EARLVILLE – Have you ever wondered how an artist colony might have gotten started? What are the ingredients that make them magical? One factor surely is the natural beauty of an area that draws artists, but then another factor has to be the ‘word of mouth’ that starts with connections between people who are passionate about what they do. The current show in the EOH West Gallery, “Monhegan, Maine” resulted when a particular place known for its beauty exerted its magic and drew artists with faraway connections from another time and place to its summer art colony.
“Monhegan, Maine” features paintings by Jim Loveless, Ray Wengenroth and Leslie Wengenroth as well as photographs by Jim Leach from Jan. 15 through March 1. This group of friends traces its roots to a teacher-student relationship that started at Colgate University over 40 years ago. For the past five years, retired Colgate painting professor Jim Loveless of Hamilton, and his students Ray (‘69) and Leslie (‘74) Wengenroth of Beverly, Mass. – have gathered on Monhegan Island, Maine for a week to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the island. This summer Jim Leach, of Hamilton, joined the group as a photographer and documented the beauty of the island that has inspired these artists. The exhibition celebrates the connections of time and place that have been elemental in the growth of artists’ work. Edward Deci of the Monhegan Museum notes that the Monhegan Island is “one of the most important summer art colonies in the history of American Art.” An article by Jim Leach appears in Colgate's alumni magazine “The Scene” this January explores the dynamics of their week spent sharing a cottage and inspiration. A link to the article will be on www.earlvilleoperahouse.com.