SPENCERTOWN — Spencertown Academy Arts Center presents “Whimsy” art exhibition featuring paintings and sculptures by Gabe Brown, Keith Davidson, Ron Harrington, Dorothy Sabean, Audrie Sturman, and Elizabeth Wallin. The show will be on display from October 2 through October 31 on Saturdays and Sundays, 1:00pm to 5:00pm. Admission is free and all art is for sale with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the Academy.
Spencertown Academy Curatorial Committee Co-Chair Barbara Lax Kranz organized the exhibition. “In a world that seems more and more fractured and traumatized by a pandemic, the idea of a show focusing on whimsy seemed a necessity for the soul,” she says. “Whimsy can be defined in many ways—capricious, fanciful, fantastical, imaginative, and unpredictable are just a few words that come to mind. We all need a little escape now and then. After all, fun and fantasy are necessary ingredients in living.”
“Six very different artists have produced works that will bring smiles to your faces. They look at the world around them in a different way,” continues curator Lax Kranz. “Some travel to an alternate universe while others create work that will just make you laugh or leave you delighted.”
Gabe Brown (Elizaville, NY) searches for meaning in the unknown. “Art is like magic, an illusion created by the force of humanity. Our choices in life can be amazing portals for adventure,” she says. Her paintings are narrative vignettes that are both alluring and mysterious. Brown has won national awards and was the 2018 recipient of a NYFA Fellowship in painting. She is an Adjunct Professor in Painting and Drawing at Fordham University.
A national award-winning artist, Keith Davidson (Egremont, MA) considers himself a self-taught artist. His work comes from his imagination. “The Fish Series” to be showcased in “Whimsy” presents playful, colorful forms that are dramatic, captivating, and complex. “The amorphic, fanciful shapes keep the eyes moving, lifting one’s spirit to a better place,” says Davidson.
Ron Harrington (Hillsdale, NY) creates characters from scraps of wood, debris, and interesting pieces of detritus. “Each unique sculpture comes with a name that reflects its personality,” says Lax Kranz. “You have no alternative but to howl with laughter.”
Dorothy (Dee) Sabean (Dalton, MA) is a visual artist who works in many different media. She got her training on the city streets. She dreamed and she drew in many street festivals throughout the United States, winning many awards along the way. In 2011, she began canvas painting and has had many solo shows since that time. Lax Kranz says, “Sabean’s mural, ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborwood,’ which will be on display in ‘Whimsy,’ will take you, along with Mr. Rogers and numerous friends of the forest to untold places in the woods.”
For sculptor Audrie Sturman (Slingerlands, NY), rhythms of nature ignite her creative vision. Her work is spontaneous and reflects her background in painting and printmaking. “Her sculptures in the show will include both two- and three-dimensional work on a small and large scale and incorporate her vision of stem cells and a Covid cell. “It’s a more pleasant way to look at the disease,” notes Lax Kranz.
The illustrations of Elizabeth Wallin (Kinderhook, NY) are drawn from her imagination and life. She enjoys creating humorous characters, although she is equally comfortable with more sober subjects. Her published illustrations can be found in many books and magazines.
Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please see spencertownacademy.org.