Spring Show Surprises

Surprises are in store for you art lovers. Just go to the Marion Art Center – where else! The MAC’s spring art exhibit features two artists whose works are as different as is possible to conceive but whose backgrounds are rich in a variety of artistic expression. Bernie Klim works are primarily acrylic on canvas. Joshua Baptista’s pieces are ink on collage paper and mixed media.

            Klim’s are drawn from the natural environment, whereas Baptista’s are from architecture and personal experiences. Both styles are rapturous in their own way.

            Baptista hails from the Boston area, now residing in Wareham, and has pursued a career teaching art. He completed his Bachelor of Fine Art degree from Montserrat Collage of Art in 2002. Later he pursued a Master’s in Fine Art from the American University in Washington in 2008.

            Baptista said the pieces in this exhibit are heavily influenced by the “skateboard” culture as well as producing works with a “hesher” mindset, which is described as a bit gritty and filled with oddities. We thought Baptista’s works were intriguing, precisely executed and indicated his ability to draw the viewers’ eyes deep into their core.

            The layering of paper and cut images gives this group of works a dense, intense drama accentuated by the stark contrast of black ink on pale paper. The images evoke a world tilted on its side, peopled by skeletons. But it is not threatening, it is engaging, and the depictions of Providence-based, Victorian Era structures are exquisite in their form and detail.

            We thought it reminded us of Edward Gorey meets 21st Century Goth, and they lived happily ever after.

            Klim is well-known for his artistic interpretations of south coast themes such as marshlands, woodlands and the like.

            We interviewed him in August of 2023, at which time he shared studying at the Massachusetts College of Art where he earned a BFA. He later earned a master’s in education. He described his method as “…expressive, reactionary, impromptu, quick,” likening it to alla prima (applying a single layer of paint versus layering to create depth and light).

            In Klim’s paintings, the sense of soaring plants heavily leafed with sunsets is pure brilliance; one doesn’t see the quickly applied brushstrokes, one sees intention and purpose and, yes, beauty. Klim believes in letting those initial, rapidly applied brushstrokes carry him along, leading to an emotional experience – he simply lets go and trusts the process.

            The exhibit will be available for viewing now through May 17. Marion Art Center, 80 Pleasant Street (corner of Main Street at Bicentennial Park) and is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Marion Art Center

By Marilou Newell

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