"I began coming to North Adams about nine years ago to use the 'Gravity Press,' although we called it the 'Monster Press,' back then," Schechter said Friday afternoon. "I've been coming to the Berkshires for about 15 years now, renting spaces up until three years ago, when I bought a place in Lenox. I just finished building a studio there."
He has rented the Beaver Mill gallery space through October. The mill once housed the Contemporary Artists Center, and Schechter said showing his work there is somewhat circular he created it there, brought it to Manhattan and then returned to exhibit some of it again.
"A little more than a year ago, I made 100 large prints. Seventy-five of the works were given to major hospitals in New York City to brighten the walls for patients," he said. "The remaining 25 were water-damaged, and I'm currently reworking them on the Gravity Press (still located in the Beaver Mill). I thought it would be an interesting thing to display them in the building where I was bringing them back to life. Besides, I like the gallery space."
On Thursday, Kendra Lichtenwalner, gallery director, said there is a clear difference between the work Schechter created in the Berkshires and at his New York City studio.
"All of his work that's done in New York City is made with dark colors," she said. "The work that's created here, in the Berkshires, just has this explosion of color."
One vibrant piece, titled "Dance," was made after a visit to Jacob's Pillow. Another series of paintings, created after a jazz concert, are full of large swirls of color, with recognizable instruments and musical notes peppered throughout them.
"I get my inspiration from all around," Schechter said. "It can be from anything a cardinal flying overhead, a play, a dance performance, a walk. I get it from life in general."
The size of the Gravity Press also lets him paint in watercolors and use a variety of materials for his plates, including a thin wooden slab hewn from a tree which is on display at the gallery.
"It's not a rolling press, so I can use watercolor and just about anything to make a print," Schechter said. "It's a hydraulic press, which squishes things together like a giant sandwich. It's the only reason I'm able to work with watercolors in this size."
Lichtenwalner, a fellow artist who uses the press, described Schechter's work as being an outpouring of his emotions.
"They're all reflective of his environment," she said. "It's like a landscape, only an inner landscape of his thoughts that are expressed here."
Schechter has a variety of mediums on display digital prints, sculptures and oil paintings.
"I do anything," he said. "This is my job. If one isn't working, then I go to work in another medium."
The Beaver Mill Gallery, at 189 Beaver St., will be open until October, from Thursday to Sunday, 11 to 6. Works on display will change periodically.