October Press Release

Emily Leonard Trenholm: Daughters of the Mother Tree
George Nick: New Paintings
Oct 6 – Nov 4, 2023 at Gallery NAGA

October begins with an exhibition of two painters at very different stages in their careers.

Emily Leonard Trenholm: Daughters of the Mother Tree and George Nick: New Paintings are both on exhibition from October 6 through November 4. A reception for the artists and the public will be held at the gallery on Friday, October 6 from 5 to 7 pm. A walk-through with Emily Leonard Trenholm will be held at the gallery on Saturday, October 7 at 1 pm. An artist talk with George Nick will be held at the gallery on Saturday, October 21 at 1 pm. Reservations are required for both.

In the back office, a curated show by Peter Scott titled Exit through the Printshop will be on view. After 45 years teaching printmaking at the Museum School, this show is a salute to camaraderie in the printshop with a selection of 6 artists—3 former faculty and 3 former students.

Emily Leonard Trenholm (b. 1982) is a plein air painter living in Brunswick, Maine and having her first solo exhibition at Gallery NAGA. She makes her canvas paintings using an oil stick and her works on paper a combination of ink, graphite and gouache. The juxtaposition of her large canvas work, which are stricter and graphic in nature versus the fluidity of her works on paper offer a conversation in the different approaches to painting on site.

In Leonard Trenholm’s statement for the exhibition, she describes her process.

Lately, my outdoor studio is a tent platform lifted a foot above the forest floor. I built this platform with my family last year, intending it to be used by my boys and their cousins. However, after the project was complete, it immediately became a studio structure beneath my feet, allowing solid, flat stability and 360 degrees of environment to absorb.

There are subtle shifts I observe each day as the seasons change. I watch the snow recede, freshly fallen trees appear, the growth of ferns and forest flowers and the arrival of bugs and migrating birds. The weather plays an important role determining studio hours, how many layers to wear and how heavily to secure my work before it’s blown away. I change too, as the seasons cycle and naturally project my emotion on the landscape while working. This inner self directs the shapes I see, the speed of line, my color choice, when to stop and where to keep going.

I am so grateful to have nature at my fingertips. To breathe in the smells of the earth each morning and witness the cycles of growth and decay. Daughters of the Mother Tree is my effort to honor the essential and fragile rhythms of the forest.

Leonard Trenholm is the recipient of several awards and residencies, including The SOLO Competition at Bromfield Gallery, a Monhegan Artists’ Residency, and the Great Spruce Head Island Residency. Her work is in the collections of the Zillman Art Museum, Boston University, Drummond Woodsum and Sovereign Bank. Leonard Trenholm is an adjunct Professor at the University of New Hampshire and Southern Maine Community College. She received her MFA from Boston University and a BFA from the University of New Hampshire. Leonard Trenholm lives in Maine with her husband and two young boys.

George Nick (b. 1927) in his 15th solo exhibition at Gallery NAGA, offers a small selection of heavily meditated studio paintings. Once known for his dogmatic insistence of painting each inch of his canvas on site, Nick now produces his paintings from the comfort of his studio.

Included in the array are two condensed quarry landscapes based on photographs Nick took a couple years ago. They are chock-full shades of grays and browns, punctuated by a bright blue sky.  The surface is chunky and complex, revealing time spent working and reworking.

Part of Nick’s virtuoso is his ability to make even the most banal objects interesting. A single folded white napkin nestled against a half-drunk cup of tea makes for one painting while an upside-down duckbill hat holding a medical mask makes another. Nick reveals his masterly command of paint challenging the viewer as if he’s asking, “just dare me.”