The Hippo


Mar 24, 2019








“Vermillion 2” by Jana Lamberti.

See “Vermillion”

Where: Sullivan Framing and Fine Art Gallery, 15 N. Amherst Road, Bedford
When: On view now through Feb. 7
Contact:, 472-1888

Mexico City influence
Goffstown-born artist’s silk exhibition in Bedford

By Kelly Sennott

The blends of red, pink, gold and purple in Goffstown-born artist Jana Lamberti’s exhibition “Vermillion” were inspired by the artist’s current residence: Mexico City.

She moved there this summer with her husband and three kids and was struck by how bright and lively the culture was. 
“There’s color in the food, color in the market — everywhere you look, there seems to be more color than in the States,” Lamberti said. “I’ve also been inspired by the deconstruction of Mexico City. … I’ll see a corroded wall or really interesting pattern nobody fixed in the brick on the sidewalk. There are some really amazing compositions you can get out of the deconstruction of the area.”
“Vermillion,” which hangs in the Sullivan Framing Fine Art Gallery in Bedford now through Feb. 7, is a series of dyed silk works whose most prominent element is the color red. When framed in white on the Bedford gallery’s walls, they look almost like abstract watercolors, except with more depth, richness and intensity of color.
Lamberti moved to the city this summer due to her husband’s job at the embassy. (And if all goes as planned, she may soon be commissioned to paint the embassy walls.) But embracing the country’s flavor in her art took something of a leap for Lamberti; she finds most artists either love red or hate red, and in Mexico, there’s a lot of red.
“I love every color as an artist, but at the same time, I’m drawn to a specific color palette. Red is one I hadn’t explored yet,” Lamberti said.
Lamberti’s use of silk in her art came after years fine art and fashion. She attended Goffstown High School and then Gordon College (where she met gallery owner Amy Sullivan). She studied fine art but had a bit of a lull after college and decided to explore what she thought would be a more dynamic medium: fashion design.
That left her unsatisfied as well; while working in the sweater design industry in 2002, she found the medium wouldn’t allow for so much creativity.
“If you go to the mall, you’ll see that everyone copies everyone else,” she said.
So, she pursued education at grad school at Endicott College and taught for a while. When she became a mom, she began to explore using silk as a canvas. 
“I decided to ... work on silks and only silk,” she said. “It’s a very different type of medium. Most people don’t know much about it; they think it’s like watercolor. … But I think it’s a nice blend of my two backgrounds in painting and fashion design.”
The application, she explained, is complex and difficult to control.
“The colors first attracted me to silk, as well as the application of it. It’s an almost freeform process. You can only control it so much, and that’s what I love about it,” she said. “When the dye hits the silk, it’s pretty amazing. It kind of spreads and oozes. … One of the most difficult things for me was letting go to see what’s going to happen next.”
Colors on silk show up more vibrant than in any other medium she’s worked with. She controls it by using certain resists: wax, alcohol, hard salt and soft salt.
She says her current work has an “abstract representational” quality to it. Nature has a large influence — the ocean, particularly, plays into these pieces — but so does her painting experience and knowledge of color theory and composition.
Her exhibition is the first of a year of monthly featured artist shows at the Sullivan Framing Fine Art Gallery. 
As seen in the January 15, 2015 issue.

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