LEWISTON – Visitors to L/A Arts’ Gallery 5 will be greeted with three large contemporary figurative works of art that have an almost brooding quality. They are the creations of Paul Davies, one of 27 artists exhibiting in the newest exhibit, “Figures and Portraits,” which opens Saturday, March 14. An opening reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at the 49 Lisbon St. gallery.

Davies, born and educated in England, now resides in Maine and has had work accepted for previous Gallery 5 exhibits. He was, in fact, the inspiration for the “Figures and Portraits “exhibit.

“I was introduced to Paul and his work when we first opened with the MPBN art show,” said Gallery 5 curator Tammie Grieshaber. “I was so moved by the emotion his paintings evoke that I wanted to do an entire exhibit of figurative images. Since Gallery 5 tries to offer a broad selection of work in each exhibit, we expanded the theme to include portraiture as well as figures.”

Also featured in the exhibit are eight reproductions of old masters’ work by Auburn artist, Michael Ranucci and several of his students. “Artists study and copy works of the old masters in order to understand the use of the traditional materials, techniques and principles of oil painting. They learn the important concepts of massing of tonal values, planning light and dark values, selective focus and the technique of layering,” explained Ranucci. “Used together, these make a luminous painting.”

Ranucci’s old masters’ style and palette are well-known. Elizabeth Coburn, Garrick Grant, Scott Hunter and Melisande Lopez have studied with him and have contributed to this exhibit.

Jennifer Wadsworth, new to Gallery 5, was the curator of the former Turner Center of the Arts. Her contemporary/abstract figure paintings in earth tones elicit the feel of Mother Earth and are a contrast to traditional figurative work.

In a different interpretation of figurative work, Macintosh and Tuttle, cabinet and furniture designers, return to the gallery with a unique cherry coffeetable.

Other artists new to L/A Arts Gallery 5 are Anita Clearfield, William Cox, Hillary Eaton, Joe Klofas, Geoff Leighton and Mik Morrisey.

Returning artists are Jenni Barron, Stephanie Berry, Kelly Christopher, Chris Church, John Matt Dorn, Anastasia Gatto, Steven Langerman, Martha Lentz, Arla Patch and Debra Trafton.

Judith Barker, Kathryn Beausang and Mary Pongonis also return as Gallery 5’s featured jewelry artists.

“Figures and Portraits” will be up through April 25. Gallery hours are 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and by appointment by calling Tammie Grieshaber at 576-4805.

Artist talk

Arla Patch, artist, teacher, writer and workshop leader who uses art as a tool for healing, will give an artist talk from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 20. Her images in “Figures and Portraits” serve as visual metaphors for the connection between nature and our bodies.

Reservations are recommended. Gallery 5 is at 49 Lisbon St. For more information, call 782-7228 or log on to www.laarts.org.

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