1. Jennifer Hicks_Platt Clove Twilight_2017

Spring Awakening

by Claire Lambe

With spring officially sprung, the Hudson Valley’s sleepy towns are waking up for the season with an assortment of art events and exhibitions opening this month. In Beacon, Post-​​magic Symbiosis is the intriguing title of a new exhibition at the Matteawan Gallery (436 Main St) opening on Saturday, April 8, with a reception from 6 – 9pm. The exhibition is curated by Newburgh resident and Brooklyn gallery owner Lacey Fekishazy and features a mix of artists from New York City and the mid-​​Hudson Valley, including Kathy Goodell, Vernon M. Byron, Olivia Drusin, Patrick Mangan, and Esperanza Mayobre. This exhibition runs from April 8 to May 7. Following this, the gallery will host a solo exhibition of paintings, drawings, and sculpture by Beacon artist Greg Slick, entitled Field Work, opening on May 13.

Kathy Goodell, “Phantasmagorique #15,” 2015, ink, acrylic, and enamel on Yupo paper, 26” x 40”

Kathy Goodell, “Phantasmagorique #15,” 2015, ink, acrylic, and enamel on Yupo paper, 26” x 40”

Across the Hudson, in Newburgh, the Ann Street Gallery (104 Ann St) has announced the opening of Mythology, with a reception also on April 8, from 6:30 – 8:30pm. This exhibition unites artists from across the country and abroad in their shared interest in the timeless appeal of classical myths, the imaginative nature of storytelling and visual fantasy. Noteworthy among the very inventive contributions of the 21 artists whose work is featured are Margaret Ann Withers steam-​​punk visions, Dominique Vitali’s haunting monoprint Emerging, and Roy Millard-Mendez’s Icarus Chair. The other artists are Brandin Barón, George Bedell, Biserka, Andrea Burgay, Kimberly Callas, Naomi Campbell, Samuel Rios Cuevas, Dave Kube, Keith Plummer, and Jave Yoshimoto.  The show, which is curated by Virginia Walsh, ends on May 6.

Margaret Ann Withers, “Cowgirl Barracuda,” 2016. Flashe paint, ink, acrylic gouache on linen

Margaret Ann Withers, “Cowgirl Barracuda,” 2016. Flashe paint, ink, acrylic gouache on linen

In High Falls, Wired Gallery celebrates International Sculpture Day on April 24 with a two-​​part exhibition of Sam Tufnell’s distinctive illuminated sculptures, from April 8 to May 7. Curated by Colin “Cojo” Jorgensen, there will be an opening reception on April 8 from 5 – 7:30pm, during which, at sunset (approximately 7pm), a lighting ceremony will take place at the foot of the cliffs of the nearby High Falls Emporium Sculpture Garden, at 10 Old State Route 13, to unveil a site-​​specific installation. For more detailed information on this, see our companion article on International Sculpture Day: here

Sam Tufnell, “Bronze-age Gnome II,” 2013, bronze, 32” x 10” x 11”

Sam Tufnell, “Bronze-​​age Gnome II,” 2013, bronze, 32” x 10” x 11”

Next stop: New Paltz. Three of the four spring shows at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz, which opened in February, are on view until May 21. Carl Waters and Woodstock Ceramic Arts surveys the 40-​​year-​​plus career of Carl Waters (1883 – 1955), pioneer of modern ceramic art in America. In stark contrast, Sara Greenberger Rafferty: Gloves Off presents recent multimedia art objects by emerging Brooklyn-​​based artist Sara Greenberger Rafferty. Her work explores domesticity, the body, consumer culture, fashion and violence.

Sara Greenberger Rafferty, “Jokes on You” (detail), 2016, acrylic polymer and inkjet prints on acetate on Plexiglas. Photo: JSP Photography

Sara Greenberger Rafferty, “Jokes on You” (detail), 2016, acrylic polymer and inkjet prints on acetate on Plexiglas. Photo: JSP Photography

Lastly, Text/​​ures of Iraq: Contemporary Art from the Collection of Oded Halahmy is a group show that places pieces from the personal collection of New York-​​based sculptor Oded Halahmy, a Jewish native of Baghdad, alongside that of eight contemporary Iraqi artists. Organized by the theme of text and texture, these works reveal the importance of the literary in Iraqi society, culture, and visual arts, both past and present. For more in-​​depth coverage of these exhibitions, see our article The Dorsky in Spring.

