The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, December 11, 2009


Gleason Library hosts seasonal photographs

The current exhibit at the Gleason Library entitled “Shadows and Light,” which will run through January 2, depicts the poignant photographic prints of Joan Kocak. The River Road resident finds herself inspired by New England scenery, most frequently in the darker months.

Artist Joan Kocak appears with “Dunn’s Cottage,” a Giclee print on display at the Gleason Library. (Courtesy photo)

“Often I’m drawn to the least beautiful flower in the bunch, the tattered one that seems to tell a tale,” says Kocak as evidenced by “Tatters,” a print of what remains of a dying daisy, or by “Last Bouquet” which depicts a peaking bunch just at the point of turning. The exhibit features 32 images, ranging in size from about a foot square to the largest prints at 32 by 34 inches. The works are all for sale, in framed and unframed formats.

Although Kocak prefers to work in the crispness of black and white, and every range of stark gray in between, she does use color judiciously. In “Poppies” and “Poppies II” the almost transparent red shade of the flower emphasizes its fragility. The dark maroon and speckled shade of “Nectarines” puts them at the end of the harvest. The vibrant pink flowers emerging from protective green bud in “Thistle I” and “Thistle II” capture that brief moment of bloom.

Kocak became interested in photography at the age of 15. While she trained as a watercolorist and worked in graphic design, it was the advances of digital photography in the last decade that inspired her to focus on her art. She takes a central photograph and then creates a background of what she calls “grunge,” pale and dark spotted layers to form a faded mat. Sometimes the dots are even from photographs of “cracked pavement, peeling paint and dirty snow” according to the artist.

For more information about Kocak, consult her website at ∆

Abstract sculpture on view at Gleason

Four glass cases at the Gleason Library currently display pieces from Greg Spitzer, a Littlefield Drive resident. The sculptor’s medium includes Italian alabaster, calcite, green marble and bronze. The pieces have simple but suggestive titles including “Instinct,” Dichotomy” and “Icarus.”

“Although my vision for my work is figurative at its core, abstraction is more interesting and affords me the opportunity to experiment,” says the carver.

After working for 25 years in telecommunications, Spitzer began to follow his dream of becoming a stone carver while in Colorado where he has attended a marble symposium for three years. He moved to Carlisle in 2008 and currently attends the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

All of his pieces will be on exhibit through January 2 and are currently for sale. Photographs of two of Spitzer’s scuptures were recently in the Mosquito. (See For more information about the artist, visit his website at

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito