AS OF June 1, 2016, my new website is http://russellpowell.net/. Please visit there to see my new artwork and writing. Thanks.
MY VISUAL ART is intended to engage, inspire, and entertain, provoking viewers to pause and reconsider some aspect of the natural world.
My paintings celebrate the natural world in all its messiness, contradictions, and complexity. I am drawn to the subtle patterns, textures, and shapes that comprise my landscape, and the endless variations of light and color that suffuse objects according to season, weather, and time of day.
At the same time, my body of work protests our relentless compulsion to quantify, digitize, and categorize every aspect of modern life. I reject my culture’s steady retreat from sensory experience outside an ever more narrowly defined comfort zone. In opposing orthodoxy and formula, I assert not just the individual’s right, but the imperative to cultivate an active life off the grid, engaging directly with the physical world.
I am interested in exploring dynamic new ways to combine text with image, and I have experience in graphic design, photography, and video production. A number of my paintings are accompanied by short essays or captions.
TO HEAR me on “Writer’s Voice,” follow this link: Writer’s Voice interview, September 2013
My recent exhibits include:
“Integration/Reintegration,” a solo exhibit of oil paintings and sculpture, Elusie Gallery, Easthampton, Massachusetts, 2015
“Walk To Water,” a solo exhibit of oil and acrylic paintings, Goodwin Memorial Library, Hadley, Massachusetts, 2015
“In And About The Dunes,” a three-person exhibit, oil and acrylic paintings and linoprints, Truro Public Library, Truro, Massachusetts, 2014
“The Essence of Abstraction,” a group exhibition, oil paintings, Agora Gallery, New York City, 2014
I was awarded a 2013 residency in a shack in the Provincetown dunes by the Outer Cape Artists in Residence Consortium (OCARC). The one-room shack, once owned by painter Boris Margo and his wife, printmaker Jan Gelb, sits on a high dune overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. I currently serve on OCARC’s board of directors.
My video credits include:
The short program Winter Weeds, featuring a series of my paintings accompanied by an essay, was named winner of the 2011 video competition of New Worcester Spy, the online journal of Worcester State University.
I produced and directed the documentary Shack Time, about the artist shacks in the dunes of the Cape Cod National Seashore (2001). It was chosen for the New England Film and Video Festival and was aired regionally by PBS-affiliate WGBH-TV in Boston.
I produced and directed the documentary Airstreamin’, about a convention of Airstream trailers in Amherst, Massachusetts (1998), and produced, wrote, and performed in Primal Time Television, a series of programs of social and political satire (1988-1996).
My photographs have appeared in numerous publications.
My Interview with James Baldwin (Brook Hollow Press, 2016). Photograph by Michael Zide. A reprint of a 1983 interview in which Baldwin talks about issues of race, age, writing, and technology in ways that remain relevant, and even prophetic, today.
Apples of New England (Countryman Press, 2014). Photographs by Bar Lois Weeks. A history of apple growing in New England, with descriptions and photographs of more than 200 apple varieties discovered, grown, or sold in the region.
America’s Apple (Brook Hollow Press, 2012). Photographs by Bar Lois Weeks. An in-depth look at how America’s favorite fruit is grown, packed, sold, and eaten.
I published and edited the magazine New England Watershed in 2006 and 2007. A journal of culture, art, and ideas, it was named Best New Publication of 2006 by Utne Reader.
As executive director of the nonprofit New England Apple Association from 1998 to 2011, and currently as its senior writer, my apple and orchard writing and photography has appeared in numerous publications.
I write several weblogs besides this one, including: shacktime.org, essays and artwork inspired by the dunes; newenglandorchards.org, about New England apples; and americasapple.com, with information about my literary work.
Please feel free to mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Many thanks.
Russell Steven Powell
Updated February 2016