|by Paul SmartWe undertook a truly informal holiday-themed survey of the local arts community, both inside and outside town borders, asking where people would like to show their work over the coming year, both locally and beyond. As an addendum, we also asked what else our arts community might be wishing for during 2010, both aesthetically and otherwise.As can be expected, the answers, as well as accompanying art work, run the gamut.Also, as should be anticipated, we missed some folks not in our usual Internet orbit and will more than welcome further thoughts and wishes, from both artists and non-artists, over the coming issues.In no particular order…
Painter Loel Barr spoke about how much she’s enjoyed showing in local art spaces since moving to Saugerties almost six years ago.
“Although I would like to expand my artistic territory, I want to continue to support and be supported by all these wonderful local venues,” she wrote. “I would relish the opportunity to be represented by a commercial gallery and develop a relationship with it….there are some great ones nearby: Chace Randall in Andes, Carl van Brunt in Beacon, Carrie Haddad, Albert Shahinian. Of course it would be grand to be associated with a gallery in The City, and I’d love to show in Washington DC, where I lived for many years before moving here…Oh, and a show at MOMA would be nice.”
Sculptor Nancy Azara noted her upcoming show in New York’s Chelsea art district, which she wishes to sell out, and wishes not only for a show of her work at the Museum of Modern Art, but an entire “floor for women artists (to make reparations for past injustices) that Jerry Saltz had been writing about at length in 2009 in Facebook.” Plus, an actually-planned show in the works at the Pompidou in Paris and, “peace for our battered world.”
Pat Horner also noted how she would love to show at MOMA and the Pompidou, as well as the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar or the Hessel Museum at Bard.
“My holiday wish for all artists in 2010 would be for them to attempt to raise consciousness in their viewers, pushing their own boundaries, challenging their own pre-set aesthetic ideals,” she added, “And strive to reach their own and others soul.”
“I would like to show at Carrie Haddad in Hudson, the Tang Museum in Saratoga, Site in Santa Fe, and somewhere fun in Holland,” tossed in Christy Rupp, newly moved into a new space in Saugerties and working up a new body of work based on our growing drilling nightmares. “I am hoping that gas drilling will be banned in NYS due to the hazardous legacy of contaminated land and water. I am hoping that Obama will stop Mountain Top Removal, and that Coal River Mountain in West Virginia will realize its green potential and become a wind farm, instead of a pile of dead rubble. And that somehow we can put the brakes on Carbon emissions.”
Bronson Eden, of Phoenicia (and formerly New York’s East Village) noted how he likes to show in galleries “that can sell my work” with recent successes at Renee Darmstadt’s Cornell Street Studios in Midtown Kingston, the Varga Gallery, the Arts Upstairs in Phoenicia and Alan Fliegel’s store, 60 Main, also in Phoenicia. “As far as holiday wishes go, why not wish for a pony? Don’t we all?” he posited, with jolly humor. “I wish for peace and justice for every man, woman, child, and critter in the ever-lovin’ universe! And best wishes to universal Life, from slime to sublime!”
Ellen Nieves, known for her landscapes but recently ensconced in a series of ecological self portraits, wants to be in MOMA’s drawings and prints division while painter Darla Bjork wants to show at the Kleinert, in town, and the New Museum in New York City…plus a completed Health Care bill. Norm Magnusson says that for 2010, “I would like to have a show in my home town, Woodstock” while, for 2011, he wants to show his “After the 11th” body of work (www.funism.com) at either the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in CT or the Grey Art Gallery in NYC for the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Plus, “To be back at the easel where I would create a new body of work, each one a perfect balance of beauty and meaning.” Similarly, painter Bill Mead, “Just wants to put a brush to canvas again” once he finished his current omebuilding project which has “been all consuming and interiors walls are the only thing I’m painting… I am, in effect, taking what appears to be a year long hiatus.”
Speaking of new studios, Jenny Nelson noted how she was “blessed to have three new galleries that will be showing my work this year. I could not have wished for more! It must be because we just finished my new home studio… The first studio I have ever had that was truly mine.” She added how, “Aesthetically, this is extremely exciting, as I can paint continuously without the disruption of moving, and this means a whole new way of approaching the paintings. I can’t wait to see what comes out!
