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Here are the artists Sandra Loy (sloy) and Dave Nichols (nic) in a photo taken by their good friend painter Rob Bibler (with painter April Waters taking a view in the gallery tonight).

She a writer/artist and he a painter/sculptor.  For years they have been making art in Salem, art of a personal and terrific sort.  They have a show up “nic & sloy: Side by Side” at the Hallie Ford Museum of art which opened tonight and runs until January 28, 2018.  It was a full house tonight

and my photos reflect the inability to get an angle or a full shot…you just are going to have to go and see.

And why?  Because the work of either alone would be worth seeing but together there is a rare conversation.  Composition, energy, ideas, craftsmanship yet spontaneity, they have it all.

Dave (nic) is a painter and a master of construction and precision.  His pieces are beautifully made and hilarious, serious, poignant.

Sandra is a writer, a poet who turned to visual art (this series hits on song lyrics by Sonny Boy Williamson)

and the label is total sloy

and whose understanding of the power of repetition in writing and painting makes for some powerful work.

Dave works with corrugated cardboard a lot and sometimes makes containers for Sandra’s work

His paintings sometimes look like calligraphy

Her paintings occasionally grab some of his colors…

and “Side by Side” is the truth.  They work in their studio/house side by side.  They work hard and long.  They listen to music and talk sometimes, but they are both workers…and I understand that.  We look at a lot of art work and for me I’m always looking for “original” “fresh” “able” ….for art that comes out of the working heads of artists without too much static from other art being made around them.  This is such work and luckily you have TWO WHOLE MONTHS to come take a look.  The show was organized by John Olbrantz and masterfully hung by Jonathan Bucci and Silas Cook.  The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10-5 and Sunday from 1-5, closed Mondays.