Chris Bordenca: 80’s Kid

March 4th – April 26th, 2021

The nostalgia and sense of fun is clear in Chris Bordenca’s vibrantly-colored paintings of toys, action figures, and other treasured memorabilia from the 70’s and 80’s. His subjects are iconic and familiar: Star Wars characters, Batman villains, Rubik’s Cubes, video games, sea monkeys, and more, that immediately evoke that pre-internet era, especially for 80’s kids. Chris says: Almost nothing gets forgotten anymore. The past exists in the collective memory of the internet, and we can reach in and physically bring those memories into our present. These paintings are tangible and joyful reminders of the most recent pre-internet past, even if you weren’t an 80’s kid.

10% of sales from this exhibit will be donated to the The Belchertown Education Foundation. BEF is an independent, volunteer, non-profit organization committed to enriching the educational opportunities of students in Belchertown public schools.

About Chris Bordenca:
Chris’ work focuses on personal connections to objects and places from his youth in the seventies and eighties, including paintings of action figures, toys, and video games from that era. After a ten-year hiatus he returned to painting in 2018. Since then, he has shown his work around the valley in group shows, and a show in Australia to benefit victims of the wildfires. His painting “Starless Sea With Keys” won first place for acrylic painting at the 2020 Northeast Fine Arts Exposition. Chris has a BFA from UMass Amherst and lives with his family in Belchertown.

PLEASE NOTE: walk-ins are welcome for the gallery. Masks required. Currently we are allowing four customers in the shop at one time.

Q&A with Chris

How has your style changed over the years?
I started painting album covers and comic book art on people’s leather jackets in and after high school. In my 20’s I began painting murals in homes and businesses of whatever was asked, but my personal work turned to abstract figurative paintings. I then moved to large non-representational paintings, while still painting murals commercially. Eventually painting other people’s ideas in the murals became tedious, and I became turned off from painting all together. Ten years later, I decided to approach painting the same way that I approached art when I was young. I would paint whatever I wanted. Anything that made me happy. That is what I do now.

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
1982. When I was seven years old I had a coloring book based on E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. One of the images inside included a relatively realist drawing of the dog from the movie. I copied the drawing of the dog, and it was the very first time I felt what it was like to really see the thing I was looking at. I suddenly understood how to look at something and draw an accurate representation of it. It felt like real magic, and I was hooked.

What inspires you?
I love tapping into the toys and pop culture from the 70’s and 80’s. I also love old books, abandoned buildings, and beat up vehicles. I like the idea of things managing to survive through time to the present and capturing their magic before they disappear.

What is your creative process like? How do you work?
In the studio I basically play with toys for hours until I find the right feeling. I take a ton of photos with different lighting and arrangements.

What is your favorite piece that you’ve created?
My current favorites are Toy Chest, Space Invader, and Mission: Unknown

Any advice to young or emerging artists?
Make art for yourself, not what other people think you should make, or what you think other people will like.

Images above cropped from:
Space Invader, acrylic on canvas, 20×16″
Smile, acrylic on canvas, 20×16″
Hitchhiker, acrylic on canvas, 20×20″

Ruth Rinard: Awe & Intimacy

November 4th to December 1st, 2020 (date extended)

PLEASE NOTE: walk ins are welcome for the gallery, on your own or small groups of up to three people. Please wear a mask.


New Pastels by Amherst Artist Ruth Rinard

Her grandfather’s farm made her an artist. Golden wheat in the wind, expansive blue sky, billowing clouds, tall yellow tasseled dark green corn, shimmering heat lightning, searing dry heat, or small buildings on the distant horizon filled her with a sense of awe. A transcendent bright abyss opened before her.Later to get an education and to raise a family she moved east. Hills crowded in on each other, sky was hard to come by, and roads disappeared around curves. Ever changing light filtered through forests. Humidity hung everywhere. Everything came in quick glimpses. Everything demanded intimacy, interiority.

Awe and intimacy, two constant threads in her work, are held together by narrative. As she starts a painting, she has a title or phrase in mind. It becomes the narrative linking the deeply personal interior and the unfathomable outer world. Her art strives to make this connection visible.

About Ruth Rinard:
After careers in academe and health sciences, Ruth became intrigued with the freshness of pure pigment and the tactile possibilities of pastel. When she realized she could use her drawing skills within the painterly framework of pastel, she never looked back. Ruth has studied painting with Christine Labich and exhibited work with the Connecticut and New Hampshire pastel societies. 

