Dana parent Ann Harney brings color to the Gallery

Walking into the Dana Art Gallery right now, you will enter a world full of interesting shades, funny statues, and blocks of color. The current gallery show, running October 14 through November 19, features paintings by Ann F. Harney, the mother of 2008 Dana graduate Elizabeth Cantor, as well as ceramic sculpture by Eileen Braun.

Ms. Harney’s paintings include both representational and abstract work. Painting is a full-time job for Ms. Harney, who said, “I paint every day. I don’t wait for inspiration.” When Ms. Harney started painting several years ago, she “only considered representational work to be the high calling of the artist,” but now Ms. Harney does abstraction more often. What she is most interested in is capturing the beauty of the color and light.

Ms. Harney uses a palette knife for her oil paints in order to “capture the initial impression,” which she believes is very important for an artist to do. She thus create a thick surface texture on the landscape paintings and some of the abstract work. The paper collages help Ms. Harney to search for the right color and shape.

Michael Frassinelli, the Head of the Visual Arts Department and the Director of Dana Art Gallery, commented on Ms. Harney’s work as an art teacher: “I think Ms. Harney’s work is a great example of traditional oil painting, both realistic and abstract. She just recently got her Master’s degree at the Mass College of Art and her training there shows in the quality of the paintings.”  Denise Ho’16 said, “Although I am not an artsy person, I think I can understand these beautiful works and they make me feel happy.”

Although Ms. Harney has held many shows in the Boston area, she still considered her show at Dana special. When Ms. Harney’s daughter was applying for colleges, she looked for colleges to study art and get an art degree; therefore, Dana is a place that witnessed her art study and her transition into an artist.

Braun, the other artist represented in the current gallery show, makes ceramic sculptures, pots, and tea-pots. Mr. Frassinelli expressed his feeling about the combination of these two kinds of arts: “Often in an art show, it is good to show both two-dimensional and three-dimensional work, so you have a variety of visual experiences in the gallery. The work of these two artists seemed to go together well, both with the forms they use and some of the colors. The work complements each other and creates a nicely balanced room, very serene and beautiful.”

Ms. Harney’s message to Dana Hall students is to “Go with your passion because at any age you can find something you like. I did not find painting fabulous until really late in time, and now it is a fabulous thing, and my whole world is this now. Don’t give up until you find the thing you really love.”

Photo: Ann F. Harney poses in front of one of her paintings in the Gallery. Photo credit: Luceo Wang.

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