Artist Alex Hebert-Markiewicz (right) chats with work friend Elke Davidson (left) about her charcoal drawings at her gallery opening for Sculpted on Paper, March 1, 2018. (Brian Choquet/ Amherst Independent) (Brian Choquet)
Artist Alex Hebert-Markiewicz (right) chats with work friend Elke Davidson (left) about her charcoal drawings at her gallery opening for Sculpted on Paper, March 1, 2018. (Brian Choquet/ Amherst Independent)

Brian Choquet

Sculpted on Paper: Jones Library hosts charcoal exhibit from Belchertown artist Alex Hebert-Markiewicz

March 2, 2018

Full-time engineer and part-time artist Alex Hebert-Markiewicz hosted an opening reception for her third art exhibit, Sculpted on Paper, featuring charcoal and white pastel drawings inspired by the lifeless statues of the George Walter Vincent Smith Museum in Springfield.

The exhibit was held Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Jones Library in the Burnett Gallery. The opening was part of Amherst’s Arts Night Plus, a monthly event held the first Thursday of every month that features cultural and art events around Amherst.

“Spinario (Face)” (pictured) is Hebert-Markiewicz favorite piece from out the 17-piece collection that currently hangs in the Burnett Gallery. The sculpture depicts a boy trying to remove a thorn from the sole of his left foot. (Brian Choquet/Amherst Independent)

It took the Belchertown resident a year to create the 17-piece collection that hung along the walls of the gallery, each being sold for $350. Each drawing was based on photos she took of sculptures at the George Walter Vincent Smith museum as her references for each of the 18-by-24 inch drawings, a subject matter she has been enthralled by since she took a drawing class at the same museum.

According to Herbert-Markiewicz, an estimated 30 people attended the opening. This included family members, friends, co-workers, and even fresh faces, all giving their support to her and charcoal creations.

Elke Davidson, a work friend of Herbert-Markiewicz and a South Hadley resident, attended the event to not only support her friend but to maybe buy another one of Herbert-Markiewicz’s pieces to hang inside her home. She’s had one of Herbert-Markiewicz’s pieces displayed in her home for a year now and wouldn’t mind owning another one of these, as she describes, “beautiful” drawings.

Hebert-Markiewicz (right) and Davidson (left) share a laugh as they talk about the art and catch up on life. (Brian Choquet/Amherst Independent)

While engineering is her livelihood, Herbert-Markiewicz’s has had a passion for art since she was a young girl. As a kindergartener, she became an award-winning artist when she won first prize in a school art contest.

“I forgot what I drew or painted exactly, but I remember loving doing it,” said Herbert-Markiewicz.

Her work as an engineer, which she has been doing for the past 10 years, and her hobby for art aren’t mutually exclusive. With each piece she takes on, Herbert-Markiewicz finds herself applying her methodical work ethic to the way she approaches her art.

“I’ll start from just looking at dimensions of what I’m drawing and that’s very engineer-like,” said Herbert-Markiewicz. “Then I’ll move into more detailed work and I always follow that process.”

When she isn’t exploring the ways light and dark can contrast with charcoal, she also dabbles in painting and photography.

These creative outlets have given Herbert-Markiewicz an escape from the stresses she may feel from work or other parts of her daily life, even if there are new ones that come along with the creative process.

“It’s just a nice way to get away from the day-to-day stress,” said Herbert-Markiewicz. “Although, the art sometimes gives you stress if it’s not working out for a particular piece. Overall it relaxes me.”

Sculpted on Paper will be open free to the public for the rest of March and the Bennet Gallery can be found on the second floor of the Jones Library.

Reach Brian at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @BrianShowket.