Print This Issue

“Open Space” by Mary Powers Holt Through December 10 at Burrison

November 9, 2010, Volume 57, No. 11


Escape, acrylic on linen; 30"x 40," 2009, by Mary Powers Holt, at the Burrison Gallery.

An opening reception will be held at the Burrison Gallery on November 11, from 4 to 6 p.m. for Open Space, the exhibition of Mary Powers Holt’s recent work. It is about the dramatic and emotional impact of the landscape and the use of natural scenery as an abstract composition. Through her paintings she focuses on a scene and wants the viewer to feel they have stumbled onto something that may never look the same again, meaning that the time of day, patterns and colors will not be repeated. Her imagery and handling of paint is expressionistic and personal within this framework. When she is hiking, the landscape around her becomes a launching point for her imagination and walking through a form of meditation. She takes photographs to freeze images and then takes them back to her studio to recall and interpret while she is painting. She sometimes paints on site.

Her sense of the landscape and the environment is that unless it is preserved it gradually disappears. The pace of development in the area of Pennsylvania where she lives has been so rapid that parts of it are unrecognizable from what it looked like five years ago. The subject of Open Space Preservation has been a highly charged political issue for many years now.

She paints primarily using acrylics on linen or canvas and she studied at the PA Academy of the Fine Arts. She received a four-year certificate in fine arts in 1983 from the Academy and she was awarded the J. Henry Schiedt Traveling Scholarship for work shown in the 1983 student annual. She later studied art history at the University of Pennsylvania through the joint BFA Academy Certificate program and she received her degree from Penn in 1989.

Her home and studio are in Chester Springs. She has shown her work in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs, New York, and New Jersey as well as in South Korea. Her work is on line at www.marypowersholt.com and on Inliquid.com.


Almanac - November 9, 2010, Volume 57, No. 11