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Deborah Silverstein

We are all aware of our ‘native language’ of sound, mine for instance, being English.  Less frequently do we consider our native language of sight.  I grew up in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a small steel mill and coal mining town cupped in a narrow valley of the southern Allegheny Mountains.  The iconic elements of my native language of sight are the exquisitely beautiful, undulating blue-green mountains surrounding Johnstown and the acres and miles of industrial mills embedded along the valley walls. 

These first eight paintings represent my attempt to capture my native memories of imager…those mountains of breathtaking beauty, resting under cover of the eternal sky, along with their newcomer, flash-in-the-pan, man-made companions, now broken and emptied of purpose, left behind to rust and ruminate on the deeper meaning of forever.

The final two images are, of course, puffins.  I’ve been spending time for the last few years on some land in Searsport Maine, a village on the grand Penobscot Bay.  Offshore, miles out in the Bay, is Eastern Egg Rock Island, a small uninhabited island where a team of dedicated researchers has succeeded in restoring a formerly decimated, nesting puffin colony.  Project, under the auspices of the Audubon Society, supplements their funding by inviting people to sponsor a puffin.  For several years my family sponsored Y54, known more familiarly to us as “Puff Daddy,”  whose image you see in the solo puffin painting.  More paintings of puffins as well as other Maine imagery are sure to follow. 

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