530 Burns Assembles a Collection for Calmness

Arts & Culture

BY ANDREW FABIAN SRQ DAILY FRIDAY WEEKEND EDITION FRIDAY AUG 21, 2020

Anxieties are high, our nervous systems the busy thoroughfares of fear, tension and worry. In the time of COVID, art has taken on a new dimension and shifted into a higher purpose necessitated by these heightened emotions. And at 530 Burns Gallery, that new purpose is to sedate the spirit.

As part of a new exhibition called Joy and Serenity: Paintings of Peace, curator Molly Lindberg has assembled works from three artists that she hopes can offer a soothing respite from the noise.

Linda Richichi is one of those artists. Her work is bright and cheerful, her technique delicate and soft. With the fluffy white clouds that feature prominently in many of her landscape paintings, the viewer is invited to linger and admire the view. “My art always tends towards feelings of peace,” she says, “my colors are usually serene and soft.” Though this might characterize the tone of her art in general, the current anxiety of the pandemic has made her sensibilities all the more acute. “Lately, I need my art more for my own sanity,” she says, “and I hope that resonates with viewers.”

Another featured artist is Katie Cassidy. Her abstract work gives the impression of a dreamlike landscape, with strokes and colors that evoke shifting waters, sands or morning light. Like Richichi, Cassidy also felt as though her art took on greater therapeutic significance in her own well-being. “When the whole pandemic started, I didn’t paint for 3 weeks,” says Cassidy, “and that’s the longest I’ve ever gone without painting.” Eventually, she began to miss the canvas like she would an old friend, craving the sense of calm inspired by the familiar pursuit of capturing a moment of beauty. “When Molly gave me the theme for the exhibition, I thought it was just the perfect time,” says Cassidy.

When seen all together, the collection of works forms a synergy of calmness, a series of much needed snap shots of idyll.

The exhibition runs through September 8th, with gallery viewings available Monday through Saturday from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Private appointments are available by request.

530 Burns Gallery, 530 Burns Lane, 941-951-0620. Pictured: Left: Katie Cassidy, "Repose," 36 x 36 oil on canvas | Right: Linda Richichi, "Slight Breeze," 6 x 6, oil on ampersand.

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