeds both in terms of aesthetics and in its ability to communicate effectively. Stoltze Design developed all visual aspects of the Girard brand. They work from a studio at the Midway Artists Studio building in Boston’s historic Fort Point neighborhood.
Robert Baart

Robert Baart is a New England painter whose work represents a very personal relationship to the landscape, and his concerns about the state of the earth’s environment. His paintings hover between realism and abstraction, and embody a language of color, texture, light and atmosphere, providing the viewer with a point of contemplative departure. Now retired as an arts educator, he has received numerous accolades throughout his almost five decades of teaching and painting. His paintings are represented in dozens of private and corporate collections all over the world. Originally from Lowell, Massachusetts, Robert’s studio is located in Boston’s historic Fenway Studios building. He is represented by M Fine Arts Galerie in Boston’s SOWA district.
Michelle A. Brown

Michelle Brown is a painter whose work relates powerfully to her passionate interest in literature. Her current cycle of work called “Literature of the Non-Word,” consists of diptychs representing an intentional shift away from a single image, seeking to evoke an open book, or the two hemispheres of the brain. The image could stand in for a word, strung on a line, arranged like sentences on a page. Past, present and future condense to reflect the challenges of the digital overload on our collective mind. Her interest is in using multiple images that culminate in lyrical verse rather than prose narrative. She works intuitively by way of an additive process, with little editing, toward the totality of the painting’s surface and over-all design of rhythm and color. Michelle has exhibited widely, and her work is found in private collections throughout the United States and in Germany, England, and Ireland. She works from her studio in the Joshua Bates Art Center in Boston’s South End neighborhood.
Jesus Mattheus

Jesus Mattheus is a painter and printmaker, originally from Caracas, Venezuela who studied art in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Caracas prior to launching his career as an arts educator and visual artist. Prior to moving to the Boston area, Jesus taught printmaking and drawing at the Universidad Nacional Experimental de las Artes in Caracas, where he received his BFA. Influenced by modern Latin American artists such as Joaquín Torres-García and Wifredo Lam, as well as by indigenous and pre-Columbian craft and folk art, Jesus executes geometric, minimalist pieces that maintain the warmth and richness of its historical foundations and becomes almost archeological in character. His works on canvas and paper are bold and memorable, exploring line, shape, scale, balance, and color. He has exhibited extensively in South and North America and in Europe. His work is found in several public and private collections in Europe, Latin America and the United States. His work is represented by Cecilia De Torres, Ltd. In New York and by the Beatriz Gil Gallery in Caracas. He works from his studio at the Joshua Bates Art Center in the South End.
Jeffrey Heyne

Cloud Series statement: “Over a two week period in the summer of 2013 hot and humid weather conditions over Boston created large, violent and quickly moving thunderstorms. I tried to capture this visual violence with my camera while dodging between episodes of hail, rain, and lighting. While processing the images later on my computer, I kept shifting the color balance, and the more I pushed and altered the colors, the same primordial sense that overcame me on the roof started to resonate with me, tapping into an atavistic feeling of pre-language.” Jeffrey Heyne has exhibited his photography for more than twenty five years throughout the country and is represented in the collections of the Boston Public Library, Fidelity Investments, Boston Properties, Marriott Inns, and Compaq Computers. His work is represented by NK Gallery and 555 Gallery in Boston. He makes his home and studio in the Fort Point neighborhood of Boston. and @jeffrey_heyne
Greg Norstrom

Greg Norstom is a photographer that manipulates his analog and digital images through a wide variety of techniques. Often based on self-portraits, Greg’s work explores the richness and power of repetition, transformation, and unique perspectives. Now working from his Thayer Street studio in the SOWA district of Boston’s South End, Greg lets his work speak for itself, an approach represented by his webpage statement: Hi, I’m Greg Norstrom (no, not like the department store.) I live in Boston. I grew up outside of Hartford. I like to take pictures, surf, and I have a pet parrot. I love working with my hands and I love working on my feet. A desk job is not for me. Greg represents his own work.
Elena Du Plessis

Born in Lima, Peru, Elena du Plessis is an expressionist painter whose work revolves around the circle, specifically organic cyclical movements, intertwined with gestures that seek balance towards a state of equanimity. She references nest, dream catchers, pods and flowers generally at the end of their cycle, twisted and drying, trying to convey the fine line between what has been and what is being born. Her paintings and drawings have many transparent layers that allow the viewer’s eye to travel along the lines and textures and experience the raw energy she puts in by manipulating the various materials. The work is physically moved from the wall to the floor and back again where the initial mark, a heavy charcoal line, or sweep of Sumi ink comes from the core of her body... where then she incorporates some rubbing, scraping and pasting that brings change to the form. Elena’s works on paper and canvas have been exhibited throughout the country. She works from a studio on Thayer Street in the SOWA district of Boston’s South End.
Charyl Weissbach

In her works in encaustic and on metal, Charyl Weissbach explores nature’s vastness, movement, and distinguished beauty, elements she believes emit an aesthetic sensation of harmony, the illusion of timelessness, and feelings of inspiration that transcend time and space. The imagery in her work does not accurately represent nature, rather she attempts to unveil and abstraction of its character, capturing some of its infinite variations of ethereal beauty. She has exhibited widely throughout the eastern United States since obtaining her MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 1985, and is featured in many publications on encaustic art. Her work is found in many private and corporate collections. She currently works from her studio on Thayer Street in Boston’s SOWA district.
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