Fay Wood at Emerge Gallery, “Dragonfly,” mixed media including found metal and a model plane propeller, 44" x 40" (date?)

Fay Wood at Emerge Gallery, “Dragonfly,” mixed media including found metal and a model plane propeller, 44″ x 40″ (date?)

To coincide with Saugerties First Friday on April 7, and also coordinate with International Sculpture Day, the village of Saugerties will inaugurate its first annual sculpture festival. This super-​​show, which features a smorgasbord of talent, is spread over three galleries: Cross Contemporary Art (in their newly acquired space at 99 Partition Street), 11 Jane St, and Emerge Gallery & Art Space (228 Main Street). Additional sculptures will be mounted at various outdoor venues throughout the village and in the windows of a number of businesses; there will be maps available at the galleries to help viewers navigate the art. There will be an opening reception at Emerge on Friday, April 7, and at the other venues on April 8. This event, which is supported by the village and town of Saugerties, is covered in greater detail in a companion article in Roll.

Stuart Farmery "Supersize Me" 2015. Wood. Dimensions TBA.

Stuart Farmery “Supersize Me” 2015. Wood. Dimensions TBA.

Also in Saugerties, Nature/​Nurture: Paintings by Deborah Freedman and Jennifer Hicks opened on April 1 at Cross Contemporary Art (81 Partition Street) in advance of CCA’s consolidation into a larger space at 99 Partition Street in May. Freedman and Hicks’ bodies of work explore the rhythm and movement of nature, the natural fluctuations and shifts of the forest at night or distilling cosmic patterns onto canvas. Jennifer Hicks’ career as a performance artist informs her work as a painter, which addresses the mysterious presences that arise in a forest at twilight. Deborah Freedman, whose work can be found in such collections as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The New York Public Library, and the Library of Congress, captures the larger impressions and the ephemera of the natural world with commanding brushwork and color.

Deborah Freedman, “A Better World,” 2017, oil on canvas, 12” x 24”

Deborah Freedman, “A Better World,” 2017, oil on canvas, 12” x 24”

Although Cross Contemporary Art is occupying its new premises at 99 Partition St. for the sculpture festival, the official grand opening of this new gallery space is May 6 from 6 – 8 pm. This date also marks the start of a solo exhibition of paintings and drawings by Mike Cockrill – the exhibition will run through May 28. Also in May, Emerge Gallery has invited a group of artists, including Loel Barr and Maxine Davidowitz, to participate in an interdisciplinary project entitled Art & Words: Ekphrasis. ‘Ekphrasis’ is defined as a poem inspired or stimulated by a work of art and, as the title suggests, this will be a combined art exhibition and poetry reading. The artists and poets will share their work with the aim to inspire one another to create new pieces of art or poetry. The challenge will be in determining which came first, the visual or the written art. The visual art results will be on view from May 5 to 29, with a reception on May 6 from 5 – 8pm; the poetry reading will take place on May 20, 6 – 8 pm.

As always, Woodstock has many ongoing and upcoming art events. Through April 30, the Woodstock Artists Association & Museum (WAAM), at 28 Tinker St, is hosting Abstract Evocative curated by Norm Magnusson. Magnusson, also an artist, has selected ten Hudson Valley artists for this show, which features abstract works that move towards an evocation of the physical world and, he says, have the power to help us see the world around us through a different lens. The ten artists are Carole Kunstadt, Lucille Colin, Diane Dwyer, Paulette Esrig, Stephen Nichols, Astrid Fitzgerald, Ellen Jouret-​​Epstein, Gabe Brown, Mercedes Cecilia, and Christopher Engel.

