Monday, November 20, 2017


UES Gallery
December 2-3, 2017
208 East 73rd Street
New York City, New York

A Sci/Art Center Program

Here is a link for the Sci / Art Center and the exhibitions they have curated:

I have been a member of this organization, and I support their efforts at putting together a community of folks interested in creating bridges between science and art.  This past October they ran a long article that I wrote for their magazine on the paintings and drawings of my father, Arthur Singer.  This is to say that I grew up with a healthy respect for art and science and I use this interest in my own artwork on a regular basis.

If you are not familiar with Sci / Art - it is an online magazine looking for members - so visit their website and take a look at the shows they are organizing.  In this new show called "Cloud and Void" the invited artists deal with essentials and conditions in a universal way.  Since I will be exhibiting there in a couple of weeks, I plan to write a review of the show.  At the moment there is a lot to anticipate in New York City, especially with the Michelangelo drawings on view at The MET Museum.

"Confluence" a show of sculpture by Roberto Bertoia
At the University Gallery 
The Vignelli Design Center at R.I.T.,

It so happens that this month there are exhibitions on view in Rochester that address some knowledge about basic building blocks.  You can see for yourself, if you visit the University Gallery to see the sculpture of Roberto ( Bob ) Bertoia.  In his art we witness structure, and weight - there is some implied movement with the very basic materials he employs.  In his exhibition works are mostly a beautiful wood as you can see just above.  I wrote earlier about this show being curated by Josh Owen, who is on the faculty at R.I.T.  Roberto Bertoia is also a teacher, and on the faculty at Cornell University, and these works are going to be part of a book being put together about his art which you can order at the gallery.

Two of the pieces by Roberto ( Bob ) Bertoia 
on view at The University Gallery
Rochester Institute of Technology

A structure by Roberto Bertoia

Down the road at St. John Fisher College there is another art exhibition that just opened in the Skalny Welcome Center and this show is titled: "Elements" bringing together three artists - Jappie King Black, Bill Stephens and Bill Judkins.  This show is elegant, and some of the works are quite attractive.  It was just a few weeks ago I remember talking with Bill Stephens at Main Street Arts in Clifton Springs, and he gave me an invitation card to see the show called "Elements".  At the Patricia O'Keefe Ross Gallery in the Skalny Welcome Center you can find this show and there is a nice selection of paintings, drawings, and sculpture by the three artists I mentioned earlier.

Pen on paper, by Bill Stephens
"Female Spirit Guide"

Pen on paper, by Bill Stephens

I found Bill Stephen's drawings have a kind of meditative quality and a patience one rarely sees anymore.  They are a bit illustrative with a tinge of surrealism that can bring to mind artists from eighty years ago like Rene Magritte, and  Max Ernst. 

Jappie King Black adds some mystery to this show, and her elemental works are sculptural and include her installation DISQUIET.  Sometime she shows colorful woven bowls, other objects made of metal have a kind of ancient bare-bones effect to them that is detailed and very tactile.

Jappie King Black ( above and below )

"Elements" at the Patricia O'Keefe Ross Gallery
St. John Fisher College

The six abstract paintings in the present show are the work of Bill Judkins.  These squarish canvases have textures and colors that would work well with an interior designer.  They approach the idea of  "Elements" by keeping everything low key, and simple in terms of color and drama, maybe even primal or primordial.

Bill Judkins in "Elements"
Thru January 5th, 2018
St. John Fisher College

Monday, November 13, 2017

Western Where

Western Wear.. at The John L. Whele Gallery
Genesee Country Village & Museum

On my way out of town to deliver a painting that I had borrowed from the John L. Whele Gallery in Mumford, New York.  I had a very fine chat with Patricia Tice who works as the curator and we talked about blue hands and dogs in art among other things.  Patricia was interested in 3D Printed hands that could be used on the models like this one in front of the stage coach - here to show off  antique clothing like this travel ensemble.  The Whele Gallery has one of the finest collections of sporting and wildlife art in the country, and my father's painting of a Lion on the Serengeti has a place in their catalog.  I encourage people to make the trip out to see this museum and I was pleased that they would loan their painting for our show at R.I.T.'s University Gallery.

Bill White and his new gallery in Caledonia, New York

Bill White has recently moved into the area to open his gallery on Main Street in Caledonia called The Village Gallery.  There is a show on now of artwork from the community and I want to support this kind of grass-roots effort to have a cultural outpost for arts and crafts.  I plan to go and take a long look at what is happening there, and if you are nearby - you could stop in to say hello.

