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HomeNewsArchivesMONGOOSE GALLERY SHOWING CALDWELL PASTELS

MONGOOSE GALLERY SHOWING CALDWELL PASTELS

Nov. 21, 2001 – A new exhibition of 12 pastel works by longtime St. John resident Carolyn Caldwell will open Friday with a meet-the-artist reception from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Wicker Wood & Shells gallery in Mongoose Junction.
Meeting the artist is a treat these days, even for people who've known Caldwell for years. That's because she left the island last year to take up residence in a small fishing village in the north of Maine, where she is a full-time working artist now. But Wicker Wood & Shells has made it relatively easy for folks on St. John to keep up with her creative output — this is the third exhibition of her work the gallery has mounted since her departure, and the second for which she has personally returned.
Although all of the pieces she is showing in the new show are pastels, she is "trying out all kinds of things" in other mediums, including gouache and oils, Caldwell says. "I'm working in light and dark patterns, with the human figure as a dark, abstract shape, rather than a person or character."
And so, she explains, while the works at Wicker Wood & Shells depict Caribbean market scenes and boats — familiar subject matter — "you could have a scene that's an outdoor market and another that's a fishing shack, and they could be the same scene."
One technique she has been experimenting with recently in the pastel medium is building up textural layers in order to achieve bold, rich color effects. There is, in short, nothing "pastel" about these pastels.
In the village she now calls home, three and a half hours north of Portland, Me., Caldwell has converted an old one-room schoolhouse into a studio. Her husband, Ken Betts, is in the process of turning an old church into a woodworking center and of rehabilitating a building at the back of the church as their living quarters.
"It's really picturesque and so unspoiled," she says of the locale. "I have to drive 45 minutes before I get to any fast-food restaurants!"
Although she lived in Boston for about 10 years before moving to the Virgin Islands, Caldwell is more of an islander than a New Englander still. "I miss the people," she says of St. John, "the community that we were a part of."
The opening of her Wicker Wood & Shells show is taking place in the midst of Mongoose Junction's annual Fall Evening in the Courtyard kickoff to the yearend holidays. From 8 p.m. "until" on Friday, all of the shops, galleries and restaurants in the complex will be offering enticements and treats to get visitors into a seasonal shopping mood.
In keeping with some 15 years of tradition at Mongoose Junction, there will be live music, a fashion show, a wine bar, and artists and artisans at work amid the holiday decorations and lights throughout the complex.
At Wicker Wood and Shells, there will be complimentary champagne and wine.
Caldwell lived on St. John for 16 years and for the last two of those years owned the Grasshopper Gallery in Coral Bay. Her work won numerous awards locally, notably at the annual Caribbean Colour exhibitions.
After first majoring in photography, Caldwell later returned to college to study architecture. While practicing that profession, she pursued a parallel career in fine art, studying with part-time St. Thomas resident David Millard, author of "The Joy of Watercolor"; Jeanne Dobie, author of "Making Color Sing"; and Thomas Sgouros, head of the Illustration Department at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Form and balance — fundamentals of architecture– are an innate element of her paintings, as is an understanding of the quality of light — an essential of photography. "Color is a very important aspect of why I paint," Caldwell says, "but my training in architecture has shown me the importance of good structure in a painting."
For more images Caldwell's work, visit the Wicker Wood & Shells web site. For additional information about the show, contact gallery owners Jim and Barbara Nelson at 776-6909.

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Nov. 21, 2001 - A new exhibition of 12 pastel works by longtime St. John resident Carolyn Caldwell will open Friday with a meet-the-artist reception from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Wicker Wood & Shells gallery in Mongoose Junction.
Meeting the artist is a treat these days, even for people who've known Caldwell for years. That's because she left the island last year to take up residence in a small fishing village in the north of Maine, where she is a full-time working artist now. But Wicker Wood & Shells has made it relatively easy for folks on St. John to keep up with her creative output -- this is the third exhibition of her work the gallery has mounted since her departure, and the second for which she has personally returned.
Although all of the pieces she is showing in the new show are pastels, she is "trying out all kinds of things" in other mediums, including gouache and oils, Caldwell says. "I'm working in light and dark patterns, with the human figure as a dark, abstract shape, rather than a person or character."
And so, she explains, while the works at Wicker Wood & Shells depict Caribbean market scenes and boats -- familiar subject matter -- "you could have a scene that's an outdoor market and another that's a fishing shack, and they could be the same scene."
One technique she has been experimenting with recently in the pastel medium is building up textural layers in order to achieve bold, rich color effects. There is, in short, nothing "pastel" about these pastels.
In the village she now calls home, three and a half hours north of Portland, Me., Caldwell has converted an old one-room schoolhouse into a studio. Her husband, Ken Betts, is in the process of turning an old church into a woodworking center and of rehabilitating a building at the back of the church as their living quarters.
"It's really picturesque and so unspoiled," she says of the locale. "I have to drive 45 minutes before I get to any fast-food restaurants!"
Although she lived in Boston for about 10 years before moving to the Virgin Islands, Caldwell is more of an islander than a New Englander still. "I miss the people," she says of St. John, "the community that we were a part of."
The opening of her Wicker Wood & Shells show is taking place in the midst of Mongoose Junction's annual Fall Evening in the Courtyard kickoff to the yearend holidays. From 8 p.m. "until" on Friday, all of the shops, galleries and restaurants in the complex will be offering enticements and treats to get visitors into a seasonal shopping mood.
In keeping with some 15 years of tradition at Mongoose Junction, there will be live music, a fashion show, a wine bar, and artists and artisans at work amid the holiday decorations and lights throughout the complex.
At Wicker Wood and Shells, there will be complimentary champagne and wine.
Caldwell lived on St. John for 16 years and for the last two of those years owned the Grasshopper Gallery in Coral Bay. Her work won numerous awards locally, notably at the annual Caribbean Colour exhibitions.
After first majoring in photography, Caldwell later returned to college to study architecture. While practicing that profession, she pursued a parallel career in fine art, studying with part-time St. Thomas resident David Millard, author of "The Joy of Watercolor"; Jeanne Dobie, author of "Making Color Sing"; and Thomas Sgouros, head of the Illustration Department at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Form and balance -- fundamentals of architecture-- are an innate element of her paintings, as is an understanding of the quality of light -- an essential of photography. "Color is a very important aspect of why I paint," Caldwell says, "but my training in architecture has shown me the importance of good structure in a painting."
For more images Caldwell's work, visit the Wicker Wood & Shells web site. For additional information about the show, contact gallery owners Jim and Barbara Nelson at 776-6909.