“Mental Vacation” an exhibit with art by Sharleene Hurst and Brian Donnelly
Show runs July 18 through August 17
Exhibit opening reception: July 19 from 6PM to 8PM
Sharleene Hurst is a member of the New Hampshire Art Association. She grew up in Northampton, Massachusetts. She turned to art when she was a child as an escape from her struggles with rheumatoid arthritis, autism, and dyslexia. In the 1980’s she worked for a large corporation and held several local elective offices. In the 1990’s, she served three terms in the New Hampshire State Legislature and began showing her artwork. She has had several successful showings and sells work regularly. Sharleene now works on her artwork full-time. She is married and lives in Hampton, New Hampshire. She is self-taught.
The artwork is usually painted with acrylic and/or glow in the dark paint and is sealed for protection. Paintings are on stretched canvas. Sketches are mounted on stretched canvas and sealed. They are ready to hang. Sculptures usually include a great deal of found and recycled materials. They also glow in the dark.
She thinks of each painting as being similar to a “mental vacation” or “intellectual diversion”. They are meant to be a unique blend of surrealism and the abstract. In a world where many artists use their art to shock, protest, or create controversy, she seeks to add balance with whimsical visions and absurd images that are beautiful, fun, silly, entertaining, or enthralling. Each is an experiment with light, texture, composition, mood, motion, and technique. Sharleene strives to achieve an airbrushed or three dimensional effect using traditional techniques. She likes to use traditional and non-traditional mediums in new and unique ways, and recycle discarded and unwanted materials. She also follows the same basic philosophy for her sculptures. When she is not painting or sculpting, she makes sterling silver jewelry.
Many artists believe that their work should be priced high so that the collectors will respect it. While this is a very valid opinion, Sharleene believes that her art should be available to everyone. Art serves no purpose if it spends its’ life in storage and that there is no greater form of respect than when a piece is purchased and hung prominently on a wall. She keeps her prices low and sells regularly. She also has repeat and multiple sales to individual collectors. Pieces have sold to people as far away as Germany, England, California, Washington, and Florida. Her work has been sold in New York, Providence, and Boston. She has had several successful exhibitions of her work in area galleries and participates in group shows. Her most recent show was at the New Hampshire Art Association's Levy Gallery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in September of this year, selling 8 paintings and 4 sculptures.
At birth, my parents named me Brian Donnelly. My father, who was a middle-school history teacher, taught me to read before nursery school. I found, that if I wanted to learn something, all I had to do was read about it. This was much to the detriment of my grade school teachers, who seemed to have dubious itineraries for me. This continued in a steady decline through junior-high, where the "Little Napoleon" in me fought the system by refusing to play their reindeer games. As the dark curtain of wolves and crows descended upon me in the form of bullies, detentions and curfews, I escaped into a world populated with monsters, super-heroes, and naked women. I would surface shortly to explain my travels to people around me. As time went on, I traveled to darker and more mysterious places. Places not written about directly. Places hinted at on stonewalls and collective dreams. Still, to this day, I travel and surface, honing my skills of tone in order to communicate these patterns and forms that lie just below our waking life. I am now, as you see me, as I always have ever been- A Searcher For The Infinitely Elusive Truth.