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.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

“Proverbs N Portraits” by Ken Gagne at A.P.E

WHAT: “Proverbs N Portraits” by Ken Gagne
WHEN: February 13- March 2, 2018
              Artist Reception: Friday, February 16: 6 -8 pm
WHERE: A.P.E 126 Main St Northampton, MA.

What do you get when you cross a proverb with a portrait? A.P.E. Gallery shines a spotlight on new work by local artist Ken Gagne that examines how, together, they can create a humorous situation, which nowadays isn’t so much a joke but a basic survival tool – a lifeboat we can use on life’s river.

“Ever since I was a kid I’ve been fascinated by the power of the proverb and how it can offer wisdom to the heart, be practiced and passed along to others,” states Gagne. “Proverbs are short sentences drawn from long experience. Portraits are of a similar nature. Nothing in a portrait is a matter of indifference. Expression, gesture, dress, ink even – all must combine to realize a character.”

There is a contemporary pop culture sensibility to Gagne’s images, using vibrant color to depict signs of our time. For example, in Gagne’s “Never trouble trouble until trouble troubles you,” a tattooed steam punker sees his nose fly off his face and replaced by the seat of his pants. And in “Happiness is seeing your mother smile” the piece depicts a loving embrace of mother and child, all the while as the mother is preoccupied with all the concerns associated with raising a child in our current technological culture.

So what do you get when you cross a proverb with a portrait? How about some practical and whacky wit, along with a chuckle, that may help you along life’s journey. Remember, it’s not the outlook, but the uplook that counts!

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