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Albany Center Gallery (ACG) presents Bloom, featuring the work of regional artists, Martha Bone, Berly Brown, Laura Colomb, Katie DeGroot, Cathy Durso, Loren Eiferman, Kyra Garrigue, Gail Giles, Ali Herrmann, Jennifer Hunold, Margaret Jacobs, Monica Miller Link, Steve Rossi, Renee Samuels, Claire Sherwood, Lawre Stone, Joy Taylor, McKinzie Trotta, Eleanor White, and Mimi Young. The exhibition runs from February 13 to March 15, 2024. An Artists’ Reception is being held on Friday, February 16, 2024, from 5 - 8 p.m. Bloom is free and open to the public; Tuesday – Saturday, Noon – 5 p.m.
In design there is the practice of biomimicry, where designers create work that is inspired by the natural world. The artists in Bloom work with this principle of biomimicry not to directly copy nature representatively, but by using it as a resource to tackle formal, personal, emotional, and conceptual issues. Whether this is through direct or in-direct observation, the artists in this exhibition create their visual language with an awareness of the natural world and in some cases humans' relationship to it. This exhibition serves as a moment of reflection on the impact of the use, abundant potential, and fragility of the environment.
Photos of the exhibition coming soon!
Martha Bone’s art encompasses drawing, painting, and sculpture. Inspired by modern dance, her focus has always been the human body. In her process-based work, she takes a scalpel to her dreams, her fears, and her insecurities, dissecting them the best way she knows, through her art. Her work is biomorphic, and references the primitive, the mythic, the imagined, and the feared. She legally changed her name to Bone to reference the skeletal material that holds us together. Her art is an inward journey, an ongoing exploration into the unknown and unknowable, images that lurk in the dark corners of the collective unconscious. Her awards include a Drawing Center Viewing Program Fellowship, a NYFA MARK, a residency at VCCA, solo shows at Bard at Simons Rock, Garrison Art Center. Her work has been shown in galleries throughout the Hudson Valley, and reviewed in Hyperallergic, In Their Studios: Conversations with Women Artists, Art Spiel, The Berkshire Edge. She has a BFA from Syracuse University and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She’s a world traveler, currently living and working in Columbia County, New York.
Longing for deeper connection with physical and fleeting phenomena in our natural environment, I examine how paint can describe multisensory stimuli. My work emerges from the impression that objects, flora, fauna, and even ideas, feelings, and places have metaphysical essences, wills of their own, and communicate with us through everyday encounters. I use multiple layers of paint material ranging from liquid veils of gloss polymer to thick sculptural application of oil and acrylic paint, dry fillers, and glass beads. The glass beads animate the compositional elements and reflect light; the degree in which they do depends on the direction, source, amount of light available and the viewer’s physical proximity to the work. Bio Working primarily in painting and mixed media, Berly Brown explores her relationship with the ineffable. Brown has shown her work at Collar Works, Troy, NY; The Dairy Center for the Arts, Boulder, CO; Ely Center of Contemporary Art, New Haven, CT; the Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, NY; LABspace, Hillsdale, NY; The Rochester Contemporary Art Center, Rochester, NY; and Tugboat Gallery, Lincoln, NE. She earned her BFA from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and her MFA from the State University of New York at Albany. Brown lives and works in Troy, NY.
Laura Colomb is a painter who currently lives and works in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from Boston University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the College of Saint Rose. Her work has been exhibited internationally, and she holds various awards including an Art Ventures grant from the Community Foundation of Northeast Florida, the Starr Fellowship from the Royal Academy of the Arts in London,UK, Best Emerging Regional Curator award from Metroland Magazine, Constantin Alajalov Scholarship and Academic scholarship from Boston University, as well as the Artist's Award, Visual Arts scholarship and Academic Scholarship from the College of Saint Rose. Colomb has taught at the University of North Florida, Boston University, the College of Saint Rose and SUNY Adirondack. She has been a guest critic/speaker for the Camberwell College of Art in London, UK, The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY and the Upper Hudson Valley Watercolor Society in Queensbury, NY. She has curated and organized exhibitions for various galleries including Saratoga Arts in Saratoga Springs, NY and North Main Gallery in Salem, NY.
