The State of the Art Gallery is excited to announce its first show of the new year, featuring bodies of work by ten member artists. Media include drawing, painting, photography, and sculpture.
The show will run from January 6 to 30, 2022.
Further commentary on these pieces by the artists can be found at our blog site.
This series was originally displayed in 2017 as part of the exhibit celebrating the 200th anniversary of the founding of Tompkins County.
The Rails to Trails project has converted old railroad beds across the country into walking and biking trails. Tompkins County has quite of few of these trails that are widely used by the community.
As one of those users, I decided to display some of the photos from my walks along those rail trails.
These current pieces explore. Finding a style that makes the most fluid use of mixed media; using those media in a fluid consort; and overcoming the “content crisis” familiar to all abstract painters. The word “abstract” itself implies that first there was something and then it was abstracted. The final exploration in this set, in River Wheel, asks if an abstract piece can survive a photographic kernel.
In my paintings I like to cycle between painting from observation and painting from imagination. And sometimes I like to combine the two. Painting flowers excites me, not only because they are beautiful, but also because I find that they spark my imagination. I like to invent scenes in which the flowers are the star. While in all of these paintings the flowers are painted from life, some of the scenes are invented, either completely or partially. For me, this is an exciting way to paint.
I draw my inspiration from classical music, which touches my soul so deeply. Shoulder Rest is not only the tool that supports the violin or viola when we play, it is also when I lean my head on the shoulders of the violin, as if the only soul that I can freely speak to is my instrument. My thoughts are turning into music that I play, my feelings shape the piece that I am working on. Humidity, so important for the instrument's well being and for the quality of tone, is another allegory that I am going to leave on the audience to interpret.
The three other works represent the discovery of unusual instruments from various luthiers, a meeting of visual and music art, showing how both forms are closely connected, and how much they can move us with their organic whole.
This past autumn I expanded my skills at TC3 (where I have been studying digital photography every year since 2005), learning to use a medium format, twin-lens reflex film camera. These five photographs are from our final assignment: Take pictures at twilight, when natural light and artificial light complement each other. I chose places I know well. Some are close to my home in Caroline and one is just outside the window of this gallery. When I look at the photographs during what appears to be another spike of Covid, I see something else. The lights are still on. We will keep moving forward.
I made these photographs in the spring of 2021 in a spirit of optimism at the upturn in recent events; vaccines were rolling out, the end of the pandemic was in sight, a new president was about to unite our divided country. I began taking morning walks through Ithaca neighborhoods, marveling that everything appeared charged with a new beauty. The houses, the light, the blossoms—even the cars—appeared radiant to my hopeful eye. Alas, my enthusiasm was premature. We know now that we have more work to do. The photographs are a reminder—eventually, better days will come.
In these times of uncertainty I find myself returning to familiar subjects. My fascination with forms in nature has brought me back to my geology series as well as my landscapes and skyscapes.
Sometimes one particular creative urge grabs hold of you and you feel a need to pursue it until the need to do so begins to fade. That is what happened in these two sets of paintings. In both cases, one idea led to another until I found that I had created a series of pieces that all belonged together.
This is a collection of paintings from far ranging locations and time periods. Some are paintings I have never before shown which have been waiting for just the right combination of companion pieces. These semi-abstracted landscapes reveal the patterns of nature—horizontal bands of earth, air, and water, the jumbled chaos of bush and vine, the random patterns of rippled water and mowed pasture.
Upbeat is the result of restricting my color palette to yellow, yellow orange, green, red, and blue violet. All the colors are of high intensity making a bright, joyful array of colors. Additional interest was created by adding drawings of various shapes and symbols to the background.
Once Upon a Time is about the mysterious and beautiful forms of life in prehistoric times. The technique I used to create this piece is gel print collage. After a number pieces are completed, they are assembled into a composition. Many unexpected correlations emerge into unique compositions that are not preconceived.