A new Exhibit, a Hanging in Cambridge

dorchester banner/paul clipper Lisa Krentel smiles as she hangs one of the paintings for the Members Show.

dorchester banner/paul clipper
Lisa Krentel smiles as she hangs one of the paintings for the Members Show.

Did you ever hear an English teacher’s old grammar rule, “Horses and cattle get painted and hung, horse thieves and cattle rustlers get arrested and hanged?” So what went on at the Dorchester Center for the Arts on Jan. 2 and 3 was works of art being hung, and Lisa Krentel, an experienced and gifted volunteer, was doing the hanging.

Members had met the scheduled deadline of Jan. 2 and their paintings piled up. It was entirely up to Lisa Krentel to make sense of necessary organization for the variety of works and media to be hung in the galleries. Her professional credentials are impeccable, All she had to tell me was that she had been Assistant Manager at a big gallery in Sedona, a millionaire Art mecca in Arizona and had hung shows in Sedona. (I was hanging on her every word.) I asked her what was the main qualification needed for the big job of organizing our Members’ Art exhibit. She laughed as she answered, “You need to have no fear of ladders. That’s the prime quality that eliminates a vast majority.” Anyone with height hangups need not apply.

Lisa has a system, She plows into the mind-boggling mass of boxes and bubble wrap that the artists have dropped off. She unpacks the works and lines them up against the walls. “I start to get a sense of the paintings and they divide themselves. I see boats, ships, and water. Then landscapes pronounce themselves a group. The animals arrange themselves, some photos, some paintings. There are large impressive abstracts, and one stands out as a “Wow” piece for the entrance to the show.”

Lisa says she keeps an eye out for what could hang as a special vignette at the end of a hall, one that will haul people in closer.

The variety of art works reflect the interests and talent of members, A large colorful photograph demands attention and time, but so does a modest drawing of a fish. Terry White, an author, musician, and visual artist, chose to use colored paintings for her work, a fish and a motto … ”Worry less, fish more.” Colored pencils are what she used for childhood drawings which her encouraging father glued to masonite. Then, with his handyman skills and a jigsaw, he turned drawings into puzzles for his children to share. So what does art do for Terry White? She recalls her childhood, she honors the memory of her father, and she shares her art with the community.

Many of the works you see at the exhibit are for sale. The DCA gets a percentage of the price for needed functions and the artist gets paid at the end of the show. Because this is a Members’ Art Show, it’s likely that many local and regional people will come to admire a relative or friends’ work and say, “That’s my neighbor’s painting.” I frankly am hoping to hear my own son say, ”That’s my mother’s painting” as he hangs out at the show and admires my barn. The Members’ Show, that’s all about us. On Second Saturday, Jan. 12, the center will host an Artists’ Reception and Awards Ceremony from 5-7:30 p.m. You are invited to “hang out.”

Editor’s note: Spectrum is the weekly column of the Dorchester Arts Center. It is written by Gloria Rojas who is filling in for Barbara J. Seese, executive director, while she recuperates from surgery.

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