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Ed Carson will feature a digitally enhanced series of his original acrylic paintings related to a popular children's game, tic-tac-toe.

Three Artists Exhibiting at Tunnel City Coffee

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — In continuing its support of local art, Tunnel City Coffee on Spring Street hosts Northern Berkshire artists and friends Ghetta Hirsch, Ed Carson and Sharon Carson for a group show exhibiting through September.

Their collective works include monoprints, oils on canvas and digital art, among others. The show can been seen during regular daily business hours, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the art is available for purchase.

Hirsch is an oil painter who uses vibrant colors, shapes and textures to convey what she sees in her visual and artistic exploration. Her creative process is directly inspired by meditative and reflective moments in front of a landscape.Her work reflects New England locales, from Pontoosuc Lake, to purple fields of loosestrife, to the many mountain ranges of Massachusetts.

"When I paint I tune into the visual flow before me, reducing it to an arrangement of color waves," Hirsch writes in her artist statement. "My eyes see continuous pathways and I follow them with my brushes."

While Hirsch's flowing landscapes are captured by eyes in galleries all over the Berkshires, she said she's looking forward to showcasing her art in her hometown coffee shop — "a bustling meetinghouse."

"Tunnel City is one of those places where students, professors, parents, Berkshires tourists meet and relax," she said. "It encourages artists and I am honored to show my art in such an important social environment as I love Williamstown and consider that Tunnel City and the 'place' for all to meet. It is so alive at all times!"

Ed Carson will feature a digitally enhanced series of his original acrylic paintings related to a popular children's game, tic-tac-toe. Experimenting only with color variations, pattern and space, Carson limits the elements to x's, o's and lines.

"I've been doing a lot of digital work the last couple of years, primarily cartooning," he said. "As a result, I've gained some familiarity with digital drawing. So when I came across my box of acrylic tic-tac-toe paintings I thought I might improve them with the digital process. What I like most about the digital medium is the ability to experiment, to change your mind, explore other ways of solving a problem. In this respect it's more efficient than beating a painting to death."

Carson said his exposure to art came from his wife, Sharon Carson. Sharon, a previous Tunnel City artist, has crafted landscapes with oil paint for 35 years. Now, she returns to the shop to show her latest exploration in producing monoprints. A few years ago one of Sharon Carson's artist friends introduced her to making monoprints using a gelatin plate, she said.

"I had always liked the look of monoprints and I loved the simplicity of a gelatin plate rather than using a printing press," she said. "I played around using acrylic paints on paper and made up my own process for making monoprints. I liked it so much that last year I put away all of my oil painting gear and now I'm only doing monoprints. I may return to oil painting at some time in the future, but for now I'm happy doing monoprints."

With a focus in themes of nature, Sharon Carson said she has a very intuitive process to creating her art work — it involves "lots of layering and adjusting until a vibrant design emerges." She'd rather label her monoprints "Color Constructions" instead of specific titles because she feels it accurately describes her focus on building upon the print until she’s happy with the design.

She said that the collective works between Hirsch, Ed Carson and herself will display well together. The three artists have shown work in the past separately at local venues such as: North Adams Open Studios and North Adams Artists Co-op; Terra Gallery in Williamstown and First Fridays Artswalk events in Pittsfield.

"(We) all like color and design, we just express it in different ways — and we're friends," Sharon Carson said.

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