Cortland art faculty to display acquisitions


Cortland art faculty to display acquisitions

Sometimes an artist likes to acquire a piece of artwork from someone else.

But when a creative person makes room to display another artist’s inspiration in their own personal space, what does that say about them?

SUNY Cortland’s Dowd Gallery will address that query starting Monday, Aug. 31, with a new exhibition titled “Artists as Collectors: Works from Private Collections.”

“Artists as Collectors,” in the gallery located inside the Dowd Fine Arts Center, will showcase an eclectic selection of original paintings, sculptures, prints, ceramics and artifacts from the personal collections of members from the university’s Art and Art History Department. The forthcoming show will feature works by recognizable names such as Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall and Shepard Fairey as well as objects and artworks from colleagues and friends of show contributors alongside unknown authors.

The exhibition and related events, which are free and open to the general public in online format, will run through Friday, Oct. 9.

In compliance with New York State and SUNY Cortland Reopening New York — Higher Education guidelines, the Dowd Gallery is closed to individuals and groups not associated with SUNY Cortland. For the fall 2020 semester, no outside speakers, alumni or guests of on-campus residents including parents of the residents will be allowed on campus or in campus buildings.

Those allowed gallery access would include individuals with a Cortland ID number such as university employees, students and special community members. Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays; and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursdays.

As Dowd Gallery prepares to welcome campus and community members into its space once again for the first time since mid-March, the gallery has adopted the necessary measures to keep its campus community visitors and staff safe, in compliance with the SUNY Cortland safety protocol arising from health concerns about spreading the COVID-19.

All in-person viewers are required to wear face coverings upon entering the building and gallery and to practice physical distancing. Extra measures will be taken to prevent crowding at selected events.

The exhibition also will be available in an electronic format on the gallery’s website, Facebook, and Instagram. The virtual component to the exhibition will be updated frequently until the show’s closing date.

The campus and community also are invited to take part in a series of online conversations associated with the exhibition, hosted on the WebEx platform.

Art and art history faculty members who lent a portion of their collection for display include Stephan Alexander Clark, Allison DeDomick, Jeremiah Donovan, Charles Heasley, Scott Oldfield ’06, Jaroslava Prihodova, Vaughn Randall and Bryan Valentine Thomas.


On the left is a mixed media and found object work by Bruce Fowler called "Untitled, 2001." On the right is Garo Antreasian's lithograph on foil work, "Untitled, 1972."

The professors and instructors contributed artwork and objects they had accumulated over an extended period of time.

“The exhibition presents a visual map of the collecting process from an artist’s perspective,” explained Jaroslava Prihodova, Dowd Gallery director.

“Rather than building a comprehensive collection, artists tend to select articles that reveal a window into their inner world and creativity.

“Throughout recent history, artists like Andy Warhol, Sol LeWitt, or Damian Hirst built unique collections that not only provide insight into their psychological space but also offer a piece of supplemental information about their practice and personal history,” she said. “The same is evident in this exhibition.” 

“The approach to collecting by an artist bares individual sets of objectives and transcends different desires than those of an art collector,” Prihodova noted. “For the most part, the action is not driven by value, investment or historical significance. Instead, the motivation to possess originates from specific interests, aesthetic inclinations and individual artistic practices. For some, collecting presents a source of inspiration, reflecting in their own practice, or symbolizes a personal connection to the creator of the object.”

An Exhibition Opening, with strict occupancy rules where only 25 guests with SUNY Cortland ID can be present at the same time, will replace the traditional Reception Opening from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 3. To secure a comfortable visit, guests can RSVP for a specific time slot accessible on the Dowd Gallery website.

Additional lectures, all to be held virtually via WebEx, include:

  • A virtual “First Friday: Guided Tour” will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 11. The event is organized by the Cultural Council of Cortland County.
  • Art and art history instructors Oldfield and Thomas will join Prihodova to discuss their collections in a “Virtual Gallery Conversation Series” from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10.
  • The “Virtual Gallery Conversation Series” will continue with Heasley, a professor of art and art history, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17.
  • Clark, an assistant professor of art and art history, will continue the series from 5 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 23.
  • A second virtual “First Friday: Guided Tour” will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2. The event is organized by the Cultural Council of Cortland County.

Detailed information and link invitations will be posted on the Dowd Gallery website and social media.

Visit the Dowd Gallery website for details about exhibiting artists, other programs, safety protocols and on-line booking. For more information, or to schedule an appointment or a tour or request additional images, contact Jaroslava Prihodova at 607-753-4216.

ABOVE LEFT IMAGE: This ceramic piece by Jar Schepers is called "Collapse, 2008."