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Summer Kamp

by Paul Smart
August 19, 2010 12:28 PM | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Painting by Louise Kamp
Painting by Louise Kamp
slideshow
Two current exhibits at the Woodstock School of Art demonstrate the former Arts Students League campus’ continuing penchant for keeping old traditions alive, as well as gently pushing local artists continuously towards the new.

Starting last weekend, the indoor gallery will be focusing on the works of Louise Kamp (1867-1959), through October 2.

“I dashed the paint on thickly,” the quiet Saugerties doctor’s wife with a love for keeping several paintings going at once, long outdoor sessions with her easel, and a predeliction for reworking pieces years after they were first finished, wrote in her diary in 1937.

“She didn’t talk about her work — she just painted, all the time,” recalled an old family friend from the time.

In addition to the paintings sold during her career, writes this exhibit’s curator, Angela Gaffney-Smith, Kamp left nearly 3000 paintings upon her death, ranging in size from as small as two-by-three inches to more than two-by-three feet.

Kamp studied at the New York Art Students League before it set up a campus in Woodstock, and showed in her native Buffalo in her earlier years. Later, she showed in galleries alongside Milton Avery and Robert Henri, and resumed her studies, in Woodstock, when in her 70s.

Complementing this indoor show, which comes accompanied by a catalogue, is the continuation of the WSA’s first dedicated outdoor sculpture show, a colorful depositing of some of the area’s most engaged steel, wood, assemblist and conjectural three-dimensional artists, including curator Alex Kveton, Anthony Krauss, Basha Ruth Nelson, Lenny Kislin, Jeff Schiller, Shelley Parriott, Ze’ev ‘Willy’ Neumann and Michael Ciccone. 

It all fits in beautifully on the grounds at he Woodstock School of Art, built during the Great Depression as a WPA camp and blessed, at the campus’ opening, by none other than First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt… and leads well into the older bluestone sculptures hidden in the forest behind the main campus.++

 

The Woodstock School of Art is located at 2470 Route 212, just east of the hamlet of Woodstock. For more information, visit www.woodstockschoolofart.org, or call 845-679-2388.


Saddle up



The art, one refers to as equestrian. The subjects, however, will always be horsies…even if one owns the elegant creatures as investments, or has invested in one’s own family’s love for riding the beats.

The show that’s on view at Fletcher Gallery this month is all horses. It’s a massive amount of work culled for an upcoming Friday, September 10 HITS-on-the-Hudson Equestrian Art Auction, that will include a 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. on-site preview at the show grounds in Saugerties, to benefit Family of Woodstock (along with that big John Fogerty concert everyone’s jostling to get tickets for).

The auction will begin at 7:45 p.m. This event is part of first ever Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix which represents the richest Grand Prix in the world.

Suffice it to say the current exhibition is crowded and diverse, yet full of some true masterpieces…as well as representative of a long history of such painting.

Best of all, it’s loads of fun.

Those wishing to get a sense of what this auction’s all about (invitations will be only by RSVPing) should see this show.++

For more information, visit the gallery at 40 Mill Hill Road, call 679-4411 or visit www.fletchergallery.com, where there are links to a full catalogue.


WAAM’s Annual Meeting



This coming Sunday, August 22, The Woodstock Artist Association and Museum will be holding its annual General Membership Meeting and Elections, starting at 10:30 a.m. in WAAM’s main gallery space just off the Village Green. Although this event has seen itself booked and played out as one of the key dramatic performances of the town’s late summer in the past, it has run relatively smoothly in recent years.

The key drama expected this time around stems, as with the upcoming Woodstock Library election, from a three-way race for two WAAM Active Member board seats, and four seeking three Associate member seats.

For the two open Active Member seats, there will be no incumbents running. Candidates are Frances Clair Garofalo, a photographer and painter, and former IBM employee, who owns the Zena Framing Gallery; Harriet Livathinos, a part time Woodstock resident since 1999, and full time since 2008, who has been on the WAAM Exhibition Committee for two years, and previously ran an arts oriented temporary employment agency in New York City; and Maralyn Master, an active member of 13 years who has served on the organization’s exhibition and the by-laws committees over the years.

For the three Associate Member seats, incumbents Leonard Levitan, the WAAM Board’s current chairman, and Permanent Collection Sylvia Leonard Wolf will be running against Marls Dudley and Barbara Klippert.

Dudley moved to Woodstock in 2001, joined WAAM in 2002, and currently serves on the organization’s by-laws committee. Klippert is a partner in a law firm that specializes in employee benefit matters, but also devotes a significant portion of time to pro bono representation of not-for-profit organizations. She is also currently on the WAAM By-laws Committee and was recently appointed pro bono counsel for the organization. Levitan is a Bearsville-based design specialist who is seeking another term to finish out his current plans revising WAAM’s by-laws, updating the organization’s strategic plan, helping its Permanent Collection find an alternative location to permit proper storage, security and expansion of the collection, exploration of a possible physical expansion of the WAAM building, and greater outreach to ensure better promotion, increase and sales of member art. Wolf is an active arts appraiser who teaches her specialty at New York University and has long been considered a leader in her field. She has been an active participant of WAAM’s permanent collection and acquisition committees since 2002, and has served on the board for five years.

Active members may vote for both Active and Associate member candidates, while WAAM Associate members may only vote for Associate candidates. Voting ballots went out weeks ago.

Usual subjects guaranteed to spark debate each year include the nature of the organization’s exhibitions, and how they are chosen, as well as tensions between Permanent Collection shows and those involving WAAM’s wide membership.++

The Woodstock Artists Association is located at 28 Tinker Street in the center of Woodstock. For further information please visit www.woodstockart.org or call 679-2940.


