Diana Schmertz has always been interested in systems that people create to organize what they perceive in the world around them — based in science, religion, psychology, philosophy or politics. The artist says that no matter how cerebral a system or an idea may appear, it is always experienced through our physical senses and in order to communicate balance between reason and senses, she paints imagery of the body expressing emotional understanding juxtaposed with systems of verbal and/or mathematical reasoning. In Domestic Brutes, the women group show at Pelham Art Center Diana Schmertz shows a painting installation. Her virtual artist talk hosted by PAC is scheduled for October 8th.
Ashley Norwood Cooper is an artist and a mother, raising three teenagers in a small town in upstate NY. Her paintings have always dealt with family and home and how the personal connects us to the global and political. She is interested in the schizophrenic role of the artist-mother-wife-teacher and in how to redefine the heroic from a woman’s perspective. Ashley Norwood Cooper is participating in Domestic Brutes and she will present her work in a virtual studio visit hosted by Pelham Art Center on Thursday, October 15th, 5-6pm.
Manju Shandler creates symbolic art that speaks to current events. Building upon established storylines from myth, religion, and history, her mixed media artworks create richly layered narratives that reflect on our dense and complicated times. Shandler believes people are natural storytellers that make sense of the world through by mining both personal experience and collective memories that have been passed down. Her work dips into this well. Training as a theatre designer helps her to envision installations and her background as a puppet builder informs how she approaches building objects. Identifying as a mother seeps into everything she does.
Lydia Viscardi’s scintillating multimedia tarpaulins festoon the airy, post-retail environs of Five Points Gallery in Torrington CT. This quaint looking old mill town straight out of middle America may seem an unlikely destination for contemporary visual art, but Viscardi’s new work is worth a trip to the hinterlands. Ostensibly Viscardi’s imagery encompasses the weighty notion of life after death, but I was inspired by their joie de vivre.
Lacey McKinney who resides in Upstate New York, is drawn to the alchemy of processes like painting and alternative photography. For the last several years, McKinney has worked within the framework of painting, using figuration to reference embodiment. Usually splitting her time between working in the studio and teaching, this year she feels lucky enough to embark on a one-year teaching sabbatical, which has given her extra time for experimentation with other media such as using cyanotype process to make photograms that incorporate into collage and mixed media works. The artist shares some insights on her body of work in Domestic Brutes, the all women group show at the Pelham Art Center which engages the visitor with diverse approaches of what feminism means in American society today.
In her drawings, paintings, and installations North Carolina based artist Heather Gordon maps the poetry of life using mathematical elements like numbers and geometry to coax narratives from information related to data of place, time and physical properties. In her collaborative projects she has extended her practice to large scale site-specific installations based on elaborate research, often including sculptural, performance and movement elements which altogether result in multifaceted and thought provoking projects that prompt the visitor’s intellectual and visceral engagement. In this interview Heather Gordon sheds some light on her nine-foot-high site-specific mural on the large exterior window of the GreenHill gallery to be completed late September. Heather Gordon’s public art initiative isthe first of a group of works by the artist at GreenHill Center for North Carolina Art, as part of the Shift Happensart installation serieswhich aims to explore art engagement at a time of social distancing.
Soon after the Corona pandemic hit NYC, a resourceful and talented group of NY based artists came together to create an informal collective called artists-X-change (aXc) with the aim to alleviate the growing distress that both artists and art organizations have been facing. They were united by a sense of urgency — the severity of the situation coupled with the need to help others in their community.
For Taiwanese born artist, Fay Ku, the single, most formative event in life was immigrating to the United States. Ku says that if she had stayed in Taiwan, she would never have become an artist so she would have been a completely different person. It still surprises her how much this one event which she was too young to remember (though of course remembering all its aftershocks), shapes her work, often without her being consciously aware of the themes and issues at the time of making the work. Fay Ku shares some insights on her body of work in Domestic Brutes, the all women group show at the Pelham Art Center which engages the visitor with diverse approaches of what feminism means in American society today.
Jacqueline Shatz‘s ceramic based wall sculptures depict biomorphic forms, mostly referring to animals and humans as a single entity. An abstracted silhouette of an agile swimmer, a whimsical hybrid of horse and baby snake, a queen’s bent head fully covered by flowing hair spilling downward – each evokes a mystery associated with ancient civilizations, archetypes, and mythologies or what the artist describes as “states of being and permeable nature of time.” Jacqueline Shatz shares with Art Spiel some thoughts on her work and work process.
Will Hutnick is an artist, curator, co-director of Ortega Y Gasset Projects in Brooklyn from 2015 to 2020 and Director of Artistic Programming at the Wassaic Project upstate NY. In his paintings Will Hutnick is using rollers, and includes other mono-printing-like methods to create repetitive passages which form playful and unexpected relationships between shapes and colors. He shares with Art Spiel some of his work process, reflections on the ways his paintings have developed, and some of his other art related practices.