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“Intuitive Space Idealized Visions” at Lesley University

From left to right - detail of "Curve" by Dana Pasila & "Cold Storage Ridge" by Kathleen Jacobs


By Rhiannon Leigh

Cambridge, MA – Although the rain and snow had caused the scheduled Feb. 5 opening reception for their “Intuitive Space Idealized Visions” show to be postponed, the warm tones of “reconstructed landscape” beach scenes of Kathleen Jacobs paired with the abstract works of Dana Pasila created a compelling contrast in the Atrium Gallery at Lesley University.

Pasila and Jacobs, both graduates of the MFA program of the Lesley University College of Art and Design, each have their own version of the abstract. While Pasila uses geometric shapes with sharp, defined edges in order to create a work that is aesthetically pleasing, Jacobs uses soft, less concrete lines and shapes in order to create a visual that represents the “tranquility amidst chaos, and order within randomness” (Jacobs) of landscapes.

Each piece was carefully chosen in order to create a space that gave credit to each artist and their individual work as well as create a cohesive space in which the works could complement one another. While many of Pasila’s pieces were vibrantly colored, Jacobs’ used softer shades when creating her works. Jacobs, whose main focus is landscapes, uses soft brush strokes and warm tones in order to portray the warm feeling that much of her subject matter, beaches of Cape Cod.

Pasila, on the other hand, uses sharp, straight lines to create geometric shapes, enhanced by her choices of color, including dark reds, vibrant yellows and bright teals. However, while she uses bright colors in many of her works, she also has several monochromatic pieces, using shades of black and white and several, including one of her favorites, that focuses on a color scheme using shades of brown and white.

The exhibit, which had the misfortune of being shown concurrent to the region’s snow emergency and that closed on Feb. 15, clearly portrayed the different styles between artists and while each body of work would be strong individually, it is only enhanced by the contrasting work of the other artist. While each chooses to portray a different subject matter using different techniques, the “Intuitive Space Idealized Visions” exhibit was ultimately successful due to the contrast between the chosen pieces.

(The Atrium Gallery is located at University Hall, second floor, 1815 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138).