Large-scale works on view at Hollis arts center

Wild Salamander Creative Arts Center in Hollis will present "The Big Show," an exhibition of larger-format paintings and felt sculpture, from Jan. 22-Feb. 19.

This show features the works of three local artists: Tamara Gonda, of Pepperell, Mass., Christopher Volpe, of Hollis, and Lynda Petropulos, of Hollis, all of whom have created "big art" for this exhibition.

Gonda produces color field and abstract expressionist works of art. In this show, she will be featuring large-scale pieces made with acrylic and cold-wax. The paintings she will be featuring in the show "originated from a morning I spent in the Musee l’Orangerie this past summer. I had no idea at the time that my impressions there would transform my work as it has.

"Working large has been liberating in this series. Some painting demands a large work surface. The fields of color in these paintings pleads for open space."

In addition to the show, Gonda is teaching a six-week encaustic class at Wild Salamander.

Petropulos is a fiber artist who aims to capture energy and soul in her felted sculptures, which are inspired by animals in motion. Her large-scale home decor pieces showcase the texture and beauty of natural fibers.

Petropulos said she believes that hand-felted fabric "has a magical quality," and said she is most inspired by "God’s creations, expression, and the majesty of nature and animals."

Volpe creates paintings that draw upon Romantic landscape painting, as well as on contemporary abstraction. For this show, he will be exhibiting expansive and evocative skyscapes in oil featuring liberated brushwork and subtle color harmonies.

"Working big forces you to be more spontaneous," Volpe said. "In a larger format, you have to make different moves and solve different problems in new ways. Often you end up surprising yourself, and therefore surprising the viewer."

In addition to working large format himself, he also encourages others to do the same.

"I tell my students to choose a canvas that’s a little bigger than they’re comfortable with and then to go the next size up," Volpe said. "Even though switching up the scale is always going to be a little intimidating, it’s actually pretty exciting once you work up to it."

Concurrently with the show, Volpe is teaching a six-week beginner’s class in contemporary oil painting.

The opening reception will be from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22. The public is invited.

Wild Salamander is located at 30 Ash St. For more information, visit or call 465-9453.