Campers and residents mingled on the pavilion deck at Maho Bay Camps on Wednesday evening, January 16, and checked out the latest works by photographer Bob Lefferts, potter Gail Van de Bogurt and the campground’s resident glass artists.
Long time snow bird Lefferts showed off new images from his MotionScapes, Flora and Inside Europe fine-art series as well as works from a new impressionistic sequence.
Lefferts’ new Monet-esque Reflections series portray willowy landscapes echoed in shimmering pools of water. The Maho Bay Art Gallery show marked only the second time photos from the impressionistic series have been shown.
After Reflections was displayed for the first time at the Long Island deCordova Gallery in December, an online arts forum review termed the images, “gorgeous,” and also commented, “hello Monet!” explained the photographer.
“That made me feel really good,” said Lefferts. “I started taking the photographs last winter on St. John. The first time I noticed the reflections, it really just hit me.”
“I thought it was the most beautiful impressionistic thing I had ever seen,” Lefferts continued.
The opening also included several new installments of the photographer’s MotionScapes series of intentionally blurred landscapes and seascapes which obscure the lines of reality.
“Their horizontal lines and calming colors provide a sensual serenity,” Lefferts said about MotionScapes. “As impressions they provide a sense of familiarity with the scene that is, at the same time, an abstraction of that reality.”
Images in Lefferts’ Flora series are extreme close-ups of magnolias and roses, which invoke the sensuality of Georgia O’Keefe paintings. The photographer’s Inside Europe series includes depictions of bustling Roman ghettos and romantic rooftops in southern France.
For his next fine art image series, Lefferts will literally be taking a closer look at trees.
“I’m working on a series of close-ups of bark on different trees, particularly in the Caribbean,” said Lefferts. “The colors are so intricate and the textures are incredible. Just looking at the bark looks entirely different than looking at the whole tree.”
Check out Lefferts’ work at the St. John Artists’ Association Gallery, Gallery St. Thomas, and the deCordova Gallery and Spinnato Gallery on Long Island.
Maho Bay Clay Works owner and esteemed potter Van de Bogurt also displayed new works from the on-site studio.
At first sight a set of six porcelain bowls showed fine technique and intricate glaze, but a closer look revealed hidden blue glass on the inside, created by cobalt glaze and recycled Heineken bottles, the potter explained.
Little unexpected details are de riguer for Van de Bogurt.
“I like to put little surprises in most of my pieces,” said the artist. “We’ve been using a lot of very interesting crystalline glazes which make nice effects.”
Since taking over the campground’s studio in 2004, Van de Bogurt has expanded class offerings and open studio time.
“Things have been going really well,” said Van de Bogurt. “We have a lot of people in the community involved who are turning out some really nice work.”
Coral Bay residents Sharon Coldren, Nat Ford, Maya Pierce and Nate Craig are among the Maho Bay Clay Works regulars who have been creating impressive pottery, Van de Bogurt added.
Influences of a summer trip to Asia were visible in Van de Bogurt’s teapots with upright handles and pointed lids.
Working on a grander scale, Van de Bogurt showed off pictures of a stoneware wave which the artist worked on for three years. The wave, located on the grounds of an Estate Catherinberg home, depicts a mermaid on one side and a merman on the other and blends in with its natural environment.
“I love the idea of that it is part of the landscape with plants and insects,” said Van de Bogurt.
The artist also offers water color classes with instruction in landscape and still life paintings.
For a full list of pottery and painting classes call the studio, which is open daily except Sunday, at 776-6226 extension 226, or check out the Web site www.mahobayclayworks.com.