Members exhibit at the Marion Art Center until February 11

Just a few weeks ago, I reviewed an exhibit of works by member artists at the New Bedford Art Museum. I noticed that without the benefit of a singular discipline or a unifying motive, and exhibited in groups only because of their common affiliation, it was a bit like a potluck.

And like I said then, on a non-themed members show like a potluck dinner, everyone will find something they like and an offer of something they’d rather not indulge. I stand by that assessment, generally speaking, but having visited the Winter Members’ Show at the Marion Art Center, I would like to offer a better analogy to describe such an exhibition.

It’s like a “come as you are” party. Now bear with me on this one.

Admittedly, I have never attended such an event, but I have always been intrigued by the idea. Most people know how it’s supposed to work: the phone rings and someone says “we’re having a party right now, come over right now…as you are”.

For a potential guest, this may mean going without combing their hair, shaving their face or legs, or wearing only sweaty pajamas or sportswear, or straight from work at the processing plant of the fish, or with a towel wrapped around you, fresh out of the shower.

Mock Orange Spray by Deb Ehrens

So how does this look like a non-themed member show? Everything is fine. If an artist wants to participate in an exhibition of landscapes (and the curator does his job properly), he does not bring a still life. Similarly, no one wants a painting of a sailboat in a nude exhibit. No carving needed when exhibiting photography.

For a member’s show, you don’t have to be anything other than yourself. Come as you are. All is well. And like the “come as you party” – you got the invite.

Takeoff of Charles Stockbridge

The Winter Members’ Lounge at the MAC illustrates my admittedly elastic analogy. With several dozen artists exhibiting and showcasing work in a variety of disciplines, including painting (oil, acrylic, watercolour), drawing, photography, glassware, textile art and more, and with styles ranging from the hyper-real to the non-objective, and subjects focused on portraiture, landscapes, still lifes, nudes, to name but a few, the show defies simple categorization.

Young Madeleine by Deborah Macy

Watercolourist Jay Ryan exhibits two small-scale paintings that demonstrate his mastery of a notoriously difficult medium. Her “Beach Path” is a beautiful and charming landscaping arrangement of foliage and an upside-down rowboat, with a deep blue sea in the distance, probably painted near her home on Sconticut Neck in Fairhaven.

Ryan’s other watercolor is “Burgers and Fireflies” is a portrait of a young boy with blond hair, probably a grandson or nephew, holding a jar of glowing bugs. Much of the paint surface surrounding the child is nothing more than a series of somewhat translucent blocks of color, and as seemingly incongruous as that sounds, it works perfectly.

Labyrinth by Jill Law

Deborah Macy exhibits two large oil paintings, enhanced with gold leaf. The two paintings – “A Young Magdalen” and “Sage and Rose” – are portraits of young women, done in her own way, which uses bold lush colors and a devotion to pattern, whether on wallpaper or the suit on the women. Macy leans heavily and shamelessly on the donquixote, so much that either one could grace the cover of a romance novel.

Big Pink by Butch McCarthy

A highlight of the exhibition is Butch McCarthy’s reductionist “Big Pink,” a deceptively simple landscape. With a broad band of very light gray across the top half of the painting indicating the sky and a deeper charcoal hue below, functioning as land or a body of water, one could almost mistake it for an entirely abstract study. . But the “Big Pink” itself is clearly a house where the two grays meet, a kiss between the two, and it ultimately defines the room.

Connected by Ashley Briggs Detail

Jenn Alexander shows two small acrylic paintings — one of a snail, the other of a fiddler crab — that one might at first think were made by a child. They exist somewhere between “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and “Spongebob Squarepants.” The punny tracks are, respectively, “Shelly” and “Fiddler on the Loose.”

Other works of note: the impressionist-like oil landscapes of Charles Stockbridge, the female charcoal nudes of Anthi Frangiadis, the colorful and non-objective painting of Jill Law entitled “Labyrinthine” and “Giverny #2” of Alice Shire, a bold abstract boogie-woogie cityscape. .

Discover the exhibition. And please…come as you are.

The Winter Members Show runs at the Marion Art Center, 80 Pleasant St., Marion through February 11.