The Works in Wood show at the New Hope Arts Center is up for another week. Please go check out this incredible show. Here's a jpg of the current review by Gwen Shrift in the The Intelligencer. To read the review on line, please click here. The New Hope Arts Center is located on 2 Stockton Ave, 2nd floor, New Hope, PA 18938; with hours on Sat-Sun from 10:00 am -5:00 pm.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Friday, November 8, 2013
This is an action packed weekend. Wednesday evening started at the Zimmerli Art Museum on the campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick with Diane Burko presenting her Antarctic and Arctic works. The presentation was entitled "Freeze Frame: Art and the Cryosphere."
Diane Burko along with her husband, Richard Ryan, were on The Arctic Circle residency. As always, Diane gives a dynamic, informative and entertaining presentation. The show featured her photographs as well as her large scaled paintings. The exhibit is up until Jul 31, 2014.
It was a blast to see Diane and Richard again and talk ice and snow. Like Richard said, The Arctic Circle residency seems like a dream now.
Thursday night was our first AIR Gallery Fellow's exhibit- Rachel Farmer. Her exhibit entitled, Ancestors, showcased hand-‐built ceramic sculptures of pioneer women in various poses of work and rest. Of course, these women command attention because of Rachel's gray walls.
Farmer accompanied the tiny sculptures with several video scenes of them in the landscapes of the west. Interestingly enough, my favorite video was of the pioneer women set in a field of lush green grass with the mountains in the background. Slowly, I noticed that the scene is a contemporary one with a lawn mower cutting the grass in the field. Somehow, though, the figures, although clearly not of this century, felt oddly at home. Later I learned that this scene was from Rachel's home. Ironic how the figures resonated comfort and security in the video.
this is a clip of the figures on the pioneer trail, but not of Rachel's hometown
In the press release for Rachel's exhibit, she asks many questions - like what is our inheritance from our ancestors and how does one's current identity become woven into that ancestral history. I have no answers for her, but instead I shared with her one of my favorite poet's thoughts on ancestors.
David Whyte, “Ancestral,” from the book River Flow: New & Selected Poems
Far up and off
behind my mother’s voice
my mother’s mother’s voice,
like a lark call
above the dark meadows
a high up
a strain she’d carried all along
and me caught
in the song,
off to other voices
my father’s, father’s,
in the fields
my mother’s father’s father
from village to village
and the body of my father’s brother
rolling in the
Each life a traveler
not yet really arrived
like passing strangers
showing a glimmer
at the doors
of the living,
to stumble on
to what waits,
some place perhaps
in the brimming dark
Friday, October 25, 2013
Really exciting to read this yesterday -
Congratulations! On behalf of the members of the Sculptors Guild, I am proud to offer you membership. Thank you for submitting your materials for our consideration, our Admissions Committee was impressed with the quality of your work.
So it is official - I am a member of the Sculptors Guild ! The process of vetting was vigorous and done by peers - which makes this membership really sweet! So honored and thrilled! Stay tuned for some exciting events!
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Monday, October 21, 2013
Cooper University Health Care and the University of Texas became partners in 2002 and created the MD Anderson Cancer Center. This partnership between MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper got its official unveiling this past month. Cooper Health System is solely dedicated to the care of cancer patients. The four-story, $100 million building is located at Haddon Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard in Camden is solely dedicated to the care of cancer patients. What is most exciting is the center features 100 pieces or original art created for the cancer center by 71 New Jersey artists and nearly 8 pieces from me! For more information on the MD Anderson Cancer Center, please click HERE.
My pieces selected for the MD Anderson Cancer Center
Thursday, October 17, 2013
This year’s Autumn Opening Reception at the Noyes Museum (Friday, October 4, 5:00 - 8:00 pm) was a well-attended event featuring four exhibitions and an installation in the central museum space. The Noyes curatorial staff always does a great job putting together an interesting and quite varied experience in each of the galleries.
