GLOUCESTER, MASS.- The Cape Ann Museum
is presenting My Life in Pieces: Painting with Stuff, the first public exhibition of Rockport mixed media artist Stephanie Coles sculptural and eclectic collection. The works are on view from May 11 through July 7 with a meet-the-artist reception on May 18 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Born in Connecticut, Cole studied painting at California College of Arts and Crafts and later at the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford in Connecticut. By the mid-1960s, she and her husband, Jim, had settled in Rockport where they raised their children, and Cole taught art in the Rockport Elementary School.
By the early 1980s, Cole was moving from painting into experimentation with elaborate mosaic-like sculptures that she calls her memory sculptures. Today, her sculptures which fill her Rockport home and studio are each made of hundreds of pieceseverything from colored glass and ceramic shards to bits of clothing and old typewriter keys.
Many of Coles designs are based on feminist and political themes; others are autobiographical, capturing the artist at 10-year intervals throughout her life. Part of her intention has been to record history through her sculpture, her own personal story and the history of the world around her.
Cape Ann has long been recognized as one of this countrys oldest and most important art colonies. The collection of the Cape Ann Museum contains examples of works by many of the artists who put the community on the map including Marsden Hartley, Cecilia Beaux, Edward Hopper and John Sloan. At the heart of the Cape Ann Museums holdings is the single largest collection of works by early 19th century artist Fitz Henry Lane (1804-1865). A native of Gloucester, Lane worked as a lithographer and a painter and his works on display at the Cape Ann Museum capture the towns busy seaport in its heyday.