Barbara Johnson, “Interior: Old Horse Barn.” 9” x 13”, oil on panel

An exhibit of paintings and drawings by Rachel Folsom and Barbara Johnson, May 1-31, 2014

Award winning Pioneer Valley realist painters Rachel Folsom and Barbara Johnson will be exhibiting paintings and drawings that reflect their exploration of wabi-sabi, the Japanese aesthetic of appreciating the beauty inherent in objects that are imperfect, unfinished, or show signs of wear.

Johnson ( skillfully translates into paint the varied textures exposed in abandoned, demolished, and aging buildings, depicting scenes from our economic corridors in transition.  Folsom ( will be showing a series of meditative yet playful graphite drawings of found objects in various states of disintegration along with still life paintings of things from the natural world.  Exploring the beauty of our flawed world helps us come to terms with the bitter sweet nature of life – so much pleasure to be had in the face of inevitable losses as our country, our environment, and we ourselves undergo change.

Johnson and Folsom practice a kind of representation that doesn’t stint on observation, resulting in images that give the viewer abundant visual information to reflect upon and a chance to contemplate the complexities of overlooked features of our evolving world. The artists offer different perspectives – Folsom gives an intimate view, while Johnson looks outward to the world beyond the studio. The two bodies of work complement each other, providing a broad view of the possibilities of wabi-sabi.