Monday, June 26, 2017

The Open Dream debuts at Gallery 54 July 7

Laura Leigh Lanchantin from Tannersville, NY, takes the primary patterns and shapes found in nature and bends them into abstractions. Her primary tools, her imagination and “the actual earth as paint.” 

Laura Leigh Lanchantin
Most people likely cannot fathom what all that means. Luckily, Gallery 54, is providing the opportunity for anyone interested to discover the meaning in what Laura calls her “dreamscapes from the heart” beginning with the opening of her show, In The Open Dream, at the gallery Friday, July 7 from 5-8 pm.

Though Laura began making art as a child, influenced by the pastel landscapes of her mother, Lesley, and sculptures of her father Bill, a stone mason, it wasn't until about six years ago, while a student at SUNY New Paltz that she was inspired by the large-scale paintings he saw in the local art studios and switched her major from english to painting.

Laura at her art
The farming lifestyle that she grew up with along with her father's stone masonry work prompted her to research stone pigments and other natural pigments and dyes. “I was inspired by the act of making my own art materials,” she says, “and collaborating with the earth.”

Her dreamscapes from the heart focus on the primary patterns and shapes found in nature. They are inherently feminine and create a profound connection between body and land. The womb-like forms create raw, existential, and psychological language. “I do not wish to simply capture a natural scene with realism, but rather capture the raw energy and emotion of the land,” she says.

Some of the works she will be exhibiting at Gallery 54 are illustrations for an upcoming children's book being written by Salvatore Bevilacqua, a writer and good friend. The book, I Am the Painter of the Sky is a story about a young Native American girl who experiences a connection with nature and a magic tree that sprouts paintbrushes for branches and allows her to paint the sky. As a bonus, Laura will also present a stone pigment demonstration during the opening.

Stone pigments are a very rare medium in the modern world. Laura notes that she “applies her stone pigments to oil and charcoal” which makes them even more uncommon. Her
technique creates abstractions “from the very center of my psyche,” she says. “There is no censor between my emotions and the canvas.” The result is very primitive, intrinsic images that elicit unique reactions from each viewer.

Music from the electric harp of Chris Molloy, wine and light refreshments will be served. Gallery 54 is an upscale venue for Central New York artists that showcases and sells unique, inspired, and timeless art in a diversity of mediums. Gallery hours are Sunday through Thursday 10 am to 5 pm, Friday & Saturday 10 am to 6 pm.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

House calls aren't just for doctors any more

"We do house calls." Only a couple months ago no one would have thought to apply those four simple words to anything or any one at Gallery 54. That is until one day, when a couple visiting the gallery was having difficulty deciding whether or not one of the Tom Dwyer framed photographs displayed in the gallery would look as good in their homes. Tom had a way to find out and he offered to take the photo to their home so they could see it in the living room.

A new home for one of Tom's images, following a recent Gallery 54 house call.
Further conversation expanded his idea and before they left he was suggesting that he bring his laptop computer and projector so he could project images on the wall of their home. What better way to see which images would work best. It turned out the photograph they had seen worked better in a different room, but another really fit the bill for the living room.

The next month, when another couple was visiting the gallery it was almost an exact repeat situation and a few days later Tom was in another living room. Turns out, the saying "Seeing is Believing" really applies and house calls are just for doctors any more.