“INTERCONNECTED RIVER WITHOUT BEGINNING OR END”
Gallery exhibits works from seven regional artists who explore the Hudson River and beyond
Albany Center Gallery’s upcoming River exhibit features Jane Bloodgood-Abrams, C. Ryder Cooley, Kristen DeFontes, Tom Nelson, Jan-Marie Spanard, Deborah Webster and John Whipple opens June 17 and runs until July 28. The opening reception will be held on July 4 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday Noon to 5 p.m. The gallery is located at 39 Columbia Street in downtown Albany.
All forms of life are interconnected in a life cycle without beginning or end. No other force of nature illustrates this truth better than the River. The artists in this exhibit use a variety of mediums such as painting, photography, installation, and performance; many find inspiration from the Hudson River.
Jane Bloodgood-Abrams is inspired and deeply connected to landscape of the Hudson River Valley and its artistic heritage. Her multilayered oil paintings capture profound timeless moments. “ While caught in these fleeting moments, stopped along a road at sunset or standing on a bluff above the river, I feel infused by that moment, allowing it to soak in as much as possible, and then later, after some tempering and distillation through my own psyche, I use that memory to create an image. Bloodgood-Abrams is an elected member of the National Association of Women Artists, she received her M.F.A. from SUNY New Paltz and her Bachelor Studio Arts from The College of St. Rose.
C. Ryder Cooley is a multi-media artist, musician and performer. Weaving together chimeric images with found props and forgotten objects, she creates cinematic performances and installation spaces. Most recently, Ryder has been working with artist Todd Chandler on a series of songs and collaborations called Fall Harbor. Dedicated to presenting work in unique and site specific settings, Ryder has participated in a wide range of public works, educational projects and international shows. Awarded Best Performance Artist of the NY Capital District in 2006 & 2007, selected exhibitions have included: White Box and Exit Art in NYC, Theater Artaud in San Francisco, Contemporary Artist Center in N. Adams MA, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, public art projects in Indonesia, El Salvador, France and the Czech Republic. From 1993-2004 C. Ryder Cooley was an active member of the San Francisco art and music communities. She received a BFA in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1993, an MA in Combined Media from SUNY Albany in 2006 and an MFA in Integrated Electronic Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic in 2008.
Kristen DeFontes’ prints and collages developed during a train trip from Albany to Manhattan in December of 2007. Through the train window, she took inventory of objects and wildlife that interacted with the Hudson River’s natural landscape. Minimal landscapes capturing the sheer essence of the seasonal color changes were the result. “As I was viewing the river from an already interrupted glance through the train window, I began to make correlations between manmade obstructions within the landscape. Structures like bridges, smokestacks and relics of past industry, became part of my consciousness, and I felt the need to juxtapose them with naturally occurring elements”. Kristen DeFontes currently lives in Altamont, NY. She received her B.F.A. from Purchase College, NY.
Tom Nelson has curated numerous Hudson River painting exhibitions for more than a decade such as The Hudson River Artists and the Catskill Mountains, permanent exhibition at the Mountaintop Historical Society, Haines Falls, NY, 2006; Three Hundred Years of Landscape Painting: Selections from the Collection, Albany Institute of History & Art, Summer 1999; Paradise Lost, Contemporary Landscape Art, Dietal Gallery, Emma Willard School, Troy, NY 1997; The Realism Show, TED Gallery, 1989; The Drawings of John Butler Yeats, Albany Institute, 1986 and Leonard Baskin, AIHA, 1986. Nelson’s passion for the Hudson River School not only extends to his curatorial projects, but also to his own painting of the Hudson River landscape. For thirty years, Nelson has been exhibiting his realist paintings of the Hudson River in gallery’s such as BRIK Gallery, Catskill, NY, Coffey Gallery, Kingston, NY, Gerald Peters Gallery, New York, NY, Union College, Nott Memorial, and The Albany Institute of History & Art, to name just a few. Nelson holds a B.F.A. in painting with departmental honors, from the State University of New York, College at New Paltz.
Known for the photoreal Trompe L’oeil public art paintings commissioned by The City of Albany along the Hudson River Way pedestrian bridge, Jan-Marie Spanard’s personal art making differs in scale and scope. Spanard is the principal artist of AlbanyMural Ltd. located in Albany, New York. AlbanyMural Ltd. is an organization of highly skilled figurative painters who create public artworks, restore historic paintings, and participate in community creative programs. After considerable research, Spanard and her team designed thirty trompe l’oeil still lifes depicting the passage of time in Albany. Spanard’s personal work differs from her public works, and she works in the solitude of the Adirondacks. “In the studio I think about abstract trompe l’oeil painting as a form of communication, as a language. A language that expresses thoughts and feelings that we don’t really know how to communicate through written or verbal language. Abstract trompe l’oeil for me works as the intuitive language of visual perception. It’s actually a meta-language — a visual expression or language about something that happens inside us when we come face to face with time, or beauty, or natural events”.
Deborah Webster works as an art educator at Sayles School of Fine Arts at Schenectady High School. Her work embodies the unique patterns of thought and energy systems we create in relationships with one another. The last two decades have been spent exploring relationships through narrative images and more recently in abstract form with mixed media visually creating water systems. Deborah’s undergraduate training focused on psychology and art. She holds a master’s degree in painting and has received various grants and awards for arts-in-education programs she has developed. She was the recipient of an NEA sponsored residency at the Art Institute of Chicago for two summers and in 2005, Deborah was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to study aboriginal art as she traveled through Australia. Her work has been exhibited in several solo shows as well as numerous juried and invitational exhibits in local and national galleries.
John Whipple is a documentary photographer who has been working in his chosen profession for more than 20 years. While he devoted a period of his life to the restoration and sale of vintage American stringed instruments, photography has remained his prime dedication since picking up a camera. Whipple has been documenting people, places, and objects found along the Hudson River for many years.