When we think of a tree we usually conjure up an image of a perfectly pruned tree, balanced and symmetrical. In nature those rarely exist. Trees are individuals. Trees grow to survive, adapting to their given environment, growing into strange shapes, producing oddly shaped limbs, becoming contortionists to get to sunlight, and bowing to the will of other larger neighboring trees. They grow in context to each other and in relationships with their neighbors, adapting as best they can to the situation they find themselves in. In many ways they are similar to us, part of a larger community, whose varied geography and specific environments challenge and form us as individuals. I first began painting fallen branches and limbs found on the ground, while out walking, responding to their interesting shapes and to the wonderful natural decoration that adorned them. Soon I was collecting branches and even large trunks, festooned by colorful lichens, moss and an incredible variety of mushrooms and bringing them back to my studio. At first working with only individual branches, (I consider them my “muses”) I created singular portraits. Soon however I started arranging the muses to interact between themselves, responding to something specific in the gesture or attitude of the actual real object. Their gestures and demeanor suggested social situations and interactions that have reminded me of Cocktail Parties, processions in Greek and Roman friezes and with the newer images, the night club activity of Voguing which was the fabulous activity of posing and dancing during the darkness of the AIDS epidemic. Thinking about the wonderful film House On Fire I realized that my beautifully patterned and decorated colorful muses could certainly be posing at a club. They are Resplendent. While I uses the branches as an observational starting point, I respond within the language of contemporary painting, I am certainly not trying to realistically represent branches as natural objects. While I use watercolors, I am not a “watercolorist”, I am a painter.
Cathy Durso is a visual artist based in Springfield, Massachusetts. She grew up in northwestern Connecticut and has also lived in the Boston area and in Minneapolis, MN. She received her BFA from the Art Institute of Boston. Her paintings, drawings, and artist's books have been exhibited throughout the US. She is a 2020 recipient of an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications and her artist's books can be found in the Special Collections of libraries across the country.
We have all at one point or another picked up a stick from the ground—touched the wood, peeled the bark off with our fingernails. Loren Eiferman’s work taps into that same primal desire of touching nature and being close to it. Eiferman’s sculptures appear as if they were born from nature itself; however, they are actually crafted from hundreds of small pieces of wood that have been meticulously joined together. Eiferman calls her work the ultimate recycling where she takes the detritus of nature and turns it into art. The botanical wood sculptures that are being exhibited are inspired from two different sources. The smaller sculpture “28r” is based off of an illustration found on page 28r in the mysterious 15th century Voynich Manuscript. The larger wall sculpture “Albutilon” is based off of a black and white photograph from the early twentieth century photographer Karl Blossfeldt. Eiferman was born in Brooklyn, NY and currently lives and works in the Hudson Valley. She received her BFA from SUNY Purchase. Her work has been exhibited extensively at museums and galleries throughout the NY Tri-State region and is included in many private and corporate collections. This past summer she had a solo exhibit at The Ivy Brown Gallery in NYC. She currently is in a two-person exhibition at BAU in Beacon, NY. In 2014 she completed a steel railing commission from the NYC MTA.
Kyra Garrigue is a native of the Adirondacks who grew up immersed in nature. Since her first camera in elementary school, she has been interested in using photography to capture the beauty and mystery of the organic world. She is also deeply influenced by music and interested in how to transfer the lyrical nature of sound into a still image. Ms. Garrigue studied music at The University of North Carolina School of the Arts and she received a BFA in photography at The School of Visual Arts in New York city. In addition, she has an MFA in Electronic Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. Ms. Garrigue has had exhibitions of her work through the United States and Europe. In the Capital District, her work can often be found selected in the Hudson-Mohawk regional exhibition, and in local galleries. Her photography and video work have been selected for festivals/exhibitions such as: The New York Video Festival at Lincoln Center, NYC; The International Media Art Festival, The Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art; CITYZOOMS at The Uebersee Museum, Germany; Photophobia, The Art Gallery of Hamilton, Canada; and Pulse, The Bass Museum of Art, FL. Currently, Ms. Garrigue resides in the Capital District area and is an Assistant Professor of Digital Media at Hudson Valley Community College.
I’m interested in pathways, in reflections, in edges. In the spaces between - earth and water, sky and horizon, vapors and the distant ozone. In the mystery of what happens just outside the frame of the picture. I’m interested in light - across fields, reflected in water, filtered through the mist, constantly changing, and especially the light at the end of the day. I work in oils, pastel and charcoal and in recent years, photography.
I grew up on Long Island, where the South Shore’s broad ocean horizon was etched deeply into my psyche. I studied art at SUNY Buffalo and the Art Students League as well as in Siena Italy. I have lived, worked and exhibited in the Hudson Valley/Berkshire Hills for the past 50 years, and have drawn inspiration from the New England coastline, from Florida’s Gulf coast and the Georgia Sea Islands, from the Southwest American Desert lands, and from travels in Italy, France and England.
