Mary Cheung, Head Illustrator
This past Saturday, the 22 of October, the Upper Catskill Community Council of the Arts (UCCCA) held a closing reception with musical accompaniment by three musicians of the SUNY Oneonta Jazz Octet. This current exhibition, having featured three artists since its opening on October 5, is located at the Wilber Mansion on 11 Ford Avenue.
One of the artists featured is Carol Ann Henderson. She is a well-established artist whose career started in advertising and who continued publishing works throughout the 1990s. One day, a
friend stated that her published works could turn into fine art if Henderson made the pieces at a larger scale and framed them.
The large painting of 6-feet 8 inches by 8-feet that hangs at the UCCCA gallery is called “Exuberance.” It bears a resemblance to Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers,” but is elegantly painted with a warm and powerful purple background. Though Henderson’s use of acrylic is fine and detailed, her signature resides in watercolor. Water allows the artist the ability to let the medium flow, forming rich and beautiful blends of hues. At UCCCA, she exhibited works that encompassed a theme of the heart in acrylic and watercolor. An 8-inch by 10-inch framed watercolor called “Full on Double Rainbow” has two hearts touching side by side, brushed with a gradient of the rainbow from red at the top of the curves to greens and blues meeting at the tip of the heart. Other works depict converging lines and isolated colors, forming abstract shapes for the imagination to churn into symbols.
Marie Cummings, another artist showcasing pieces at this exhibit, had work featuring collages with images of the Eiffel Tower, filmstrips and clocks. Other works were on canvas presented in the form of Abstract Expressionism. For the “Four Seasons” series, Cummings used only washes of the primary colors to mix on the canvas to convey their respective season. Different drizzles of black and white paint gives each panel of wash a direction.
Oneonta’s Mayor, Dick Miller favored the painting “Dream” by Marie Cummings. The 12-inch squared mixed media favorite had textured hues of red with a splash of mustard orange. To Miller, it reminded him of autumn, when the leaves change color. The vibrancy of the season was well-replicated to represent the warmth of an adoring season.
Wendy Stanton, the third artist to have exhibited works, shares Cummings’s love for nature. She mostly displayed acrylic paintings of solid washes for simplified trees. Symmetrical and brown lines represented the trunk and the branches. Many of her works showed the tamed colors and objects of simple imagination, like that of Jean Michel Basquiat had he lived in country surroundings.
This art exhibit is the last of the Fabulous First Friday series held during the summer in Oneonta. Curator Raina Damicl picked the artists in the beginning of the 2011 year. When the time came to move exhibits in, she walked through the gallery space with the artists, collaborating with each to reach a decision of where each piece would hang. “They have a thought process and I’d like to include them in it,” Damicl says. She also wanted to end this season with bold colors.
This exhibition was arranged through Oneonta Arts Task Force’s link with Main Street Oneonta and curator Damicl. The organization sprung from the mayor’s art forum that put members of the Oneonta Arts Task Force in charge of collaborating with residents through their interest in building partnerships and enriching the economy by supporting the arts. Members of the Task Force Diana Kang and Kellie Place mentioned that Oneonta is a good place to do this. Because this was the first week of Destination Weekend in Oneonta, this event was especially important to travelers looking for something to do and see in the area of the Oneonta Theater, who had booked Arlo Guthrie and Blue Öyster Cult that weekend.
This is the last week the exhibit will be up. Generally, UCCCA will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays; however, it is recommended that you call ahead at (607) 432-2070 to make sure. Don’t miss the opportunity to see what Oneonta residents have done in support of the arts.