Jackson Gallery exhibits work by Middlebury painter and musician

MIDDLEBURY — Fred Lower paints the landscape of Addison County. His deft strokes and distinctive color choices capture the essence of the light and shadow, and the texture of his scenery. He likes to paint directly from the subject. “The motifs that I find most engaging are often the easiest to find because they are right out my back door,” he explained. “I live a short distance from where the Middlebury River joins Otter Creek. It is, quite simply, a plethora of compositions, a feast of forms for an artist.”
Two things had a profound influence on Lower as a young art student in the 1970s: the intensity of the California light and the teaching of Bay Area painter Elmer Bischoff. “A fluid brush stroke and gestural improvisations were a starting point for my search for composition and expressive possibilities of color in my large abstract paintings,” he said. “After almost 20 years in New York City and a move to Vermont, I have found in this landscape an attachment to place. Now I paint smaller paintings that somehow try to feel big.”
In addition to painting the landscape, Lower continues to pursue the practice of portraiture and painting and drawing the figure. Originally from Seattle, Wash., he studied at the University of California, Berkley and earned an MFA at Pratt Institute of Fine Art in New York. An educator for many years, he teaches art at Rutland High School. He maintains a studio at his home in Middlebury along with his wife Mary Lower, who is also an artist. A talented musician, he has also performed for many years around Addison County and beyond with his popular band, The Doughboys.
See Lower’s paintings in The Jackson Gallery, located in the lower level of Town Hall Theater in Middlebury. For more info, call (802) 382-9222 or visit www.townhalltheater.org.

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