I was on the way down the Thruway going towards Niagara Falls to take part in a conference that brought together exhibitors and ornithologists from across New York State and beyond.  My plan was to promote my new book and meet people who stopped in to say hello.  Since our new book on my father's art has been published, we have had large crowds and many sales.  I look forward to a number of presentations I will be giving, like the one that we held last week at Cornell University and the Laboratory of Ornithology.  If you couldn't be there I have  a link to the presentation that my brother, Paul, and I made to the folks in the auditorium, here is the link:

Alan and Anna at our table
Niagara Falls, NY
The NYSOA Conference

Not only were there many birders at the conference but there were some handlers that brought their birds with them.  These are birds that are being rehabilitated, and sometimes returned to the wild. I saw a beautiful owl and a young red-tailed hawk - reminding me of the great book I read this summer: H is for HAWK, by Helen MacDonald.

Barred Owl on the glove

I was pleased to see one of my former graduate students from Rochester Institute of Technology setting up her paintings right at the entrance to the conference meeting room.  Melissa Mance is an active birder and bird-bander, and she has been painting birds for many years and has some of her large portraits out for examination.  She has some finely detailed renderings like snow buntings, but the real eye-catcher are the portraits of hawks she has banded and her new pair of ravens.

Melissa Mance and her paintings...

At Rochester Institute of Technology ( where I have been teaching  for almost 30 years ) we have some really talented students, and some of them take my class in Zoological and Botanical Art.
This is a class that is based on first hand observation and lots of drawing.  Since I am now on a sabbatical I have to begin to formulate my plan for the class I will teach in the spring.  It is really a pleasure to meet students like Melissa, who give their art the time and effort to make something for themselves and for us to enjoy and marvel at.  And it makes teaching very worthwhile!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Close To Home

Autumn and The Falls at Taughannock State Park

Fall colors greeted us as we prepared for a presentation at Cornell University's Laboratory of Ornithology last Monday evening.  We were invited to hang a selection of images by my father, Arthur Singer            ( 1917-1990 ) in the auditorium of the LAB, and also give a talk that would elucidate  details of my father's career that we cover in our new book: "Arthur Singer, The Wildlife Art of An American Master.  My brother Paul Singer, and I have written an extensive illustrated biography which has been published by RIT Press, and it is now available for sale on their web site.

Paul Singer at the lectern

If you want some further details about the show, and would like to plan on coming to Ithaca, New York, take a look at this link for the news release:

Early works by Arthur Singer on the left,
and a collaboration between my father, Arthur Singer, and myself            ( Alan Singer ) on the right

The illustrious career that my father had during his lifetime took him to wild places around the world and as a family we also would accompany my father on his birding trips to state parks and rugged wilderness.  We spent a lot of time appreciating nature, and those hours outdoors formed the core of my father's studies that allowed him to create marvelous paintings when we landed back at the home studio.

In the 1980's my father and I created a series of US Postage Stamps 
honoring the Birds and Flowers of the 50 States on the left,
and a big Bald Eagle in oil that my father made in the same years.

My brother Paul, designed our new book, which we are both very proud of,  and we are thankful for the opportunity to speak about our father's life and his devotion to the environment and conservation. My father's branch of art is closely related to science, but it also requires a great ability to design and draw, and  much patience to render his feathered subjects.  Since we gave our talk in the halls of 
Cornell University we were very mindful of the presence of Louis Agassiz Fuertes  ( 1874-1927 ), who also painted birds and worked as an illustrator for The National Geographic Magazine, and whose paintings are hanging in the auditorium where we spoke.  My father would have been so happy to know that his art, and the art of Fuertes are there for the viewing, and education of the visitors to the LAB now, and for the next few months.  If you haven't seen the LAB, there are also fabulous murals in the building and many fine works of art in the halls, so I urge you to check it out in Ithaca, New York.

This book is available in the store at the Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology
and our show of Arthur Singer's artwork will be up until February 28th, 2018
make a plan to see it before the show moves on!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Satisfy Your Curiosity

"Sacred Curiosities"
at Main Street Arts, Clifton Springs, New York
Joanna Poag on wall at left, and Jacquie Germanow in front on right

In the past week I have visited exhibitions that expand my definition of contemporary art and you might find them interesting too.  There is a very fine group show at Main Street Arts at 20 West Main Street in Clifton Springs, and a strong show that has just opened on College Avenue in Rochester at Gallery r.  Grad students from Rochester Institute of Technology are presented at Gallery r in a show titled: "Forces at Work", and it is up until November 19th - so you don't have that much time to catch up with the latest developments.

Bill Stephens and his drawings in "Sacred Curiosities"

I had a chance to speak with Bill Stephens about his drawings in the show at Main Street Arts and I found out about how he does these intimate gestural works which are presented at the gallery.  When you look at the details you can see that they are not quickly done, that they are a kind of meditation on the nature of experience, and the dialog that the artist has with his materials is very engaging.

