Birds, Bees, and Eco-Images at Rye Arts Center
23 Nov, 2012
By Joyce Newman, Environmental Reporter
Standing by her three etchings that depict bees, flocks of birds, and electric power lines in the industrial landscape, Connecticut-based artist Roxanne Faber Savage explained her spit bite lithography technique, in which spit dilutes the acid used to create her photo etchings. (Above is FLOW Bee, 2011, Photo etching with spit bite and paper lithography.)
Her works are part of a stunning new exhibition at the Rye Arts Center called “From Where I Stand,”(from 11/18/12- 1/5/13) presenting a wide variety of works by contemporary abstract artists, several of whom are inspired by environmental themes.
An oil-on-canvas painting by Kiki Dufault, called Ocean Spill #1, is the top favorite for nine-year-old Kayla who, along with her Dad, Mom, and sister, were among the packed crowd at the Center on Sunday afternoon Nov. 18th for the show’s opening. (Kayla takes piano and goes to summer camp at the Center too.)
Dufault noted that the painting was in part a reaction to the BP oil spill and its impact on the environment. “When Kayla picked my painting as her favorite it just made my day,” declared Dufault, whose relative Katharine Dufault, a Mamaroneck artist, also exhibited in the show and served as its curator.
“Katharine Dufault has assembled a terrific view into the abstract world as expressed by talented artists who live locally, in New York City and abroad, ” said the Center’s Executive Director Helen Gates, a Rye resident. Gates added that the show came about through the work of the Center’s Gallery Committee and their desire to bring fresh contemporary works to the Center. “We’re very fortunate to have this jewel of a show right here in Rye.”
Mamaroneck-based artist Henry Mandell spoke in detail about climate change and its influence on his exhibited work called “Sounding 5 A, created from global climate change statistics in html text.
“The title comes from the sounding balloons used to measure the character of the upper atmosphere, Mandell explained. “The painting is a message in a bottle, composed of harvested text from the web as HTML code and then the text itself is transformed into the painting. The HTML source text comes from multiple websites including: NOAA, The Climate Institute, EPA, and others.
In the show, perspectives on the environment are dramatically different; for example, Savage and Dufault are inspired by landscapes, while artist Lisa Pressman’s work in encaustics (a painting process using beeswax) is very physical, almost sculptural; her imagery seems Asian-influenced evoking time and change in nature.
Pressman writes: “My paintings are motivated by the images and experiences that signify evidence of time and change. Shadows on a wall, tar marks on the street, the colors of fallen leaves are just a few of the connections….”
The exhibit is underwritten by Julia B. Fee/Sotheby’s International Realty of Rye and Allan M. Block Agency of Tarrytown. Ed Schultz, President of the Allan Block agency — and avid art collector explains: “The agency and its principals are firmly committed to supporting the arts. It’s so important for people to be well-rounded, and for children especially, to have the opportunity to appreciate art and by extension, life itself.”
Besides the current exhibition, which continues to January 5, the Center is offering various workshops for adults, teens, and young children, in November and December.
Photos courtesy Rye Arts Center and Artists.