Scott Tulay: Armature of Light

September 3rd to October 31st, 2020

PLEASE NOTE: walk ins are welcome for the gallery, on your own or small groups of up to three people. Please wear a mask.


Drawings by Amherst artist Scott Tulay.

Through his drawings, Scott Tulay investigates the ambiguity of space. Whether inspired by built form or natural context, his art is constructed of an armature of light. Light, or what looks like atmosphere or fog, is engaged in either defining space or dematerializing the landscape or architectural elements depicted. This treatment of light, combined with an unclear relationship of the viewer’s place in relation to the ground plane, creates a spatial disconnect with an ambiguity of depth and motion.

About Scott Tulay:
In the last six years, Scott has exhibited in museums and galleries here and abroad, including locally at the Springfield Museum of Art and the Brattleboro Museum of Art; Boston, San Francisco, London, and Berlin. Upcoming shows are scheduled for San Francisco and Leipzig, Germany. His drawings are in private and public collections, and have been written about in numerous publications including American Art Collector, Artscope Magazine, Design New England, CUBE Berlin, and Bauwelt Magazine. He holds degrees in art history and architecture, and currently works as an architect at Juster Pope Frazier in Northampton.


Banner image: detail from Fractal, ink, charcoal, graphite; 30×40”, 2020

Rodney Madison

August 7th to 27th, 2020

PLEASE NOTE: walk ins are welcome for the gallery, on your own or small groups of up to three people.


Paintings by Hadley artist Rodney Madison. Rodney’s dynamic and colorful paintings are in the gallery until August 27th. He’s a prolific painter and passionate about his work, and paints every day. Come see the work of this talented self-taught artist!

About Rodney Madison:
Rodney is a self-taught artist originally from Chicago, now based in Hadley. He began painting in his 50s and has become recognized as a powerful and prolific painter. Relying on his alchemy of art, he has become an artist with few boundaries and a wildly active imagination. He has opened new windows of creativity and continues to share his vision with the universe.

Banner images: Juice of Chitterlings and Roots, both 36×48: and acrylic on canvas,

Laurieanne Wysocki: Transitions

July 7th to August 1st, 2020

New work by Laurieanne Wysocki, July 7th to August 1st.

Artists use abstraction to push beyond the recognizable world and ornamentation to decorate it. Laurieanne’s recent work explores the relationship between the two concepts in vibrantly colored and highly textured paintings. Identifiable forms and motifs are blended with spontaneous gestural work bringing the two pursuits into a delightful harmony.

Of her work, Laurieanne says: “The eye will automatically seek out familiar forms so I begin by imprinting combinations of patterns into plaster with wood blocks and highlighting details with contrasting colors. I add in interlacing flowers, trailing vines, and spiraling geometric shapes to make the composition rhythmical rather than random. Then I intentionally disrupt the subtle functions of the forms by the addition of more texture or by the removal of some of the plaster with a hand sander. It’s a very process-driven, transformative style. The challenge is to not go too far in one direction and destroy what may have taken months to build up. It’s a fine line and not without risk but if the painting begins to look too predictable I remove what I call the obviousness of it. I’m inspired by the frescoes of antiquity and interested in what remains – the parts that have stood the test of time, whether hidden by nature or intentionally covered up, and are revealed centuries later. The destruction and persistence of the piece is my take on an ancient process.”

About Laurieanne Wysocki:
Laurieanne is a painter and mixed media artist. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts she studied at the Arts Student League in New York City and had her first solo show in 1990. She has traveled the world, both independently and for the last 20 years as a tour director for Road Scholar educational programs and to date has visited more than 80 countries. Her cultural impressions are often reflected in her colorful and intricate paintings.

Laurieanne’s exhibit of paintings and metal assemblage works, “Pentimento”, was shown in the gallery in 2016.

Banner image: detail of Marrakesh, mixed media on canvas, 24 x 48″

Nan Salky: Shapeshifting

March 5th to 28th, 2020

Mixed Media Collage by Amherst artist Nan Salky, March 5th to 28th. Extended to May 2nd

Nan finds inspiration and materials for her art in her wanderings through antique stores brimming with vintage ephemera. She is drawn to certain faces and expressions, finding humor and playfulness in the process of transformation. In her studio, formal portraits are collaged and embellished with exotic birds, flowers and impossible combinations of detail. This process helps revive and recast the images into a more personal and fanciful vision. Her pieces are completed with repurposed antique frames that help hold their place in the past.

