Page 16a — THE CONWAY DAILY SUN, Saturday, May 3, 2014 Artistic Journeys Cynthia Melendy Artists to my mind are the real architects of change I always learn something new and exciting when I converse with Rebecca Klementovich. When I fi rst encountered her art, I was amazed. “What is this?” I asked myself. “What does it mean?” Over time, as I visited various galleries, I encountered her work in many different places, and had heard that she broke boundaries, was talented, and upbeat. Then, fi nally, we had a chance to sit down and talk after I had viewed her art in several different locales. She sure is talented! Upbeat! And she breaks boundaries! As an artist fulfi lling the diverse roles of Reiki master, yoga instructor and parent, Rebecca Klementovich fi nds that the power of her abstract paintings derives from the energies that surround the objects or landscapes she has chosen to paint. “Seeing energy is a subtle art and a skill that has taken me years to develop. Sometimes the energy around the objects blink with light or morph into layers of unusual colors,” she says. Her creative method is inspired by this unique way of looking at her subject matter and it is the unknown quality of this energy that is both the challenge and the reward in the act of her creation. In viewing Rebecca’s work, it is the energy that speaks clearly in that the viewer is asked to revisit emotional arenas inadequately examined or to identify emotional paths never traveled at all. The gown-clad painter has an unearthly image of herself painting on the tops of Mountains, on a snow trail, or in the foliage fi lled forests. Originally growing up in New Hampshire, now living in Bartlett, Rebecca previously lived in New York for 22 years. She received a bachelor in fi ne arts from the Fashion Institute of Technology in 1992 with additional studies at Cooper Union and the Arts Student League in New York City. She has 22 years of experience as a textile designer. For the past 15 years, Rebecca has shown in galleries, museums and charities in New York City, Brooklyn, Queens, Maine and New Hampshire. Currently, in addition to work presently shown at Canterbury Hill Studio & Gallery, and the Jackson Studio Gallery in Jackson, she is showing in Manhattan and, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont. “Brookhill Purple Mountain,” by Rebecca Klementovich. Rebecca Klementovich in her studio. see next page THE CONWAY DAILY SUN, Saturday, May 3, 2014— Page 17a Rebecca’s career refl ects a traditional beginning of fashion design which explodes into new and fascinating avenues. Breaking boundaries, in many cases, is what art and life, is all about. That is why we continually reference the White Mountain School of Art, because in their original time frame, they introduced a landscape that many in America had not seen nor considered. They provided us with the original “framework” for the scenery of the White Mountains and the meaning of America: Artists literally framed the scenes before them as sublime, pastoral, domesticated, wild, transformed. Now in the twentieth century, artists continue to grow. That was representational art, which stayed with us in the art world until about the turn of the 20th century, when artists began to experiment with techniques of interpretation, of the objects, persons and landscapes, that we see. Artists experimented with visual expression of objects using color, new media, and illustration on multiple spatial planes illustrated on the two dimensional canvas. Recently the community had the privilege of viewing “Paintings by Robert Casper, 1928-2012,” which opened on Saturday, Feb. 1, in the Pace Gallery at Fryeburg Academy, whose studies of visual planes and brushwork with acrylic was inspired by Hans Hoffman. Other of these abstract expressions that became familiar to all of us were cubism and the work of Picasso. The fracturing of the visual planes refl ected the changes in social cohesion in the modern, industrial world. Production, once mechanized, was broken down into many small tasks, such as in the assembly line, which produced things like automobiles. Typewriters, representing writing and expression, became lines of mechanized keys which were depressed by our ten fi ngers. Even now, our production and expression has been reduced to a series of two numbers: 0 and 1, in certain orders, to digitally process information and knowledge. This is where abstract expressionism comes in. Many people are puzzled by it, and don’t know how to interpret what they are seeing. When we see a string of numbers it is not a digital creation that we can recognize without using a computer. But as humans with creative minds we can be inspired and fascinated by expressionism. Many expect a duck to look like a duck, except during Easter, when a duck or a bunny or an egg conjures up other meanings. Such it is with abstract expressionism: it can be launched from a scene, music, poetry, or interior thought, depending on its context. Abstract expressionism begins with what is on front of us, and keeps