Reception and Reflections with the Artist Friday, March 17, 7:00 pm
Sanctuary UCC, 458 High St, Medford
All are invited to experience the provocative and compelling work of Medford’s own painter, designer, and tattoo artist, Adam LoRusso—currently installed in the Gallery at Sanctuary UCC and on display through March. A BYOB reception and conversation with the artist will be held Friday, March 17 at 7 pm.
LoRusso, who is a native of Medford, finds balance in art and design–whether in his emotive, powerful paintings; his intricate, wry work with pen-and-ink or his much sought after tattoo designs. LoRusso is considered one of the top tattoo artists in the Boston area (appointments via Redemption Tattoo, Cambridge). A portfolio of Adam’s work can be found on his web site at www.LastLightArt.com.
Adam’s talent comes naturally as the son of the late artist, Daniel LoRusso, also of Medford. Daniel LoRusson dedicated his life’s work to the creation and augmentation of high-quality dinosaur sculpture and crated the life-sized T-Rex at the Science Museum in Boston.
“As we find ourselves, here in the beginning of the 21st century, we have grown comfortable. Content. On the whole, we haven’t much worry over finding our next meal or where to spend the night. These basic needs of human survival no longer plague us the same way they did our ancient ancestors thousands of years ago.
As a result, our relationship with Death has become one of fear; instead of representing a transition, or change, as it has to many cultures throughout the ages, it has become symbolic of ‘the end.’ On the contrary, Joan of Arc, Dr. Martin Luther King, Christ, and many other great Beings have all recognized the necessity of Death, the final step, the final transition, before something new, a transformation could occur. Socrates, in his final dying moments, ironically has been said to be the one consoling his friends concerning his own passing—reminding them that his entire life as a philosopher had been spent preparing for this very moment. How disappointing it would be to spend your entire life climbing the mountain without ever acknowledging reaching the summit. How unresolved Mozart’s beautiful symphonies be without the stunning and breathtaking final crescendos. We have no butterfly without first the death of the caterpillar.”
Sanctuary’s lead pastor, Rev. Wendy Miller Olapade notes that “Adam’s art is stunning, in part because of the technique and artistry, but mostly because of the subject matter. His imagery disturbs the status quo and therefore the spirit. It causes one to stop, raise an eyebrow and really consider what one is seeing. This series of Adam’s paintings is explicitly about transformation and transformation is exactly why we are so invested in art at Sanctuary UCC – because art changes things! We selected Adam’s work for the season of Lent because of the parallel themes of life, death and resurrection inherent to this spiritual season – but as Adam has observed, the themes of his work are universal to the human experience. And I would add universally important. We cannot arrive at renewal until we face the end of that which need to die in us.”
LoRusso further writes, “…I want my artwork to make people feel uncomfortable by recognizing the whole of this: the dark and the light, the yin and the yang, the beautiful and the grotesque. By learning to accept the whole of nature, we learn to accept the whole of ourselves, and only then is there a chance of learning to love ourselves fully, and then, with God’s help, truly love one another.”
To discover more about Adam’s powerful, inspiring and uncomfortable work, you are invited to come down and spend some time with the artist during the reception on March 17. Adam will share more of his inspiration and an opportunity to ask questions of the artist. Please join us for this one-of-a-kind event.
Gallery at Sanctuary showcases a new artist each month. Food and drink are available. Hear from the artists about their inspiration and process – and join the conversation about your own experience of their creativity.
Artists: Lianzhong Zhang,Ye Xinshi and Ming Guo
ARTChurch: Sun, April 2, 10:00 am
Reception and Reflections: Fri, April 17, 7:00 pm
As a child, Lianzhong liked to draw in any medium. In the 1990s, he became seriously ill while living in China. He quit his job and focused on resting. Later, he came to the U.S. to stay with his daughter. Interested in traditional Chinese painting, Lianzhong began study with a Michigan artist. He would travel back to remote areas in Sichuan province such as Yun Nan and Anhui Guangxi. There he would be surrounded by mountains, rivers, and waterfalls that would rest in fog and clouds. It felt quiet and easy. Being there made Lianzhong happier and healthier. That fostered his desire to paint the scenery. He focused on one style landscape painting that used Chinese colored ink. “Painting today continues to bring that same sense of well-being. Doing this art makes me feel calm and is a main source of my health.” He loves to see the lovely scenery like Grand Teton, Yellowstone, White Mountains… “I use a camera to get elements of a picture and then can compose whatever I choose—the paintings are not of one single scene—I create a composition in my mind.”
Discussing his influences, Xinshi Ye refers to the 1950s when China was eager to adopt new forms of art stemming from Russia and the west. These different art forms straddle traditional realism and impressionist artforms. For over two thousand years, China maintains a longstanding history of traditional painting. Xinshi is expressing realism in this show, while adding an impressionistic focus into some paintings. When he moved to Massachusetts, Xinshi found the countryside so beautiful and now enjoys painting U.S. landscapes. Due to China’s very large population and fast pace, he noticed a lack of quiet solitude and peace that he feels is more present in the states. There is a sense of connectedness and space that is appealing. Andrew Wyeth’s paintings provided another influence with the delicate nature of his work. Xinshi’s award-winning work has also led him to share his expertise and passion for art by teaching students at The Winchester School of Chinese Culture.
China maintains a longstanding tradition of folk art. “Farmer’s wives” from the ancient Han Dynasty would take paper and do similar kinds of folk art with available materials. Inspired by those customs, current needlework reflects the older style that has now become more westernized. Ming has done this work in China and now continues in the states. She sees this work in her neighborhood, and remains inspired to produce her needle art. She also has found her own personal style in watercolor paintings, perhaps influenced by her husband, Xinshi Ye.