Sunday, November 3, 2019

Fall: Fancy That

Glorious Fall Weather in Ithaca, New York

A drive along Route 89 in the Finger Lakes reveals the height of fall colors and an opportunity for me to hit the Art Trail.  It's a glorious day in Ithaca, and I am here to attend Gallery Night and the opening of a group show called: "20/20 Hindsight" at the Ink Shop on State Street.  The Ink Shop is a gallery and a printmaking studio and they celebrate twenty years involved in the arts community with their dedication to an art form that is very much alive.

Craig Mains and his print about a cluster of fracking wells

I talked with printmaker and Ink Shop member Craig Mains about the art on the gallery walls and about plans for spreading the word about the Ink Shop and I found out that they are planning a show that will open in France for Ink Shop members.  Craig also said that a show of Japanese prints from the Tokyo University of Fine Art just ended at their gallery, so they are building international connections.

etching by Zevi Blum  ( 1933 - 2011 )

The show was opening at the Ink Shop and as I came in the door I recognized a piece by one of my old teachers when I was a student at Cornell University ( see above )  and that was by Zevi Blum.  Over the years I have met many of the folks associated with the Ink Shop and recognize their artwork.  Next to Craig Mains print I saw one by Pamela Drix that seemingly has parts of postage stamps interspersed with renderings of drilling rigs - on a large scale piece that is very dramatic.

Print by Pamela Drix

"20/20 Hindsight" is a group effort and there are posters, and prints that exhibit a broad range of techniques and approaches to making prints from large woodcuts to artist's books and much more. My friend Kumi Korf has some abstract images and there is a strong figurative work by Kay Walkingstick in the present show.

Print by Kay Walkingstick at The Ink Shop
Ithaca, New York

The following day I drove up to Clifton Springs to see what was happening at Main Street Arts and chat with Brad Butler who is the Director of the gallery.  Brad was coming up to my class at R.I.T.  to do a presentation to my students about his own artwork, and about his job as the Director of a contemporary art gallery.  In the main floor of the gallery there is now a show of another printmaker from Ithaca, and that is Sylvia Taylor.  Her show is called: "The Time Between the Dog and the Wolf" and it will be up through November 15th.  Her show includes relief prints, paintings and drawings that remind me of children's stories and her images could jump right out of a book for young readers.

A work by Sylvia Taylor: "Flying Fish"

Sylvia's subject matter revolves around animals which are often pictured in groups that can become more texture and pattern.  In this show there is one wall that has a mass of small portraits on red that hang together like a family and all their relatives.

Animal portraits by Sylvia Taylor
at Main Street Arts, Clifton Springs, New York

Upstairs at Main Street Arts there is a landscape show called Ontario Pathways, and there I found a fine painting by my colleague Bill Finewood that shows the shimmering surface of a stream found along the trail.  Bill really took his time rendering the reflections and the colors of the trees as they trend towards autumn.  Each one of the artists took to the trail to find their own way with subject matter.  It is not only what you see that is important, but how you see it, how you compose it and make it your own.

Painting by Bill Finewood
in the Ontario Pathways exhibition
Main Street Arts

Back home once again, I found that men were moving the giant Albert Paley sculpture that had been a feature outside my Hungerford Building art studio.  The Hungerford had the benefit of hosting this colorful steel sculpture for a while now, and I hope that there will soon be a replacement for this work which really lent some character to this old factory building.

Albert Paley is on the move... from the Hungerford Building to Europe!