Opening Reception: Thursday, March 5th, 5-8pm, during Amherst Arts Night Plus

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About Nan Salky:
Nan grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. She received her BA in Writing and Illustrating Children’s Books from The University of Colorado, Boulder, and an MA in Counseling Psychology from Antioch New England. She has worked for more than thirty years as a psychotherapist, and has reared two daughters. She lives in Amherst with her husband, Tom Murphy, who supports and assists in her artistic endeavors. Her art work has been exhibited locally since 2010. 

Nan’s exhibit of assemblage works, “I Heard the Shadows Calling”, was shown in the gallery in 2014.

Christina Gusek: Future Forward

January 22nd – February 29th, 2020

Futuristic drawings by Holyoke artist Christina Gusek, January 22nd – February 29th.

Christina’s work has been described as psychedelic cyberpunk. Her vibrant futuristic drawings are inspired by recent advancements in science and technology and imagine the possible consequences these developments may have on nature and humanity. She illustrates fantastical aspects of possible and unknown futures, evoking dialogues involving theories of humanity evolving beyond current physical and mental limitations toward an ultimate goal of immortality. Her work ultimately poses the question: what effects will future technologies have on humans and our planet?

The future is uncertain but her hope is that major global issues we face today — such as climate change, terminal illness, life expectancy, and war — will ultimately be remediated or fully resolved via emerging technologies so succeeding generations will prosper in a new and better world.

Opening Reception: Thursday, February 6th, 5-8pm, during Amherst Arts Night Plus

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About Christina Gusek:
Christina has exhibited her work locally, nationally, and internationally for more than 16 years. She works primarily with pen, ink, and marker, sometimes combined with acrylics and colored pencil. She is a graduate of Springfield Technical Community College and Westwood College in Atlanta, and holds degrees in Graphic Design and Visual Communications/Art. She lives in Holyoke with her partner, artist Adam Mulcahy.

Enter to Win Your Own Portrait of the Future!

Want to get lucky on Valentines Day? Enter for a chance to win a framed futuristic 8×10 portrait by Christina of your most beloved person or pet (or yourself)! We will choose a name at random on Valentines Day! Come by the shop and fill out a free ticket until Feb 13th for a chance to win ❤️

We’ll choose a ticket at random on February 14th. Winner must submit a photo and the drawing will be competed within 4-6 weeks of receipt of the photo. We will choose the perfect frame to complement your portrait.

Q&A with Christina

How old were you when you created your first artwork?
According to my mother, as soon as I could pick up a crayon. As a child, I was never really one for words, so I found comfort in expressing myself through pictures.

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
Around 5 or 6 years old in kindergarten. I would spend all my time in the art & craft section of the classroom. I was always getting in trouble for not participating in any of the other activities. I was young, but I think it was then that I discovered that art was my passion.

What inspires you?
Long hikes in nature. I am also inspired by anything related to future technologies and science.

What is your creative process like? How do you work?
Most of the time I do not have any idea as to what I will be creating and the work just seems to happen naturally. I tend to work on pieces sporadically and never for lengths of time longer than 3 or 4 hours. I prefer to walk away from pieces to mull over ideas and go back to them when the time is right. It helps that my studio is in my home because I am a multitasker, and tend to work on art while doing something else at the same time. (Usually cooking since I love to cook too!)

Any advice to young or emerging artists?
Believe in yourself, stay positive, and never let anyone distract you from following your dreams.

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9th Annual Small Works Show

December 4, 2019 – January 11, 2020

The 9th Annual Small Works Show is coming! Featuring over 200 works by local artists — all 6×6″ or 5×7″. From paintings to photographs, illustrations to assemblages and more, the show features works in wide variety of mediums. All cash-and-carry!

Please join us on Thursday, December 5th, during Amherst Arts Night Plus, 5-8pm, for the opening reception and our annual Holiday Pie Party. Celebrate art and the season and join us for pie and spiced cider, and holiday cheer with artists, new friends, and community.

A reception and art raffle will follow on Thursday, January 2nd, 5-8pm. Join us for a chance to win one of the small works, winner’s choice! Raffle details: raffle tickets will be available at the shop after December 4th.

Keep an eye on our facebook page and instagram for show photos and featured small work photos.

