Thursday, April 27, 2023

Spring Things


By the World Trade site on West Side Highway, New York City
in April, 2023

We had a quick car trip to New York City to pick up a package of my father's artwork that we plan to donate later this year and on the way home we see this beautiful scene and my wife Anna quickly made this photo!  And on we drove...

The entrance to The Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, New York

Once we were settled back at home, I made it my business to go over to The Memorial Art Gallery to check in and see what the new spring season has to offer, and I was SO glad I did!  There is a lot to catch up with especially the Finger Lakes juried show and a selection of works from Joan Lyons - an important figure here in the Rochester area.

Joan Lyons has been creatively using photographic techniques and combining them with a wide range of materials as can be seen in the numerous examples selected for this retrospective look at her work.  A descriptive wall label in this special exhibition introduces you to the artist and her view that different ideas of making her artwork have brought her to new ways of expressing herself and she breaks away from what you might expect from a photographer.

Selections of art by Joan Lyons at MAG

Yes, some of Joan Lyons work is about portraiture, but there is a wider context that she establishes... Joan may make a wall mural of a sequence of images that you would not expect, or she might print on a silky fabric that has a certain allure.  Lyons tells a story with her work that may document the simple pleasures of the backyard, or takes you to a political demonstration that really makes you feel the case being made.

Joan Lyons prints on silky fabric

Before going in to see the Finger Lakes exhibit I stopped to admire a new piece on loan from Shawn Dunwoody called: " Unfinished Business".  I got a wide view of an acrylic painting on canvas that looks like it could be ripped from a newspaper account of demonstrations and street activism following the death of Daniel Prude here in Rochester.  Shawn has been making the case here in town and he is having an impact...

"Unfinished Business"...details from a acrylic painting by Shawn Dunwoody

68th Rochester Finger Lakes Exhibition on now thru August 6th, 2023

Molly Donovan served as the juror for this show where she selected from over 800 submissions by 294 artists, and so we have the greatest respect for those whose works were finally chosen.  You may know some of these artists, and then there are always the nice surprises of seeing works new to the neighborhood.

Stream Crossing by Jean Gerow a fabric work

If you like what you see in this show you can vote for your favorite work ( I know I did! ).  Stepping into the show I stopped to look at an interesting fabric work by Jean Gerow simply called "Stream Crossing".  I really like the textures and the semi-abstract nature of this art.  I had a similar feeling about the twin paintings from Phyllis Bryce Ely that she calls "Lake Ontario's Icy Grip".

Lake Ontario's Icy Grip by Phyllis Bryce Ely

My eye was caught by a unique sculptural piece by Jennifer Hecker called: " Rain Maker" which you can see here in my photo but it doesn't do the work justice..!

"Rain Maker" by Jenifer Hecker

I think about interesting invention in technique or materials and I get drawn in to see the details like in the painting that is a tribute to the likes of Muhammad Ali on view here as well. This painting is called of "Bees & Butterflies" by Ya'qub Shabazz.  Step in close to read the little quips painted in the work made last year.

Bees & Butterflies by Ya'qub Shabazz

I thought it was great to see a new work from the artist Unique Fair-Smith  who was outstanding even when he was our student at RIT.  Here he is represented by a portrait of a sober looking lady at a table still life with glassware so beautifully painted ( you need a lot of patience to do this ).

"At The Table", oil on panel by Unique Fair-Smith

Before you leave the show step over to see the photo by Walter Colley - it is so PEACEFUL!


Walter Colley

Before I left The Memorial Art Gallery I stopped in to see the show called "In Praise of Trees" just down the hall.  It is full of woodcuts  -and these prints are made by Naoko Matsubara who is about the same age as Joan Lyons who I wrote about earlier on... and these woodblock prints were a real inspiration!

Poplars , a woodcut by Naoko Matsubara

So this is the new spring season, and I wonder if The Memorial Art Gallery has made any progress in finding a new Director,  now that Mr. J. Binstock has taken his new position in Washington, D.C.....?
I guess we will find out later!

On now through August 6, 2023, Check Gallery hours...