In my years in the Hudson Valley I have walked across the span of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge countless times, always with camera and sketchbook in hand. It’s a spectacular experience in all seasons, at all times of day, in all tides and weather. The photographs in 'BLOOM', entitled RIVER ICE I and II, are from an ongoing 'Roger's Island Suite’ taken from the narrow walkway suspended high on the bridge. Relatively untouched by ‘development’, the river edges tell the story of the centuries of the meeting of land and water, of the depositing and sweeping away of the detritus of time and tides and the flotsam transported down from the Adirondack source.
These photographs celebrate the always challenging paradoxes: the long river views and the closeup shoreline, the ever changing rush of the river tides, the upstream and the downstream, the edge where the stillness of the land meets the constant pulse of the water rushing toward the sea, a frozen testimony to the rhythms of change.
Ali Herrmann is a mixed media painter based in Troy, NY. Raised in the bucolic Berkshires of rural Massachusetts, Herrmann developed an early interest in the raw beauty of the natural landscape, the ever-changing seasons, and the rich flora and fauna of the region. A lover of organic and biological sciences, her work explores cellular structures as the origin for her abstract paintings. Creating what she terms ‘micro-biome landscapes,’ Herrmann engages with the natural world as the inspiration for the color combinations and repetitive patterns in her paintings, collage works, and original books, while simultaneously exploring concepts of bacterial and unicellular structures in her art. Throughout her nearly 30-year career as an artist, Herrmann has been awarded multiple grants including the Statewide Community Regrant from the New York State Council for the Arts (2023, 2022); the A.R.T. Fund Grant (2020); the Martha Boschen Porter Fund Grant from the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, MA (2019, 2014); and a Massachusetts Cultural Council grant (2017). She has exhibited widely including Ford Studios, VA; The Arts Center of the Capital Region, NY; Albany Center Gallery, NY; Laffer Gallery, NY, Emerge Gallery, NY; and The Berkshire Museum, MA. Her work is in the permanent collections of RCA Screen Gems Productions, NY; Sony Pictures Entertainment, NY; Red Lion Inn, MA; as well as several private collections. Artist residencies include the Millay Colony, NY (2020); Main Street Arts, NY (2017); and the Vermont Studio School, VT (2007).
I’ve walked the same wild environments for a decade; a system with countless individual life forces. Big sky, hulking mountains, jutting rock, expansive water, fungal flushes, forest arches, crawling stonecrop. Whether my face is right in it or I’m miles away, my eyes seek out the patterns, striations, and rhythms there. Using memory and source photos, I center on one component: the tree canopy through seasons; individual plants; color and viscosity shifts in water, land, and sky in the winter; material accumulation over the centuries. Part observation, part imagination, the composition is architected around that focus. The initial form in each image establishes the rules that dictate how the composition takes shape. Progressions, perspective, countless small marks, repetition, color, and pattern express the energy in each individual element, building a vibrating ecosystem within the scene. I imagine what unseen energy pulses inside each discrete element. How do they function in reaction to external stimuli? What would the flow, growth pattern, reflection, and climate look like when free from their biological and physical paradigms? Jennifer Hunold earned her MFA from University at Albany (SUNY) and BFA from the University of Iowa, and has shown her work across the U.S. Living in upstate New York since 2006, the former Iowan draws inspiration from the region’s rocky and lush environment, its historic residential and industrial architecture, and its vibrant urban communities. In addition to making her work, Jennifer works in marketing and advertising.
Margaret Jacobs, Akwesasne Mohawk, is an artist, educator and independent curator. A metalsmith who creates fabricated steel sculpture and powdercoated jewelry, her work explores the natural world and man-made materials while embracing and intermingling technology processes with materials more frequently associated with Indigenous work such as antler, shell and horn. Jacobs is a 2018 awardee from the Rebecca Blunk Fund through New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), a 2019 recipient of the Artist in Business Leadership Award through the First Peoples Fund, and a 2022 United States Artist Fellowship Nominee. She has participated in several artist residencies including at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Sante Fe, NM, Franconia Sculpture Park in Shafer, MN and the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT where she received a Native American Fellowship through the Harpo Foundation. She has shown her work internationally including shows at the Boise Art Museum in Idaho; the Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, MA and 516 arts in Albuquerque, NM. Her work has been featured in print and online press including at mic.com in the article 11 Native American Artists Whose Work Redefines What it Means to be American and the Art New England feature, 10 Emerging New England Artists. Jacobs attended Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH where she graduated with high honors for her thesis work and received the Perspectives on Design (POD) award.
