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Northeastern Light: Paintings by Pete Hocking and Gretchen Kummer McGinnis

image L: Gretchen Kummer McGinnis,  Violets , 2016, oil on canvas, 8 x 8", image R: Pete Hocking,  Backside no.3 , 2017, oil on panel, 24 x 30"

image L: Gretchen Kummer McGinnis, Violets, 2016, oil on canvas, 8 x 8", image R: Pete Hocking, Backside no.3, 2017, oil on panel, 24 x 30"

Hamilton Square Condominium Association


Northeastern Light: Paintings by Pete Hocking and Gretchen Kummer McGinnis


September 8th 2017 – January 6th 2018


Opening Reception: Friday September 8th 6-8pm


Hamilton Square
232 Pavonia Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07302

SILVERMAN and Hamilton Square Condominium Association present: Northeastern Light: Paintings by Pete Hocking and Gretchen Kummer McGinnis, curated by Enrico Gomez. 
The various subject matter within the exhibition Northeastern Light invites the viewer into an intimate consideration of the natural world, drawing parallels and asserting differences between the inspirational surround and luminescent context within which two accomplished artists create their work; Pete Hocking in Outer Cape Cod, Massachusetts and Gretchen Kummer McGinnis in rural Southeastern Pennsylvania. 
Light and its changing, multifarious qualities has, of course, been of foundational importance to artists since visual art, as such, was first created. Standout examples within the history of art would include Impressionist painter Monet and his diurnal “Haystacks”, the enigmatic “Nocturnes” of Whistler, Hopper and his melancholy, late afternoon townscapes, and the nuanced conceptual examinations of artist Robert Irwin to name only a few. Any painter or photographer will be intimately familiar with the term “north light”, a reference to light sourced from northern skies which, to European painting studios of old, had a longer lasting and more diffused, overall quality to it than the sharp contrasts and shifting angles offered by sunlight from the south. The term endures today as a marker of that ideal climate within which the artist of direct observation may make their inquiry and endeavor.

Northeastern Light features two artists of just this variety, who cull their subject matter and vision from within their local and historical surroundings.  For Gretchen Kummer McGinnis, this area centers largely in her native Southeastern Pennsylvania, the rolling hills and dotted terrain which also serve as home to the traditional Pennsylvania Dutch, the Susquehanna and Schuylkill Rivers, the city of Philadelphia, and the “Brandywine School” of painters to which the storied Wyeth family belong. With regard to her enduring environmental muse, the artist shares, “Painting the landscape or still life is a way to celebrate, honor and be excited about the endless beauty that surrounds us”. Many of McGinnis’s paintings are executed in the “alla prima” style, which is an Italian term, referring to a “wet into wet” style of paint application, typically completed within one sitting. “I find this technique well suited for me,” says McGinnis, “as it enables me to maintain connection to my subject. Staying in this high level of concentration is exhilarating; freeing and meditative all at once”. 

For painter Pete Hocking, the world of aesthetic inspiration would certainly include the roiling brine of Northeastern Atlantic waters and the mystifying dunes and tangled brush of Cape Cod. Employing a healthy mix of studio painting and “plein air” studies (works of direct observation painted out of doors) Hocking gathers his subject matter from his almost daily perambulations about Provincetown, Massachusetts, the bike trails and coastlines of the Outer Cape, and the College Hill neighborhood of Providence, R.I. (his second home base in New England). In reference to what he calls “location studies” the artist shares, “A big part of my practice is walking in a repetitive fashion, revisiting the same landscape over and over”. This re-visitation is perhaps extended through both place and time, as Hocking came of age in this wild and fecund locale, with Provincetown specifically marking a locus of personal and creative self-discovery. It was here that he happened upon several emerging truisms, among them, the calling to become an artist. “This is my landscape,” says Hocking, “I often say to students who are making work, ‘We find ourselves in landscapes that we resonate with … and we make our best work from that landscape.’ Now that might be a proscenium stage, or a street performance, or a place, but … we’ve got to find our landscape.”
While the natural confines within which these artists make their work are perhaps similar in terms of flora and atmosphere, they are definitely separated by miles … two distinct and singular, if sibling, corners of the Northeastern Corridor. The same might be said of the artworks gathered here. The paintings of Kummer McGinnis and Hocking certainly share some simpatico with regard to material handling and sensitivity and diverge from one another in equal measure. The point of this grouping, however, is less to compare and/or contrast, and much more to converse. If art making is a conversation between the artist, subject matter and materials, then art viewing too is a dialogue between the artworks on display, the viewer, and the host of personal predispositions and beliefs that the viewer arrives with. How the artworks interact with one another and with the exhibition venue itself is also a part of this exchange. For example, what might a flaming pink lady slipper, growing wild off the trails in Cape Cod have to say to a robust Pennsylvanian Hydrangea, clipped and weighty, cooling in a glinty glass container? Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote, “Art is the child of nature; yes, her darling child, in whom we trace the features of the mother’s face, her aspect and her attitude.” As part of Mother Nature ourselves, let us consider these fine works collected here, tracing their sibling features, recognizing perhaps the familiar quietude of our own past moments savored, private paths and pastures revisited, future vistas and shores not yet landed upon.

