Four Contemporary Artists Highlighted in Solace Gallery

Aug 09, 2017
Photo by: Pat Johnson Artist Jen Kelly with her work ‘Here at Last,’ part of the ‘Contemporary’ exhibit at Solace Art Gallery in Surf City.

The impressionist paintings in the “Contemporary” exhibit at the Solace Gallery are perfectly suited for the homes on LBI as the textured surfaces reflect, refract and absorb light throughout the day, changing the mood of the rooms to match the mood of the seashore.

Four artists are featured in Contemporary, one from LBI and three from New England.

Jen Kelly is from the Boston area and was showing works from her “Subtle Horizons” series. Her process begins with an acrylic background that adds texture to the surface; then after that dries, she moves to oil. “I love oil paints and I use a lot of paint – I layer it on.” Kelly works from studies she completes in nature, such as marshes and water, then completes a larger painting in the studio. “I love the feel of the paint. I work with a painting knife and like the paint thick and juicy. It’s more about the paint than the image.

“I’ve been painting a long time, since I was 13, and I’ve never stopped. Sometimes in my life I intended to stop but found myself with a paintbrush in my hand again. It’s something I can’t stop doing; I love it; it makes me happy.”

Kelly paints often with Solace Gallery owner Franny Andahazy in Hingham, Mass., where she lives. Andahazy had the Ocean 17 Gallery in Hingham before she closed it in 2014 and opened Solace on LBI. Both Kelly and Andahazy show at the Contour19 Pop Up Gallery in the Boston Design Center.

“Hingham is also on the water with plenty of boats and marinas to paint,” Kelly said. “I started out painting in a traditional manner but have loosened up under Franny’s influence. I’m more an impressionist.”

Jane Gagliardi-Plenge is an artist in Surf City who has recently been invited to join Solace Gallery. She has vacationed on LBI all her life. “I lived in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, and I worked in the field of education as a teacher and administrator, and I was a professor at St. Joseph’s University,” she said.

Painting is a new endeavor. She works primarily in acrylics, and her “Ocean” series contains “asemic” writing. “It’s the act of writing without making legible words; it’s a process, an evolution of emotional writing. They are sacred ideas.”

Artist Jane Feigenson, also from New England, was unable to attend the “Contemporary” opening but her website contains her statement: “Authenticity is at the core of all that I create. Working in oil paint and at times, found objects, allows me to build. It is the process of building, layering, and scraping that feels real to me. My work reveals my hand and in a sense my spirit.”

New England artist Lisa Macchi could not attend, either, but on her website she explains her process: “It begins with a thought.” Then the artist explores the idea of painting shapes and colors and begins to take some of the paint away. “Through a layered collection of acrylic, paper and mix medium I create movement between what is concealed and what is seen. I watch it evolve as the relationship develops constantly making choices.”

Franny Andahazy also serves as a consultant on interior design and will make home visits to help design the homeowner’s wall art with paintings from her galley.

Find Solace Studio and Gallery at 2312 Long Beach Blvd. in Surf City

For more information, go to The “Contemporary” exhibit continues through Aug. 13.

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