Familiar Forgotten Places
Catherine Gibbs picked a ubiquitous, but faded piece of local history for her exhibit at the Elusie Gallery in Easthampton: Mill buildings and train yards. Though not as much is manufactured here anymore, not that long ago people in places like Easthampton, Northampton, Holyoke, and Chicopee would tell time by the manufacturer whistles signaling breaks and shift switches. And the trains that would haul away all the items being produced here — things like paper, toothbrushes, dye, buttons — have slowed down and given over many of their tracks to recreational cyclists. Gibbs’ oil paintings feature local history, but with the dust cleared away a bit. She makes these forgotten, quiet places brighter. The hint of polish makes the shabby doors seem to stand up straight, and the uneven floor boards to smooth out; the cobwebs recede into her dreamy color palette and the proud Ghosts of Industry emerge.
Ghosts of Industry by Catherine Gibbs: Elusie Gallery, 43 Main St., Easthampton. (413) 529-9265, firstname.lastname@example.org.