(Worcester, Mass.) -- Worcester State University's Interdisciplinary Visual and Performing Arts Major will host a Spring Artist Speaker Series this April. Three New England artists representing a wide variety of media will be featured in the series, which is free and open to the public. All lectures will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Ghosh Science and Technology Building, Room 102, featuring Deborah Baronas on Monday, April 2, featuring Meg Brown Payson on Monday, April 9, and featuring Arlene McConagle on April 23.
Deborah Baronas does installation work in area mills using photography, textiles and mixed media as well as audio. Alrene McConagle mixes an ancient form of basketry and reconfigures her imaginative baskets and containers into creative sculptures. The result is far beyond the original utilitarian container. Meg Brown Payson creates abstract paintings that have been inspired by scientific images from the microscopic to cosmic. Her paintings are contemporary reflections of an age dominated by science and technology.
Meg Brown Payson is associate professor of Drawing and Foundation at Maine College of Art. She received her BFA from Boston University in 1977 and her MFA from Vermont College in 1993. Payson’s most recent work reflects her close interest in the new images brought to us through the scientific and medical imaging. She delights in making abstract paintings that seem to suggest life in the unseen world of cells and galaxies. New worlds on the threshold of the seen and unseen are suggested in her layered canvases. Her solo shows include Walker Contemporary in Boston and her work was included in the Decordova Museum Big Bang show in 2007 which featured outstanding American artists who have reinvigorated abstract painting.
Arlene McConagle began her career in the study of the ancient craft of basket making. Advanced study in the MFA program at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, broadened her perspective, and she began to understand the expressive possibilities of basketry. She has explored the conceptual associations of baskets, their emblematic and symbolic association with security, survival, and women’s work. She has recently combined poetry and other texts with these objects that have become much more than utilitarian objects. She currently has a studio in Providence, RI, and teaches at community college.
Deborah Baronas worked for twenty-two years as a designer and creative director in the textile industry before working full time as an artist. She brings her extensive knowledge of textiles to her installations in old mill buildings. The Mill Project consisted of an installation in the Slater Mill Gallery in Pawtucket, RI. In this installation, translucent textile banners hung from the old rafters of the mill. On each banner, Baronas painted images of the workers and their surroundings that once animated these familiar New England sites. Like so many New England families, the artist drew upon her own family’s connections to the textile mills that once formed a center of activity for so many towns and cities in the region. The banners intermingled with some of the artifacts associated with the textile mills, which hauntingly evoked a past that still lingers into our present. Deborah Baronas graduated from RISD (1979). She currently lives and works in Rhode Island.