Studio Visit: David Arsenault [Get Visual]
By David Brickman
His work has been compared to that of Edward Hopper. He was voted “Best Visual Artist” by the readers of Metroland in 2002. And as a past president and Oakroom Artists stalwart for many years, he has shown a lot in Schenectady and just about everywhere else a painter can in the Capital Region. But David Arsenault has moved on – to Rockport, Mass. – and he’s not looking back.
I recently caught up with Arsenault in his newly opened gallery in Rockport, a sweet seacoast town on Cape Ann with beautiful harbors, rocky sea walls, inviting cafes, many galleries and a long history of resident painters. He moved there only last fall but has already immersed himself in the cultural scene and staked his claim to the town’s iconic “Motif #1,” a satisfyingly geometric red fishing shack (seen in the painting reproduced above).
Arsenault was pushed to this decision by a helpful interruption to a long career in publishing (he was trained at Sage College of Albany as a graphic designer) and pulled by an equally helpful wife who has often relocated and was ready to do it again. They landed well, renting a nifty wooden house in town and the crisp space that houses the gallery, where Arsenault has a well-lit painting loft and lots of nice walls to display his finished work, situated a stone’s throw from the Motif on a charming, touristy stretch called Bearskin Neck.