The opening reception for the Belmont Gallery of Art exhibit of Lee Strasburger’s drawings and paintings on September 14 drew an enthusiastic crowd, including The Leftovers author Tom Perrotta and his wife, Mary Granfield. The show includes 71 pieces, many of them miniatures, which because of their small size and intensity invite the viewer to step in close and engage with the work.
Library trustee Elaine Alligood thanked the Gallery for mounting outstanding exhibits that have complemented the four books selected so far for One Book One Belmont. Gallery director Juliana Rozeboom drew parallels between Strasburger’s work and Tom Perrotta’s novel, “The Leftovers,” explaining that they both evoke such feelings as sadness, loss, and isolation. Strasburger’s work also conveys the profound power of nature, she continued, offering a space for reflection and quiet contemplation.
Strasburger agrees that the art exhibit and the novel complement each other. “They combine to make a very powerful statement about the world we now live in,” she commented later.
Strasburger has long seen connections between the different art forms, frequently drawing on literature and song for inspiration. Anatomy of Melancholy, the name of one of her watercolors as well as the show, refers to the title of a book by 17th century scholar Robert Burton. The watercolor I Stood Tiptoe Upon a Little Hill (above, left) refers to a poem with the same title by British Romantic poet John Keats. A Mystic as Poet (right) was inspired by the work of British poet and soldier Siegfried Sassoon, who wrote of the horrors of World War I and in particular the futile battle at Passchendeale. The exhibit remains open through Oct. 19 on Thursdays and Fridays, 10 AM – 4 PM, and Sundays, 1 -4 PM.