Melanie Parke – Flowers For Friends

Kenise Barnes Fine Art

May. 21, 2024 - Jul. 3, 2022

7 Fulling Lane
Kent, 06757
PHONE 860 592-0220

Reception: Saturday, June 11, 4 – 6 PM, public invited

Gallery hours: Thursday – Saturday 11:00 – 5:00, Sunday 12:00 – 4:00 and by appointment

Flowers for Friends – new paintings by Melanie Parke

Kenise Barnes Fine Art is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new paintings by Melanie Parke. This is the artist’s third one-person exhibition with the gallery who has represented Parke since 2015.

Pastoral and bucolic still life settings emerge from Parke’s life. Flowers for Friends is a body of representational and abstract paintings whose lyrical beauty stir emotion and offer an invitation to reminisce. The tenderness of each painting evokes the artist’s fondness for domestic setting and mementos of friendship. Melanie Parke reconstructs familiar interiors and filters them through the ideology of memory. Her subjects often center on flowers, birds, decorative objects, gardens, and intimate settings with an intent in creating safe places for pleasure. Sentiment crafts a domestic locus and seeks visual lushness by alternating tonal moods and vivid ornamentation.

Painting is a pleasure-seeking process for the artist and abstraction a vehicle with which to think and begin. The artist sets up the space intuitively in broad and textured gestures, then pieces together arrangements to compose a homespun narrative. Specific interiors and landscapes are implied. Shifting the emphasis to pattern, texture and tone, Parke works to destabilize notions of exacting representation. This is an effort to build on a sensation of memory which conjures both comfort and longing.

The artist’s work is exhibited widely and is in collections throughout the United States. She has been a visiting artist at The American Academy in Rome three times, and an artist in residence at Borgo Finocchieto Invitational Residency, Tuscany, Italy, Heliker – LaHotan Foundation, Cranberry Isles, ME, Acadia National Park, ME, Yosemite National Park, CA, and Dorland Mountain Colony, CA. Parke earned a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL and studied at Herron School of Art, Indianapolis, IN. Parke lives and works in a contemporary studio in rural Michigan surrounded by orchards, meadows, and birds.

Please contact Kenise Barnes, director: [email protected] with inquires or to arrange a preview of the exhibition.

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