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Laura Radwell: Embodied Landscape

November 6th – 30th, 2019

Paintings by Northampton artist Laura Radwell, November 6th – 30th

Laura Radwell’s work is characterized by atmospheric and dream-like components of landscape that drift, overlap, and morph into one another. These new works are an exploration of a further point along that continuum involving tighter, more disciplined, and dynamic compositions — they emerge from a place she has not been before, a willingness to commit to more definition. Geometry, line, and shape that she sees as muscular and lyrical, reflect the natural landscape, but they often go beyond to evoke the sinuous forms and contours of the human body. She sees the work as a melding of gesture and body contained in landscape and landscape contained in the body.

Opening Reception: Thursday, November 7th, 5-8pm, during Amherst Arts Night Plus.

Please note: the shop is closed for Thanksgiving Nov 28th & 29th, so the exhibit has been extended to Saturday Nov 30th.

About Laura Radwell:
Laura is an artist, designer, and devoted collector of visual impressions who has lived in Northampton since 1974. She began to paint in the late 1980s, and over the years has continued to explore various media: traditional oil painting, sculpture, calligraphy, and photography. In 2014, she returned to painting with oils with an expressive approach — looser, more personal studies in color, texture, and form. Though abstract, the work retains central aesthetic aspects of landscape, conveying feelings and emotions that range from peace and acceptance to turmoil and yearning. Learn more about Laura at:

Q&A with Laura

How old were you when you created your first artwork?
I think I was about 12 years old when I did an oil painting of a small candlestick holder that was a favorite household object. My granddaughter saw it and recently asked me to give it to her to hang by her bedside.

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
As a young child I loved to draw and paint, but was steered toward other academic pursuits by my parents. I do recall thinking about art school, but at that time my vision was not fully-formed, and I followed a different path. After college, it became apparent that what was missing in my life was visual expression, and the work that I did over ensuing decades started to incorporate visual components. In essence I was working with color, shape, and form and realizing that my dream was to be a (fine) artist someday.

Why did you choose your medium?
Early on I painted with watercolors, but didn’t find them satisfying. I yearned for more and deeper color. After forays into other art practices including calligraphy, batik, sculpture, and, more recently, digital (photographic) abstractions and mixed media, painting with oils was like coming home.

What inspires you?
Two things: nature and emotions. Nature is a never-ending source of inspiration, every day the light changes, the landscape shifts, the shadows grow and wane, the colors morph. It is as if during all my working (non-art) years I stored up impressions that are now somehow channelled onto my canvases. And the supply of emotions doesn’t wane, and infuses the mood of the work.

How has your style changed over the years?
I suppose you could say I worked more representationally, although my style was always somewhat loose. With the digital compositions, based on my photography, I took a big leap into abstraction, transforming real world scenes and objects. In my painting, I became very atmospheric and loose; this recent components of the work have a different flow and definition. More specific forms (landscape + body) are emerging.

What is your creative process like? How do you work?
I rarely have a plan in mind when I approach a blank canvas. First, I apply a base color to the canvas. Then I essentially wait for a tipping point when I feel painting energy that is sufficient to begin. At times I use paint sticks or charcoal or pencil gestures to define areas of the space. And usually when I’m about to paint, I am in a color mood and set up the palette according to my feelings in the moment.

Where do you work?
I have a wonderful, large studio in Easthampton.

What do you like about being an artist in the valley?
I like being part of a large community of creative people, where I find both inspiration from others and a feeling of community!

Cover image: detail from “Beginnings“, 50×40”, oil on canvas

Frederick Burrington: Where Land and Sky Meet

October 3rd – November 2nd, 2019

Artworks by Heath artist Frederick Burrington, October 3rd to November 2nd.

Frederick Burrington is a seventh-generation resident of Heath, a small rural town (pop. 706) in the Berkshire foothills at the VT border. He describes Heath as a place where land and sky meet, where future and past coexist in an uneasy truce, where nature transcends the human presence. The light and landscape here can haunt and beguile — it is an endless source of inspiration for him. It is also place with long agricultural traditions and a deep reverence for the land. He seeks to document and preserve the landscape, history and traditions in his art for future generations and those who have yet to discover this beautiful place. Frederick creates his highly-detailed realist artworks in a variety of traditional mediums: oils, egg tempera, pastel, watercolor, and ink. He explores different mediums as he continues to explore the land and sky.

Opening Reception: Thursday, October 3rd, 5-8pm, during Amherst Arts Night Plus

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About Frederick Burrington:
Frederick has been fascinated by light and landscape since childhood. He has exhibited his work locally since 1984. He lives in Heath, with his wife Victoria, in the house his family has lived in for four generations.

Cover image: detail from “Stones“, pastel, 2019