The yearly Signature Artist Exhibition, which brings together each of the artists in the Noyes Signature Artist stable, is by nature an eclectic mix of styles, mediums and genres that hold together as an exhibition through a combination of high quality offerings and thoughtful installation. Juxtapositions based on colors (abstract assemblage alongside traditional seascape), groupings of similar themed works, and interspersed platforms and pedestaled art (pottery, woodworking and decorative art objects) ensures that your journey around the gallery is interesting. What I like about this method of “mix and match” in an exhibition is that it invites us to spend time with artworks that we might ordinarily not favor or devote much time to. Going through this exhibition for me was like stepping into the ocean in early June, at first I am unwilling as it seems too cold, but then once I do enter and give myself time to adjust, I am happy that I made the effort. The thirty-five artists represented in the exhibition share unique sensibilities and a practiced hand at what they do. I had my favorites, as did Steve and Peter with whom I went to the reception, and they were each different, which speaks to the success and strength of a heterogeneous art show.
My favorite of all of the galleries was the John Pierce Barnes (1893-1954) exhibition, presenting the work of Pennsylvania Impressionist, John Pierce Barnes. While admiring the gallery of pastel landscapes (with a few oil landscapes also installed on the center wall) I was introduced to the curator, Kathryn Scimone Stanko who has been advocating for the collection of artworks, many of which prior to her involvement had been “hidden away among Barnes’ family possessions and oil paintings”—these twenty four pastels (from a grouping found in a box) are just some of many that have now seen the light of day and been brought to public attention due to Kathryn Scimone Stanko’s dedication and stamina. Go and spend some time with these densely colorful and impressionistic works of art. Also consider the many wonderful works of art that remain in attics, storage bins and basements and be grateful for the efforts of a dedicated few who rescue abandoned, forgotten or neglected artworks for the benefit of us all.
The Noyes website states that “In Fable, Cape May artist Victor Grasso presents 13 masterfully rendered oil paintings that re-imagined legendary narratives. The paintings are dark, contemporary and slick, as Grasso combines objects in unexpected ways. Myths and legends including Crazy Horse, Icarus, and Aphrodite are presented not as literal interpretations of storied characters, but conceptual representations as Grasso chooses to see them.” I selected the painting above as my favorite—it seemed a good representation of the commanding authority of this series of portraits. Each is masterfully painted and share a tar-black background. I felt both compelled and repelled by the various portraits and spent time examining Grasso’s paintings both up close for the artist’s extraordinary command of paint, color and surface, and from a distance, for the dramatic mood and character each life-sized painting powerfully projected.
MOVIS is a group of like-minded artists (seven visual artists and one musician) who have put their creative energies toward the exhibition Noise@Noyes. Each of the artists examines the concept of sound from a variety of perspectives. The most compelling of these are the installations, many of which invite participation in creating an acoustic response. Photography is also used, as are sculpture and recordings. The gallery experience is part art show, part Exploratorium. While in the exhibition I overheard one viewer tell his companion, “I like this! My brain hurts.” I am not sure what he meant, but I just had to share that with you.
And lastly, I will end with a terrible confession: I totally missed Karen Guancione’s installation, which is hanging in what the museum calls their Central Gallery Window. I think I may have thought it was part of the gift shop, which is in the same location, or it may be that I tend to rush past crowds of people, and at a reception this large people tend to hang out around the food and drink tables that filled the central area of the museum. Fortunately there is both a picture (seen here) and a blurb in the Noyes website: “The large-scale hanging piece is constructed of thousands of library card catalog entries, carefully designed and sewn to form one large composition.”
That sounds pretty cool and I am sorry I missed it! Go see these shows for yourself—here’s the info:
733 Lily Lake Road
Absecon (or Oceanville), NJ 08205
The Noyes Museum of Art Signature Artist Exhibition: September 6- November 24, 2013
Victor Grasso, Fable: September 13, 2013-January 5, 2014
Noise@Noyes: MOVIS: September 20, 2013- January 12, 2014
Karen Guancione- Installation: September 20, 2013- January 12, 2014
Lou Storey, October 5, 2013
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Please note that ALL words and photographs on this site are © 2013 Laura Petrovich-Cheney. Please do NOT reproduce my images for your designs, photography or personal or professional blog or website, or any social media platform, such as Facebook or Pinterest. If you want to use an image, please send me an email.
On Sept. 27, around 5:00, we left Longyearbyen. Once we left port, there was no more contact with the outside world.
