With summer now well established, like my Tickseed Moonbeams (Coreopsis verticillata) in the garden which will provide my family with a long summer of golden entertainment at no cost, the latest crop of art exhibitions has proliferated all over the valley and will provide all of us with a summer of entertainment, argument, joy, and dissent, if we pay attention to it — also at no cost. This “go-round” starts at the northern end of our Hudson Valley figure of eight, in Chatham at the Thomson Giroux Gallery with an excellent group show entitled, Still Life with Sculpture. The exhibition features the paintings of Leslie Gabosh, Xico Greenwald, Tatiana Klacsmann and Joseph Yetto, sculpture by Philip Howie and David Paulson and furniture by Chris Schober. Of particular note in this show are Philip Howie’s evocative figurative sculptures.
In Hudson, Carrie Haddad Gallery is currently showing works by Kim McLean, Jeff Briggs, Jerry Freedner & Lanie Cecula through July 13. McLean is showing a very different body of work from his last show at the Foreman Gallery at Hartwick College a year or so ago (profiled here), but in the same technological idiom — McLean “sculpts” in three dimensions using an architectural computer program. This new work seems more focused on single “events,” and his previous broad palette is now limited to browns and golds. This more austere palette allows those exceptions to the rule: sections of cloud, or a close-up of a delicate flower, to pop and surprise.
McLean’s images are inspired by nature, technology, science and literature, so there are titles such as Chez Ahab but with the peg-legged protagonist of Moby Dick now realized as a robot and his ship metamorphosed into a rocket. A good many of the pieces reference water or the sea as in Zebra Zebra Niner —the title harks back to a World War One military alphabet.
Also at Carrie Haddad are the fantastic high contrast, almost painterly, photographs of Jerry Freedner. A book of photographs, available for purchase, was also produced from this exhibition. One-third of profits from the farm field photos and 100% of the book sale profits will be donated to The Columbia Land Conservancy and Scenic Hudson.
At the John Davis multi-space Gallery are, among others, Martha Diamond and Joseph Hask showing paintings in the Main Galleries and the Carriage House respectively, and Lisa Saunders is in the Sculpture Garden with her Giacometti-like sculptures, or as she describes them: “three dimensional drawings” echoing the revived interest in drawing in general. Their work will be on display through July 13.
A new pop-up gallery, NOBO (NorthOfBroOklyn), has opened on Warren St. with director Claire Vitall showing artists from Saugerties, including small sculptures by Michael Ciccone, the clever bricolage work of Polly Law and the haunting photographs of Richard Edelman. The show goes on through July 15, possibly longer. NOBO is a terrific space and may yet become a permanent fixture on Warren St.
Across the river in the pretty town of Athens, there is a large multimedia group show of twenty-one artists at the Athens Cultural Center on 2nd St. Curated by sculptor Tim Watkins, the title of this show is “Road Kill” and artists include Brian Braine, Claudia McNulty, Ryder Cooley, Matt Bua, Fawn Potash, Kiki Smith, Linda Weintraub, Jan Harrison, Tim Watkins himself, and yours truly. Most of the artists’ works are sympathetic to the titular road kill and the unintended consequences of car meets nature, and there are some witty and irreverent pieces too. There will be more on this anon as, I believe, Roll plans to do a feature on the show. It runs through August 10 with a closing event scheduled for August 9 during which there will be performances including one by Ryder Cooley, Hazel and the Dust bowl Faeries.
In Saugerties, Imogen Holloway (IH) Gallery is hosting Margrit Lewczuk with acrylics on canvas, and Mara Held with egg tempera on paper. Both artists’ work on a similarly small scale and have a penchant for pattern, and the show hangs together seamlessly in the space. However, sad to report, this is the Gallery’s final art exhibition at this location. Diane Dwyer announced that she will be leaving the space on Partition Street in order to concentrate on a more mobile and, she said, a more exciting model: “Finding beautiful and unusual spaces in the Hudson Valley in which to show paintings and installations, host readings and performances.” And there are plenty of options in the Hudson Valley to choose from. I was recently at an incredible, but short lived, show with art by Kiki Smith, Valerie Hammond and Seton Smith at the wonderfully dilapidated Dr. Oliver Bronson House in Hudson, overlooking the river.
The IH Gallery’s online presence will remain active through the website, facebook, instagram and email, and Dwyer will continue to be available for consulting. This abdication of a contemporary gallery from Partition St. is a sad development and I hope isn’t a harbinger of hard times for what has become a busy and fun thoroughfare. This last show at IH runs through July 13.
En route to Woodstock, check out the Instructor’s Show at the Woodstock School of Art (WSA) – a terrific opportunity to explore the WSA teaching artists for anyone considering taking classes there in the coming academic year. The school offers a wide variety of classes at very reasonable prices. This show goes through July 12 and will be followed by an exhibition, “Angeloch Under Glass,” of works on paper by the late Robert Angeloch, one of WSA’s founders and guiding lights. It will be curated by his friends and colleagues, John Kleinhans and Paula Nelson.
At the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, Katharine McKenna’s show continues at the White Pines house on Upper Byrdcliffe Road through July 27. This show, beautifully organized by Heather Hutchison and Byron Bell, is a first for this historic house – it is only open on Saturdays and Sundays from noon-5pm and very much worth a visit for both the art and the house.
