Abstracts on display at Cultural Center

Oct 2, 2021

For the month of October, colorful and reflective abstract paintings of Westport-based artist William Kendall will be hung inside the Reading Room Gallery of the Dartmouth Cultural Center.

“This is all gorgeous — absolutely gorgeous,” Cultural Center President Pauline Santos said. “Each one means something.”

Kendall said he first came to love abstracts while pursuing his undergraduate degree in art education at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

“I just had a natural feel for it,” he said. “I have done other things, of course, like landscapes and still lifes, but I tend to drift toward something that alludes to something.”

Kendall currently holds the title of Professor Emeritus from Bridgewater State University, where he taught painting for more than 30 years.

He also spent the past two decades as an architectural designer.

Some of the recent works displayed at the Cultural Center are classified as landscapes. One such is a painting titled “Riding the Waves,” which incorporates the blues and cool colors typically associated with the sea.

“You get kind of a sense of something and you can certainly see some of the water and waves,” Kendall said.

What the Westport artist especially enjoys about abstract painting is how free-form it can be. 

Kendall said while he typically starts out a painting with a sketch of how the work might be arranged, he often finds himself “drifting off” as one bit of paint leads to another.

“There’s no set formula from there,” he said. “It’s like jazz.”

Fellow abstract artist Theresa Manning of Dartmouth also enjoys that aspect of Kendall’s work.

“You don’t have to plan, you respond,” she said.

The Dartmouth resident also appreciated how varied his works are.

“There’s lines, there’s dots,” she said.

Kendall said he was very impressed with the way his works were displayed at the Olde Southworth Library — so much that he was caught off-guard when he first entered the gallery.

“When I came in, for a second I thought these were someone else’s paintings,” he said with a laugh. “It’s a beautiful room.”

The exhibition runs through Oct. 30. Hours are 11 a.m. through 3 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.