The arts faculty at Williston Northampton School are not only teachers, but also are working artists. A show at the Grubbs Gallery from April 3 to May 2 will feature the work of painter Dan Roe, photographer Ed Hing ’77, tech theater designer Charles Raffetto, and potter and sometimes-printmaker (and arts department head) Natania Hume.
“I don’t always have a lot of time to work on my art but somehow it gets made,” said Hume, “so I seem to find time here and there. My pottery studio is in an old mill building so although my pottery style is clean and sharp I like the rustic and rough vibe of the old mill buildings, of which there are so many in and around Easthampton. I decided to do a series of prints based on them.”
Hume encourages her classes to listen to their creative impulses. “I tell students to follow their heart,” she said. “For those who truly love it there are many choices of careers within the arts and the art world is actually vast.”
Roe echoed that idea. “I want anyone who takes my classes to feel like painting is accessible. I want them to feel like they could stretch a canvas and successfully get an idea out of their head. Also, if they remember how important values are, that would be great,” he said, referring to color values (how light or dark a color is).
“Lately, being outside and experiencing landscapes has been inspiring me to paint,” he continued. “This is especially true of being out in the more grandiose places I got to see on a trip I took to Iceland last year. I have found that the shapes, colors, and drama involved in a large landscape compel me to put them on canvas.” Roe said his recent landscapes are an homage to the Hudson River School of painters who romanticized the grandeur of nature in dramatic, light-infused outdoor scenes.
Meanwhile, Hing brought his camera to Enniscorthy, Ireland over spring break for an artist-in-residence program, thinking he’d capture grand landscapes. Three feet of snow two days before he arrived changed that plan. Still wishing to capture a connection to the place, he saw some “really incredible light streaming in through the windows” and decided to make a series of still life images. He poked around the studio for objects to shoot and placed some seed pods and a clay sculpture of a mouth in proximity, yielding a cloudy, mysterious image. “I think the ghost of Magritte was dancing around in my head,” he said.