Gretchen Kummer McGinnis is an artist based in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. A graduate of the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia (BFA in Printmaking, MA in Art Education), she is the mother of three teenage daughters and currently maintains an art studio in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. She has exhibited widely and is represented online by Yellow Fine Arts.

Pete Hocking is an artist based in Provincetown, Massachusetts and in Providence, Rhode Island. An MFA graduate of Goddard College in both Interdisciplinary Arts and Creative Writing (BFA in Illustration from RISD), he is also a professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. He has exhibited widely and is represented by Four Eleven Gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts. 

The exhibition is open to the public during normal business hours and by appointment and will be on view at Hamilton Square through January 6th, 2018. For further information, please visit us at SILVERMAN or call number (201) 435-8000. Hamilton Square is located at 232 Pavonia Avenue in Jersey City, NJ.
Northeastern Light: Paintings by Pete Hocking and Gretchen Kummer McGinnis is the eighth exhibition that artist/curator Enrico Gomez will organize for SILVERMAN. For additional information on exhibiting artist Pete Hocking, please visit: and for additional information on exhibiting artist Gretchen Kummer McGinnis, please visit: For additional information on the curator, please visit: and
SILVERMAN has presented the works of Larry Wolhandler, Barbara Friedman, Michael Steinbrick, Jeanne Tremel, Eliot Markel, Debra Drexler, Mark Van Wagner, Rob Ventura, Robert Hendrickson, Sarah Becktle, Kati Vilim, Mark Dagley, Candy Le Sueur, Ed Fausty, Anna Mogilevsky, Ali Harrington, Sara Wolfe, Anne Percoco, Shauna Finn, Melanie Vote, Paul Lempa, Fanny Allié, Michael Meadors, John A. Patterson, Charlotte Becket, Roger Sayre, Karina Aguilera Skvirsky, Tom McGlynn, Margaret Murphy, Valeri Larko, Tenesh Webber, Glenn Garver, Jennifer Krause Chapeau, Michelle Doll, Tim Heins, Megan Maloy, Laurie Riccadonna, Thomas John Carlson, Tim Daly, Ann Flaherty, Scott Taylor, Jason Seder, Sara Wolfe, Beth Gilfilen, Andrzej Lech, Hiroshi Kumagai, Victoria Calabro, Asha Ganpat, Darren Jones, Ryan Roa, Laura Napier, Risa Puno, Nyugen E. Smith, Amanda Thackray, and Kai Vierstra, among others.


Hamilton Square is located at 232 Pavonia Avenue, in the scenic Hamilton Park neighborhood of Jersey City. Surrounded by tree-lined streets and attractive brownstones, Hamilton Square is located just blocks from the Holland Tunnel, the Light Rail, the Pavonia-Newport PATH Station, and the Grove Street PATH Station — making it an easy destination from anywhere in the greater Manhattan and North Jersey areas, with just a swipe of your MTA card!


To reach us from Grove Street PATH Train Station:
Access PATH Train at WTC Oculus Hub in Manhattan, disembark at Grove Stop. Walk up Newark Ave, turn Right on Erie Street, and walk north a few minutes until Pavonia Ave.
On-street and metered parking is available. 

To reach us from Newport PATH Train Station:
Access PATH Train at 6th Ave & 32nd, 23rd, 14th, 9th, and/or Christopher Streets in Manhattan, disembark at Newport Stop. Walk through Newport Mall and exit through doors (by McDonald’s) on first floor, cross through parking garage to Marin Boulevard. Cross Marin (at firehouse) and walk west on 8th street. At Erie Street turn Right and we are a few steps on the left (west) side of street at Pavonia.




Northeastern Light: Paintings by Pete Hocking and Gretchen Kummer McGinnis is a part of JC Fridays; a city-wide, free, quarterly arts festival in Jersey City presented by Art House Productions and made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State. Boasting over 30 venues featuring art, music and education, this family-friendly festival in a self-guided tour format is not to be missed! More info at: