Deb Lucke - Barking Deer, 2013 -  archival inkjet print, 11 x 17 in. -  Courtesy the artist

The Stories We Tell: Hudson Valley Artists 2015″ at The Dorsky Museum

by Editor

The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz is currently presenting its annual exhibition of new work by artists from the Hudson Valley. The Stories We Tell, the 2015 edition of the Hudson Valley Artists series, is curated by Mary-​​Kay Lombino, the Emily Hargroves Fisher ’57 and Richard Fisher curator of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College. The exhibition which opened on June 20, will run until November 8 in The Dorsky Museum’s Alice and Horace Chandler Gallery and North Gallery.

The Stories We Tell: Hudson Valley Artists 2015 focuses on the narrative form of contemporary art and examines how stories shape our experience and our understanding of the world. Instinctively, we are all storytellers merging fiction with non-​​fiction and conflating the real with the imagined.

From over 300 submissions, the following 26 artists were selected. Sean Bayliss, Allen Bryan, Dina Bursztyn, Maureen Cummins, Tasha Depp, Marcia Due, Richard Edelman, Ben Fishman, Kevin Frank, Derek James, Tatana Kellner, Virginia Lavado, Deb Lucke, Kathleen MacKenzie, Nestor Madalengoitia, Norm Magnusson, Matthew Maley, Perry Meigs, Phyllis Gay Palmer, Michael X. Rose, Phil Sigunick, Ken Tannenbaum, Jean Tansey, Jerry L. Thompson, Karen Whitman, and Tona Wilson.


Kevin Frank, “Reliquary”, 2013, Oil on canvas, 37 x 32 in., Courtesy the artist

The Stories We Tell provides a rare opportunity to examine the ways in which art and literature are closely related — both reflecting artistic practices of today as well as the role of the narrative structure in contemporary art. The Hudson Valley has become known not only for its rich visual art but also for its strength in the literary arts. The region is steeped in its own narrative tales such as Washington Irving’s stories “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” T.C. Boyle’s novel “World’s End”, and factual accounts of Henry Hudson’s voyage.

For the Hudson Valley Artists series, artists submitted work that considered the following questions: What is the difference between illustration and art that is shaped by narrative structure? How much is narrative a conscious or unconscious factor in an artist’s practice? How do stories factor into abstract art in which the narrative might be known only by the artist?

Perry Meigs, Untitled 2 (Spring 2011), 2013, Acrylic on canvas, 18 x 24 in., Courtesy the artist

Perry Meigs, Untitled 2 (Spring 2011), 2013, Acrylic on canvas, 18 x 24 in., Courtesy the artist

The artists work in a range of media, including: painting (Bayliss, Frank, James, Madalengoita, Maley, Meigs, Palmer, Rose, Sigunick), photography (Bryan, Due, Edelman, Tannenbaum, Thompson), sculpture (Bursztyn, Kellner, Magnusson), books (Cummins, Lavado), prints (Lucke, MacKenzie, Whitman), digital media (Depp, Wilson), watercolor (Tansey), and graphic design (Fishman).

A number of public programs will be offered to allow for greater public engagement with the artists and exhibition:

Second Saturdays, July 11, Aug. 8 and Sept. 12, 12 – 4 p.m.
“Digital Portrait Studio”
Museum visitors are invited to sit for a 20-​​minute sketched portrait. Hudson Valley artist Tasha Depp uses her iPad to create images of visitors, which will be added to the Live Sketch Project, her ongoing slideshow in the museum, and emailed to the sitters for their own social media. To reserve a timeslot RSVP to museumrsvp@​newpaltz.​edu.

Sunday, July 12, 2 p.m.
“Family Photographs: A Discussion and Workshop”
Participants bring a few of their own family photographs and think about what stories their family photos tell. Are they real or imagined? Hudson Valley artist Kathleen MacKenzie leads this hands-​​on workshop. Using materials provided, participants will write or draw their own narrative. RSVP to museumrsvp@​newpaltz.​edu.

Saturday, September 26, 2 p.m.
Gallery talks by Hudson Valley artists Sean Bayliss, Ben Fishman and Deb Lucke

Mary-​​Kay Lombino is The Emily Hargroves Fisher ’57 and Richard B. Fisher curator and assistant director of strategic planning at The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, where she oversees the contemporary art and photography collections, exhibitions, and publications. Prior to joining the staff at Vassar, she served as curator of exhibitions at the University Art Museum, California State University, Long Beach, for six years and assistant curator at UCLA Hammer Museum for five years. Her exhibitions include: The Polaroid Years: Instant Photography and Experimentation (2013), Utopian Mirage: Social Metaphors in Contemporary Photography and Film (2007), Off the Shelf: New Forms in Contemporary Artists’ Books (2006), Candida Höfer: The Architecture of Absence (2005), UnNaturally (2003), and By Hand: Pattern Precision and Repetition in Contemporary Drawing (2001). She has also organized solo shows for numerous artists including Marco Maggi, Eirik Johnson, Phil Collins, Ken Price, Euan Macdonald, Bob Knox, Alice Könitz, and Mungo Thomson.

The Dorsky’s annual Hudson Valley Artists exhibition is open to all emerging and mid-​​career artists with a permanent mailing address and active art practice in Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester Counties who have not had a major one-​​person museum exhibition and who are not represented by a commercial gallery.

This is the seventh year that the Hudson Valley Artists Annual Purchase Award of $3,000 will be used to acquire one or more artworks from the exhibition for the museum’s permanent collection. This Purchase Award is made possible through the Alice and Horace Chandler Art Acquisition Fund. Artists who work has been purchased in the past include Holly Hughes, Stephen Niccolls, Patrick Kelley, Adie Russell, Elisa Pritzker, Charles Geiger, and Curt Belshe and Lise Prown, among others.


Through its collections, exhibitions, and public programs, the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, located at SUNY New Paltz, supports and enriches the academic programs at the College, presents a broad range of world art for study and enjoyment, and serves as a center for Hudson Valley arts and culture. The museum is gaining wide recognition as the premier public showplace for exhibition, education, and cultural scholarship about the Hudson Valley region’s art and artists from yesterday and today. With more than 9,000 square feet of exhibition space distributed over six galleries, The Dorsky Museum is one of the largest museums within the SUNY system. The Dorsky was officially dedicated on Oct. 20, 2001. Since then it has presented over one hundred exhibitions, including commissions, collection-​​based projects, and in-​​depth studies of contemporary artists including Robert Morris, Alice Neel, Judy Pfaff, Carolee Schneemann, and Ushio Shinohara, historic Woodstock artists Eugene Speicher and Charles Rosen, and Hudson Valley luminaries Russel Wright and Dick Polich.

Museum Hours:
Wednesday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Mondays, Tuesdays, Holidays, and Intersessions.

For more about The Dorsky Museum and its programs go here
Or call (845) 257‑3844.

Featured image:
Deb Lucke, Barking Deer, 2013, archival inkjet print, 11 x 17 in.
Courtesy of the artist.







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