on going. Its abstract qualities perform very much in the manner William Burroughs, the poet, who believed that writing should achieve the partitioning of its various elements. One of the Beat literati, he invented ‘cut-up’ writing, in which he would narrate a stream of consciousness and then literally cut the paper into strips, and reconfi gure phrases, words, and fi gures of speech. He is well known for his aphorisms, or expressions, though many people don’t recognize them as being his. New England Expressionist, of which Rebecca is a member, is a group of artists exploring edge detection in the Colonial states. The last great artwork showing a political movement here in New England was the cut up snake on the Flag during the Revolution, Join or Die. “Join, or Die” was a well-known political cartoon, created by Benjamin Franklin and fi rst published in his Pennsylvania Gazette on May 9, 1754. Rebecca believes that it is time for another strong New England art evolution, centered on political ideas. Of Robert Frost, Rebecca references him on her website: the New England expressionist is equivalent to an Avant Garde Yankee. These artists use New England poetry phrases to accompany their art. All these forms are combined together to entice the viewer to enter imagery of New England, while breaking through some personal way things could be looked upon. This series speaks to us using poetry as a way of abstraction. In particular Klementovich’s work is like Basquiat painting while Robert Frost speaks of plows, plums, and New England Weather. For more about Basquiat, see the extraordinary website at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. He is a favorite of Jay-Z : www. brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/basquiat/street-tostudio/ english/home.php). Rebecca draws from the poetry of Robert Frost, who developed his own theory of poetry, which is refl ected in his verse and teaching. Frost’s goal was to use the everyday rhythm of speech in verse. He rejected the stilted patterns and rhymes of the 19th century poets. He also did not care for free verse in which there is no rhyme or meter. In one famous example, the “Mending Wall,” he used a situation of repairing a wall between two farms, a situation common to the farm life of New England, to convey an idea which he believed held true in the life of all people. Klementovich uses Frost for her titles as she feels he has embodied the New England life completely. One of Rebecca’s heroes, aside from Robert Frost, was William Burroughs, the American poet and writer born February 5, 1914, died August 2, 1997. Just this past February, the New Yorker published a Peter Schjeldahl’s review of the biography of Burroughs, The New Yorker’s “The Outlaw: The extraordinary life of William S. Burroughs,” which supplies the reader with a thorough accounting of Burroughs’s remarkable life and work in the twentieth century. His work refl ects the energy of some of the abstract expressionists, and provides Rebecca with inspiration for a large body of her work. His most well known book, “Naked Lunch,” brought to social notice themes of drug use, homosexuality, hyperbolic violence, and anti-authoritarian paranoia. This review, and the book it describes, supplies the reader with a thorough accounting of Burroughs’s remarkable life and work in the twentieth century. His work refl ects the energy of some of the abstract expressionists, and provides Rebecca with inspiration for a large body of her work. One which has been adopted by many: “Artists to my mind are the real architects of change, and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact.” Or: “Sometimes paranoia’s just having all the facts.” He also is well known for this one, though those who parrot it would be chagrined that is was the avant-garde heroine addict writer who said, “The aim of education is the knowledge, not of facts, but of values.” There are treasure troves of Burroughs’ quotes readily available online. (http://www. brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/w/william_s_burroughs. html#1VzKiqRmfHJ8Haex.99. Kelementovich does not create simply from her own visions, but often relies on every day scenes as a springboard for interpretation, such as that in her Route 16 series of landscapes seen along the highway. These particular scenes are among my favorites, with large brush strokes, textured paint, bold color, and familiar mountain silhouettes. Check them out on her website www.Klementovich/landscapes.route-16. Rebecca’s artistic vision is a breath of fresh air in a world that is already bracing. She is active, energetic, imaginative, and fun. She loves to work with kids, learn, and teach. Be sure to take a look at her work, and get involved with her new visions. You’ll be happy you did! Cynthia Watkins Melendy, PhD, an American historian, studies and writes about the arts, nature, gender, and their relationship over time. She teaches at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and enjoys the tranquility of the Ossipee Mountains.