Sunday, April 7, 2019

Field Guide

Brad Butler, Main Street Arts, Director
gets in focus

I was driving up from Pennsylvania over the weekend and stopped in Clifton Springs, New York to see what was happening at Main Street Arts.  There was an opening in progress at the gallery that features artworks from 42 artists who have participated in the Residency Program over the past few years.  Brad Butler gathered the artists for a group photograph after he explained to me that Main Street Arts is making a transition towards non-profit status as an institution and they are looking to expand and create more space for visiting artists.  This new exhibition runs into May and from the looks of what I saw - there have already been several sales, the prices for many of the works on hand are very modest!

One of the artist residents, Victoria Savka

At this opening I had a chance to talk with two young ladies whose work I found hanging in this big group showing.  Victoria had been a student at Rochester Institute of Technology and as we had a few moments to chat I found out that she is now becoming a teacher for children K - thru -6 at St. Agnes, a local school in Avon.  One of her three pieces that I saw was a kind of a journal entry in way - it comes from her car trip across the county to Colorado and features a Wonderbread truck among other sites like a sign that says "Falling Rocks"....beware!

Zoey Houser at Main Street Arts

Another artist I talked with was Zoey Houser from Newark, New York.  The ceramic art that she had on the wall here is brightly colored and features three bats looking like they are getting ready for bedtime!

 Another artist resident at Main Street Arts, Clifton, Springs, NY

Brad Butler has a bright idea with his Residency Program.  These artists usually come for a one month stay to do some new artwork and to explore our area.  Brad says that they come from all over the country and their artwork represents almost every kind of imagery including holography! ( Look it up! )  This show has a very youthful approach and offers something for everyone......

This past week we were deep into the center of Pennsylvania, in a town named Millersburg near Harrisburg, at a site called The Ned Smith Nature & Art Center, and we are planning an exhibition there.  We met with John Booth who is the Director of the Center, and we delivered paintings by my father, Arthur Singer ( 1917-1990 ) for a show of his work to open this coming June, 15th.  This will be a highlight for an already - very busy year!

Arthur Singer, the Wildlife Art of an American Master by RIT Press

Our book, which we published through RIT Press is selling well and it has inspired several in-depth exhibitions which have given the public a cross-section of the kinds of artwork that my father became famous for - beyond the illustrations that he made for his well-known field guides.  His bird paintings will be a feature of our new show which will be up in the Ned Smith Nature & Art Center thru late August - if you are near or in the Harrisburg/Millersburg area, come and check it out!

My brother Paul Singer,  looks over the drawings by Ned Smith ( 1919-1985 )

Along with my father's artwork, there is a circulating exhibition of the art of Ned Smith - who was in many ways a colleague of my dad.  Ned Smith had a career that overlapped my father and they both worked for publications starting in the early 1950's.  Ned Smith was a self-taught artist and naturalist who loved hunting and fishing, and his artwork demonstrated his love for the outdoor life.

Ned Smith and his love of Field and Stream
evident in his artwork

Ned Smith and his paintings of wildlife remind me of the art of Carl Rungius - a painter who was known for his portrayal of big game.  Ned Smith made meticulous drawings for every composition and his artwork features a kind of drama you may witness if you are patient.  I think Ned's artwork deserves more recognition and  here you just have to see it for yourself!

Ned Smith Nature & Art  Center, Millersburg, PA