Al Fresco Art

The latest in a series of installations and exhibits by Ann Hamilton

Ann Hamilton is a versatile artist who has created textiles, photos, prints and sculpture, yet she's best known for large-scale, multimedia installations. Her new video piece, featuring the lowercase title table of contents, will begin screenings this week at the Everson Museum of Art, 401 Harrison St. The video will be projected outdoors at the Everson’s north façade wall Thursdays through Sundays, dusk until 11 p.m.

Return to Camelot

Writer Carl Mellor assesses Mark Shaw’s photos of the Kennedys, Tinseltown icons and more in a star-struck exhibit at Utica’s Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute

The works of acclaimed photographer Mark Shaw, whose images appeared in Life, Vanity Fair and other magazines during the 1950s and 1960s, is now on display at Utica’s Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute. American Royalty is truly a Shaw showcase: He covered Hollywood, fashion shows, and most of all, the Kennedys. The exhibition offers the first museum presentation of Shaw's images, not only focusing on his photos but also evoking the era in which he operated.

Picture Perfect

Art by Nottingham graduates highlighted in local gallery

Breakout photography students Amrita Stuetzle and Ana Thor began working for Light Work Gallery, a local artist-run, non-profit organization, during their junior year at Nottingham High School. The gallery is in the Robert B. Menschel Media Center on the Syracuse University campus.

Civil War in Focus

Local photographer George Barnard recorded historic 19th-century events

George Barnard, one of Central New York’s own, has slowly gained recognition as among the most important pioneer photographers in documenting the tragedy of America’s Civil War. A 2013 exhibition on Civil War photography at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art included an entire gallery devoted to Barnard’s work. In November, the Washington Post’s magazine featured an article on war photography titled “Pioneers of the Form.” It highlighted the four Civil War photographers generally acknowledged as the most significant in that field: Matthew Brady, Timothy O’Sullivan, Alexander Gardner and George Barnard.

Points of Reference: March 21

San Francisco-based radio station Latino Mix 105.7 played Nelly’s 2002 hit “Hot in Herre” for 24 straight hours.

POINTS OF REFERENCE is a music news blog for people with actual lives and/or short attention spans: a weekly selection of topical, pop music talking points fit for bars and break rooms. It’s divided into three sections: NEWS (duh), ALBUM RELEASES (once more with feeling), and STUFF AND THINGS (random, music-related crap from the internet). So, I’m all finished up here. Scroll down, won’t you?

Nazi Germany is revealed in a subtle, shocking show at ArtRage

The Reich Stuff

Everyday evil is explored in Normal: How the Nazis Normalized the Unspeakable, on display at ArtRage Gallery. The show references the 1930s and 1940s in Germany, a period documented and analyzed by historians, filmmakers and philosophers. Yet even as the exhibit explores territory that’s somewhat familiar to many viewers, it finds its own path.

Global Perspectives at SU Art Galleries

India and South Africa are represented in a multi-exhibit show at SU Art Galleries

This winter SU Art Galleries continues to emphasize international art. Its current exhibits showcase Mithila paintings from Northern India, works by contemporary printmakers from Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa, and South African artist William Kentridge, renowned for his ability to create in various media.

Shifting Perspectives

Local artists Wendy Harris and Willson Cummer re-evaluate their strategies

From time to time, artists reassess their work, as they first find success with one project and then feel the urge to move in a different direction. This could be a change in subject, a modifying of technique or even a shift in media. During the past year Syracuse artists Wendy Harris and Willson Cummer have both gone through a transitional process. Harris has turned to a subject that fascinates her: clouds. A cloudy sky doesn’t disappoint her; she’s enthralled by what she calls “the extreme, ephemeral nature of clouds.” By viewing clouds in local skies on an ongoing basis, she’s developed a connoisseur’s perspective. “This past summer, the clouds were magnificent,” she noted. Translating that perspective into artistic expression is another matter. As she pondered clouds, Harris also evaluated artistic strategies. In the end, she adopted a different approach: more acrylics and oils, a slightly more abstract style, and smaller canvasses. She once worked large; now many of her pieces are small. In addition, she has largely abandoned the en plein air style of painting, which simply means painting outdoors. In her current work, she observes clouds, takes photos and ultimately heads to her studio for painting. “Plein air doesn’t work for clouds,” Harris said. “There’s a maximum of perhaps two hours for observing a particular sky. After that, things change." With a new project under way, Harris also devoted much energy to lining up exhibitions of her artworks. During 2013, she took part in 10 exhibits, including a group display at the Edgewood Gallery, a solo showcase at the Sparky Town restaurant, and a one-woman show at Bryan Memorial Gallery in Jeffersonville, Vt. At the Bryan, her pieces didn’t depict Syracuse skies; they portrayed Vermont scenes. On one hand, Harris would like to paint clouds in other parts of New England or other regions of the United States. On the other, spending time out of town could be expensive. Thus, she’s investigating artist-in-residence programs. While Harris is pleased with the transitions of the past year, there’s one exception: the sales of her artworks during the last four months of 2013. “Once the government shutdown happened, it was like shutting off a faucet,” Harris said. “People were nervous about the economy, and they cut way back on discretionary spending like buying artworks.”

Unique perspectives at Edgewood Gallery

Triple Feature: three-artist show

The Edgewood Gallery’s new show Crystal Glow fits in nicely with the venue's general approach to group exhibitions. On one hand, it displays pieces by three artists, all of whom work in different media and have distinct styles. On the other, the exhibit has a unifying element, one that arises from the works themselves instead of some artificial linkage.

Light Work gallery presents Aspen Mays

Out of This World: The astronomical imagination of Aspen Mays

Aspen Mays is an artist who finds wonderment in the physical universe, in stars, planets and much more. For Newspaper Rock, on display at the Light Work Gallery, Mays is interested in human attempts to investigate that universe, although she concludes that its beauty is beyond measure or evaluation. Mays, it should be noted, isn’t an armchair observer. At an isolated site on Chile’s Atacama Desert, she viewed a night sky unpolluted by city lights. Using her eyes instead of a telescope, she found staggering beauty in the Milky Way. She also traveled to the Southwest United States, to a 20-square-foot area known as Newspaper Rock, where Native Americans from several cultures carved petroglyphs depicting humans, animals and symbols on a cliff wall. The carving of drawings on the wall began almost 2,000 years ago. To communicate her artistic vision, Mays’ photography is done with a nontraditional approach. In the darkroom, she uses dodging, burning and masking tools. She has developed her own forms, patterns and pictograms. Consider, for example, an untitled piece dominated by intense green color. The caption refers to “fireflies inside the body of my camera, 8:37-8:39 p.m., June 28, 2007.” That the event took place at night has some significance, but the artwork implies that the fireflies themselves are far more important. Here Mays isn’t mocking the collection of data; she’s merely saying that perspective is critical.