FOCUS: Gaia 2019

Filed in Exhibitions, Past Exhibitions by on January 1, 2019

In the Press

March 9 – 31, 2019

GALLERY TALK with juror Amy Cheng, Friday, March 8, 5 PM
RECEPTION  Saturday, March 16, 4-6 PM


JUROR: Amy Cheng, Professor of Art, SUNY New Paltz


William Durkin, Gail Giles, Judy Glasel, John Hampshire, Sergey Jivetin, Cynthia McCusker, Lowell Miller, Tracy Phillips, Thomas Sarrantonio, Susan Togut

In Greek mythology, Gaia is the personification of the Earth and the ancestral mother of all life. Today, we are acutely aware that Mother Earth is threatened by global warming and other destructive factors resulting from human activity. The works on view in FOCUS: Gaia 2019 relate to the creative forces of Nature from poetic, socio-political, aesthetic, scientific, and spiritual perspectives. 

Juror, Amy Cheng, a noted painter and professor of art at SUNY New Paltz, selected works that range from Sergey Jivetin’s tiny etchings on seed pods to Lowell Miller’s monumental biomorphic sculptures. Thomas Sarrantonio’s representational seascapes, have formalist abstract underpinnings that subtly evoke the unseeable, while Cynthia McCusker’s lyrical narratives overtly embody the mystery of a spiritual quest. The beautiful colors and semi-cartoon forms of Tracy Phillips’ paintings convey a tragicomic view of our environmental plight. Photographs by Gail Giles and by Judy Glasel transmit a macro view of Mother Earth’s beauty and summon-up the reality of what we are in danger of loosing. Susan Togut’s male and female busts composed of wood and bark over a core of materials used in cancer treatments summon-up both ancestral guardians and the dire personal consequences of poisoning our planet. Combining representation and abstraction, John Hampshire’s large rule-based drawings are embodiments of humanity’s imprint on all that we see while William Durkin’s spectacular Koi sculptures capture a strong sense of natural beauty in celebration of an historic act of human humility, repentance, and reconciliation.

Introduced in 2017, each of the WAAM’s FOCUS shows features the work of ten artists in a theme-based exhibition. A different independent juror makes the selections of artists and specific works for each show. Each artist selected is represented by multiple examples of their work relating to the show’s theme. 

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