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 paints 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 representation that does not 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.