Artist finds inspiration in Concord's Macone's Pond

Ilana Manolson, a nationally recognized artist who lives and works in Concord, is having three shows in March. Two shows in Lincoln and Concord contain a Series of paintings she has made standing in the same spot at Macone's Pond in Concord, observing the water's edge in different seasons, different lights and different weather conditions. She says, "By staying in the same spot day after day, I find I get to see the surprises and the changes. I see the ups and down of pond life from a frog's eye view."

A one-person show of her paintings entitled "Deep Diving in Shallow Water," will be on display at the Clark Gallery in Lincoln from March 4 through March 27. Her work will also be represented in a group show entitled "Seven Concord Artists" at the Concord Art Association that will be on display from March 4 to 30. Both shows contain landscape paintings made at Macone's Pond and at Lac Revdor in Quebec where she a/so has a home.

Like her prior work, she looks at the relationship between order and disorder in the context of her life. She says about her current series of paintings, "The water's edge is a place where the solid realities of muck and mud mingle with the ethereal forms of reflected clouds, where the rotting of old plants brings forth new life, where the fluidity of water is held firm by linear plants. I go to the swamp not to be kind to mosquitoes but to look for the place where these contradictions coexist, where order and disorder meet. When I look closely at the water's edge, an order of tight, color and structure seems to emerge. I weave together in paint this emerging order."

Manolson has exhibited her work in galleries in Boston and other parts of New England as well as in New York, Toronto and elsewhere. Her work can be found in the collections of museums including the Museum of Fine Arts, the De Cordova Museum; the Boston Public Library and the Fuller Museum, as well as in numerous private collections.

Manolson's work has always been noted for her strong color sense and her use of light and shadow. Cate McQuaid of the Boston Globe described her work as "swirling with light and breathtaking color." Another reviewer, Christine Temin also of the Boston Globe, described her work as having "a rich play of exquisite, jewel-like colors."

Manolson is well known in the Boston area for the use of monoprints, one-of-a-kind prints that marry elements of printmaking and painting. Her third show this month, at the Galeria Espacio Abierto in Havana, Cuba, features monoprints. She received a degree in printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design. She was one of four partners in a Cambridge print studio called Artists Proof that has been recognized for its role in the development of printmaking in Boston. Proof in Print, Published by the Boston Public Library, contains a collection of prints by the Artists Proof founders, other artists who worked in that studio, and of artists at the several studios in the Boston area and South Africa that were spawned when Artists Proof was forced to disband, a victim of gentrification.

Manolson moved to Concord in 1995 with her husband and two children. She built a studio next to her house and can be seen painting at the edge of several ponds and rivers in Concord.