"Icons and Relics", an exhibit by Jay Tobin, will be on display from Thursday, Nov. 1 through Friday, Nov. 30 at Berkshire Community College's (BCC) gallery at the Intermodal Transportation Center on the corner of North St. and Columbus Ave. in downtown Pittsfield. A public reception will take place Friday, Nov 2, from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM.
Tobin states "These paintings are influenced by Christian Icons which are paintings or mosaics depicting a holy person or an object such as Jesus, Mary, a saint, angel or the cross. Gold was one color that is in most icons, particularly those of the Eastern Orthodox Church."
"Relics are ancient religious objects, preserved for the purposes of veneration or as a tangible memorial. It could be the part of the body of a saint or venerate person or something directly associated with Christ's life (manger, cross). It could be something worn by a saint.
St. Francis Xavier's humerus is in a church in Macao. St. Catherine of Siena's head is in one church and body in another. No kidding. A friend of my mother's once held a small round gold reliquary to my brother's bad leg to help him walk better. I guess it contained some small part of a saint. It didn't help."
"The first painting I did in this series that was successful is "Got No Numbers". It wasn't influence by anything religious but a movie and a watch. I've used the circle to represent a head/face or reliquaries like the one my mother's friend touched my brother's leg with."
JJ Tobin was born in Pittsfield in 1949. He received an Associate in Arts Degree from Berkshire Community College in 1970; a diploma from U.S. Navy Construction School, Port Hueneme CA in 1972; a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1980; an Associate in Science Degree from Berkshire Community College in 1997; and Fresco Workshop, Frelinghuysen Morris House in 2001, 2002.
The exhibit is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.