TimeBy apointment, text/call 315-941-9607, other than on Sat. Dec. 24, 11am-1pm.
Kelley’s Carved Convoy on View Through Jan. 31
Kelley’s Convoy of Carved Vehicles ‘Trucks on’ into the New Year through Jan 31
The Art Garage will host a wall-to-wall exhibition and sale of carved painted trucks by preeminent Otsego County artist, Lavern Kelley. Following mid-month Opening Reception & Open House, the show will be on view Saturday December 24, 11-1, for last-minute, pre-Christmas visitors.
Please note that The Art Garage will also open by appointment seven days a week through January 31 with a text or call, 315-941-9607.
In addition to more than three dozen trucks carved from the 1950s to the 1990s, the gallery also offers several iconic cars, red Corvette and a Bel Air convertible, a small replica of a 1901 John Deere wood beam plow, handsome notecards, that feature Kelley’s agrarian drawings and a selection of Kelley’s striking photographs of some of the carvings, composed to appear life-size in the photos.
Hanging from a seasonal bough are remarkable miniature paintings on wooden keychains presented as one-of-a-kind ornaments by Kenyan artists. Proceeds from their sale will benefit the Mukuru Art Collective, Nairobi, Kenya.
Marcie Schwartzman is the featured local artist, with a smattering of blue and white vessels and a matching white teapot complete with customized tea cozy in the windowsill gallery and clay star ornaments streaming golden threads on the pine bough.
Also on reserve: a glowing, atypically-horizontal Tracy Helgeson landscape.
The Art Garage is located at 689 Beaver Meadow Road, Cooperstown, NY 13327.Images and more information can be found on Instagram or Facebook at ArtGarageCooperstown. For more info contact email@example.com, or call/text: 315-941-9607.
MORE ABOUT THE ARTIST(S)
Over his lifetime Lavern Kelley (1928-1998) carved hundreds of trucks and a smaller number of tractors, creatures and figures. Most sold as he made them, usually to pay the taxes on his family farm. Those sold to the late collector, John Henry Eriksen, Stamford, were kept in a glass cabinet: their condition is impeccable, noted gallery director, Sydney Waller. Most of the others have the expected patina of objects stored in a shed on the farm back in the day. He started carving as a boy to make toys for himself and his brother so they could “play farm.” The Art Garage represents his estate. Kelley lived and worked in Otsego County on the family farm at Kelley Corners. He began carving at age seven when, hospitalized for appendicitis, “a British lady” visiting the pediatric wing over the holidays gave him a pocketknife, his lifelong tool of choice. His father did not approve of his art making as they had a farm to run. Initially created as crude toys for his brother Roger and Lavern, the carvings grew to become so technically accomplished that by 1998 they seemed exact metal replicas. His work generally reflects the mid-20th century, a pantheon of now-seen-as-gas-guzzling, American-made trucks. Mr. Kelley also made two-sided drawings on long winter nights when chores were done, through the early 1950s. Representational works on paper from the late 1940s will be on display. In the mid-1950s he began to photograph his finished work in carefully staged photographs composed outdoors and that made the trucks look ‘real’. Selected examples will also be on display. During the last 12 years of his life, Kelley became something of a sensation in the folk-art world. The New York State Council on the Arts recognized him as a Master Folk Artist, the first in the state. He spoke and gave demonstrations locally as well as in New York (New York-Historical Society) and Santa Fe. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Art and Auction and Kaatskill Life, as well as in traveling exhibitions including the SITES show, Diamonds Are Forever. Many private and public collections own works by Lavern Kelley, including The Smithsonian, The Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe and locally, Fenimore Art Museum, The Farmers Museum, The Wellen Museum of Art at Hamilton College and the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum.
The MUKURU ART COLLECTIVE outside Nairobi, Kenya, in the informal settlement of Mukuru was founded by Kenyan Adam Masava, whose success in the art world is matched by his desire to help other aspiring artists develop and succeed. To this end he has founded the art club: proceeds will help him buy art supplies for the program. Masava has twice exhibited at the Art Garage, mostly recently in the spring of 2022, when he also served as community-artist-in-residence for the region.
MARCIE SCHWARTZMAN is a fiber and clay artist living and working in Cooperstown, NY. While attending Johns Hopkins University in the School of Engineering, she studied ceramics at a community center whose teachers became co-founders of the well-respected Baltimore Clayworks. A move to Richmond, VA took her to graduate study in Industrial Engineering, and clay classes at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. After career and child-rearing, she returned to clay in the 1990’s and in 2003 was apprenticed to Sara Baker of Bloomsburg, PA. There, she honed her skills and developed her fascination with ceramic glazes. A lifelong home sewer, she began to meld the two art forms into the work she is doing today. ###