Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Arts/Entertainment

February 28, 2013

Whole new angles on tradition at Loading Dock show

March 2 opening reception

People have a chance to meet two local artists -- one who alters photographs, another who blows glass -- at a reception this Saturday in Lowell.

The Loading Dock Gallery exhibit, “Restructuring Tradition” features the work of Laura Doran and glass blower Peter Zimmerman. The opening reception at 122 Western Ave., Lowell, is Saturday, March 2, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Doran digitally alters photographs of family heirlooms: crystal, glass, and china. Her series began as a private exploration of memory, according to a release on the show. Her original photographs were portraits of domestic essentials: vases for every day, china for special occasions, cranberry glass saved for Saturday night. (“We had our once-a-week soda in them.”) These objects, once the provenance of grown-ups, pose like family members for their portraits. Restructuring tradition, Doran then manipulates these images electronically.

“With the computer Doran has painted a new vision. The transformed images emphasize the transparency of the glassware. Desaturated colors underscore the ephemeral quality of memory. While developing this series, Doran has been able to share her progress with her mother, now in assisted living. The joint process brought time and memory full circle,” according to a release.

Zimmerman offers a series of new glass vessels, rich with color and pattern. Restructuring tradition, Zimmerman returned this winter to Bermuda to work, where he produced free-blown pieces in a furnace kept at 2100 degrees. The shapes and techniques are ancient.

“From that traditional template, I used my imagination and creativity to explore color and pattern in ways that are modern,” he said.

Zimmerman, who also has studied acting and music, says his performance experience serves him well. Shaping hot glass requires dexterity and skill. “Equal parts science, athletic achievement and imaginative discovery, glass for me has been a way of devotion and practice” he said in the release.

Both Doran and Zimmerman live in Lowell, with studios at Western Avenue Studios.

Restructuring Tradition runs at the Loading Dock Gallery through March 31. Regular gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, visit theloadingdockgallery.com, email info@theloadingdockgallery.com or call 978-656-1687.

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