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October 2022 - Beth Wittenberg

The Rochester Public Library is pleased to present the artwork of Beth Wittenberg during the month of October.

Beth Wittenberg is a local Rochester artist who has exhibited at RPL for 6 years every October. She has exhibited widely in New England, and Europe and has artwork is in both public and private collections. She received an advanced degree in Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore MD. Recently Wittenberg was chosen to represent the Piscataqua region in a book titled : Ten Piscataqua Painters. The artwork featured in the book is from the series : Pandemic Faces. I have included paintings from the coffee table book in this exhibit. The title of this October exhibit at RPL is called FACES. There are 5 large scale paintings as well as a series of 6 smaller works.

Beth writes: "As COVID became a world wide epidemic, I started painting faces of people. I called this series of work "Pandemic Faces". The large scale paintings are from that series. I am also exhibiting a tangential series titled - FACES : FAMILY OF 6

I wanted to use the same colors in all of these paintings to show the relationship of one painting to the next. I also wanted to experiment with a more abstract and minimal style. I have left the white of the canvas untreated. This is a conscious decision to leave the canvas white and flat. This treatments allows me to see my mark making on a plane in space. For me, these paintings are multidimensional however the space has been flattened and the marks are laying on top of one another.

The paintings always reveal themselves to me. The process is very intuitive. I have approximately 30 steel and aluminum stencils. And approximately 30 stencils that are handmade. I did not use any of my hand cut stencils for these paintings. These paintings are all created with the use of stencils.

Very intuitively I lay the stencils on the canvas. I then am drawn to a particular color. I consider myself a colorist; color is my primary interest. I often times see the next color in my mind and then I scan my enormous collection of spray paint cans for the right color. I allow my arm to swing and it creates marks that are not hard edged like the stencils.

My family of origin consisted of 6 people. My parents, my twin brothers, my sister and myself. I often times find that I am making art about my family. These six paintings all created with the same pallet all belong together. The one portrait orientation painting represents my brother who passed when he was 18 - thirty-seven years ago. A family scar - a painting turned."

Most recently Wittenberg has been busy exploring printmaking at The Art Center in Dover, NH where she currently is displaying 10 works of art from the series Twins, Shadows and Ghosts. You can catch her Printmaking exhibit now through October 31.


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