“Martha & John: a Love Story of Yoga and Art” opens at Canal Street Art Gallery – The Vermont Journal & The Shopper

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – Canal Street Art Gallery presents: “Martha & John: a Love Story of Yoga and Art,” exhibiting luminous oil paintings of the Vermont landscape by the late Martha Nichols, and paintings of brightly colored abstract mathematical designs inspired by the yoga tradition of the yantra by John van der Does. “Martha & John” opens Oct. 20, and is on view through Dec. 9. Join the gallery on Third Friday Gallery Night on Oct. 20, from 5-7 p.m., in historic downtown Bellows Falls, for the opening reception. All Gallery events are free and open to the public and wheelchair accessible, please call 802-289-0104 upon arrival.

“Color, light, and, more recently, sound, are my primary interests. We are surrounded by ever changing light, color, and sound as we go about our days in the landscape. I explore the vast variety of colors which I can mix, and their interactions with each new painting. The elements of the landscape or sky are used as a foundation for the design of each piece. It evolves from there until I am satisfied that some sense of glowing color has been achieved. My interest in obtaining a glow of color really comes from my meditation experience. Light and color in the landscape ultimately act as metaphors for inner exploration, as I continue to grow through meditation,” says Nichols.

“My wife [Martha] was married to my cousin Peter Nichols, a person of hidden insanity and homosexuality, as well as alcohol and drug problems. One time in the late 1950s, Peter, after an evening listening to jazz at the Birdland Jazz Club, took me from Grand Central Station, going underground from 42nd Street and exiting a manhole on 59th Street near Central Park. After that, and sometime in the early 1990s, I kept on meeting Marty; at Peter’s funeral, uncle Jim’s and aunt Elleanor’s funeral, and then at Gouverneur and aunt Muffy’s funerals. Marty and I started a relationship, and it really got started when I sent her a bunch of lilies on Easter. She visited me at the Dexter House on 86th Street, a low cost transient hotel, and was smitten when she saw me in a tiny room sitting on my bed in the lotus position. We got married and took marriage vows with the Self-Realization Fellowship in Greenfield, Front Royal, Virginia. Marty studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, and her artwork concerns inner growth and the spiritual realms. She was connected to Paramahansa and the Self-Realization Fellowship,” says John van der Does

Join the gallery on Nov. 3, from 6-8 p.m., for a film screening of “Mysore Yoga Traditions,” by Andrew Eppler, followed by a talk by John van der Does on Vedic mathematics. Following the screening and talk, attendees are invited to practice Asanas in the gallery, led by the artist. “Mysore Yoga Traditions,” by Andrew Eppler is a documentary film providing an intimate glimpse into the yoga of Mysore. The elders, scholars, philosophers, yogis, and spiritual leaders of the community express their views on what yoga is, its original intention, and how they feel about the way it is being taught and practiced around the world. Vedic mathematics is a system of mathematics reconstructed from Sanskrit texts by Sri Bharati Krishna Tirthaji. Asana is one of the eight limbs of classical Yoga. Asanas are poses and postures, held steadily, comfortably, and firmly. The event is free and space is limited. Participants may use the gallery to practice their yoga postures together with the artist. Please bring your own yoga mat.

Canal Street Art Gallery is located at 23 Canal Street in historic downtown Bellows Falls, Vt., and is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information about the “Martha & John: A Love Story of Yoga and Art” show or Canal Street Art Gallery, go to www.canalstreetartgallery.com online, call Mike at 802-289-0104, or email to artinfo@canalstreetartgallery.com.

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