This is Nemo. He and his owner, Sarah, were our guides during our trip. There were two other guides as well- Theres and Åshild. The guides were necessary as they were our polar lookout points while we worked on land.
Last view of Longyearbyen. Each day, the light would dramatically decrease - about 20 minutes. The sun doesn't rise above my head here, but rather travels in a circle.
The ship's compass.
My view from the top bunk. This is a very calm view - at times, the portal would be completely immersed in the water because of rough seas.
We have our first landing.
After lunch, we anchor up and sail north. The weather is so perfect that we have the opportunity to sail.
Magdalenefjord. This is an old whaling station. The yellow color is the land is still stained from the whale blubber that had been boiled down many years ago. I hiked in the afternoon.
Artists at work.
Getting ready for the hike.
Sarah and Nemo keep a sharp for polar bears which are a constant threat because there are a reported 3500 polar bears on Svalbard and just about 2000 people.
There was a bit of trash on the beaches in the Arctic. I started to collect the trash on this day. In the end, there were 2.5 bags of garbage collected. Those bags of garbage are being mailed to me for a sculpture project.
This is a great view of the fjord, which is a long, narrow, deep inlet of the sea between high cliffs typically formed by submergence of a glaciated valley.
In the evening, we have our first view of a polar bear. The bear is the tiny white spot. Apparently, bear was woken up by our presence, then quickly went back to sleep.
We set sail for towards a magnificent glacier. There are zodiac tours of the ice. Many of the artists on board photographed the ice for later paintings. Some did video work, time lapse work, and some even recorded the sounds of the ice for their research.
The scale of Svalbard is indescribable. On the right side, that is our ship next to the glacier. A glacier is dense ice exceeding and is constantly moving under its own gravity. A glacier is formed over many decades, sometimes even centuries, where the accumulation of snow exceeds its ablation (melting and sublimation). Glaciers slowly deform and begin to flow because of their weight. They also contain rock and debris. Glaciers form only on land.
This is a piece of glacier that had broken off at the edge of a glacier. The process is called ice calving. It is the sudden release and breaking away of a mass of ice from a glacier, iceberg, ice front, ice shelf, or crevasses. When the ice breaks away, the sound is reminiscent of thunder and is often followed by a tsunami.
The remainder of the day we sail north. Seasickness sets in.
New Day. There is a long and rocky hike on Hamiltonbukta in the morning. My afternoon is spent collecting trash along the shore. Unfortunately, the camera battery died due to the cold pretty early on and I was unable to take any significant photos.
Next, Raudfjordbreen. This is our first big snow storm.
Zodiac takes us to and from shore.
On the hike, we find a seal skull. I use it a mask. Hopefully, my hard drive will be repaired so I can pull those images up. For now, I have this image taken by Han Sungpil. By the way, this find has inspired me do animal spirit masks with my students.
New Day. We anchor up and sail south into some strong winds. Most of us are seasick. The only respite from the heavy swells are the two stops for Nemo's on-land bathroom needs. This was an opportunity to grab some strong tea and dry crackers before heading back to the cabin. Some of the swells are so large that the motion has elevated me from my bed. So few of us are awake during this ride. It reminds of the plague days from the middle ages where only 1/3 of the population is strong enough to survive.
Today is icy cold. The coldest day yet, but the skies are clear. The hike is in the morning. There are no images from these hikes. The afternoon is spent documenting the landscape.
Again, the scale of this place is beyond words.
Next stop is Ny-Ålesund, one of the world's northernmost settlements and mostly inhabited by 40 or so scientists and researchers.
A huge thanks to Lee for those wondeful mink & cashmere mittens!
Day 10. The most breathtaking hike ever.
Our next stop was Blomstrandhalvoya followed by Pyramiden. The days are long and seamingly endless; in sense that I have lost time. I am unable to tell what happened and when it happened. We're nearing the end because we travel further south.
We had the delightful pleasure of seeing an Arctic Fox.
There is an incredible hike in the mine- worth ever drop of sweat.
Our last landing and last hike. It is snowing. We look for fossils along the hike around the fjord.
After we land, we say goodbye to the crew. We spent an additional two days in Longyearbyen - running into our new friends and saying goodbye again. There is so much to have been learned from this trip and there is an enormous amount of research done for a new body of work.