P/sunny
74°
P/sunny
Hi 79° | Lo 55°

Peterborough

Back in the Habitat

Peterborough: Creighton returns to region for new installation exhibit at Sharon Arts Gallery

  • Chad Creighton prepares an installation exhibit at the Sharon Arts Gallery. Creighton will custom cut pallet wood to connect his individual art pieces for a "fence" that will seamlessly connect all of the animals depicted in his art.
  • Chad Creighton prepares an installation exhibit at the Sharon Arts Gallery. Creighton will custom cut pallet wood to connect his individual art pieces for a "fence" that will seamlessly connect all of the animals depicted in his art.
  • Chad Creighton prepares an installation exhibit at the Sharon Arts Gallery. Creighton will custom cut pallet wood to connect his individual art pieces for a "fence" that will seamlessly connect all of the animals depicted in his art.
  • Chad Creighton prepares an installation exhibit at the Sharon Arts Gallery. Creighton will custom cut pallet wood to connect his individual art pieces for a "fence" that will seamlessly connect all of the animals depicted in his art.
  • Chad Creighton prepares an installation exhibit at the Sharon Arts Gallery. Creighton will custom cut pallet wood to connect his individual art pieces for a "fence" that will seamlessly connect all of the animals depicted in his art.
  • Chad Creighton prepares an installation exhibit at the Sharon Arts Gallery. Creighton will custom cut pallet wood to connect his individual art pieces for a "fence" that will seamlessly connect all of the animals depicted in his art.
  • Chad Creighton prepares an installation exhibit at the Sharon Arts Gallery. Creighton will custom cut pallet wood to connect his individual art pieces for a "fence" that will seamlessly connect all of the animals depicted in his art.

A South American jungle is springing up at the Sharon Arts Gallery. Or, perhaps its the frozen wasteland of the South Pole. Or the Australian outback.

Actually, it’s all that and more, as one of the former residents of the region sets up an installation to display his new collection of animal paintings created with reclaimed pallet wood, markers and house paint. The installation is entitled “Pallet Habitat.”

Creighton now makes his home in Portland, Maine, but his roots originate in Greenfield. He started his interest in art as a student at ConVal High School under teachers like Ann Sweeney and Ben Putnam. And even though he lives a state away, he makes it back into the Monadnock region at least a few times a year to participate in the *broke: Affordable Arts Fair. This weekend, along with the Sharon Arts installation, he will also be participating in the fair again, which is held annually during the Thing in the Spring in Peterborough.

The Sharon Arts Gallery will be Creighton’s fourth arts installation. One of his other installations was also at Sharon Arts, when he and another artist did an installation on street art. This one, however, will be a little different, said Creighton.

“In school, I was taught to manipulate the space, and have it reflect the work, and that’s one of the most important aspects of when I show,” said Creighton. “I want to create the environment in which I want my work to be seen. Essentially, the biggest thing is the creation of the environment in which the work lives — hence the name of the show.”

All of the artwork that will be featured in Creighton’s installation are portraits of animals painted onto recycled pallet wood. Animals are a common theme for him, said Creighton.

“Being in Greenfield, I was immersed in the woods. I used to collect frogs and salamanders, and that’s always been an integrated part of me,” he said. “Now that I’m in Portland, and having moved to this urban environment, it’s let me appreciate people, too. My work has been a lot of the fusing of the two — human and nature.”

Although all of the portraits on display will be animals, Creighton depicts them in a way that is relatable to the human experience, he said. “Moment with Myself,” a pallet wood painting of an orangutan, shows the animal in a thoughtful frame of mind. “Snuggle,” which features a mother koala bear and child, evokes a lot of the same comfort a human mother and child would, said Creighton. “I feel it’s easier for a great number of people to find something to relate to in the portrait of an animal, rather than a person,” said Creighton. “Even thought it seems contradictory.” Referring to “Snuggle,” he said, “We all love that area in your mom’s arms. It’s pretty simple, but I feel there’s a lot of emotional connection.”

Creighton said that in many ways, the exhibit will be a departure from the art he’s created previously. Trained as a traditional printmaker, Creighton used to create his design with Sharpie markers. Sharpie is also incorporated into his new exhibit, but this was his first attempt working with pallet wood. The art is created on slats of wood, which alternate between 3 1/2 and 5 1/2 inches in length. But their dimensions are the only unifying feature about the medium, said Creighton. The wood comes in varying depth, and some are more weathered than others.

“As a material and as a surface to work on, it’s nice because you get a lot of variation, while still looking uniform all together,” he said. Pallet wood is a very new medium for Creighton, who only started to work with it about eight months ago. “This is all very, very new to me,” said Creighton of working with pallet wood. “I’m still in a very new phase, but it’s been a nice change. The art itself isn’t so separate it feels foreign, but it is separate enough that it feels right.”

On top of the new medium, Creighton added, he’s also working at a larger scale than he normally does, working with pallet wood canvases that can be as large as 40 inches tall and two or three feet wide, which is double the size of his largest prints, he said. “At that size, the marks become a lot different,” he said. “You have to step back and not get obsessed with some small area. You need to make sure it looks good as a unified piece as well as close up.”

“Pallet Habitat” will open on Friday with an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Sharon Arts Gallery in Peterborough. The show will be on display through June 28. For more information about Creighton, visit creightonstudios.com.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ex. 244, or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaari.

There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.