In her exhibition essay for the latest exhibition at ASK (Arts Society of Kingston), Being Human, the curator Barbara Esmark, also an artist and the former owner of beGallery in High Falls, reminds us that using red and yellow ochre, manganese, iron oxides and charcoal, cave painters of the paleolithic period began a pas de deux of artist and viewer, painter and painted, that continues to this day.
As a curator, Esmark extends this “dance” with selected works by contemporary local artists who use the figure to explore and communicate what it means to be human. The diversity of the artists themselves, and their concerns, offer an exciting variation in what individuals feel is important about humanity; for some it is a fully realized representation of a figure while, for others, it is a more metaphysical rendering, for example, in Esmark’s own contribution to the exhibition.
Artists exhibiting in Being Human are:, Leslie Bender, Claire Lambe, Kazuma Oshita, Carol Zaloom, Jamie Midgley, Barbara Esmark, Lora Shelley, Bart Thrall, John Currie, Pat Kelley, Keith Gunderson, Janet Gunderson, Anne Stanner, Judith Zeichner John Varianno, Marsha Massih, John Wolfe, Stacie Flint, John Wolfe, Jr., Richard Corozine, Howard Miller, Elin Menzies, Julia Santos Solomon, Vindora Wixome, Lynne Friedman and Susan Miiller.
It must be something in the air as, suddenly, the galleries are full of figurative art, KMOCA on 103 Abeel St, also in the Rondout area of Kingston, has teamed pastel images by Paul Sigunick, that include portraits, with a contextualizing installation by Michael Asbill titled Look In, Look Out. In uptown Kingston the LGBTQ Center at 300 Wall St. is hosting Village Elders, an exhibition of photographic portraits by Penny Coleman of the senior citizens of the LGBT community who lived in New York’s Greenwich Village in the 1990s (the works in this show are also the subject of a book of the same title which includes essay/interviews of the subjects). This year’s Hudson Valley Artists at SUNY New Paltz, which opens on June 20, is called “The Stories We Tell” and will no doubt include some figuration.
The Sigunick/Asbill exhibition at KMOCA opened on June 6 and runs through June 27. The gallery is only open on Saturdays from Noon — 4 PM.
Being Human at ASK opens to the public with a reception on Saturday, June 13, from 5 – 8pm. The exhibition is on view through June 27.
The LGBTQ Center, 300 Wall St. is hosting an Artist Reception on Saturday, June 13, 3 – 6pm. For more information, call: 845.331.5300
The Stories We Tell: Hudson Valley Artists 2015, is at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art’s Alice and Horace Chandler Gallery/North Gallery. Opening reception Saturday, June 20, 5 – 7 pm; the exhibition runs June 20 — November 8, 2015