Stephen Soitos, a landscape painter residing in Northampton, MA, is the first of four artists to be awarded a Rocky Neck Art Colony Residency. The residency artists were selected because they demonstrated high-level accomplishment, originality, and seriousness of purpose. One applicant was selected for each of four one-month residency terms, beginning May 21, 2006. The program includes prime studio/gallery/living space in Rocky Neck, opportunities to lecture and show their work, and access to the rich cultural community of Rocky Neck and Cape Ann.
Soitos’ large colorful oil paintings of New England landscapes owe a debt to such artists as Marsden Hartley, Arthur Dove and John Sloane. He will give the first of two talks to introduce himself and show slides of his work to the Cape Ann arts community on Thursday, May 25 at 7pm in the Bryan Gallery, 56 Rocky Neck Ave. Soitos comes from an Azorean, Portuguese family and is interested in learning about and connecting with the Portuguese community in Gloucester. He hopes to execute a series of oil paintings of Gloucester motifs in his unique style while participating in the Residency Program. At the end of the month-long term, Soitos will exhibit paintings and talk about his experience in Rocky Neck. The second talk is scheduled for Thursday, June 19 at the Avery-Mann Gallery (formerly the Ward Mann Gallery), 77 Rocky Neck Ave.
Stephen Soitos comes with an impressive r’sum’ of exhibitions and educational background. He holds a Master of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA, with a teaching certificate from Smith College. In addition he has studied at Oxford University in Oxford, England; Coimbra University in Coimbra, Portugal; and University de Tours in Tours, France; and has participated in exhibitions and studies in Germany, Italy and Vieques, Puerto Rico.
- The other artists awarded 2006 Rocky Neck Residencies include:
- Aithan Shapira, an abstract painter and first generation American who lived in Jerusalem, currently residing in Allston, Massachusetts. Her work explores the symbol of the “American dream”: the romantic landscape, imbued with concepts of infinity, opportunity, and fantasy (starting June 25).
- Sarah Hardesty, a sculptor who investigates skin as a metaphor for protection, comfort, containment, and the fragility and resilience of life, from Tucson, Arizona (starting July 30).
- Alexandra Rozenman, a bilingual artist who emigrated to American from the Soviet Union, now living in St. Paul, Minnesota. Through immigration, multiculturalism, traveling and rediscovering her own roots, her mixed media paintings turned into nostalgic fairy tales as lines from an unfinished play (starting September 3).
Spearheaded by artist Gordon Goetemann, the Rocky Neck Art Colony worked with seARTS to initiate the Rocky Neck Residency program in 2005. Funded in part by seARTS with funding made possible through the Massachusetts Cultural Council John and Abigail Adams Program for cultural economic development, the Residency Program is now in its second year.