Maxine Farkas is hard at work creating a collection of 50 small collages for "The Latin Dictionary Series: Unexplored Landscape," for her solo show at Lowell's UnchARTed Gallery, 103 Market St., from March 5-30.
Farkas, a longtime participant in the local art scene, was first inspired to begin the series several years ago, when she found a 2,000-page Latin dictionary, originally published in the 1890s, at a flea market. She was intrigued by the idea of combining text and imagery, and began using dictionary pages in collages.
Other elements add to the beauty of the small pieces. They include images from an 1895 copy of "Beautiful Britain" as the background for landscapes constructed from black-and-white views culled from the book. Venetian paintings by Canaletto add color to the collages, and a damaged 1820 copy of "A History of Edinburgh" provides small etchings that she incorporates.
"None of the pieces were planned," says Farkas. "Rather, hundreds of hours were spent wielding an Exacto knife to remove elements that might work in combination to build a landscape, creating an image library that could be used."
She begins each piece by finding one image around which a whole can be built.
"There is no correlation between the dictionary pages used as background and the imagery that results, yet the combination offers an opportunity to explore the unknown," said Farkas.
Farkas is chairperson of the Lowell Cultural Council and leads the Lowell Kinetic Sculpture grant-writing team. She is a founding member of the Western Avenue Studios Artist Association, managed the Loading Dock Gallery from 2008-2012, and was manager of Western Avenue until she retired in 2014. Diagnosed with macular degeneration in 2018, she has not slowed down, although she feels this may be her "last picture show" as her eyesight deteriorates.
An opening reception is set for Saturday, March 9, 5-7 p.m. The closing reception and gallery talk is Saturday, March 30, 5-7 p.m. The gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Nancye Tuttle's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
FUN IN FITCHBURG: Dig out your bell-bottoms and tie-dye tops, and get ready to enjoy "The Age of Aquarius," Fitchburg Art Museum's upcoming fundraiser, Saturday, March 9, from 6-9 p.m. Enjoy groovy hors d'oeuvres, far-out cocktails and mod music. Fab attire is encouraged at the fun event to benefit FAM programs. For more info and updates, join the event on Facebook. Current exhibits now open at the FAM include "Fire and Light: Otto Piene in Groton, 1983-2014," through June 2; "The Collected Image: Photography Portfolios," through Aug. 18; and "Moving Objects: African and Oceanic Art from the FAM," ongoing. Visit www.fitchburgartmuseum.org for details.
BENEFIT DEADLINE: March 1 is the deadline for artists to complete and submit their 4-inch-by-4-inch works of art for the Brush Art Gallery and Studios "Four by Four for Education" fundraiser. The exhibit runs March 9-30 at the Brush, 256 Market St., Lowell. It benefits the Brush Scholarship and Special Perspectives programs that provide a scholarship to a deserving UMass Lowell art student and bring art instruction to challenged adults. To create a canvas, visit http://thebrush.org/4x4ForEd2019.html. The art will be sold at a raffle event on March 30 at which guests buy $25 tickets and leave with a work of art. No tickets will be sold in advance. For additional info, visit www.thebrush.org.
LUSCIOUS PAINTINGS: "Life is Poetry," featuring artworks by Marguerite Wibaux, runs through March 6 in the Greenwald Gallery at the Arts League of Lowell, 307 Market St. And this week is the last chance to check out the "Hint of Spring" show, which closes Sunday, Feb. 24, in the ALL Gallery at the same address. Gallery hours are Wednesday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m., and Sunday, noon-4 p.m. Visit www.artsleagueoflowell.com or call 978-221-5018.