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Look, listen, and vote! 62nd Rochester-Finger Lakes Exhibition opens this Sunday

By Chiyo Ueyama, Exhibitions Assistant

Come to the Memorial Art Gallery for a regional treat. And no, I don’t mean a white hot. Visit MAG for a visual treat this summer and see artworks by upstate New York artists in the 62nd Rochester-Finger Lakes Exhibition. The history of the Finger Lakes show goes back more than several decades, and it is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious juried exhibitions in our region. This year, you will see 36 works by 28 artists chosen from hundreds of entries.

serritellaTwo jurors (artist James Hyde, a 2008 Guggenheim Fellow, and David A. Kwasigroh, director of exhibitions and artist services at the Indianapolis Art Center) selected works in a wide range of media for the 2009 exhibition. Like paintings? Jewelry? Or do you enjoy photography? This exhibition has them all. I can’t give you a sneak preview here, but let me write about a couple of the pieces selected for the show. You won’t walk away after just a glance at Eric Serritella’s hand-carved clay sculptures Sassy Birch Teapot and Swinging Birch Teapot. They look remarkably like weathered birch logs, creating a true trompe l’oeil (“trick the eye”) effect. The forms are energetic and the craftsmanship is exquisite. Great news for the artist: Swinging Birch Teapot made the cover of the August 2009 issue of American Style magazine.

entnerBenjamin Entner has Still Life: Graphite on Paper in the show, but don’t expect to see a drawing when you get here. It is a three-dimensional arrangement of large inflated objects made of graphite-rubbed Tyvek (I know it’s hard to picture). Some of the objects are an elephant, a whale, and a carrot, and the whole installation is enormous, measuring about 9’ x 13’ x 10’ (Better?). Some traditional still-life paintings include symbolic objects—why the bubbles? (the fragility of life), why the gold chain? (loyalty)—that a novice viewer would require a reference guide to fully understand. But Entner’s work answers, “Why not?” He writes on his website, “I create works that are the result of play or experimentation . . . ” You’ll know what he means when you see the work, and you’ll see the humor and wonder.

cooley_detailTo mention a few more pieces without giving too much away: Loraine Cooley’s reversible necklaces, Thomas MacPherson’s painting that explores his Italian American ancestry, Yvonne Buchanan’s meditative DVDs, Lanna Pejovic’s beautiful abstract painting that incorporates her of-the-moment experience and memories, and Max L. Lenderman’s incredible beadwork.

lendemanIn addition to seeing the exhibition, there are two activities you may enjoy. To deepen your viewing experience, you can take a listening tour on your own cell phone to hear many of the artists talk about their work, a rare opportunity. And during the first week of the exhibition, you get to vote for your favorite work in the show; the winner will receive the Harris Popular Award ($500).

More not-to-miss offerings:
Collection Connections in the Forman Gallery, where four works MAG acquired from past Finger Lakes exhibitions (‘40s–‘70s) are on view.

dorseyArt at 11 Lecture Series
Thursdays at 11 am, included in Gallery admission

July 30: David Dorsey (exhibiting artist, oil painting)
August 20: Kim Waale (exhibiting artist, mixed media installation)
September 17: Marjorie Searl on Collection Connections (Chief Curator, MAG)
September 24: John Griebsch (exhibiting artist, aerial photographs)

Hope to see you soon!

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