Multimedia artist Meredith Rosier mentioned the Foundation Maeght in Saint Paul, France as a place where, “As a child I would stand curbside in the parking area and show arrivals my drawings. I admire the intimacy the Maeght offers in which one can view artistic expression. I would like to see my drawings there, in that intimate setting.” Her husband and fellow artist Frank D’Astolfo added how, “As my family is from Abruzzi, Italy, I would be most pleased to exhibit my work at the Rizziero Arte Gallery in Pescara, a seaside Italian city on the Adriatic coast.”
“I wish for a less objectified world, where holistic and more spiritually infused art is valued. I wish for art that values humanity, the animal nature, and the survival and health of the planet, and does not see a discrepancy between the animal and human spirit,” noted Jan Harrison of Kingston, who wants to have a solo exhibition of a new series of works on paper, “The Corridor Series,” as well as a retrospective in the coming year… at either The Brooklyn Museum, White Box, The Drawing Center, the Kleinert/James Art Center or various overseas (or Hudson) galleries.
Rick Pantell and Karen Whitman, already known locally for their city successes in printmaking circles, want to show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and MOMA, plus solo shows at The Museum of The City of New York and The New York Historical Society, on Whitman’s part (plus The Dorsky at SUNY New Paltz), while Pantell has eyes on the British Museum in London (and the Dorsky as well). In erms of other wishes, Whitman wanted a larger studio while Pantell noted how, “Back in the 50’s there was an episode on Superman on which a scientist invented a way of dialing a phone number and you could instantaneously travel to the location of that number. I would like one of those devices so that I can spend less time riding on the bus in order to teach my two mornings a week down in the city.”
The collage landscapist Mariella Bisson notes how lucky she feels to show with Elena Zang Gallery “and couldn’t ask for more than that in Woodstock” but would also love to show at the Dorsky Museum…as well as The Drawing Center and The Painting Center in New York…Plus her dream show “in the work on paper corridor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. and a project space installation of walls covered in collage landscapes at MOMA.”
“I am looking forward to spending the next year in the studio in research and development of sorts, and I hope to be getting feedback from some of the many artists, writers, and visionaries that I feel so fortunate to be in community with in the Hudson Valley,” noted Heather Hutchinson of Woodstock, coming off a successful year with shows in the city and Dorsky, as well as several major art fairs.
“Every artist I know wishes for something career wise that they don’t have. And as artists we often do seem particularly unhappy with our lot. It’s all relative,” added the painter Joan Snyder, one of our region’s most successful artists. “On the work front I continually wish for and struggle for breakthroughs to new places, new horizons, new clarity. The symphony might be in my head, how to get it down on canvas is the challenge.”
Wendy Drolma, nee Klein – known for her maskmaking as well as her sculptures and more recent forays int drawing, is currently pushing into installations… also pushing process over performance for the moment, as it were.
Gay Leonhardt, of Willow, wants a retrospective “that is about being a real artist who did not hustle and play the game to be a real artist in the real art world. I’d call the show, ‘An Entire Art Career in the Dark.'” Among created objects, she noted, she’d love to exhibit “my various versions of resumes that incorporated shaking Andy Warhol’s hand (yes, it’s true! And he was very shy.) and art moments not about my work, and my more existential books on erasing and one image with a text that reads, ‘she went out to serve out her fate,'” maybe at The Met “with a show at Pace Wildenstein at the same time.” Locally, she’s interested in filling up “one of the many empty storefronts in Kingston or another nearby town…Aesthetically, I wish for more guerrilla art: My own and others,” Leonhardt added. “Art on the thruway toll booths, on sidewalks everywhere, in shopping plazas (are they plazas?) In cars, in the spaces between buildings, You name it.”
Somewhat similarly, Sam Sebren of Athens, fresh from the burgeoning new installation seen blossoming in Newark, New Jersey, would “like to make every single billboard a place for art instead of advertising… the outdoor media companies could perhaps fund the project, thereby creating & supporting a landscape that is more joyful & thought-provoking to balance out the brain-deadening mediocrity that pollutes our eyes the rest of the year.” Sebren added how he’s “also like to see every town with empty storefronts invite artists to come do installations as they do each year in Ellenville or over in North Adams. Do that everywhere. From Newburgh to Troy.” But he’d also like more recognition for his own work, seen locally a few years back in the old Ulster County jail as part of the Kingston Sculpture Biennial, as well as “a peaceful world where we use our intelligence more wisely & less destructively both for ourselves & for our planet. Healthcare for all would be a nice place to start. And more emphasis on the arts in schools… Art is for everyone. It feeds our collective soul. Laugh & love as much as possible.”
