Living in Lowell and working at UMass Lowell’s Graduate School of Education gives photographer John Wren a unique perspective to explore the city around him.
And he often does that with his digital camera, focusing it on what most appeals to him.
He shares his work in Light and Color On the Edges, an exhibit running Feb. 26 through March 30 in the Loading Dock Gallery at Western Avenue Studios, 122 Western Ave.
“I’ve always followed a path of taking images to please myself,” said Wren. “And living in Lowell and working at UML give me great opportunities to explore.”
An unexpected detail of an architectural shot, for instance, gives Wren and viewers of his work a new perspective on a location they may have seen hundreds of times before. And, as he works with his collected images, he takes a special interest in the abstract aspects of the shots. He then chooses how to compose and present each image so that such elements as shape, color and line take on added importance.
Wren has explored photography for decades, beginning from his years on an Air Force combat base in Vietnam, where he was bunked by the base’s photo hobby shop and had the place to himself. Working first in traditional film, he taught himself to print black and white images and take color slides. He discovered digital photography in the 1990s and found it a welcome change from the darkroom. Since then, he has studied with established digital photographers including Allison Shaw and Jay Maisel and has now taken his place among them.
Meet Wren at a reception on Saturday, March 1, 5-7 p.m. The gallery is open Wednesday-Saturday, noon-5:30 p.m., and Sunday, noon-4 p.m.
In other Western Avenue Studios news, painter Laurie Simko, who has her studio here, participates in the show Near & Far at the Concord Art Association. The show also features work by photographer Al Levin and is open March 2-30 in the Members Gallery of the Art Association, 37 Lexington Road, in Concord Center. Simko is a member of various art organizations and has exhibited in juried shows in Boston, Framingham, Cambridge and Concord, as well as at the Brush Art Gallery, Whistler House Museum of Art and Arts League of Lowell, all in Lowell. A reception takes place on Sunday, March 2, 2-4 p.m. at the gallery.
- ARTSY TOWN: Westford tunes in to art through the month of March with programs, concerts, exhibits, classes and more leading up to the 1st annual Westford Art, Music and Fairy Garden Festival — A Community Celebration of the Arts 2014 from March 20-30. Programs include a Fairy Garden Workshop, March 1; Paint and Social Night, March 5; Parent and Child Art, March 16; Opening Reception for the Festival, March 20; High Tea and Spring Fashion Show, March 29, and Desserts and Flower Demonstrations by Mayshu of Westford Florist and participants in the Westford Regional Art Event (WRAE), March 28-30. Visit westford.com/funfest for a list of events and details.
- KEROUAC’S PATH: In collaboration with Lowell Celebrates Kerouac!, The ALL Arts Center, 307 Market St., Lowell, will display works in all media representing the questing spirit of Lowell native, author and poet Jack Kerouac in Travels Off The Beaten Track, Feb. 28-April 13. A reception will be held on March 8, 4-8 p.m. Visit artsleagueoflowell.org.
- ART-FILLED WEEKEND: American Textile History Museum hosts a free Super Saturday event – Making Cool Stuff – beginning at 10 a.m. on March 1 at the museum, 491 Dutton St., Lowell. Activities include demos, make-and-take crafts, scavenger hunts and more. Visit athm.org… Western Avenue Studios and Lofts, 122 Western Ave., Lowell hosts its monthly First Saturday Open Studios from noon-5 p.m…. There’s a Pulp & Press Bazaar at Mill No. 5, 250 Jackson St., Lowell, on Saturday, March 1, noon-7 p.m., featuring over 50 vendors of books, comics, fine art prints, greeting cards, stationary and other artisanal paper goods. Visit alittlebazaarpresents.blogspot.com… Concord Museum presents a lecture on artists homes and studios by art historian Wanda Corn at 1 p.m., Sunday, March 2 , in the French Gallery, followed by a tour of sculptor Daniel Chester French’s Concord home and gallery. Visit concordmuseum.org for details and reservations.
- MARDI GRAS FUN FOR KIDS: The Children’s Discovery Museum invites kids to create music makers and design masquerade masks for an at-home Mardi Gras party. The fun takes place on Tuesday, March 4, at 10 a.m. in the Children’s Discovery Classroom on the museum campus, 177 Main Street, Acton. Visit discoverymuseums.org for hours, admission and other programs.
Nancye Tuttle’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.