Monday, March 20, 2006

Local Art Happenings and Links

Let me mention a menagerie of things going on around here, and some linked commentary on things past. I think I'm going to make this a regular (perhaps weekly) feature. If anybody wants to send me links or notices similar to these, I'll consider posting them here.

*I missed Ithaca's March 3rd Gallery Night, but Ezra of the blog Ithaca Sucks apparently didn't. He has a funny, intemperate rant about it (and the local art scene more generally) here. Needless to say, I don't endorse all he has to say, but his comments about the local waterfall painters and their "Yankee aesthetic" are right on. See also my own comments on landscape painting here.

*"Okinawa Soul", an exhibition of work by the Japanese documentary photographer Ishikawa Mao is on display at Cornell's Hartell Gallery through the end of this week (either Friday or Saturday, according to the source). Mao focuses on the life of her native prefacture of Okinawa, a chain of islands south of mainland Japan. In particular, she focuses on the impact of militarization
both American and Japaneseon the local culture. I thought the showwhich was co-curated by the Cornell grad students Kelly Dietz and Nakamori Yasufumiwas uneven, judged by the aesthetic standards of gallery art, but still interesting and informative. I am writing a longer piece about the show, which I'll try to post it here in the next few days.

*At the reception for the Mao show, I had the good fortune to meet fellow art-blogger Stacy Oborn, who writes and photographs the space in between. Unfortunately, it looks like her blog hasn't been updated since last November, but she tells me she does plan to update some time, so who knows.

*In other Cornell photography news, Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison will be lecturing at the Johnson on the 30th at 5:15 p.m. Their travelling show, "The Architect's Brother" opens there on the 25th and stays up until the 11th of June. It features elaborate constructed landscapes with mythic themes. Modern Kicks, who saw the show at the DeCordova museum in Massachusetts, has a piece about it here. The Johnson is also holding a related symposium entitled "Shared Visions: Collaboration and Process in Contemporary Photography" on the first of April. It is free and open to the public, but the registration deadline is this Friday. More information is available at the museum's calendar page.

*Nancy Geyer interviewed my favorite local printmaker Craig Mains for the Ithaca Times last October. See some of my own thoughts about Mains here.

*I met local painter-collagist Syau-Cheng Lai at the Main Street Gallery opening last Saturday (she wasn't in the show). While I hesitate to endorse work that I've seen only in reproduction, the intricate, archeological images on her website certainly make me want to seek out the originals (she tells me, however, that her new work is different). Luckily, her work can be seen in the current two person show "Optical/Lyrical", up at the Cedar Arts Center in Corning, NY. There will be an artists' talk on the last day of the show, April 1.



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