Carole Kunstadt, “Sacred Poem XXXIII,” 2012, linen thread, 24-karat gold leaf, paper: pages from Parish Psalmody dated 1844, 6” x 6”

Carole Kunstadt, “Sacred Poem XXXIII,” 2012, linen thread, 24-​​karat gold leaf, paper: pages from Parish Psalmody dated 1844, 6” x 6”

The Woodstock School of Art, 2470 Route 212, is exhibiting its spring student show through April 29. The show features work from courses taught in the previous six months. This is a terrific opportunity to get an idea of what is being taught and produced at the WSA, and is especially helpful for people considering signing up for classes there.

Opening on Saturday, April 15, from 4 – 6pm, The Byrdcliffe Guild will celebrate Fresh AiR: 2016 Artists in Residence at Byrdcliffe. This is the first of what will be an annual exhibition at the Kleinert/​James Center for the Arts (36 Tinker St) to showcase the work created in its residency program the previous year. This year’s exhibition features 32 visual artists including Henrietta Mantooth, Padma Rajendran, Samira Abbassy, and Paul Hunter, and is curated by Katharine L. McKenna. It includes painting, ceramics, photography, video, installation, and textile art. Byrdcliffe’s writing residents will also be represented in the show. The Fresh AiR reception will be preceded by an informal panel discussion with the artists at 3pm, and at 6pm the writing residents will read from their work. All events are free to the public. The exhibition will be on view through May 14.

Edward Avedisian, Untitled 033, c. 1980. Acrylic on canvas. 68" X 84"

Edward Avedisian, Untitled 033, c. 1980. Acrylic on canvas. 68″ X 84″

Our last stop on this trip through the valley is Hudson where Carrie Haddad Gallery (622 Warren St) is showing an exhibition titled Interlock. The show aims to explore the tensions of color and contrast in minimal abstraction and features contemporary paintings by artists Donise English, Paul Katz, and Ralph Stout, as well as paintings on canvas and paper from the estates of Stephen Brophy and Edward Avedisian. Avedisian was part of the generation that succeeded Abstract Expressionism in the early 1960s; his work drew on pop, minimalism and color-​​field painting, often on a monumental scale. Donise English’s small wall sculptures inspired by quilt patterns play well with Ralph Stout’s drawings and the work of the older generation artists. The surprise to this author is the work by Paul Katz (from whose paintings the show takes its title). Katz’s bold patterns of gray scale tones with vivid red interludes are quite a departure from his heretofore signature works of interwoven black & white text pieces, notably the “Prelude” series on which he worked for a number of years.

Joseph Haske, “Asterion 3,” 2016, acrylic on canvas, 20” x 20”

Joseph Haske, “Asterion 3,” 2016, acrylic on canvas, 20” x 20”

John Davis Gallery (362½ Warren Street) is hosting a solo exhibition of Vilaykorn Sayaphet paintings. Sayaphet paints from memory and on varied supports; included in this show are works on brick. The show will be on display through April 23, at which point it will give way to a new exhibition from Joseph Haske. Haske’s work mines mythology and here his focus is on the Minotaur brought down by Theseus. The Haske show opens on April 29 with a 6 – 8pm reception and runs through May 21.

All Images are courtesy of the artists or their representatives.

Featured Image: Jennifer Hicks, Platt Clove Twilight II, 2017,
mixed media on wood, 16” x 16”

For further information, including gallery hours, please call or visit the galleries’ websites:

Matteawan, 436 Main St. Beacon: matteawan​.com
Ann St. Gallery, 104 Ann St. Newburg: annstreetgallery​.org
The Wired Gallery, 11 Mohonk Rd, Highfalls: TheWiredGallery​.com
The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, 1 Hawk Drive, New Paltz:
Cross Contemporary Art, 81 + 99 Partition St, Saugerites:
Emerge, 228 Main St. Saugerties: emergegalleryny​.com
WAAM, 28 Tinker St. Woodstock: woodstockart​.org
Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, 36 Tinker St. Woodstock:
Woodstock School of Art, 2470 NY-​​Rte 212, Woodstock : Woodstockschoolofart​.org
Carrie Haddad Gallery, 622 Warren St. Hudson: carriehaddadgallery​.com
John Davis Gallery, 362½ Warren St. Hudson:  johndavisgallery​.com

Claire LambeClaire 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. 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. Claire Lambe’s art work can be seen here:  






Comments are closed.