OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday, October 20, 3 - 5pm
“Nature is a haunted house – but art is a house that tries to be haunted.” - Emily Dickenson
“A man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to discover, through the detours of art, these two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.” - Albert Camus
"My work is often generated out of a distant memory of a physical setting that becomes a metaphor for a personal truth. As a child I had the good fortune of woods, open fields and farmland in which to play. When I was nine my father, who was a Presbyterian minister, took a pastorate in Huntington, Long Island, on the north shore. It was in the mid-nineteen forties, and Huntington was still considered a village. It was a quiet place of natural beauty, and my imaginative life was very much centered on continuing play in the woods as well as the added blessing of water. When I was eighteen the family made another move to Denver, Colorado, and I finished my college education in the Northwest. It was in the West that I first encountered mountains a grand scale. When I returned to Boston for graduate study many hours were spent in Lanesville, looking again out to the sea.
Although experience of natue as manifest in woods, water and mountains was central to my childhood, I was not conscious of being drawn back to it as a source for my work until we returned to the Northwest in 1963. For ten years we lived on a farm that bridged the Little Spokane River. It was from daily observing the silver light, space and temperature transforming a pasture, grove of trees or the run of water that I found myself precoccupied with the spirit and grandeur of the place. Anticipating the time when we would have to leave this remarkable setting, it seemed a given that we should try to repeat the experience elesewhere. We searched for property and finally located forty acres, fifty miles north of Spokane in the mountains. We built by hand a studi/house and for the last twenty years have returned every summer to witness the beauty of a landscape that we love, something like Wallace Stegner's return from the West Coast to summer in Vermont. The paintings and drawings, then, are built out of an extended exposure to what is seen and felt, trying to understand what lies behind the appearance of natural form. I work totally from memory, with each piece developing on its own. The surprise of the finished piece can recall a beach on Long Island Sound, an island in the San Juans or a well-traveled road in the Northwest. At another level it is clear that I am trying to hold/reflect the lost moment, break through the fence of time and reclaim what was given to me as a child on a first-time basis. At its best the final statement conveys a distilled sensation of time." - Ben Frank Moss, from The Artist as Native: Reinventing Regionalism (Alan Gussow, Pomegranate Artbooks, San Francisco, CA, 1993)