Courthouse Gallery Fine Art is pleased to present “Master Effect: Jon Imber and Linda Packard,” an exhibition highlighting the continuum between master painter Jon Imber and one of his up-and-coming students Linda Packard. In conjunction with the show, the Gallery will host a Zoom talk on Wednesday, Sept. 29 from 5–6 p.m. Imber’s wife Jill Hoy will join Linda Packard and Gallery Director Karin Wilkes on Zoom to talk about the show and how Imber influenced Packard’s work.

To register call 207-667-6611, or e-mail info@courthousegallery.com. Master Effect runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, and is free and open to the public by visiting the Gallery, or can be viewed online at www.courthousegallery.com.

“Master Effect: Jon Imber and Linda Packard” Courthouse Gallery is pleased to introduce the work of Jon Imber to the Gallery with “Master Effect,” an exhibition highlighting the influence Imber had on one of the Gallery’s long-standing artist Linda Packard. Gallery owners are Karin and Michael Wilkes are pleased to announce they will be representing the Jon Imber estate, and they have been working with Jill Hoy, Imber’s wife, and his son Gabe Imber.

Others have noticed the connection between Imber and Packard. In a recent “Portland Magazine” article (February/March 2021) about artists and their influences and mentors, art critic and historian Daniel Kany paired the late Maine painter Jon Imber (1950–2014) with contemporary painter Linda Packard. The article, “Fuel of Influence,” firmly establishes Packard as one of Imber’s protégés. Although the Imber influence is evident in Packard’s work, the translucent effect she achieves with paint is clearly her own. “I think our strongest common denomination is that’s it’s all about the paint, Packard says. “The paint drives the expression. Through Jon I learned the joy of working with juicy paint, scraping and rubbing out, and welcoming the happy accident that sometimes redirects the work.”

The profound works of the masters are part of a continuum that have inspired developing artists for centuries. Imber studied with Philip Guston at Boston University, and he often cited Willem de Kooning as a strong influence. Influences for Packard include Cezanne and Matisse, the New York abstract expressionists, and Jon Imber. Packard had the privilege of working with Imber in Stonington for five years before he died. During this time, Packard worked from life, as did Imber, mostly plein air. “Imber taught me an entirely new way of looking at nature and the landscape. Painting from life became about responding to the experience of being at a place rather than recording the subject.” This approach changed Packard’s work forever, and she cites Imber as her most important influence.
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As a result, Packard has since transitioned to a totally process driven studio practice with a focus on abstraction. “As my work has evolved, subjective or abstracted, it’s the paint and how it can be used that interests me the most,” Packard says. “That’s Imber’s influence.”

Zoom Talk: Wednesday, September 29, 5–6pm
In conjunction with the show Master Effect: Jon Imber and Linda Packard, Courthouse Gallery will host a Zoom Talk on Wednesday, September 29, 5–6pm. Jon Imber’s wife Jill Hoy will join Linda Packard and gallery director Karin Wilkes on Zoom to talk about the show and how Imber influenced Packard’s work. To register call 207 667 6611, or e-mail info@courthousegallery.com.

Jon Imber (1950-2014) was best known for his plein air landscape paintings. Although Imber found early success with figurative paintings, he experimented with different influences, styles, and subject matter all his life. He transitioned from figures, to portraits, to large studio landscapes, then figures in landscapes and plein air landscapes, and finally landscapes on the edge of abstraction. Throughout these changes Imber maintained a unique style of gestural brush strokes and an intimate sense of knowing his subject that goes beyond observation. The former director of the Danforth Museum called him one of the most important painters of his generation and placed him in the lineage of Boston Expressionists. Imber’s work has been included in many publications including Paintings of Maine: A New Selection by Carl Little, Boston Modern, Figurative Expressionism As Alternative Modernism by Judith Bookbinder, and 100 Boston Painters by Chawkey Frenn. Imber split his time between Stonington, Maine, and Somerville, Massachusetts, where he taught at Harvard for many years.

Linda Packard is an abstract painter interested in pushing the physical properties of paint. Although she began her career by painting as a plein air, Packard’s current work is process driven. She enjoys experimenting with mark-making and textural tools, and exploring the play of opposites: warm/cool, thick/thin, transparent/opaque. While the majority of Packard’s work is now abstract, she still considers herself a landscape painter and often draws on remembered experiences in nature. Packard holds a BA in studio art from Smith College. Her early work focused on printmaking and extended into book arts. Packard has been awarded several residencies, including the Great Spruce Head Island Art Week (2009), a Heliker-LaHotan Foundation fellowship (2015), and a month-long residency at Weir Farm in Wilton in Connecticut (2017). Packard has lived in Maine for more than thirty-five years, and she currently maintains a studio in downtown Bangor.

Courthouse Gallery is located at 6 Court Street in Ellsworth. For more information call 667-6611, or visit www.courthousegallery.com

Jon Imber, Three Ducks, 2012, oil on panel, 36 x 36 inches