A veritable smorgasbord of works showcased at many area galleries in 2010
During 2010, the Syracuse art scene again provided the opportunity to view a wide range of artworks. There were retrospectives providing perspective on local artists’ careers, shows dealing with interpersonal relationships, and exhibitions observing anniversaries for local venues.
Auburn’s Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center hosted a retrospective featuring Fred Yehl’s tempura paintings; he’s a 92-year-old artist who paints every day. An exhibition of Joan Lukas Rothenberg’s works hung at The Redhouse. That show not only traced her artistic career but also evoked the era in which she created the pieces. And the Edgewood Gallery presented an exhibit devoted to Arlene Abend’s sculptures.
There was a slew of other solo exhibitions around town. The Everson Museum of Art displayed The Sixties: When Color Was King, which documented Tim Scott’s ability to improvise with color and space. Alejandro Garcia again drew from his collection of Mexican folk art for a show at the Community Folk Art Center. CFAC also presented Cyrus Meijia’s paintings in the exhibition Dogs in Transition: Pit Bulls and Mill Dogs.
An image from Haudenosaunee: Elements: Onondaga artist Frank Buffalo Hyde’s “God Save the Queen,” on display through Jan. 16 at the Everson Museum of Art.
Light Work Gallery hosted varied shows.
Rachel Herman’s images depicting couples who broke up had ties to Yolanda del Amo’s Archipelago, with its photos taken in people’s homes. The subjects weren’t identified, and viewers had to figure out if they were looking at couples, friends or people otherwise connected. Stephen Chalmers’ exhibit took a radically different path. His images of forests, creeks and other sites reflecting peaceful nature scenes documented locations connected to horrific crimes, places where serial killers hid their victims’ bodies.
At ArtRage, Robert Shetterly’s paintings depicted historical figures such as Mark Twain and Ida B. Wells, a journalist who crusaded against racial injustice, as well as current-day peace and community activists. In addition, the gallery presented Tonto Revisted: Native American Stereotypes, an exhibit originating from Tom Huff’s collection of mass-culture objects. He’s shown different versions of the exhibition at other venues in the past. The ArtRage show, large and well organized, displayed comic books, album covers, ad illustrations and many other objects portraying stereotypical Native Americans.
The Warehouse Gallery showed Alyson Shotz’s Drawing Through Space and also displayed prints, photos and installations created by Cui Fei.
Noteworthy group shows appeared at local venues. Four X Four, at SU Art Galleries, relied on guest curators choosing work from the university’s permanent collections. Roy Simmons Jr. focused on sculptor Ivan Mestrovic while Jack White selected pieces portraying sports such as boxing and wrestling.
A third curator, Dr. Khelli Willetts, chose artworks stimulating discussion of vice and virtue. Nancy Keefe Rhodes organized an exhibit pulling together Depression-era works created in the United States.
Haudenosaunee: Elements, at the Everson Museum, featured contemporary works by artists from the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy, encompassing sculptures, video and mixed-media pieces, among other media. The pieces discussed a range of themes: family experiences, the Haudenosaunee creation narrative, the oil spill at a British Petroleum facility in the Gulf of Mexico, relations between the confederacy and the United States. This was a strong, fresh show, the first of its kind at the museum since 1973. It continues on display through Jan. 16.
Limestone Art and Framing Gallery hosted an exhibit featuring works by four artists: Elizabeth Groat and Jonathan Kirk, Bryan Hopkins and Willson Cummer. At Le Moyne College, Wilson Art Gallery presented Art as Catharsis: Watch Out, I Need to Purge, consisting of works created by brothers Christopher and Richard Williams. Point of Contact gallery continued to run exhibits with an international flavor. One show focused on pieces reacting to the art and poetry of Alejandra Pizarnik.
Once again, many exhibitions appeared at non-gallery venues. Jacqueline Adamo showed her work at Sparky Town restaurant. Members of the Syracuse Photographers Association displayed their images at the Westcott Community Center.
Fraternal fun: “Garden of Earthly Delights,” a comic work from the exhibit Art as Catharsis: Watch Out I Need to Purge, the recent Wilson Art Gallery show from brothers Christopher and Richard Williams.
Shows at public libraries happened around the county: Barb Higgens’ one-woman exhibit at Fayetteville Free Library, Associated Artists’ annual juried exhibition at the Manlius Public Library, the Central Library’s display of Joan Carlon’s drawings detailing refugees’ stories. Petit Branch Library’s exhibit slate included Karen Tashovski’s one-woman show and Mickey Mahan’s Constructions, works combining paint, discarded items such as feathers and metal pipes, and an elastic approach to narrative.
Several local galleries and groups celebrated milestones. Edgewood Gallery, for example, marked its 20th anniversary with a show displaying more than 40 artists’ works. In Utica, the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute presented an exhibition of Philip Johnson’s museum designs. Johnson, a famed architect, designed the institute’s building which opened in 1960. The Syracuse Cultural Workers created and distributed the 40th edition of their Peace Calendar.
Finally, there were major changes in the exhibit space at 501 W. Fayette St. In May, the Delavan Art Gallery closed its doors. In November, Caroline Szozda-McGowan, Delavan’s longtime manager, opened her own gallery and announced a specific mission: showing works by local artists. Szozda Gallery, which occupies the back half of the former Delavan space, has scheduled a January 2011 show featuring Phil Parsons’ oils and mixed-media pieces and photos and assemblages by Barbara Conte-Gaugel. An opening reception will be held on Jan. 14 between 5 and 8 p.m.