Page 9

I

“I’m glad I work at a school that is so supportive of me as an artist and as a teacher.” J O N AT H A N S M I T H Visual Arts Teacher

The unfinished painting at the end of Jonathan Smith’s Dorland Mountain residency. “It will be done when it’s done,” he says. “That’s how it is, working abstractly.”

AN AERIAL VIEW CA art teacher Jonathan Smith rents a studio at the Umbrella Community Arts Center, a short walk from campus in Concord, Mass. This summer, construction closed the building. Smith took the hurdle as an opportunity and applied for artist residencies. With a $1,500 CA faculty development grant to defray his costs, he flew to Southern California for a four-week stay at the Dorland Mountain Arts Colony near Temecula Valley Wine Country. Smith has worked with maps since the 1980s. “I’ve always been a map freak,” he says. Multiple orientations appeal to him — there’s no top or bottom while he’s working. His earlier paintings more closely resemble maps; newer works are quite abstract. A recent series integrated historical property maps of Canada’s Prince Edward Island. Until this residency, though, the closest he had come to on-site paintings was occasionally using maps of Concord, where he lives and works. “My technique is basically collage,” he says. Starting from a city map on a rigid surface, he extends its lines by hand, then layers on Thai tissue rice paper, painting in thin, transparent glazes. It’s a time-consuming process. “In the early stages, it’s agitatingly

FA L L 20 1 8

829202.indb 7

boring,” he says. “I don’t feel like I’m painting. But when I start seeing how the colors layer, I fall in love with the process. I like being surprised by unusual effects.” In Temecula, his painting — 48 inches square, comprising 16 interlocking panels — was inspired by that region. A 300-acre nature preserve surrounded Smith’s cottage. He hiked every afternoon in the hot wind, drove the roads, and even went up in a hot air balloon to observe subtle oranges and purples, light pinks, and faint greens in the landscape. “Everything was so dry,” he says. “It all looked ready to ignite.” Indeed, in the evenings, he watched wildfires burn in the distant hills. Smith had researched the area — a new process for him. He brought maps showing political districting, endangered species ranges, proposed bus routes, air flight patterns. Smith says, “I wanted to fuse together the intangible with what we directly experience.”

CA M P U S

I

E V E N TS

Save the dates for the following CA Events: December Wednesday, December 19 Concord Academy Young Alumnae/i Committee (CAYAC) Boston Holiday Party Thursday, December 20 CAYAC Pancake Breakfast February Saturday, February 9 Alumnae/i & Students of Color Conference May Wednesday, May 15 Alumnae/i & Senior BBQ Friday, May 31 Commencement June Friday–Sunday, June 7–9 Reunion MORE EVENTS www.concordacademy. org/calendar

07

10/11/18 9:09 AM

Profile for Concord Academy

CA Magazine Fall 2018 Issue  

In the fall 2018 CA Magazine, the focus is on passion — for art, for change, and for shaping the future of Concord Academy. This issue intro...

CA Magazine Fall 2018 Issue  

In the fall 2018 CA Magazine, the focus is on passion — for art, for change, and for shaping the future of Concord Academy. This issue intro...

Advertisement