Flowers … let me count the ways. From 17th-century Dutch painting to Andy Warhol, flowers have provided inspiration and imagery for countless works of art.
Most galleries need a week to take down one exhibit and install the next. With only nine weeks in Chautauqua Institution’s season, Strohl Art Center does not have the luxury of time.
As watercolorist Ann Provan remembers, it was Nov. 1, 1986, when she and her husband, David, a sculptor, first met at a gallery opening in New York City. They were both artists from California who had migrated east.
“An Object of Beauty: Metal / Fiber / Glass,” opening Sunday at Fowler-Kellogg Art Center, includes a coping saw made of melted pennies, a crocheted sword from the cartoon “He-Man” and a shovel cast in glass, among other pieces.
Judy Barie, Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution’s galleries director, said she was looking for unusual and unexpected objects made of each material — metal, fiber and glass — for the exhibit.
“How often do you see an airplane made of glass?” Barie said, pointing out a piece by Travis Rohrbaugh.
Chautauqua Institution’s first-ever wood art exhibition, “Wood: On and Off the Wall,” is now open.
“I’m a real lover of craft,” said Judy Barie, the Institution’s director of galleries. “I love three-dimensional work, so that was why I chose to open up with a craft show this season.”
The show opened Sunday at Strohl Art Center.
Don Kimes once went 20 years without buying a tube of red paint.
Kimes ran in artistic circles while living in New York City, having become friendly with Barnett Newman, the famed color field painter.
Some years after Newman’s death in 1970, his wife began to clean out his studio. It was 1977 and Kimes was working as a janitor in New York City, when Newman’s widow asked if he knew of anyone who would want her husband’s old paint. Kimes inherited three boxes of Newman’s reds that day, and by 1979 he began working as a program director at the New York Studio School. Kimes now serves as artistic director for Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution.
By January, Don Kimes, artistic director of Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution, was really biting his nails, worried that the 56th Chautauqua Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Art might not have a juror. Each season for the past 27 years, Kimes has chosen an art authority to select approximately 25 pieces from a nationally submitted pool of art to display at the Institution.
Kimes had worked with Louis Grachos, the former director of Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y., at the end of last year. Together they curated two shows at the Institution on abstraction in America. The final part in the series, “Abstraction in America, part III,” hosted at Strohl Art Center, showcases abstract art from the 1990s to the present.
For the 56th Annual, on display in Strohl’s main gallery through July 15, Kimes thought it would be interesting to invite Albright-Knox’s new director to judge the show, rather than picking a juror in the fall like he has in the past. But things were complicated when the search for Grachos’ replacement took longer than Kimes expected. When Albright-Knox finally announced that Janne Sirén would take the reins of the gallery, Sirén still had to wrap up his five-year tenure at the Helsinki Art Museum. Kimes worried that Sirén wouldn’t have the time to commit to the Annual, but he hoped it would work out. Sirén, a Finnish art professional who received his education in the United States, became famous for ambitious art projects and passionate community engagement.
Vanessa German’s sculptures have the power to fly, to sing, to heal ailments, to call deeply upon history, to spark curiosity and to bind us together in our humanity. Her mixed-media found-object compositions have their roots in her endlessly creative life as a poet, photographer, actress, designer, educator and sculptor.
Her solo exhibit, “American JuJu: Root and Power for a New Century,” opens today from 3–5 p.m. in the Strohl Art Center’s Bellowe Family Gallery, with German performing several of her spellbinding spoken-word poems at the reception.
“I grew up in an environment where there were always the ingredients for making something else,” said German, the daughter of a fiber artist who encouraged her children to create, to read and to perform. “There was never a time in my life that I don’t remember making things and being a performer. That’s how I knew myself; that’s how I understood who I was.”
Very few pictures wear name tags. Naming is the province of the caption, or of an oral tradition, sometimes passed on from parents to children, but more often eluding the good intentions of commitment to writing. The boxes of anonymous photographs in most home closets are silent testimony to this nominative failure. Worse yet, consider the images of family and friends banished, orphaned, at estate sales and flea markets, touching evidence of the painfully anonymous tradition of the portrait.
Judy Barie, director of the galleries of the Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution, has opened an image shelter for the nameless at Strohl Art Center, in which she offers 31 unnamed images to patrons ready to provide foster parenting and a new home for only partially identified images.
Yes, there are a few pictures known by first names in the shelter — Allen, Joe, Steve, Trudy, Joe, and Virginia among them. Otherwise, we must be content with Two Headed Man, Small Female Head, Young Bride, and Teens on the Beach.
Portraits are everywhere: George Washington’s profile on the quarter, Greek and Roman statues, the Mona Lisa, wedding photographs, death masks on sarcophagi.
Portraits immortalize. But though they seem to be common, a different side to them emerges in Strohl Art Center this week in “Anonymous: The Contemporary Portrait.”
From 3–5 p.m. today in Strohl is the opening reception for “Anonymous,” a collection of everything that is a portrait without being, in fact, a portrait. Curator and VACI Galleries Director Judy Barie was inspired by Christian Faur, who creates art with thousands of hand-cast crayons, which resolves into images only at a distance.