Narratives Seen exhibit at Marywood University displays stories through paintings, features Abington area artists

For Abington Journal | February 22nd, 2016 1:23 pm - updated: 12:04 pm.

SCRANTON — Four painters – Kevin Kinkead, Gayle Wells Mandle, Gretchen Dow Simpson and Mark Webber – whose work ranges from the realistic to abstract and from the timeless to the political, personal, and immediate, will be featured in Narratives Seen, an exhibition to open Saturday, Feb. 27 in the Mahady Gallery at Marywood University.

This exhibit will also be one of the last organized shows for Sandra Povse, gallery director at Marywood University, who is retiring in August.

Povse, in her 21st year, has exhibited 13 to 15 shows annually, on average.

“We’ve shown a lot of varieties of artists and mediums,” she said. “It has been very exciting. I’ve been able to arrange galleries and curate the theme of the shows.”

The works will be on display through April 3, and an opening reception for the artists is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, accompanied by Gypsy Jazz Quintet. All events, including the reception and exhibition, are free and open to the public.

Povse, a Honesdale resident, has enjoyed her time at Marywood and is excited to finish the last few months on a positive note.

“It’s been a great run,” Povse, 65, said. “I feel I have done the best I can to promote the visual arts in the region. I’m looking forward to this particular exhibit to see how it all pulls together.”

Webber, a North Abington Township resident, has been teaching in the department of Visual Arts at Marywood University since 1990, where he also organizes and leads European museum tours for students.

He has affiliations with Hackett-Freedman Gallery in San Francisco and Prince Street Gallery in New York City, and was recently invited to do a residency at the Joseph and Anni Albers Institute in Connecticut. His work is in public collections at Lockhaven University, The University of Scranton, and The Everhart Museum in Scranton and private collections in New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and smaller locales in the United States and Europe. His most recent solo exhibits were in Paris, France.

Simpson, formerly of Waverly, now lives and works in Providence and Pawtucket, Rhode Island. She began her distinguished career taking photographs of buildings and worked as a freelance photographer in Boston, New York, Minneapolis, and Scranton from 1962-1970. Her first painting was purchased by The New Yorker magazine, and, over a 20-year period, 58 paintings were used as covers. She is best known for her distinctive views of New England architecture.

Her paintings are recognizable by their clean-lined, architectonic focus, with flat surfaces and deep perspectives.

Mandle, formerly of Kingston, lives and works in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts. She has traveled extensively over the years and recently returned from living several years in the Middle East, where much of her artwork focused on human rights issues and the need for clean water.

Her artwork forms out of storytelling and the focus comes from observations about current events. She creates the stories in her work in a semi-abstract format, using mixed media, text, and texture to support the ideas in them.

Kinhead is a New Yorker born in Barnstable, Massachusetts. His paintings in the exhibition span approximately two decades of his career, from the mid 1990s to present. A long time figurative painter, his most recent work has begun to cross over to more abstract territories, while retaining subtle references to figuration and narrative.

His interest in unusual pictorial tensions is rooted in his studies at the Swain School of Design in the 1970s. His larger earlier works are oil on canvas while his more recent work, from 2010 to present, are small works on paper that incorporate gouache, ink, and pencil, and combine the recognizable and abstract.

Kinkead has shown at the NABI Gallery in Chelsea, as well as many other venues in New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.

A few exhibits stand out in Povse’s mind including Nature Seen from 2011.

“I really enjoyed it because it spoke of my sensibilities,” she said.

She also was fond of The Endless Mountains Spirit in 2015, a collaborative effort between the art staff at Marywood and representatives from The Endless Mountains Farm.

For more information, contact Marywood University’s department of Visual Arts at 570-348-6278 or visit

Gretchen Dow Simpson’s ‘Interior with Stairs.’ Dow Simpson’s ‘Interior with Stairs.’ Submitted artwork
‘What After Oil,’ a mixed media piece by Gayle Wells Mandle.‘What After Oil,’ a mixed media piece by Gayle Wells Mandle. Submitted artwork
Kevin Kinkead’s ‘Falling Painter II,’ oil on canvas. Kinkead’s ‘Falling Painter II,’ oil on canvas. Submitted artwork
An untitled piece by Mark Webber, to be exhibited in Marywood University’s upcoming show, ‘Narratives Seen,’ opening on Saturday, Feb. 27 in the Mahady Gallery. untitled piece by Mark Webber, to be exhibited in Marywood University’s upcoming show, ‘Narratives Seen,’ opening on Saturday, Feb. 27 in the Mahady Gallery. Submitted artwork
Narratives Seen exhibit features local artists

For Abington Journal

Robert Tomkavage contributed to this report. Information provided by Marywood University.