Friday night brought with it the opening reception for our current show here at Art Elements. "Recollections" features the work of painter and wine maker James Frey.
Artist James Frey standing next to "Depot Bay" one of his stunning work from the current show.
In his gallery talk James, who also owns Trisaetum winery, shared what the title "Recollections" means to him. He discussed the extent to which memory plays a vital role in both his identity as a wine maker, and as a painter. He explained that to him, the word recollection refers to both recent memories and ancient ones. Each wine that he makes, he observed, contains within it his very vivid memories of the year of its vintage, the weather, the picking process, and the season in which the grapes were grown. The ancient memory refers to the way in which the soil that his vineyards are planted is ancient soil, that draws from what he termed a geological memory. The roots of his vineyard pull directly from this ancient earth and flavors each bottle of his wine. Frey pointed out that in many of the works from "Recollections" there is a horizontal line that breaks up the canvas at some point, as we can see in Recollection No. 4 for example
James Frey, Recollection No. 4
For Frey, this line makes reference to the two layers of memory, the recent and the ancient, that informed the painting process as he worked.
His vineyards impact Frey's painting in more literal ways as well. In many of the works in "Recollections" the artist actually incorporated Pinot skins and soil from his vineyards directly into the canvas. These are part of what create the wonderful depth and texture evident in his work. It also brings his two worlds together in a lovely way.
Frey during his artist talk at the "Recollections" opening. Here the artist is sharing that one of his wines has been selected to be poured by the Obama's at a White House state dinner in the very near future. Congratulations James!
It was lovely to hear the public's response to James' work has he eloquently shared his inspiration at the opening last night. Art Elements has been fortunate enough to feature his work every two years since the opening of the gallery and it is always an absolute pleasure.
The show is now open and will run through June 18th. Stop by Art Elements and check it out!