Jim Banks

November 9, 2021 - December 3, 2021
150 Wakefield Street, Rochester, NH 03867
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.”

More information and sales inquiries

Related Posts

Debra Claffey

March 7, 2023 - May 5, 2023
150 Wakefield Street, Rochester, NH 03867

Debra Claffey is a visual artist who uses encaustic, oil, and mixed media in her work. She holds a BFA in Painting from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and Tufts University and an Associate’s Degree in Horticultural Technology from the University of New Hampshire. Claffey’s work has won several awards…

Nate Twombly

May 8, 2023 - June 30, 2023
150 Wakefield Street, Rochester, NH 03867

Nate Twombly is an interdisciplinary artist and illustrator from Hooksett, New Hampshire. His illustrations capture the quaint and playful details of everyday New England life. Nate graduated from New Hampshire Institute of Art in 2009. He uses multiple mediums including pen & Ink, watercolor and digital. His work has been shown at Newport Folk Festival,…

Michelle Peterson

Threads and Where They Lead
September 6, 2022 - November 4, 2022
150 Wakefield Street, Rochester, NH 03867
Reception: September 30, 2022 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Michelle Peterson is a visual artist, receiving her BFA from New Hampshire Institute of Art in 2011, and her MFA from the Institute of Art and Design at New England College in 2020. She works in multiple mediums, including painting, photography, and fiber art. She is a mother of two and resides in southern New…

Trevor Toney

July 5, 2023 - September 1, 2023
150 Wakefield Street, Rochester, NH 03867

Trevor Toney is a woodworker, furniture maker, sculptor and painter living in Massachusetts. He received his Associates in Furniture Making and Design from the Worcester Center for Crafts in 2004 where he was awarded The David L. Morreale Art Award for Excellence in Design and Craft. In early 2022 he resigned after 16 years as…

Alicia Sampson Ethridge

The Birds and the Herds
November 7, 2022 - January 6, 2023
150 Wakefield Street, Rochester, NH 03867
Reception: November 19, 2022 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Alicia Sampson Ethridge is a contemplative artist and mother of two, living in coastal Maine. Born in New Jersey in 1984, she moved to Maine in 2008. Ethridge worked as a grief counselor employing expressive art therapies for six years before she was initiated into the Interspiritual Order of Art Monastics in 2014. She studied…

Laura Harper Lake

Vivid and Vulnerable Vessels
January 9, 2023 - March 3, 2023
150 Wakefield Street, Rochester, NH 03867
Reception: January 14, 2023 12:00 am - 

Laura Harper Lake is an interdisciplinary artist and designer who works under the moniker Artful Harper Studios at the Exeter Stations Studios in Exeter, New Hampshire. She has been creatively driven her whole life and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Studio Art from Chester College of New England in 2007. Laura has…