Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Welcome Center

Richard Harvey at
Skalny Welcome Center Art Gallery
St. John Fisher 
Rochester, NY

The Skalny Welcome Art Center at St. John Fisher College is a wonderful gallery space and the new group show- "Light and Spirit"  that has been mounted there -  is worth a trip to see what is in store.. My friend Richard Harvey turned one of his little figure works upside down so we could see that it was made of concrete and painted gold.  The effect is very engaging, and the art has Africa in it's DNA.  Richard for years was a graphic design professional, and also for years he has been a part of the Print Club of Rochester, and here are some of his recent sculptural pieces as well as some of his prints.

Richard Harvey at St. John Fisher
Welcome Center

"Light and Spirit" as show holds together though each of the five invited artists approaches this theme from a very different perspective.  I think that Richard Harvey has the human presence front and center, and more to the point much of the energy in his work comes from an imaginative use of portraiture with an equal mix of color and design.  Nearby was a digital print on canvas by John Kosboth that takes us right up to the minute with its collage of the photographic and expressive imagery.

John Kosboth at Skalny Welcome Center Art Gallery

One of the most engaging works in the show comes from Loraine Cooley, titled: "The Way".

It has a ladder over the mountain look to it, and I am sure that it engenders a knowing smile on the faces of gallery goers.  There is a wonderful almost giddy quality to Loraine Cooley's art in this show, especially the wobbly legged "Vessel #2" which is beautifully designed and picks up the theme of "Light  & Spirit"

Loraine Cooley "The Way"

Loraine Cooley "Vessel #2"
at Welcome Center

Sophia Amm and Jane Notides-Benzing round out the invited artists for this show and their work also addresses the theme.  I found the painting "Gender Equity" by Sophia Amm to be an interesting meditation on a prevalent theme in our culture.  The way she deals with it is sometimes abstract like in the work below, and sometimes it is more illustrative as in the paintings where the figures are more overt.  I prefer the more poetic, more abstract qualities in this painting and I am attracted to the white "thread' that runs through and around both large color blocks in this artwork.

Sophia Amm's "Gender Equity"

"Light and Spirit" is suggested in this art, and is a good general theme to build a show upon. the quivering aspect of this art can be seen in the little shadow box art from Jane Notices-Benzing.  

We are seeing the stars, the cosmos opens itself to inspection in her animated compositions that bring to mind images by Joan Miro, back in the early 20th Century.

Jane Notides-Benzing
"Looking for the Sisters in the Pleiades"