Monday, October 9, 2017

Fall Semester 2017

Just looking.... The Print Club of Rochester
86th Annual Members Exhibition
Nazareth College Art Center Gallery
Oct 6 - November 17, 2017

You can get an education when you stop in to see a show at a gallery.  You don't have to know who the artists are; you can be introduced to their artwork without taking a class or feel you won't understand what the artists are trying to say, just don't be inhibited!  Step right up and just take a look, it won't cost you anything - and you might come away with an impression from something unique..

Ellen Heck, girl with a mobius strip for a hat

This fall the gallery shows are just beginning to bubble and boil, so I stopped to see two shows that offer an opportunity to touch base with a variety of prints and paintings.  First stop was Nazareth College in their Art Center Gallery to view the annual members exhibition for the Print Club of Rochester now in their 86th year.  So many printmaking techniques are represented here from the very abstract to the highly representational, like the image above from Ellen Heck.

Size matters, and in the field of printmaking some artists are using steamrollers to produce their prints though I don't know if this is the case at Nazareth.  I found many printmakers are using more than one technique in each piece, for example the work of Barbara Fox.  Woodcuts and intaglio prints are here as in the images below by Marie Buckley, and Barbara McPhail.

Marie Buckley ( above ) and Barbara McPhail ( below )

Variety is the key here, though some prints engage the viewer with specific stories to tell, but one thing they all have in common is the graphic nature of the work itself.

Print Club annual Member's show at Nazareth College

Going to town on East Avenue, we enjoyed the opening of the New Rochester Biennial at Rochester Contemporary Art Center though we only had time for one of the venues.  The Biennial this year includes the Visual Studies Workshop and Gallery r  on College Avenue.  The Memorial Art Gallery had previously directed this show, and this new segment includes the paintings of a father and son - that is Leo Dodd    ( 1927 - 2015 ) and son, Paul Dodd and it is called Witness.

Views around town by Leo Dodd

The show now on at Rochester Contemporary presents a contrast especially in the subject matter that each artist approaches.  For years after he retired from Kodak, Leo Dodd, who was a mechanical design engineer took up painting and documented many sites around Rochester.  He worked with watercolor and saw many of the events and installations that give Rochester, New York its identity.
As Rochester remade itself, Leo Dodd was there to document those facts as a painter on the scene.

Leo Dodd documents our locality

Now,  Paul Dodd makes a different kind of document, his medium is painting and drawing but it is the human face, -  actually a mugshot that attracts him.  The paintings on view at RoCo have a  curious quality - because these works are made from photos of a variety of people, you don't have the personal rapport that you might find if the artist was painting someone who was sitting in front of him.  These are paintings where the artist is one step removed from the person being portrayed.
The art holds up better in a group I think and there we can see just how economical Paul Dodd is when he paints the human face.

Paul Dodd

In this current show there are also scrapbooks and other mementos of the work that the father and son have produced, and this kind of intimate back story is very engaging.

Sketchbooks and clippings from the collection of Paul Dodd

When you visit the Rochester Contemporary, stop into the LAB space and see the artworks by Kyle Butler who I had a chance to chat with.  His art is very experiential - the ideas he is working with stem from his being a resident of Buffalo, New York, and his art is part of a larger series of exhibitions here in Rochester, that portray various aspects of maps and mapping.  For Kyle Butler his map making is tied in to his art making and the subjects of his work in the LAB space deal with the actual dead end streets in the city.  The sculptural work and the painting on view are abstract by nature, but denote something very actual.

Kyle Butler's art is presented as part of Points of Departure: Meditations on Mapping.  This seven part exhibition has been curated by Karen Sardisco and Colleen Buzzard, who you will see below talking with Kyle Butler at the opening of this segment of their show.

Take the time to come out and see these artists, and what they have accomplished.  You will learn something!

Kyle Butler ( left ) and Colleen Buzzard
Rochester Contemporary Art Center
Rochester, NY