The Gallery at the Old Schwamb Mill features several art exhibitions held throughout the year, focusing on a variety of media and the professional work of local artists as well as on history and Mill-related topics. The Gallery is open during regular Mill hours, Tuesdays and Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm.
Now on Display in the Mill’s Gallery
“The landscape belongs to the person who looks at it.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson.
In this group show, Elissa Yanover, Maureen McCabe, Suzanne McLeod, and Patricia Crotty offer landscape-based works that reflect their varied perspectives. Looking at nature is impossible today without thinking about climate change, so this existential threat underlies the exhibit, which celebrates the beauty of the natural world.
Elissa Yanover’s paintings and prints are filled with colorful geometric forms that work together to form harmonious visions of landscape and the earth. Her “EARTH” print series offers views of the earth in space, overlaid with cloth-like shapes that obscure and seem to weigh the planet down, or perhaps to protect it.
Maureen McCabe’s abstract paintings offer both macro and micro views of nature, evoking close-up images of cells in a microscope and maps of terrain viewed from on high, as if through the window of a passing plane, at the same time. The colors and textures of her brush strokes imprint themselves on the canvas, leaving traces of movement as the spirit of nature moves through her to meet the picture plane.
Patricia Crotty’s colorful paintings and mixed-media works push the landscape toward abstraction. Her paintings and mixed-media works celebrate the beauty of nature in its varied and changing forms, mindful of the current threats but aware of the creative spirit that moves through nature and through all of us.
Suzanne McLeod’s landscape paintings evoke a gentler side of nature, where calm and peace prevail. Her colorful cloud paintings, crisscrossed with electrical lines, speak to a human presence even in the skies above, for better or for worse, and emphasize our inter-connectedness with nature and with one another.
Together, the works of the four artists buzz and shimmer, with an almost electrical current that links them to one another. The four different perspectives, seen together, create an experience that invites viewers to stop and look, to see what each artist is expressing, and how it may relate to their own perceptions of nature in our time.
LOOK: Perspectives on Nature will be on view at The Old Schwamb Mill from December 3, 2022 through March 11, 2023. The opening reception is Saturday, December 3, from 2:30-4:30, and a concert will precede the opening, from 1:30-2:30 in the concert hall downstairs from the gallery. Tickets for the concert can be reserved online at http://www.oldschwambmill.org. An Artists Discussion Panel will also take place on January 28, 2023, from 2-3 pm, followed by a reception from 3-4:30 pm.
She Did It: Women Saving History
In 1969 Patricia Fitzmaurice took a bike ride. Pedaling down Arlington’s Lowell Street, she discovered a quirky down-at-its-heels mill building. Peeking in the window, she was enchanted by a woodworking mill frozen in time with honey- colored wood, hand tools burnished from long use, and sturdy machines powered by leather belts. Told it was soon to be flattened, she rallied an intrepid cadre of backers to form the Old Schwamb Mill Trust to preserve the Old Schwamb Mill and its contents.
Pat scrabbled for money, expertise, and personnel to save the old building. Working for thirty years Patricia Fitzmaurice did a bit of everything: she gilded frames and she turned wood; she wrote grants and she gave classes. Sweating every month when the mortgage came due, Pat even corralled friends in grocery store parking lots to garner contributions. Somehow, time and again, she did it.
By the time of her untimely death in 2001, Patricia Fitzmaurice had succeeded: she had saved history. Enjoy this exhibition below. Graphic Design by Jennifer White, www.jenniferwhitegraphicdesign.com
From 1637 until the 1920s, Arlington’s Mill Brook bustled with industrial activity, ranging from grist and saw mills to large-scale manufacturing of saws, spices, wheat meal, fur clothing, wood products, and calico printing. The original source of water power from the cascading brook was gradually replaced by steam and electric power, but this fast-moving brook was a significant reason for Arlington’s early growth and development.
Informational panels, illustrated with historic photographs and maps, describe the mill owners and their businesses at nine mill sites along the brook’s three-mile course from East Lexington to the Lower Mystic Lake. The exhibit looks as efforts over the past 100 years to protect and restore the Mill Brook corridor as an ecologically healthy linear park linking public open spaces with the parallel transportation routes of the Minuteman Bikeway, Massachusetts Avenue, and Summer Street.
In the meantime, please enjoy this exhibit virtually: A Brook Runs Through It: Arlington’s Mill Brook Legacy.
Produced in conjunction with this exhibit, the video “Mill Brook Rediscovered” was created by Arlington resident Glenn Litton of DocuThis in partnership with curators at Arlington’s Old Schwamb Mill. You may view the video here.