Jennifer Hunold’s acrylic and graphite piece, for example, depicts a desert setting including a large expanse of sky, tiny telephone lines and desert sands of colorful stripes. In Jessica Evett-Miller’s photo, taken in Iceland, a red blanket intrudes on desolate land, prompting thoughts about our relationship with the natural world.
Edward Basta’s “Mike’s Country Auto” imagines a roadside scene from 40 or 50 years ago. The piece, done in miniature and positioned against a wooded background, was made entirely from found objects such as scraps of wood and toy-set signs. “Mike’s Country Auto” evokes the past but isn’t an exercise in reminiscing. It references the pace of change in our society and asks a fundamental question: How much attention do we pay to changes happening on roadsides and elsewhere?
"Butterfly Harp" by Sara DiDonato.
Other perspectives emerge as well. Barbara Page’s oil painting, “Down Draft H2,” looks at a sprawling countryside from the viewpoint of a flyer, showing the geometry of land seen from a cockpit.
Kate Timm, meanwhile, travels no farther than her home. In another of her exterior/interior pieces, she juxtaposes a kitchen table, full of tomato sandwiches, potato chips, plants and other objects, with the scene outside. She embellishes and enhances the objects on the table, making them seem anything but ordinary.
Finally, a photo by John Mannion and Sean Hovemdick offers an open-ended narrative. The image depicts an Alpo tower, apparently part of an industrial complex, a security fence, and two men dressed in protective gear and seemingly ready to deal with a chemical spill or bio-weapon hazard. What the men are up to and why isn’t clear, and we can only speculate about what’s going on within the photo.
Made in New York 2008 has other noteworthy pieces on display. In her charcoal-and-pastel work, “Lament,” Susan D’Amato skillfully explores light and darkness; it’s one of the best artworks in the exhibition. Don’t miss David Higgins’ three-panel work, “Garage with Hostas,” or John Fitzsimmons’ large oil, “Once It Was.”
Although Made in New York 2008 doesn’t present many sculptures, check out Karen Johns Zarzecki’s alabaster work, a visually delightful piece. And in “Adaptation,” Lori Mills shows that it’s possible to play off a basic notion and create a fine piece of art. She’s made a bird’s nest overflowing with so many eggs that no bird or pair of birds can take care of them. Mills hints at the idea of scarce resources and also shows an exquisite touch with ceramics.
The exhibit has noteworthy works that don’t fit into a particular category. Carrie Will’s photos depict herself and her twin sister; Joe Bigley’s “Examen,” which surrounds a television screen with material made from straw, sand and clay. And Neil Chowdhury’s photo montages deal with contemporary life in India. He encompasses both traditional culture and Western influences such as McDonald’s restaurants.
Seen as a whole, the exhibit draws from various genres, presents some works linked thematically and has no problem showcasing a few artworks. A large show must offer both variety and individual works that catch and hold viewers’ attention. Made in New York 2008 meets those criteria and is on a par with past versions of the annual show.
Made in New York 2008 is on display through Aug. 23 at the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, 205 Genesee St., Auburn. The gallery is open Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, call 255-1553.