Anxious Objects

NEW PALTZ — “Anxious Objects: Definition and Divergence in Contemporary Craft,” is a challenging exhibition which explores the range of possibilities in contemporary craft and embodies the impressive talents of artists who live in Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, and Columbia counties. Anxious Objects opens on June 10, with a reception from 5-7 p.m., at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art. The exhibition continues through August 13, 2006.

Gretchen Keyworth, executive director and chief curator at the Fuller Craft Museum in Massachusetts served as juror for this special exhibition. She selected 23 artists from a pool of 68 submissions. In addition to her duties at the Fuller Craft Museum, Ms. Keyworth co-founded Signature Galleries in Boston, Chestnut Hill and Mashpee, Mass., Grohe Glass Gallery in Boston, and has also served as director and advisor for several prominent craft shows.

Anxious Objects features work in various craft media by emerging and mid-career artists who embrace seemingly contrary tendencies in their work – both aesthetically and technically. Additionally, materials used for the objects are diverse and range from the more common porcelain to glassine, dried poppies, hair curlers, shoulder pads and glass. What results from the innovative use of these curious materials is the reordering of expectations and divergent outcomes.

In commenting about her choices, Ms. Keyworth, says, “I thought the work was very representative of what I see in the craft field today – objects made by artists taking a fresh approach to function and to taking risks, unexpected combinations, innovative use of materials and contemporary imagery, and inspiration more closely aligned with ideas.”

Marlboro resident, Sydney Cash demonstrates this very well in his explorations of light and form in “Hourglass.” Cash investigates the special qualities of glass – clarity, translucence, luminescence, and optics by capturing the shadows and shapes of physical objects with light.

Divergence seems to be the principal idea for the exhibition. In referring to her piece, “Field of Poppies,” Felicia Flanagan of Kingston said, “While I was making a spout for a small teapot, I saw the alleged spout was really a vessel. I proceeded to make hundreds of these small vessels. My interest was to create colorful and varied glaze combinations and unique textures. Grouped in frames, the vessels become families.”

The other artists represented in Anxious Objects are Dea Archbold, Germantown; Talya Baharal, Rifton; Seth A. Barrett, Red Hook; Wendy Baur, New Paltz; Stephen Fabrico, Bloomington; Gene Gnida, Rifton; Helen Gold, Mt Tremper; Deborah Goldman, New Paltz; Mimi Czajka Graminski, Red Hook; Kate Hamilton, New Paltz; Judith Hoyt, New Paltz; Doris Licht, Woodstock; Pat Littlefield, New Paltz; Gary O?Connor, Mountainville; Leslie Pelino, New Paltz; Johanne Renbeck, Staatsburg; Armand Rusillon, Gardiner; Kaete Brittin Shaw, High Falls; Shoshona Snow, Kingston; Nancy Willard, Poughkeepsie; and Laura Willensky, Kingston.