The Rochester Museum of Fine Arts is pleased to feature a series of original works by local artist Barbara Morse in the Dartt Hurst Gallery, located in the first-floor hall of the James W. Foley Memorial Community Center. The Dartt Hurst is an accessible community art wall that showcases talented artists from around the region.
Barbara Morse is a graphite artist from Bridgeport, Connecticut. Her interest and involvement in art have been life-long, starting at a young age. “I recall my first notable piece of art was done from a ‘Draw Me’ matchbook cover around the age of five and shown to a neighbor. Right from the start with her praise and encouragement, I was hooked.” Morse attended the Paier College of Art in New Haven, Connecticut, for two years after high school. She believed that in that time, she had learned all that she needed to know. She then took a job as an oral surgeon assistant, which was interesting work but a bit off-track from what she had trained for. After a few years as a graphic designer, Morse was looking for a better way to pursue and grow her career as an artist.
Morse has worked as a freelance illustrator for over a dozen years, doing work for advertising agencies, magazine publications, and editorial assignments. She has turned back to fine arts, which has always been her first love and where she hopes to remain. Morse believes that when you find the medium you truly love following the years of searching, with it comes the ability for expression. Her personal strength as an artist is working in graphite, and she has worked a long time to develop her specific style of realism and level of quality. She uses Bristol Board with a smooth finish and varied leads from HB to 4B. Acrylic paints are used in a wash when color is used to highlight a portion of the drawing. Her pieces take anywhere from fifty to two hundred hours depending on the size and detail involved. Morse is in control of this medium, taking great pleasure in watching a piece come to life before her. She was greatly influenced in the style of sharp focus by artists Ken Davies and Paul Lipp who were two of her professors at Paier.
Developing an idea can come from anything around Morse as everywhere she looks is a potential drawing. She enjoys taking the ordinary and putting them in unexpected surroundings or giving an unusual perspective of the subject. Morse’s desire is to get the viewer’s thought process to extend beyond the natural order of things and to suggest a range of emotions from humor to hope. Her work is meant to be studied at close range, with the viewer moved to explore the connection between the image and the word. She challenges herself with each piece, isolating just a portion of a scene, object, or person in sharp focus, developing a mood within it and transforming it to a level of fine art. Beyond her family, making art is Morse’s greatest joy.
The exhibition will be on view from May 8, 2023, until June 30, 2023, with a reception planned for June 17, 2023, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. The public is encouraged to attend. The James W. Foley Memorial Community Center is located at 150 Wakefield Street, Rochester, NH 03867. Visit www.barbaramorseart.com and www.rochestermfa.org to learn more.
Barbara has some upcoming exhibitions in 2023:
A one-woman show at the Twin Villages Art Center in Hopkinton, NH in October.
A one-woman show at the Jaffrey Civic Center in Jaffrey, NH in November.
Barbara’s work is represented at the Galleries at 30 Main in Meredith, NH
The museum is sponsored by the City of Rochester, Rochester Main Street, Waterstone Properties Group, Bernier Insurance, Meredith Village Savings Bank, Creative Guts Podcast, and the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce.