Sunday, August 11, 2019

Sticker Shock

"On The Great Lakes", acrylic  gouache on board
Alan Singer

I like to support our local arts institutions and in turn be supported by them.  Such is the case with organizations for which I am a member.  In this particular case, each year I join the Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn because they have a yearly show called: "Made in NY".  To be selected for this show, you have to become a member and so that is what I do.  Their show is a bit like the  66th Finger Lakes Exhibition that is now on at The Memorial Art Gallery, it is a great show to be juried into.  If you travel to Auburn, drive around and look at the wonderful old houses, and enjoy the Finger Lakes.

My little painting ( above ) was accepted this year so I drove over to Auburn to deliver the goods.  In the gallery I found works from Kathy Farrell and a show of dimensional art that really packed a surprise!  The artist who is featured in the main gallery is Abraham Ferraro, and he creates works of art from cardboard boxes which he cuts and shapes, and then ships.  He sends  his boxes through the mail system with tons of stickers surrounding the packages.  It all started out with a very innocuous shaped box which was taped together as you can see below.

Art by Abraham Ferraro

Then things got a bit wild.  Here is a form of correspondence that I will bet they didn't teach you in art school!  The effect is like a zinger - the images zip across at you and you can wonder how it all fits together...  The room becomes one giant standing sculpture, and the labels or stickers serve as directions and coloration for the objects.  This is fun - and funnier when you stop to think that these things actually went through the mail, and they served a purpose - a greater purpose than the usual bills and flyers that pass each day through the same channels.

Art by Abraham Ferraro

Here is a dimensional Pop Art that will really give you sticker shock!  All of these pieces are very portable, the sum total of which must be considered a work-in-progress.  Who knows how large this idea could grow!

Abraham Ferraro goes POP

Abraham Ferraro at Schweinfurth Art Center

In the surrounding galleries, other artwork looked tame by comparison.  I stopped to look at silk screen prints made by Landon Perkins in this show called: Made and Remade: Re-Imagining Industrial Systems.    The prints by Mr. Perkins reminded me immediately of the prints by Nick Ruth that I included in our show "Process & Purpose, 2019" that I wrote about recently.  Landon Perkins  has a technological grasp with a fine technique to render the machines of the past - or maybe they are  made up to look old.  There is even a sense of humor in these images...

Landon Perkins at Schweinfurth Art Center

Silk Screen images by Landon Perkins

Another artist in the show is  Sherri Lynn Wood and her big piece hanging in the Main Gallery had a touch of the crafts from Gee's Bend that have been so popular.  There is also an echo of the paintings by Peter Halley in this art.

Sherri Lynn Wood

Peter Halley  ( not in the Schweinfurth Art Center show )

When you first walk in to the galleries at Schweinfurth Art Center, it might be easy to pass by the show of drawings by our own Kathleen Farrell.  It was just a few weeks ago that she presented black and white drawings with her friends Peter Monacelli and George Wegman that I wrote about on this blog.  This new set of drawings has more color but keeps the idiosyncratic sketch style and invention that she is known for.  Her show is called "Presence of Silence", and I can imagine that she whips out her drawing materials every time there is a lull in the action happening all around her.  

Kathy Farrell at Schweinfurth Art Center ( for the next seven days! )

Kathy Farrell has a great wit, and she is a sharp observer of humanity - and she gets it all down in this art that comes close to caricature and cartoon.  I just wonder if she would care to work in a medium that might last a bit longer..I worry about the permanence of marker rendering.

Kathleen Farrell and her characters

Later in the day I drive down to Ithaca, to our garden, and take a moment to go out in the back to smell the roses.  This has just been the busiest and most rewarding summer so far, and I am amazed that the weather is so  dramatic!  Enjoy!