The Library of the Chathams, 214 Main Street, Chatham, will present “Spectral Selves,” an art show featuring paintings, prints, and drawings worked in oil, acrylic, and conte by Emily Chang, Erica Chang, and Thom Kessler in the Library’s Lundt meeting room through September.  An opening reception will be held by The Friends of The Library for the artists on Sunday, September 11, from 2:15 to 4:00 p.m.  The public is invited to attend.

            Emily Chang states, “My need for therapeutic creativity drives me to do art and project the concept of healing with it.  The wisdom in divination tools such as astrology, the I Ching, and tarot heavily influence my work.  The images in my art are recognizable, and the symbolism runs deep in the pieces on display.”  Additionally, she draws from the 10 Ox-Herding paintings made famous in the Japanese Zen Buddhist tradition.  The ox in the traditional versions represents “self” on the path to enlightenment.  Emily represents “self” in different forms of water seen in the paintings. 

            One of Erica Chang’s favorite artists is Claude Monet; his genius use of colors set the mood and feel of his paintings.  She wants her use of color to bring out an emotional response from the viewer.  Erica enjoys painting with conte, and her works tend to center around mandalas, which are circular works of art traditionally made in sand by Tibetan monks. 

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            Thom Kessler describes his art as being “heavily influenced by pop culture.”  The driving force behind his current body of work is heavily rooted in drawing.  He aspired to be an animator for Disney and spent most of his youth drawing flipbooks, comics and cartoon characters.  Photography is another interest as an excellent medium for discovering and exploring compositions and spatial relationships.   Printmaking and unique challenges of linoleum cutting and wood carving to make an image, with the various accidents that can happen during printing, Thom finds endlessly fascinating.  When painting, he likes to use bold and vibrant colors whenever possible to create an otherworldly feeling.”

            Please join us and view the art work of these talented young artists the day of the reception or on your next visit to the Library during regular hours: Monday-Thursday, 9:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sunday, 2-5 p.m.  For further information, please call 973-635-0603, or visit the Library of The Chathams website, www.chatham-library.org.

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