Bonita LeFlore’s "Impermanence" Exhibition

Thursday, Oct 29, 2020 at 12:00pm

Paula Estey Gallery
3 Harris Street
Newburyport, MA 01950

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Bonita LeFlore’s solo exhibition "Impermanence" is now on display at Paula Estey Gallery, A Center for Art & Activism, featuring her signature barns and buildings, as well as landscapes and nature. LeFlore is an American artist best known for her large paintings referencing the architecture of forgotten places. The show, which runs through October, is open to the public on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. or by appointment at the Center’s gallery in Newburyport.

"Bonita embraces the beauty of humanity’s impermanence in her paintings, using unexpected colors and technique," said Paula Estey. "Where some might see decay or even an eyesore, she sees so much more by twisting the ordinary into magic and creating stories for the observer to discover."

"Through my paintings, I take to heart a quote from the great photographer Henri Cartier Bresson to ‘make visible what perhaps might never be seen,’" LeFlore said. "There is feeling and beauty in things that are imperfect and impermanent. But the past lives on in architecture – those who lived and worked and touched these structures leave imprints."

LeFlore uses a similar approach by seeking sparks in the landscape and celebrating nature’s opalescence in the light, rolling hill, shape of a tree, or sun creating shadows. She imbues each scene with unexpected color so that a marsh you pass every day can now present differently to you.

"I love what comes through in the layers of her paintings and the twisted color palette," Estey said. "By painting on unprimed, raw canvas, she saturates color differently – the paint bleeds into cloth and creates layers of visual interest."

LeFlore reports she is influenced by the color field paintings of Helen Frankenthaler and the vivid palette of Joan Mitchell. She paints with acrylics then combines watercolor-like layering with pastel markings in a distinctive combination of mediums. Her goal is to make people see things differently, whether they dive into the art closely to follow the line and texture or stand across the room to get a scope of the whole painting.

LeFlore studied at the Art Students League in New York, graduated from Syracuse University with a BFA in painting, and attended Pratt Institute’s Master’s Program for painting. After early retirement from the advertising industry in New York City, she moved to San Francisco, where she revisited her love of painting, a passion she had put aside during the years of career and raising a family. Returning to the east coast, LeFlore found the north shore of Massachusetts an ideal location for working and living with her growing extended family.

Her work is in many private collections across the United States and internationally. A member of the National Association of Women Artists and NAWAMA, LeFlore has had solo exhibits at The Hills Gallery and The Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport, MA. She has also had her art shown at Galatea Fine Art Gallery, Fountain Street Art Gallery, and The French Institute in Boston; Charles Fine Art Gallery in Gloucester, MA; The Martha’s Vineyard Museum in Vineyard Haven, MA; 3S Art Space in Portsmouth, NH; and The Barn Gallery in Ogunquit, ME. She is represented by the Paula Estey Gallery in Newburyport, MA and 13 Forest Gallery in Arlington, MA.

"Check out Bonita's artwork online on the gallery’s website at www.paulaesteygallery.com or on the PEG Center for Art & Activism Youtube page. We encourage in-person visits to the gallery where all steps have been taken to provide a safe and clean environment. Masks are required," Estey said.

A love offering donation is gratefully accepted to support programming at www.paypal.me/pegcenter.

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