Crowley’s deer



Anne Crowley, currently showing new paintings, monoprints and stencils at the Woodstock Framing Gallery on Mill Hill Road, says her works start in her backyard. There, she observes the birds and deer, the bees and dapple of sunlight through the forest canopy, the movement of creatures between clearings and woods.

“I wanted to work what I had in my own space, if you like,” adds Crowley, a longtime framer at the gallery, where she’s shown with regularity over the past nine years. “I decided to do a series of monoprints at the Woodstock School of Art and Kate McGloughlin suggested using the cutout technique.”

The monoprints, all of birds at first, involved printing of cutouts in several runs of color. Eventually, Crowley felt she had moved her art along enough to try redoing what she’d created to her preferred paint-on-canvas medium. Then moving her subject matter to the deer she’s been observing, and painting, for years now.

Simultaneously, the artist took a course in encaustics at Kingston’s R&F Paints, and started pondering both the patterning of light in nature, and the way birds and deer cluster, naturally.

A series of winter paintings resulted, with deer in repeated pockets, similar to each other but distinct in their own pod-like spaces, simultaneously joined together through the painter’s use of color and composition. Crowley explored similar methodologies with birds and bees and as winter gave way to spring and summer, her works grew more colorful, rich with shadows and highlights.

It’s been as if she somehow captured that group logic of animals we recognize but can never fully know, as well as the means by which certain places in the world get inhabited, and others stay fallow, unpopulated.

“I wanted to be playful. I like color,” she says in her lively Irish lilt. “So I just let it rip and hoped for the best, playing with the light, the way you see in the forest, the patternings…and I loved the singularity of these silhouettes and making them live.”

Crowley, whose show will be up into September, hails from Ireland, where she received a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. In 1983, she headed for New York, where she later got a masters degree in Fine Arts from Hunter College and started a career as an artist that eventually saw her move up to Spillway Road in West Hurlkey, and work with the Framing Gallery’s great mentor figure, Alice Hoffman.

“Looking back, there was a pivotal moment which had a direct impact on my imagination,” Crowley now notes in the artist’s statement she keeps on her website. “Listening to the radio a piece of music by Debussy, Prelude to a Fawn, came on and just by coincidence, a deer happened to be grazing in the woods outside my window. This moment moved me and served as a catalyst for the deer paintings. To quote the Irish poet, Patrick Kavanagh, ‘...some strange thing had happened.’ The door was open to explore the rest of my own backyard, birds, flowers, and insects included.”

Crowley, who’ll be in Ireland through the rest of the month, adds that she doesn’t know where her work will take her next. She’s started playing a bit with gold leaf. She’s thinking of doing some more at R&F.

The current exhibition mixes her finished paintings with some beautifully subtle monoprints, as well as some framed cutouts she’s created, rendered two dimensional with wax. The prices range from a few hundred to a few thousand, all perfectly affordable given the depths of observation and work evident in each piece. As well as how they capture, so succinctly, this natural world we inhabit here in Woodstock.

The birds and deer seem, in their silhouetted way, to hear and see us as much as we observe them in Anne Crowley’s works.

Which may be as it should be.++

The Woodstock Framing Gallery is located at 31 Mill Hill Road in Woodstock and is open most days. For further information call 679-6003. For more on Crowley’s work, visit her website at www.annebcrowley.com.


Abstraction discovered



The ongoing discovery show featuring the work of the previously unknown Woodstock painter Arthur Pinajian, up at the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum through October 10, bears — even demands — repeated viewings.

Pinajian, who started summering in Woodstock in the 1950s while living with his mother, and then sister in New Jersey, eventually settled into his above-garage “shack” nearly full-time as a means of following his muse as a painter, fueled by early success as a comic book artist illustrator, and later a G.I. Bill recipient at the Arts Students League. In the 1970s he moved to Bellport, Long Island, where his sister bought a home on her secretary’s salary, and continued his work up until his death in 1999.

His revival began a few years ago when that home sold after the sister’s death in 2005, and a huge cache of paintings, drawings and sketch books were found in that property’s garage.

The online files of Pinajian’s work show the man’s prodigious output, and debts to other artists he felt connection with or enthusiasm towards. The culled show on view in WAAM’s Towbin Wing reveals, through its repetition on local scenes, and Overlook Mountain in particular, both an innate sense of painterly balance to his work, ballasting his penchant for exploring new approaches each time he revisited a subject, and an uncanny ability to render the abstract with familiarity of place and emotion, as well as conjecture and imagination.

Unlike so many pieces by peers coming out of the ASL experience, Pinajian’s play with cubist methodology includes splinterings and, most effectively, an almost jigsaw-puzzle like scattering of a beloved scene’s pieces.

An earlier drawing from his World War II years, lasciviously imaging an upcoming visit to Paris, comments on a soul’s need to dream, as well as face reality. That duality, and choice, seems to have informed this lone but apparently unlonely man’s work henceforth.

Hinted at in the show’s non-Woodstock works — including several nudes, still lifes and pure abstractions — one realizes that Pinajian truly was an artist interested only in moving his art ever-forward, and not becoming something through it.

WAAM should be credited for having welcomed this man’s rediscovery, and recognized his painting’s eternal qualities.

Pinajian: Master of Abstraction Discovered will be up for the next two months at the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum, located at 28 Tinker Street in Woodstock.

For further info, call 679-2940 or visit www.woodstockart.org. ++

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