Tuesday, November 24, 2015

History informs paintings of Schramm & Balfour

Two notable Central New York artists reach back into history as they prepare to showcase their painting as Gallery 54's December guest artists.

Both Barbara Schramm and Joanne Balfour are well know in the Central New York art community. Schramm, a painter of old world Victorian Santa's and Joanne Balfour, whose theorem paintings draw on 19th century techniques for inspiration, will be on hand at the Skaneateles gallery from 5 to 8 pm on Friday, December 4. Their unique and interesting work will be on display throughout the months of December and January.

Joanne Balfour
Balfour was drawn to the history and type of home decorative arts done in 17th and 18th century England and America. As a member of the Historical Society of Early American Decoration she is always anxious to “promote the relevance of Early American Decoration’s craftsmanship and design”. Basically a self-taught artists, her work has received awards at the New York State Fair and at the yearly conventions of the Historical Society of Early American Decoration.

I find satisfaction in this artwork from the challenge of seeing the old designs studied, preserved and replicated as well as in educating the public and making people aware of our past art history through displays and presentations of techniques and history,” says Balfour.

Her theorem paintings exhibit a technique practiced by young ladies in early 19th century American academies. Stencils were often provided by their teachers and used in various combinations by the girls to create their oil paintings or watercolors on cotton velveteen, often embellished with freehand details. Work by Historical Society of Early American members like Balfour is based on using designs from 19th century originals.

From Costigan to Schramm

Barbara Schramm
Google the name John Costigan and if you are not already familiar, you'll be introduced to a noted 20th Century American artist and an important mentor of Barbara Schramm. “As a youngster I enjoyed visiting my aunt, artist Ella Ray Maccio and joining her at painting classes in Orangeburg, NY,” recalls Schramm. While she didn't recognize the importance of John Costigan and his role in the National Academy of Design, at the time she welcomes the impact her peripheral introduction to the world of art may have had on her passion today.

Schramm was one of the founding artists of Gallery 54 and takes a personal pride in "how well it continues to promote local artists and their work.

Visitors to Gallery 54 for this First Friday show will be treated to Schramm's old world, victorian Santa's (or Father Christmas') painted on quarter sawn Finger Lakes sycamore, oak or pine. The reverse of each painting indicates where in the world the depicted Santa became popular.

Schramm is pleased to credit young Matthew McNeil, a Skaneateles High School 9th grader, for his bandsaw creation of the shapes of each Father Christmas.

The award winning artist, who considers herself an “itinerant (self-taught) painter, also paints German brides boxes, women's academy art, wardrobes, and furniture.

Both artists will be on hand to answer questions and discuss their art with music provided by Chris Molloy and his Electric Blue Harp. Light refreshments will be served.

Gallery 54, located at 54 E. Genesee St in Skaneateles is an upscale gallery specializing in fine art and craft created by Central New York artists.
December hours are Sunday thru Thursday 10 am- 5 pm as well as Friday and Saturday 10 am – 6 pm.