Big Bambú by twin brothers Doug + Mike Starn continues through July 13 at The Kleinert/James Center for the Arts on Tinker St. This exhibition, organized by Derin Tanyol, is an ongoing installation that has seen incarnations on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, at the Venice Biennale, and other venues. Bambú Shots surveys the photographic output that the Starns dedicate to each installation. The exhibition combines 11 large-scale photographs by the Starns and an installation of nearly 100 smaller images of the project at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It also includes video and several actual bamboo structures. Big Bambú is also the name of a 1972 album by Cheech & Chong and is a reference to a type of cigarette rolling paper made by the Bambu company. There will be a closing party: Saturday, July 12, 4:00 – 6:00 pm, with the Starns and their crew of rock climbers.
The Woodstock Museum of Art (WAAM) is currently hosting a show entitled, “Endangered.” The juror is Sevan Melikyan, director of the Wired Gallery in High Falls, NY. Although unconnected with the “Road Kill” show in Athens, it has obvious parallels. Artists include Eric Angeloch, Loel Barr, Edward J. Berkise, Marjorie Grinnell, Pat Horner, Lenny Kislin, and Paula Nelson. Show closes on July 13 and will be followed on July 19 by another group exhibition. WAAM has a lot going on and their website is worth a look for events, guest speakers, et al: www.woodstockart.org/
The Elena Zang Gallery in Shady is showing new work by veteran Woodstock painter Donald Elder. These paintings mark quite a departure from Elder’s expressionistic, yet relatively conventional landscapes, in terms of content and scale — many of the paintings are significantly larger than we are used to from this artist. He continues to use the same painterly language of impasto with vigorous knife and brushwork but, while his earlier work could be said to be a macro sense of the landscape, this work is a micro sense of it. Pictured above is one of the gentler paintings and my own personal favorite. Zang’s shows are short, usually only running for two weeks and this one ends on June 30, so get your skates on.
The art scene around the Roundout area of Kingston is thriving and, in addition to the many galleries, now boasts a new art and craft supply store, Olivieri’s at 69 Broadway, selling handmade paints, a rainbow of graffiti spray paints, and good coffee. Olivieri’s is also acting as an annex for the tiny Storefront Gallery up the road which is presenting Marshall Borris’s enigmatic, often high-keyed, portraits. Borris is fresh from a residency in Spain so perhaps we’ll see some of what was produced there. The exhibition will be in both venues and opens on July 5, with a reception from 5 — 8 pm.
Going further south, and a relatively new kid on the block, is PS 209 Gallery in Stone Ridge. Incidentally PS stands for Project Space, not Public School, and 209 for the route that goes through Stone Ridge. The gallery is, in fact, in a gracious house at 3670 Main St. Opening there on July 5 with a reception from 5 – 7 pm is a show entitled, SURFACE tension, with works by John Ferro, Kathi Robinson Frank — the latter a Bard alumna, also MP Landis and Josette Urso. PS 209 gallery, which is only open on weekends, favors abstract to semi-abstract pieces, with a sensibility not unlike Diane Dwyer’s of Imogen Holloway in Saugerties. For more information, or to schedule an appointment please contact Lori Van Houten: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you keep going until you get to Kerhonkson, you will have a lovely treat in store for you (aside from Chomsky, the giant gnome at Kelder’s farm) and one of the area’s best kept secrets: The Bradford Graves Sculpture Park at 28 Doggums Way, Kerhonkson. Graves was one of America’s great stone workers – his sculpture speaks to the standing stones of Carnac and the Ogham stones of Ireland, and also to the monuments of the early natives of this land, while still being absolutely contemporary. The park is open during the summer by appointment: Call 845 230‑0521 or email: email@example.com. Ask for directions and bring a picnic. Now you can pop over the mountain to New Paltz and take in the Dorksy’s Worlds of Wonder: Hudson Valley Artists 2014. I have written a feature about that show which is available here.
Back over the Hudson River we go to the hamlet of Tivoli where “Reimagined” is the latest visual arts exhibit to be shown at the Tivoli Artists Gallery. The artists were asked to reimagine discarded materials into fine art works. On show are works in oil, encaustic, photography, collage, sculpture and more. The show includes work by Frana Baruch, Karen Caton, Roxie Johnson, Alan Reich, Gilbert Rios, Barbara Walter and Karl Volk. A reception with the artists will be held at the gallery on Saturday, June 28 from 6 to 8 pm and the show runs to August 10. Tivoli Artists Gallery is at 60 Broadway, Tivoli, and is open weekends. Call 845 – 757-2667 for more information.
In Red Hook, there is an upcoming community sculpture event from June 15 – November 21 which will consist of an outdoor large-scale sculpture exposition along Route 9 in the Village of Red Hook. Opening celebration is: Saturday, June 28, 5 – 7 pm. More info? Contact: SculptureExpo2014@gmail.com
Contrary to their nickname name, Tickseed Moonbeams don’t seed ticks and love sunbeams more than moonbeams; a little water – not so much — will keep them happy and thriving and ensure more in the future. Similarly with art: a little light shed on it, and some acknowledgment that it exists is encouragement for the artist to make more. Of course the odd sale helps too, that is art’s equivalent of water, without which it might wither up and die… (Do you know that a small tube of cadmium orange paint can cost upwards of $38?)
Featured Image is from the Road Kill group exhibition at The Athens Cultural Center by Linda Weintraub: Spinal Track (detail), 2014. 8 x 4’. Clay and Deer Skulls. Courtesy of the artist.
All images are courtesy of their Gallery unless otherwise noted.
Claire Lambe is an Irish born painter whose works have been exhibited on both sides of the Atlantic; she is a graduate of the National College of Art and Design in Dublin and holds an MFA in painting from the City University of New York. In addition to her art-making, she is also the company manager and designer for The Woodstock Players Theater Company—as the company designer she is responsible for everything from the website to the set design. Writing credits include contributing author to Teen Life in Europe (part of the Teen Life Around The World series), and articles and reviews for this publication.