Lincoln father, daughter to showcase artwork at North Gate

Lincoln father, daughter to showcase artwork at North Gate

James Voyer, above, sits in his art studio space at his home in Lincoln, where he creates watercolor paintings from photographs and still life scenes. Voyer and his daughter, Meg, will have their work on display during an exhibit at the North Gate in town. It's the first time the two will present their work together during an exhibit. (Breeze photos by Brittany Ballantyne)
Different styles,w techniques mix at Voyers’ first art exhibit together this Saturday

LINCOLN – He doesn’t love abstract art. She says, “I think of all art, all painting, as an abstraction.”

They have different styles and use different techniques, but they share an art studio space at their home in Lincoln, and will soon share the floor at North Gate during their first art exhibit together.

Father and daughter James and Meg Voyer will bring their paintings, photographs, acrylics and ceramics to the show this Saturday, April 22, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the North Gate building, 1873 Old Louisquisset Pike.

Both Lincoln High School graduates, James now works as an accountant, and Meg is pursing an art education degree at Rhode Island College. She graduated from UMass Amherst with a master’s degree in fine arts, after ditching her biology major to do what she loves.

They say artistry runs in the family, as James’ father, Lawrence, attended Rhode Island School of Design. Some family members didn’t get the artistic gene, the two laugh, but it’s something that’s been carried down for generations. Meg, James explained, is the only one in the family to complete art school.

Sitting in front of her work space in the studio, Meg giggles, remembering the time her grandfather looked at a painting of a snowman she made at 9 years old and asked why the snowman’s nose was so round. Even during her childhood, she recalled, art was very present.

James and Meg also critique one another, offering advice and swapping compliments. The two will have artwork inspired by Rhode Island scenes on display at the exhibit, and Lincoln-specific pieces as well, but a significant portion of Meg’s showcase is her senior thesis work.

Using photographs she took in Paris during her time at the Clews Center for the Arts, and of abandoned buildings, Meg transformed the photos into another medium entirely. She used bleach, as if it were paint, to recreate the photos on black fabric and velvet. It was a project, she said, that took an entire semester.

For many of James’ paintings, he takes photographs with a trail cam he sets up in the woods, to capture wildlife and landscapes, and paints what he’s captured in photos.

Block Island, Newport, Mystic and the Lime Rock area are some of the places that will be featured in their work at the public show.

This is the first time Meg will display her work at an exhibit in town, and says it’s all part of learning to branch out, show people her creations and talk about what she’s made.

Hopefully, she says with a giggle, folks will enjoy her work enough to purchase some. Every piece the two are bringing to the event will be for sale, they explained.

Now back in the Rhode Island area, Meg has linked up with her former art teacher, Susan Kolenda, who she helps at Blue Door Studio in Cranston, which is soon moving to Smithfield. Here, Meg helps direct classes for children, teaching them through foundations, painting and drawing classes.

This summer, she’ll teach a wellness through art program, a “mommy and me” class and camp sessions.

Something she said she tells her students at Blue Door is, “Draw what you see, not what you think you see,” an old art saying.

Similarly, James says even when painting an object like a tire leaning against a car in the distance, he tries to look at what he’s painting from a different perspective.

“You kind of have to look past your preconceived notions of what you think it is into what it really looks like to represent it on paper,” he said.

Meg said she loves how limitless making art has been. Her work can be seen at www.megvoyer.com .

Standing in front of a wall of his watercolor paintings, James, who remembered noticing Meg’s talent when she was young, said, “I don’t think I would be doing this as much as I do now if Meg weren’t around.”

Meg Voyer, a Lincoln High School graduate, paints in her studio space at her home in town. Voyer is studying to become an art educator at Rhode Island College, after graduating from UMass Amherst where she studied art. This weekend, Voyer joins her father for her first-ever exhibit in Lincoln.