New exhibitions at Parsonage Gallery by Bernd Haussmann, Josh Ferry
SEARSPORT — The Parsonage Gallery welcomes the cool weather and shorter days of autumn with two exhibitions celebrating warmth, light, and color: Cross Paintings by Joshua Ferry and Dark Night Dark Light by Bernd Haussmann. The exhibitions open Saturday, Oct. 28, at 6 p.m., and run through November 27.
Downstairs, South Portland artist Joshua Ferry greets visitors with vibrant abstract paintings composed of crosses rendered in burnished acrylic or pastels. The works are inspired by the variously colored altar cloths and vestments that accompanied the changing liturgical seasons in the church of his father, an Episcopal minister.
“Although these paintings aren’t intended to be religious,” said Ferry, in a Parsonage Gallery news release.
According to the artist, he leaves the door open to spiritual connotations.
In the upstairs gallery, German-American artist Bernd Haussmann creates an installation evoking the age-old experience of gathering around a fire and telling stories as winter approaches. The smell of freshly charred logs infuse the exhibition with an earthy, primitive atmosphere, according to the Parsonage. At the exhibition opening, visitors are invited to view Haussmann’s paintings by candlelight, observing the play of light flickering across reflective surfaces. In a poetic improvisation, the artist writes: “‘Dark and Light’ depend on each other…There is darkness from which night and light emerge.”
At the opening on October 28, Blue Hill interdisciplinary artist Heather Lyon will also play with the theme of light shining amidst the darkness. On the gallery’s exterior wall she will project the video work Rubia, 2023. Rubia was filmed on the rocky shore at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle while Lyon was attending their artist residency in 2022.
The Parsonage Gallery exhibits dynamic work by a diverse slate of contemporary artists, with a special emphasis on issues of ecology and spirituality. It is co-founded and directed by Dr. Aaron Rosen and Dr. Carolyn Rosen and is a program of the not-for-profit Common Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3). It is open 11am-6pm daily.