Art Complex Museum
Tribute to Gay Youse
Feb. 8 through Apr. 5, 1998
Gay Youse. The Blueberry Barrens (Columbia Falls, Maine), late 1980s. Oil on canvas, 28 x 36 inches, Private Collection
As an artist, teacher, and gallery director, Gertrude Ann Youse, or Gay as she was affectionately known, devoted her considerable talent and energy toward enriching the artistic life of the Duxbury community. She moved to Duxbury during the late 1950s from Boston,where she had attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts.As a student she was strongly influenced by Austrian expressionist Oskar Kokoschka, who came to the museum school to give a talk and whose work was then being featured in Boston museum shows. Although she painted still lifes and portraits throughout her career, she was best known for her landscape images.
From 1958 until 1968, Youse taught both children's and adult classes at the Duxbury Art Association. Although she continued to teach privately out of her Church Street studio,Youse turned her attention to the Helen Bumpus Gallery in 1968, when she was asked to be its first gallery director, a position she held for over twenty years. Some of the better known artists whose work she exhibited were Alice Neel, Harold Tovish, Mariana Pineda, Lois Tarlow, Jack Wolfe, Penelope lencks, and two of her former teachers from the museum school, David Aronson and Karl Zerbe.
In addition to seeking out the very best local and regional artists,Youse tried to encourage emerging talent among Duxbury High School students by showing their work in the gallery as well. Many of her former students have become working artists or art educators, including Virginia Freyermuth, who currently heads the art department in the Duxbury schools.Wanting to recognize the pivotal role she played in inspiring a new generation of artists, friends and former students established a perpetual scholarship in her name for a Duxbury High School graduate.
This was the first exhibition of Youse's work in Duxbury since 1989, when she had a one-person show at the Helen Bumpus Gallery. The paintings and watercolors selected for this show include images from Duxbury as well as Maine's coast, which she never tired of painting.
Following a long tradition of American artists who have been drawn to the state's rugged beauty - Winslow Homer, Rockwell Kent, Marsden Hartley, and Andrew Wyeth to name some of the more prominent, Youse fell in love with the coast of Maine after her first trip to Corea, with Duxbury resident Evie Day. From the early 1970s until her death in 1994, Youse would spend her summers in Maine painting and teaching small outdoor workshops.The immediacy which characterizes the best of her work is due to the innumerable hours she spent working quickly en plein air.
Revised 12/28/99 at the request of Art Complex Museum to change the credit line for the above image to read: "Gay Youse. The Blueberry Barrens (Columbia Falls, Maine), late 1980s. Oil on canvas, 28 x 36 inches, Private Collection"
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For further biographical information on selected artists cited in this article please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.
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