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Austerlitz, New York
Local culture | Local living | Soft news
25 September 2017 09:28AM
Gina Hyams

October 28 – November 12

Spencertown, New York–Spencertown Academy Arts Center presents exhibitions by Amelia Toelke, the winner of the Academy’s 2016 Regional Juried Show and Linda B Horn, the winner of the recent Juried Photography Show, from October 28 through November 12. Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00p.m. to 5:00p.m. On Saturday, November 4, there will be a reception with the artists from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m Admission is free and the artworks are for sale, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Academy.

Amelia Toelke’s work draws on her training in jewelry and metalsmithing, yet transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries. A combination of sculpture, collage, and installation, Toelke’s work lies at the intersection of the two-dimensional and the three-dimensional, and challenges given conceptions of object, image, reality, and representation. Her work has been exhibited internationally and, in 2015 she selected as an artist in residence at Lanzhou City University in Lanzhou, China. In 2016, she was an artist in residence at the Brush Creek Center for the Arts in Saratoga, Wyoming. Most recently, Toelke participated in an international exhibition and art symposium in Tbilisi, Georgia. She currently lives in Chatham, New York.

“Recent works on paper continue to explore my interests in communication through visual language. A series of gouache paintings humorously piece together jewelry— necklaces, rings, earrings, and bracelets—to form expressive faces. These pieces reveal the ways that jewelry is deeply connected to its wearers, acting as a signifier of one’s identity, personality, taste, and status. Using gouache, these pieces play with the tradition of the jewelry designer who used the medium to meticulously render designs,” says Toelke. “Other works collage contemporary symbols of communication—the high-five emoji. Emojis sit quietly at our fingertips and add emotion, humor, and sometimes-cryptic meaning to our flat, digital words. Through abstracting the original symbol with intricate overlaps, intersections, and an attention to negative space, these pieces consider how emojis often capture what is incommunicable. By using gold leaf and hand collage techniques, these symbols become tangible and valued, and reconnect to their physical origins.”

For nearly 40 years, Linda B Horn has contemplated the relationship between the natural and the artificial; and in particular, human interactions with nature. She has utilized countless mediums—felt, paint, cloth, packaging, photography, cast plaster forms, sheet metal, and more—to explore and satirize this tenuous relationship. Her work has been exhibited at museums, including the Northern Illinois Art Museum, DeKalb, IL; Albany Airport gallery, Albany, NY; Art Institute of Chicago; Carleton College art gallery, Indianapolis, IN; Contemporary Art Center, Indianapolis IN; Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, IL; Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, OR; Evanston Art Center, Evanston IL; Atlanta College of Art, Atlanta GA; and the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, MA. She has 14 solo exhibitions, most recently at Nicole Fiacco Gallery in Hudson, NY. In 2002, Horn moved from Chicago to the Hudson Valley.

“I work in any medium that best expresses my interest in exploring our relationship to the natural world. Often in the process, a dark and malevolent humor emerges, which I have called biophilla perversa. Biophilla is a term coined by entomologist Edward Wilson to describe our human bond with other species,” says Horn. “If we are all biophiilacs (lovers of nature) we are also civilizationists (destroyers and tamers of nature). Photography has been a means to connect my sculptural work with images of a manufactured artificial reality. This artificial reality also suggests unpredictability and fear. Often the viewer is asked to figure it out but I hope the visual impact and beauty of the images invite further exploration.”

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 http://www.spencertownacademy.org or call 518-392-3693.

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Photo Captions:
“Wink” by Amelia Toelke, gouache on paper, 9” x 12”
“Dune” by Linda B Horn Linda B Horn, giclee print, 30” x 47”

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