Monica Miller Link arrived in Upstate New York in 1976. She showed at the Mountain Top, Catskill, Hamm-Brickman, and Rice galleries. She was director of the Harmanus Bleecker Center of the Albany Institute of History and Art, and produced exhibits for the Readings Against the End of the World. More recently, she performed with Firlefanz Puppet Theatre and showed at Firlefanz, Joyce Goldstein and Thompson Giroux galleries. The two-foot square is a most empty space. In it I explore what happens with shapes and colors as day moves against night, and together they travel the seasons. My studio is in the woods, alongside a brook. My subject is this land while the laws of nature still hold. Pattern builds leaf upon stem, and then spins a new story to the ground or slips away as missive on the water. The gist of the banter is something about the sacred and the mundane. I don’t yet understand and so I open a new space to reenter, get lost in the woods, and find my way through again.
Born into a family of makers, Steve Rossi developed an intense appreciation and respect for artistic craft and physical labor through growing up around family members making quilts, knitting blankets, repairing houses, and arranging flowers. He received his BFA from Pratt Institute and his MFA from the State University of New York at New Paltz. His work has been exhibited at the Francis M. Maguire Museum Art Museum, the John Michael Kohler Art Center, the Jules Collins Smith Museum of Fine Arts, the Wassaic Project, and the public art festival Art in Odd Places among many others. He has participated in artist residencies with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Vermont Studio Center, and was awarded the Sustainable Arts Foundation fellowship at Gallery Aferro. As a part-time faculty member, he has taught in the First Year Program at Parsons School of Design, the Sculpture Program and Art Education Department at the State University of New York at New Paltz, and in the Art Department at Westchester Community College. He is currently an Assistant Professor and Sculpture Program Head at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.
In each of these collages a photographic image sits in relation to an abstracted work, a poetic, simplified translation of the photo, something a person with no knowledge of abstract art could recognize as being based on the photo. Understanding a bit about abstract art may open a new way of looking at the world for those who knew nothing about abstraction. All my works are based in abstraction, even those that appear to be figurative. New works and old can be seen at my website:
Claire Sherwood received her M.F.A. from University of Maryland as a David C Driskell fellowship recipient in 2003. Her work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States in venues such as the U.S. Smithsonian National Botanic Garden, the Corcoran Museum of Art, Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Grounds for Sculpture, as well as many galleries, museums and colleges across the country. Sherwood has been awarded residency fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, the Elizabeth Murray Residency, and Artist in Residence award for SUNY Jamestown Community College and the Walk away house in North Adams, MA. She is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, a few of which include, New York State Council on the Arts, Ohio River Border Initiative Grant and several research grants from Marshall University, University of Maryland and the State University of New York at Jamestown. She currently resides in upstate New York where she creates in her home studio and teaches art at Robert C. Parker School; an independent progressive day school. Using a wide array of non-traditional sculptural building supplies, Sherwood casts, carves, slathers and pushes her materials into a new state of being. Drawing inspiration not only from the biological and physical world around her, but from the embedded history of the different materials themselves, Sherwood's diverse and unique approach to art making has resulted in collections that are sculptures, wall hanging panels, photographs, and installations. Despite the complex variety of techniques employed in the studio, each body of work dovetails to the next through careful examination of surface textures, transformation of materials, and Sherwood’s examination of the domestic and industrial landscape in America.
Lawre Stone is a visual artist based near Hudson, New York who makes paintings, works on paper and textile works that combine natural imagery and the language of abstraction to explore relationships between interior worlds and outer experience. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at White Columns, New York, P.S. 1 The Institute for Contemporary Art, New York, LABSpace, Hillsdale, New York, Thompson Giroux Gallery, Chatham, New York, Furnace Art on Paper, Falls Village, Connecticut and Silvermine Galleries, New Canaan, CT among others. Stone’s one-person exhibitions, Poem For A Bird, at Tanja Grunert Gallery, Hudson, New York and Listening For Your Breathing In The Middle Of The Night at Joyce Goldstein Gallery, Chatham, New York were accompanied by a catalog with an essay by Sara Farrell Okamura. 2022 exhibitions include: an installation at Window On Hudson, sponsored by The Hudson Eye and The Cipher, a one-person drawing exhibition at Tanja Grunert Gallery. In 2023 exhibitions include: NADA Foreland, presented by Tanja Grunert Gallery, The 73rd A-ONE Exhibition, Silvermine Galleries curated by Madeline Cornell and Fresh Paint, for Create Magazine, curated by Margaret Winslow. In 2024, her installation, The Silvery Water And The Starry Earth will be presented in We Are The River, curated by Ryann Casey and Allie Wilson at the Stockton University Art Gallery, Galloway, NJ. Lawre Stone holds a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from The Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. In addition to her artistic practice, she is the Associate Director of Bard MFA and serves on the Board of Directors of Millay Arts.