Photo montage artist Allen Bryan of Saugerties noted how, when asked about the coming year, he was in the process of mailing out a 24-page booklet introducing his “Comforts of Home” series to selected galleries and museum people. But he didn’t want to say to whom, for sake of any possible future embarrassment.
“Finding the right fit in the NYC gallery world is challenging. At 65 years of age – that looks so old in print – I’m technically classified as an ‘emerging’ artist by art world definitions,” Bryan noted. “I think it means that I don’t have steady gallery representation nor appear in museum collections… The meter is running.”
Melissa Harris of Hurley, who makes most of her living from cards of her paintings, said by and large she’s been too focused on replenishing her stock to think of exhibitions beyond wanting to show at Carrie Haddad or maybe the Meyer-Munson Gallery in Santa Fe or the Courtyard Gallery in Mystic CT. And other wishes? A ticket for around the world travel, a new high end easel, a gift certificate for R & F encaustics, eight new private collectors for her work, a major publisher doing a retrospective art book of her work, a new high powered juicer, Lucky Chocalates, new music to paint by…”This coming year I will be working very hard to put together ‘Grace,’ my series of portraits of breast cancer survivors, says the photographer Isis, who noted currently applying for fiscal sponsorship. She’d like the work to show in galleries and museums..
“but also in hospitals, at breast cancer events, etc.”
Christie Scheele of Chichester, already showing all over the local area, hopes to have a museum show in the coming year…with two possiblities being the Queens Museum and the Tyler Museum in Texas, both of which acquired Scheele works in the past year. “I would also love to return to my old stomping grounds in Madrid for an exhibition, but I haven’t yet narrowed my search to a specific gallery,” she added. “Aesthically, I look forward to pursuing, this winter, more and larger pieces of my Affinity Series, which stray further away from any traditional notion of the landscape, into the realm of of pure invention.”
“I will be showing in NYC this spring which I am looking forward to. It will be at a cafe, Cafe Doma. I am very excited because cafes and restaurants are where I got my start exhibiting my work,” said the ever-busy Lora Shelley, who started lines of puppets and other populist multiples this past year. “I like the idea of showing in cafes. People can live with your art for the duration of a meal or a drink and get a good feel for it. It’s a very informal and warm way to get to experience art…My dream is to just continue to create and to find a place (or places) for my work to continue to connect with people. Whether that be in a gallery, magazine, children’s book or whatever. Connections can be found in strange places.”
Mary Anne Erickson has started returning to her Vanishing Roadside Americana paintings, and is looking outside of the local area to galleries in LA, London and NYC…with the fabled OK Harris her big aim. “Have actually spoken to them and they asked me to submit other work that I have as I create it, so who knows,” she wrote, also mentioning an upcoming exhibition at Posie Kiviat Gallery in Hudson, the region’s new cultural nexus in many ways. “That would be my dream!”
Anique Taylor of Phoenicia, who already shows regularly at Posie-Kiviat, had a very specific list of galleries and museums she’s wanting to show in, from New York’s Ricco Maresca Gallery and The Jewish Museum to “anyplace in Paris.” As for other wishes, “Creative facility & excellence, health, inspiration, joy, my dog’s health & longetvity, my roof’s longevity, intelligent caring responsible politicians for all countries.”
Wish-wise, Barr – who we started this all out with – added how, “Artwise, my wishes are that our culture would honor and respect the visual arts at least as much as it does popular entertainers and athletes; that our educational systems would realize the importance of art in enriching our humanity; that art institutions receive the support they need to flourish, and that artists could find abundant places to exhibit their work while receiving enough compensation that they could do what they love without fear of poverty…That’s a pretty big order,” she added, as if for everyone. “So until these wishes are granted, I’ll settle for a new box of crayons.”
Do we need, now, to assuage who’s been naughty, as well as who’s nice?++
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