Written By: Rebecca Lockhart
A quick chat with Kathleen Walsh of the Old Spouter Gallery.
N MAGAZINE: Tell us a little about your background in the art world here on Nantucket.
WALSH: I was the Gallery Director for the Artists Association for 7 years and then decided to open my own gallery on the first floor of the building we own. The Old Spouter Gallery has been here for 19 years.
N MAGAZINE: How has the gallery changed in the 19 years since its opening?
WALSH: There has been a natural evolution of creative growth. This gallery represents emerging artists as well as established artists, so there is bound to be an evolution over time. The work that newer artists present is fundamentally important to the development of their own individual style, and is intriguing for that reason. There has been a tangible shift in interest towards abstraction, but many people are still attracted to paintings that they simply feel an emotional connection to. People approach art in varying ways, looking for different things: it always comes down to the individual.
N MAGAZINE: What makes your gallery unique?
WALSH: The space is unique in that the original structure was built in 1756 with a series of sheds and a barn which my husband renovated 30 years ago. It creates a beautiful flow of individual spaces to display sculpture and paintings with lovely gardens and a fountain for outdoor sculpture.
N MAGAZINE: You feature a diverse array of artists and mediums. Is there a unifying characteristic throughout or ways in which they compliment one another?
WALSH: I look for unique, original artists that are striving to say something new. I don’t know if I would use the word “compliment.” In most instances, I think it is better to have a juxtaposition of styles. Each artist commands their own visual and intellectual space. The stronger the work, the more people are drawn to it.
N MAGAZINE: Your show last week featured artist Katie Trickle Legge, who is known for her use of color to bring light to common objects. What makes Legge’s work special?
WALSH: Katie’s bold use of color and magnification of everyday objects is unique. The fruit in her still lifes and animals allows the viewer time to pause and appreciate the intrinsic beauty of familiar objects.
N MAGAZINE: Legge recently moved from Nantucket to New Zealand. Have you seen a change in her pieces since the move and how does Legge stay connected to the island?
WALSH: Katie’s color sense has evolved since she moved to New Zealand, the nature around her is very green and lush most of the year so I think that influences her palette. She stays connected to the island by coming for a month every year to visit with friends, family and to teach and have an exhibit of her work.*
N MAGAZINE: Your show opening today will feature the work of artist Joan Albaugh, who is known for her series of isolated houses and landscapes. What makes these pieces unique?
WALSH: Joan’s paintings find the purity in the man-made edifices in harmony with the landscape with the emphasis on capturing the shadows and light and how it affects what the viewer perceives.
N MAGAZINE: What goals or aspirations do you have for the Old Spouter Gallery moving forward?
WALSH: I would like to continue being a destination gallery that brings people together to appreciate beautiful art for many years to come!
*Join artist Katie Legge for her Water Miscible Oils class hosted at AAN’s Visual Arts Center on July 27th and 28th. For more information, click here.