Friday, September 22, 2017

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Annual Faculty Show at Bevier Gallery
Rochester Institute of Technology

My quick tour of the annual faculty art show at the Bevier Gallery in Booth Building at the Rochester Institute of Technology did not do the show justice, as I had to move quickly through.  Why the rush? The reason for this run around was that I was supposed to be giving a guided tour through our show down the hall at the University Gallery and a class was waiting for me!

Willie Osterman has a wall rack full of interesting photos with an ethnographic slant to them, and he calls this assembly "Summer Journal".  Its reminds me of glass plate prints you would expect in a museum, and the  media  includes Collodion, aluminum and tin - surfaces on which to make photographic prints.  I admire the way that Mr. Osterman delves back into the techniques of yesteryear, and I assume that there are not many who could make such convincing works with methods that have become obscure with age.  Matter-of-fact the theme of these images is all about time, and the ravages of time symbolized by the print of the skull in his installation.  Think of all the film based technology for which Rochester became famous and how that chemistry will have to be brushed up for future generations that may want to explore a more recent path.

Digital Animation
Meghdad Asadilari

Certainly, Rochester Institute of Technology has a perspective on the future, just look at the new building going up in front called:"Magic Spell Studios".  What new miracles will come out from there, and how will students change the course of history with their visual arts?

Painting by Cliff Wun
Bevier Gallery

The faculty in studio arts often bring out their best work, and one painting you will find there in the Bevier Gallery is so Cliff Wun.  He has a self-portrait that reveals the insides of the torso, revealed by three bluebirds practicing a surgical art with their bills and feet.  This image could be terrifying were it not for the robin's nest of eggs stuffed into the back of the digestive system.  The effect is part medical diagram and part Francis Bacon ( OMG ).  Cliff is brave to put a face on this - we usually don't want to spend much time with contemplating our insides,  so this is about as revealing as it gets!

There are some other spooky images in this faculty show however.  The painting by Denton Crawford below has an aspect of mystery and horror of a bad trip.  What is that thing where the face should be?

Painting by Denton Crawford

And then there is the elegiac encaustic work - a portrait by Joyce Hertzson, her "Memorial to Kim".
This small painting has a sadness attached to it with the color and overlapping layers of faded flowers.

Encaustic by Joyce Hertzson

Another work in the show celebrates "Women of Rochester", a mixed media piece by a faculty trio: Marla Schweppe, Shu Chang, and Christine Heusner.  A dress has inscriptions, and additions the shape of tennis racket covers, or small handbags announcing Renee Fleming or Ursula Burns, or Haudenosaunee Mothers, etc. . This art is both entertaining and entirely apt.  Why don't we have something like this in the Rochester Airport?

"Women of Rochester"
by Marla Schweppe, Shu Chang, and Christine Heusner

There is so much more in this show, but I have to go and lead a tour so a few last glances, and I found a nice juxtaposition of my print that I call: Tropicalia, and the large sculpture by Wendell Castle that he titles: Be The Wind At Your Back...  I will have to contemplate that last look!

Wendell Castle at left, Alan Singer on right
at Bevier Gallery, R.I.T.