Creativity is a family affair at Carry Out Cafe & Catering with artwork by husband and wife team Derek Laplante and Sara Willman currently on display. The exhibition features Laplante’s “Prophets and Loss,” recent works in mixed media, alongside Willman’s “In Bloom,” recent works in photography. The public is invited to view the paintings and images at the cafe throughout the month of October.
“I think it is very interesting to see the differences in style between these two. Derek’s mixed media paintings are spiritual and a bit mysterious, while Sara’s close-up images transform the everyday beauty of flowers into the sublime,” said Paula Simpson, owner of Carry Out Cafe & Catering. “We are happy to share their combined talent on our gallery wall.”
The artists live in Newburyport with their two sons and Bowie, the wonder dog. They are both members of the Newburyport Art Association. Laplante is a graphic designer, and Willman can often be found volunteering at the Spencer Peirce Little Farm, where she photographs events or captures the overlooked dignity of a once-abandoned farm animal.
Laplante notes that his earliest artistic memories involve watching “Captain” Bob Cottle’s early morning nature drawing show on the family TV or plopping himself in the living room floor with a bin of well-loved crayons and his favorite easel – the oversized kitchen cutting board. Today, he enjoys exploring various media (including crayons) to create artwork which reflects his far-reaching influences.
“My art draws heavily from the many styles, periods, and creative souls that I adore. Whether it’s the paintings of German Expressionist Emil Nolde, a steady childhood diet of cartoons and Mad Magazine, the punk and metal album covers I spent hours staring at as a teen, centuries of religious icons that I learned about during countless college lectures, or a sticker on the back of a downtown stop sign — it all finds its way into the mix,” Laplante says. “But I think the biggest influence is the drive tell a story. Or more accurately, part of a story that the viewer is given the experience of creating for themselves.”
Willman’s love of photography developed at Newburyport High School in the darkroom during Mr. Parkinson’s graphic design class. She headed off to the University Of Lowell seeking a degree in Mechanical Engineering, but it only took one semester to see that this was the wrong direction. Changing her focus to photography, she spent the next few years capturing local live rock bands on film before eventually graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Photography with a Minor in Art History.
After college, Willman found herself drawn to the practicality of a retail career. She married and became the proud mother of two lovely kids. Nevertheless, she persisted. And eventually found herself once again behind the camera. Although the format had changed from film to digital, she found her muses – both in the rock clubs and in other unexpected places. Willman continues to see potential photographs wherever she goes.
The artwork on display is available for purchase. Please contact Julie Cook at 978-317-2030 for pricing and more information.