Art in Tompkins County: Then and Now II


Gallery artists open the new year with art that reflects Ithaca’s past and present. State of the Art will celebrate Tompkins County Bicentennial with half of our artists having shown their work in January, and the other half in February.

This month’s artists: Eva Capobianco, Gurdon Brewster, Daniel McPheeters, Jane Dennis, Janet Sherman, Margaret Reed, Margy Nelson , Shirley Hogg , Erin Deneuville , Barbara Mink , Patty Porter , Connie Zehr , Stan Bowman, Mary Ann Bowman


Approaching 60


                                                                      Article in The Ithacan

When I was in college, my mentor, Jerome Zimmerman, once said “If anyone asks you how long it took you to make a sculpture, you should say ‘all my life’.” I am paraphrasing from memory, of course. But it rang true then, and even more so now, almost forty years later.

Looking toward my 60th birthday later this year, I have chosen to look back at my life’s work so far. About half the show is sculptures from the decades up to 2010. The rest is newer mixed media works completed since my last solo show at State of the Art Gallery.

It has been an interesting and rewarding journey. I have produced sculptures that are small and intimate as well as some large scale, site-specific, outdoor pieces. Some works took years to complete, while others came together in just a few hours. (The time frame, by the way, did not always correspond to the size!) As I have matured along with the artwork, I have often observed that we artists tend to go back and revisit the same issues and themes repeatedly. Yet each time I find myself looking again at an old theme or material or image, I find the artwork produced has changed because I have changed. So the journey is not one of coming back full circle. It is more of a spiral – when I look back at an old idea, I am seeing it from a new plane.

My artistic passion continues to include a love of combining natural and human made-objects. The work in this exhibit brings together many of the elements I have been exploring over those years: a commitment to re-using found objects; a love of the inherent beauty of the materials; and an exploration of emotional issues dear to my heart. Each work is carefully and lovingly assembled, oiled, polished, and sometimes stitched, to bring them to life.

As I approach 60, I can see that aging brings much that is good, but it also presents challenges, and one of those is that more people in my life are facing illness. I lost my father to lung cancer eight years ago. And recently several friends have faced or are currently facing this disease. To recognize and thank a local agency which is helping many people face the challenges of cancer, I have decided to donate 20% of all sales from my show to The Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes. Please join me in supporting their vital work in our community.



What Makes a Marriage?


Ithaca sculptor explores gay and interracial marriage debates

In January 2010 Eva M. Capobianco will present “What Makes a Marriage?” at State of the Art Gallery in Ithaca, NY. The show will be a benefit for Marriage Equality New York and the Ithaca Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender Task Force (ILGBTTF). Fifty percent of the profits from all sales at the show will be shared equally by these two organizations.

The exhibit dates are January 6-31, 2010. There will be a reception for the artist on Friday, January 8th, from 5-8pm. Harpist Myra Kovary has generously agreed to perform at the reception free of charge in support of the fundraiser. State of the Art Gallery is located at 120 W. State Street, Ithaca, NY. Hours are Wed. –Fri., 12-6pm and Sat. & Sun., 12-5pm. The gallery is ADA accessible, free and open to the public. The artist will be present at the gallery from 12-5pm each Saturday during the exhibit.

The work for this exhibit began during the general election in November, 2004. Ms. Capobianco states: “I found myself deeply upset by how the issue of gay marriage had been used by conservatives as a wedge issue to mobilize their base.” Feeling discouraged, she began to explore ways to use her art to compare today’s struggle for gay marriage equality with the fight for legal interracial marriage that culminated in the historic Loving v. Virginia case in 1967. Reading and researching these two issues has lead to some fascinating comparisons. The artist has incorporated quotes and ideas from these parallel debates into her sculptures in ways that she hopes will foster a healthy discussion about them.

Gay marriage has now become legal in several states, but it has also seen major setbacks in recent months and years. Capobianco says “My partner and I have been together for 27 years. Right now we COULD choose to get married in Canada or Iowa or several other states and that marriage would probably be recognized by our home state of New York. But it would not be recognized by the federal government. That would leave us without most of the benefits and protections that straight couples enjoy. It is important to support organizations that are working to educate the public about the fundamental unfairness of our current system.”

This exhibit is also part of the Light in Winter Festival, There will be a second reception during the festival, on Friday, January 22nd, from 5-7pm.