Joy Taylor lives and works in the rural Hudson Valley, where Nature is a constant source of inspiration. Her work has been commissioned by the MTA Arts for Transit Program for several public transit stations. She is the recipient of a Pollock/Krasner Foundation grant, and is a NYFA Painting Fellow. Still life paintings aim to make Nature domestic, removing bits of it from outdoors to inside, so we can observe it closely and ponder the meaning of its process of change – and our own. Zooming into the deep center of my compositions, I create shapes in transformation: foreshortened leaves become flat saucers, stems thin lines morphing into fat shapes, reflections an abyss of receding space. They writhe, contort, sag, and subvert the very space they inhabit. They bridge the gap between reality and abstraction.
McKinzie Trotta grew up outside of Cleveland, Ohio in a midwest landscape scattered with tree lawns and open space. Through printmaking, drawing, and sculpture her work continues to be influenced by the convergence of the “man-made” and “god-given” material structures that support the ways we live. She earned an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design (2020) and a BFA from Kent State University (2017).
In these current works on paper I'm finding enjoyment in the tactile, textured, granulated, fibrous, powdery, glassy, chunky and sharp quality of crushed stones, bonded copper, flower pollen, wood ash, dog hair, shed snakeskins, feathers, sand and porcupine quills. Somewhere between painting, sculpture and collage this amalgamation of mixed, layered and composed matter references patterns in textiles, platonic geometry, and the elements in nature. The materials I use posses unique challenges in how I will use it, the more unusual the material the better to stimulate my interest into problem solving around it. That process is a most engaging part of the work and it relates to my background in sculpture. Many of the works use casting, inlay, collage, and stenciling on a painted patterned background that functions as an ether-like space. Eleanor White is based in the Hudson Valley, NY. Her work has been included in exhibitions such as; Prima Materia: The Periodic Table in Contemporary Art, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, CT; Mountain High, Valley Low: LabSpace, NY; Artists Draw Their Studios, Hewitt Gallery of Art, Marymount Manhattan College, NY; Another World, charity postcard sale, Frieze London; Cross-Pollination, Boscobel House Gallery NY; Tick, Tock, Time in Contemporary Art, Lehman College; Case Studies, Gallery Aferro, NJ; Materiality, Westchester Community College, NY; and Multiple exhibitions at Kenise Barnes Fine Art, Kent. CT. She received her M.F.A. from the Maryland Institute, College of Art, Baltimore, MD on a full scholarship from the Jacob K. Javits Foundation. She earned her BFA. from Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond VA. She has participated in a number of residencies including the Bemis Center in Omaha Nebraska and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Sweet Briar Virginia. Her work is included in the Montefiore Fine Art Program, The Deutsche Bank Art Collection and many private collections.
“AT 6AM, I am standing on the edge of the woods, the light quality is quickly shifting through the fallen branches. My
dog is but a shadow moving silently in the distance.” Mimi Young’s work has always been about mark making, ranging from gestural, calligraphic lines to organic sinewy shapes. She references aspects of her immediate surroundings, mostly distressed and disturbed rural settings as well as domestic situations. “I am excited by what I can’t see, what is hidden in plain sight and the realization that what is not there is just as important as what is. These disparate elements forming incidental relationships and the patina that emerges creates a unique history.” While working, she is thinking of a story; a story of the images she is creating, the space where they sit and their scale and relationship to each other. She implies a narrative rather than force one. Some work is the full story while others are CliffsNotes or short stories. “Although my paintings are based in abstraction, the shapes I uncover contain aspects of the source material. Some things I reference are branches, vessels, animals, and furniture; to name a few.” The need to get the relationship of forms to resonate, leads to the battle of building up and destruction of an image. The surface is thus charged with her missteps and afterthoughts creating a texture that reveals the paintings’ past. Cause and effect play a large part of where the pieces go. She makes a plan and then lets the relationship of the shapes and marks spawn something new. A lot of these marks, patterns, and shapes are repeated from one work to the next. She is very aware of the edges of the paintings, either avoiding them completely, pushing outside the picture frame literally or has the edge interrupt a shape midstride. Mimi uses a variety of materials including but not limited to graphite, charcoal, and acrylic paint. She also uses painted paper collage which delivers an intriguing sharp edge flatness to the otherwise more organic surface.
The exhibition is made possible by ACG Premier Sponsor Kevin Dubner, Partner & Wealth Manager at Steward Partners Global Advisory, LLC. Additional support is provided by William Harris, Esq & Holly Katz and the New York Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and New York State Legislature.