Bob Conge, mixed media 
at Main Street Arts

It would seem when we look at the collector cabinets of Bob Conge that he has an eye for the absurd.

These boxes of toys and ephemera owe a great deal to Joseph Cornell, but he updates this vision with a edgy flair.  Dolls, toys, and a curious sense of humor informs the collected work he has on view at Main Street Arts.  There is a theme that runs through the selected works in the show at Clifton Springs, some of it has to do with a color palette that is shared by many of the works of art, another facet is a sense of edgy humor which comes through the sculptures of Bill Stewart and the work above by Jacquie Germanow  called "Hot Rumor".    Juxtaposition is also an operating principle.
Take a look at this composition by Emily Kenas below....

Emily Kenas ( Triptych ), mixed media

Bill Stewart
Sandman Bluebird
Main Street Arts
Clifton Springs, NY

Back in Rochester, at Gallery r, the grad students who are featured in the exhibition "Forces at Work" really step out and begin to have a real presence - they are going to make a terrific contribution to our culture now and in the future.  My choice for most interesting art in this show includes a mixed media work by Chenyang Mu, and this sculptural work includes blown glass, found objects, miniature speakers, and music ( heavenly music ).  The music is composed for the work of art and the art does its best to enhance the music!  Blown glass pipes the music to your ears and this art reminds me of the time I saw the composer and musician Harry Partch at The Whitney Museum of Art in New York City.  

Chenyang Mu
"What We Can See" mixed media and recorded music

Artist here is Kibaek Sung

The pink missile is quite timely considering the news today.  It is both funny and shocking at the same time.  My student Kibaek Sung is making his presence in our area known winning a recent commission which he is working on while doing his Thesis.  I could go on and on about this show - it is a great opportunity to think and see the possibilities that art will take and it will satisfy your curiosity.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Destiny, Considered

Arthur Singer's paintings
The Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology
November - February 28, 2018

For a New Yorker - when you look at it - was it destiny that my father, Arthur Singer - who grew up in Manhattan on Audubon ( named after artist John James Audubon ) Avenue  - would then go on to make his career painting portraits of birds and animals?  What factors come into play when artists reach inside to find and express what is most memorable about themselves and then dedicate their art to the pursuit of that truth?

Arthur Singer ( 1917-1990 ) growing up in the 1920s and 1930s considered himself a loner, but by the time he had entered college at The Cooper Union, he had already distinguished himself through his art which had been published in national newspapers and had caught the attention of museum curators.

Signing books:  Alan on the left and Paul Singer
with their new illustrated biography of Arthur Singer ( 1917-1990 )

This month we move selections of a large show that was held at the University Gallery on the campus of R.I.T. and bring the art to Cornell University and their Laboratory of Ornithology where it will be on view thru February 28, 2018.  My brother Paul, and I will speak about our father's illustrious career at 7pm, this coming Monday, November 6th, and we will be available to sign copies of our new book published by RIT Press.  Our talk will also be broadcast live, and here is the

Moving day: Roberto Bertoia sculptures for
University Gallery at R.I.T.

We moved our show about Arthur Singer, The Wildlife Art of an American Master to Cornell University and now taking shape is a new show of sculpture by Roberto Bertoia, curated by Josh Owen, who is on the faculty at R.I.T. as an industrial designer.  "Bob" Bertoia's sculptures, many of which are made from wood, have a very distinctive constructivist look, and the opening is just days the University Gallery.

Curator Josh Owen with works by Bertoia

There are many art oriented events going on in Rochester, and I was pleased to see that the Rochester Magazine edited by Mark Liu has devoted an issue to the local art market and to some shows that are currently on view  ( including a show of Wendell Castle who is featured on the cover ).  I happen to see a well presented show in the studios of Kathy Clem and Martha Schermerhorn that really is called: DESTINY.  This collaboration included a high tech video projected down to a circular screen on the floor, and there were also dimensional figurative works made of papers, encaustic, and lights that seemed to float.  These dreamlike apparitions were  quite unusual and this installation is on thru December 1, 2017 - so go and see for yourself.

Kathy Clem and Martha Schermerhorn
Anderson Alley

DESTINY is a collaboration between two artists and it seems like this friendly episode has a theatrical aspect in the lighting and positions of each of the "characters".  The little lights embedded in each one of these figurative ghostly creations is very effective.  This is the season for artists to break out of the mold of traditional painting and sculpture and move into new materials and methods of presentation.  It takes a lot to make a memorable presentation, and to make a work of art that has staying power.

Destiny on view until December 1, 2017
3rd floor studios of Kathy Clem and Martha Schermerhorn