Jim Banks

November 9, 2021 - December 3, 2021
Reception: November 12, 2021 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Jim received his B.A. in Fine Art from Bard College. He has shown in Honolulu, San Antonio, Memphis, and in the Boston area. He is represented by Fountain Street Fine Arts in Boston. 

“In 2009, I began Planters Project. The concept was to fill planters with “wild” dirt – dirt taken from neglected/disturbed areas around my studio in Medford, MA, then see what grows. 

I struggled with the whole “Is this art?” question, so I put some token sculptural element in the planters with the notion that said  element would be engulfed and eventually obscured by the growth. I suppose it has to do with the ol’ Man vs. Nature thing, that totally tedious discussion ranging from Eden to Apocalypse, and we’ve all heard it before. It became something quite different.

​What poured out of the dirt over the next several months amazed me. Not just the growth of X, but the growth and death of X, then the growth of Y taking its place. What began as the pursuit of one idea – to see how the weeds would obscure our monuments – became how the landscape within the planter itself changed throughout the season. If one purpose of Art is to abstract from Life details that draw attention to things often overlooked, then the changing nature of Nature is the real subject of Planters Project

Over the next several years, the shapes and sizes of my planters changed from small garden planters to larger installations built into the earth itself. 

When I began the write-up of the first season in 2009, I realized I did not know the names of any of the weeds except the dandelion. That seemed immoral, so since 2009, I’ve been obsessed with identifying every weed I see. One of the first I identified was a sow thistle growing from a crack in the sidewalk in front of my studio. I was so taken by the leaf structure, that I made a few drawings, then painted it.

As I reviewed the photos I’d taken of weeds, I noticed that many took on elements of my college studies in Abstract Expressionism, namely, the all-over image pressed up flat against the picture plane. I called these “Footscapes” because they are what you see when you look down in front of your feet. That angle, devoid of horizon, was an interesting way to approach the structure of landscape. And of course I have violated the “flatness” by attempting to reveal the spacial passages from bud to dirt. 

As I continued to study weeds, they challenged me to reveal their details. I found that in early Spring, some flowers can be seen only from your knees. It is this quality of seeing more as you look more that I want to infuse into my paintings.”

Related Posts

Julie Hamel

The Known Unknown
August 8, 2022 - September 2, 2022
Reception: August 11, 2022 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Julie Hamel is a multidisciplinary maker working with photographic media that speaks of loss and memory. Frequently using what’s found in nature to highlight the distance in…

Spenser Macleod, Flavor Fiends, Spray paint on canvas, 48 inches × 48 inches, 2022

Spenser Macleod

June 6, 2022 - August 5, 2022
Reception: June 9, 2022 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Spenser Macleod is an artist based out of Portland, Maine, where he lives with his fiancé and daughter. Spenser earned a BFA in Illustration from Maine College…

Jeff Fitzgerald, Spring, 38 x 46 inches, Acrylic on linen, $5400

Jeff Fitzgerald

Next To Fly
May 9, 2022 - June 3, 2022
Reception: May 12, 2022 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Jeff Fitzgerald is a York, Maine-based artist who works primarily in acrylic, graphite, and charcoal. Fitzgerald studied painting at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has exhibited…

Matt Pidgeon

November 5, 2018 - January 4, 2019
Reception: November 14, 2019 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Matt Pidgeon has been a painter for most of his life and employs various mediums including acrylic, oil, and enamel on canvas. Pidgeon has been featured in numerous…

Robert Indiana

May 4, 2019 - May 4, 2019
Reception: May 4, 2019 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

The Rochester Museum of Fine Arts, in association with The Argh Gallery, is pleased to announce a one-day-only exhibition featuring a genuine “LOVE” screenprint signed by Robert…

Tom Glover

May 6, 2019 - June 28, 2019
Reception: May 9, 2019 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Tom Glover’s art is reflective of the seacoast where he lives, places he has traveled over the years, and the influence of his teacher John Laurent. Passed…