The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Jan Ruby-Crystal - “Shack Time”

What: “Shack Time”

Who: Artwork by Jan Ruby-Crystal, MFA

Where: Westhampton Public Library

1 North Rd, Westhampton, MA 01027

(413) 527-5386

When: November 2-November 30, 2016

Reception: Thursday, November 10, 5-8 PM

Artist Talk/Demo: Saturday, November 19, 2016, 10-noon

Library Hours: Monday and Thursday 2-8 pm. Tuesday and Wednesday
9-noon, 1-5 pm. Saturday, 10:00 am.-1:00 pm.
For the exhibition, Shack Time, Jan Ruby-Crystal’s artwork reveals her experiences of living in a dune shack while producing artwork that explores the ways that solitude, nature, art materials and an open heart have shaped her creative journey.

In August of 2016, Jan Ruby-Crystal was awarded a two-week residency in painting from OCARC, Outer Cape Artists Residency Consortium. The shack she inhabited, the Margo-Gelb, was built in 1945 by two famous artists: the printmaker, Jan Gelb, and her husband, Boris Margo, a surrealist painter. The Shack perches high on a dune, overlooking the ocean along the dune-covered coastline outside of Provincetown. The 10 x15’ shack has an outhouse, no electricity or running water, a charming red pump for hauling up gallons of water, a propane stove, refrigerator and a chubby little gray mouse.

Working with diverse art materials Ruby-Crystal reveals her journey of solitude and creativity by carefully documenting her experiences of shack life. Using sand, natural findings, plaster, oil sticks, pastels, acrylic, watercolor, graphite and text she combines her materials in unique ways. Surrounded by great natural beauty, ever-changing weather and light, Ruby-Crystal embraced her surroundings in 360 degrees, connecting her work through emotion, the simplicity of living and her evolving artistic voice. In “Beyond the Sunlight,” light passes through the clouds of a setting sun as it dances upon the hills of the dunes, leaving the valleys of sand and sea grass laced in purple shadows.

Jan Ruby-Crystal is a Faculty Emerita of The State System of Higher Education in Pennsylvania, where she was a professor of Art and Design at Shippensburg University. Since moving to the Pioneer Valley in 2013, she has been teaching art classes at the Smith Campus School, at her studio in Northampton, at Arcadia, as well as developing Arcadia’s Art House and exhibiting her art throughout the Valley and New York City. She is the 2016 recipient of the Outer Cape Artists Residency in painting.

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