ROOTS: three-person show opens
Art Garage Launches Two Shows Saturday July 10:
Roots, a three-person show in the Main Gallery, features emerging artist Nora Ashwood, Roseboom / NYC, established artist Marc Pelletier, NYC / Cherry Valley area and the late self-taught farmer artist Lavern Kelley, Oneonta, arguably Otsego County’s most famous artist. Free admission. This show is parallel to Christina Hunt Wood: Reflections on Dissonance, that opens same time in Middle Bay. The exhibitions will continue through August 11, open Saturdays 11-3, and daily with a text or phone call (315-941-9607 and 607-547-5327). Selected images will be available on FBArtGarageCooperstown.
In Roots, Marc Pelletier presents two bodies of work: large and luscious abstract paintings, that radiate his lifelong obsession with a triad of concerns: painterly gesture, balance of composition and unity of form. Never formulaic, he especially delights in the element of surprise he seeks and encounters in art making. Having spent much of the pandemic cocooned Upstate, he also offers a few gems of representational landscape, painterly abstracted views from his house. He noted, “I want to make paintings that balance technique and the overall composition and retain a record of the painting’s creation in the final image.” Marc Pelletier was born in Lewiston, Maine, received his BFA from the University of Southern Maine and his MFA from Syracuse University. In 1979 he studied at Whitelands College, London, UK then spent a formative summer at the Skowhegan School of Art, where he was awarded the Marguerite Zorach Scholarship in Painting. Pelletier has participated in numerous shows in NYC and the Cooperstown area. He maintains a country studio in the Town of Roseboom. Mr. Pelletier will discuss his art in a free gallery talk on the last day of the show, Wednesday August 11 at 4PM. Reservations recommended.
The youngest artist in ROOTS, Nora Ashwood, is a third-year student at Cooper Union School of Art, NYC, where she studies sculpture, drawing, painting, and pedagogy. She is Administrative Chair and Student Representative on the Art Student Council and an Associate Editor and Columnist at the school’s newspaper The Pioneer. Ashwood’s work is currently on view in The Cooper Union’s annual End of Year Show and Serving the People’s BFA Show. In Roots, she weaves materials she finds in the garden and around her home into striking compositions. These small “’woven-drawings’ stem from a belief in process,” she noted, “a belief that in the act of making, a state of care and responsibility emerges with consequences in the real.” Her woven drawings “become a tool for understanding collective social interaction: a community.” She continued, “I approach each drawing with no preconception other than to be true to the materials and to trust my intuition,” she noted. “I try to become one with the inherent logic embedded…. Drawing three-dimensionally with organic matter and thrown away trash, the weavings become rooted to a site: “like a recording, the process and the product become one”. Ashwood will develop a site-specific piece at the Art Garage on Saturday July 17, from noon-2PM. Visitors will be able to observe her process of collecting materials from the environment and weaving them together to make a three-dimensional ‘drawing.’ Like all the works in both shows, the newly minted piece will be for sale.
Farmer artist Lavern Kelley is the best known of the three Roots artists. Fenimore Art Museum has collected an extensive body of his work – drawings, carved tableaux and trucks and composed photographs. The Smithsonian owns a complete one-room schoolhouse that he carved; his work is also at the Wellin Museum at Hamilton College and the Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe. Afficionados will be familiar with his detailed drawings of farm scenes created in the 1940s and early 50s after chores, and with his composed photographs. The Roots show features a selection of his trucks, carved and painted in the mid-20th century. Sydney Waller, Art Garage founder and director, will discuss Mr. Kelley on Saturday July 24 at 2PM. Free admission. The gallery will also offer his catalogue, Lavern Kelley: Farmer Artist, that documents his remarkable artistic output and features excerpts from his compelling essays. For further information please contact the Art Garage at firstname.lastname@example.org.