Greene County Council on the Arts commences its 2017 season with “FRESH”— a group exhibit featuring new works by some of the Hudson Valley’s most celebrated artists, both established and emerging. On view January 14 through February 25, 2017, with an opening reception Saturday, January 14, 2017 from 5-7pm, FRESH: regional artists, current explorations will include works by Noelle Adamoschek, Fred Breglia, Bob Crimi, Ginnie Gardiner, Kathryn Kosto, Ruth Leonard, Stanley Maltzman, Art Murphy, Sara Pruiksma, Nancy Rutter, Susan M. Story and Robert Tomlinson. Representing the mediums of painting, pastels, plein air, printmaking, collage, photography, mosaic design, and sculpture, the artists will have created their pieces within the last quarter of 2016, adding an element of surprise and revelation to the exhibit. With few exceptions, even GCCA’s curatorial staff will not see the work before it is installed.
The concept behind FRESH was born when GCCA’s visual arts director was hiking Vroman’s Nose in Schoharie County. The combination of majestic natural beauty, last days of summer, anticipation of the upcoming presidential election and new year, lead to thoughts on a beginning-of-the-year exhibit inspired by the word fresh: fresh air, fresh year, fresh ideas, fresh perspectives. From there, the concept developed into a fresh approach to curating the show; instead of asking for submissions, GCCA staff members collaborated to come up with a list of artists who were invited to participate. Staff members made their choices based on a variety of motivations: respect and intrigue for artists’ work, belief that artists would attract new collectors and sell their work, wanting to see artists in the gallery who had not been displayed before, curiosity about artists who were also neighbors and community members, and the desire to see artists get back into the studio.
Invited artists were asked certain questions in the invitational email: “What are you working on right now? What is important to you as 2016 ends and 2017 begins? What is on your mind right now?” Artists Noelle Adamoschek, Fred Breglia, Bob Crimi, Ginnie Gardiner, Kathryn Kosto, Ruth Leonard, Stanley Maltzman, Art Murphy, Sara Pruiksma, Nancy Rutter, Susan M. Story and Robert Tomlinson answered the call, each agreeing to create one to four pieces of “fresh” work for the exhibit during the months of October, November and December in 2016. As it turns out, what’s on the minds of most of the participating artists is nature, adding another level of poignant meaning to FRESH.
Noelle Adamoschek, a mosaicist who creates pastoral scenes primarily using stained glass, will be displaying some of her work in the front windows of GCCA’s first floor gallery so that natural light can shine through them.
Fred Breglia is a nationally recognized environmentalist, certified arborist, frequent speaker, author, and educator who is well-known in New York State’s Capital Region and beyond. The works in FRESH will focus on expanding individual awareness of the worldwide dangers inherent in our environment and their effect on the earth and humanity. About his home studio, The Glen Grange, in Glen NY, Breglia says, “My artistic creations can happen without boundaries. My studio is not a set space; it’s more inspirationally based. Many times I find myself inspired to create in the grande room of the Grange, an open room with a 26′ tall ceiling that has good light and excellent acoustics, suitable for painting and music. Other times it is my back deck, which is situated high atop a second story level amongst old trees and wildlife.”
Bob Crimi’s vibrant oil paintings are a study in linear composition and color relationship. “It’s important for me to pay attention to what the colors are saying,” Crimi told The Artful Mind in 2010, “to be intuitive with them and not try to bend them to my will or squeeze them into a formula.”
Light plays a dominant role in Catskill-based painter Ginnie Gardiner’s sun-filled portraits and landscapes, in which the viewer can literally see the fresh air. “For the past decade I have observed the afternoon light enter dramatically, and often unexpectedly, from seemingly impenetrable clouds that frequently hover over the western Catskills,” says Gardiner. “It floods like inspiration through the tall arches of the windows. The tapestry that light creates from the formerly mundane grey plane and the games it plays with value and hue form the subject of two of the paintings (in FRESH).”
Kathryn Kosto, a former museum curator at several historic sites, including the home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Cambridge MA), uses recycled fragments to create collages which recall black-framed daguerreotypes. Ruth Leonard, GCCA’s Sprouts co-director (a summer arts program for children three to seven years old), invites the viewer of her artwork into a lush botanical domain rendered with exquisite attention to detail.
Stanley Maltzman, a highly acclaimed landscape and “plein air” artist, as well as an accomplished author and educator, works in a variety of media, most often pastel, watercolor or charcoal. “I firmly believe that there is a certain sense of communion with nature that is captured by working in the fields or woods that cannot be achieved by working indoors,” says Maltzman. “In natural surroundings one can touch, smell and observe the beauty that surrounds them.”
Art Murphy approaches nature’s oldest inhabitants by drawing upon his background in painting and commercial photography to make digital images of 380 million year old fossils found in abundance around his home in Catskill, New York. “Three hundred eighty million years ago this region was teeming with life and that life has left messages of its former presence,” says Murphy. “I seek out those messages.”
The florals in Sara Pruiksma’s lyrical artwork appear as symbols of femininity, fertility and poise, while simultaneously as symbols of strength, perseverance and instinct. Together, these abstractions tell a surreal story of the past tense, real or imagined.
A brilliant colorist, there’s a painterly quality to Nancy Rutter’s work that betrays her love of the materials she works with – the paints and the glazes. So while the work appears very free and painterly, closer examination reveals a deft geometric interplay of forms and shapes and colors – hence the label “the structure of color.” Her art is also about the element of surprise. It has something unexpected, something that will linger in the mind of anyone who looks at her work.
Nationally recognized “plein air” artist and instructor, Susan M. Story, attributes her passion as an artist to the desire to express the many moods and emotions evoked by nature’s landscapes with soft pastels. Like her father and mentor, Stanley Maltzman, she chooses to work outside whenever possible so she can immerse herself in the sensual riches of nature. “Nature is always in flux,” Story says, “as is the light that plays upon it, so a vista never appears the same twice, and I am continually provided with new inspiration. My goal is to capture a sense of the fleeting moment in my paintings, in order to preserve the beauty and share it with others.”
Rounding out the group of FRESH artists is painter, poet and sculptor Robert Tomlinson. Unlike many of the FRESH artists, Tomlinson doesn’t work in a traditional landscape manner, but rather uses language, drawing and sculpture to focus on one particular theme at a time and building a series around it. The series that he is creating for FRESH is called “All That Glitters Is Not…”
In addition to new artwork, each artist will also provide an image of their current workspace/studio and a statement about their current work, both to be shown along with the work.
Join all the artists in this powerful exhibition at the opening reception for FRESH on Saturday, January 14, 2017 from 5-7pm at Greene County Council on the Arts, 398 Main Street, Catskill, NY. For more information on GCCA Visual Arts Program and the FRESH exhibit visit www.greenearts.org.
GREENE COUNTY COUNCIL ON THE ARTS, INC. (GCCA) is a tax exempt, not-for-profit, arts service organization whose purpose is to broaden and enrich the quality of life in Greene County through the development and strengthening of all the arts. GCCA also serves as the Decentralization regrant agency for Greene, Columbia and Schoharie Counties. Since 1975, the GCCA has provided information and essential services to artists, arts organizations, cultural and educational institutions, civic groups, community agencies and the general public.