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Exhibit turns observations into art

“Eye Witness,” a fine art exhibition of drawings, paintings and sculpture by four award-winning Central New York women, opens at SUNY Cortland’s Dowd Fine Arts Gallery on Monday, Jan. 22.

The artists — Minna Resnick, Carla Stetson, Lin Price and Susan Weisand — selected works to display that integrate expressive strokes in oil paint, delicate precariously natured forms, structured compositions and vivid narratives.

Carla Stetson's graphite drawing “As Eve said to the Serpent.” The top image is Lin Price's oil painting “Road Show.”

“Eye Witness” will remain on view through Thursday, March 28, in the gallery, located in the Dowd Fine Arts Center on the corner of Prospect Terrace and Graham Avenue in Cortland.

An opening reception with the artists will be held in the gallery from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 25. Refreshments will be served. The exhibition is free and open to the public, as are the opening reception and all exhibition-related events.

The concept for “Eye Witness” was based on a quote from the late Romare Bearden, an American artist, author and songwriter: “I think the artist has to be something like a whale, swimming with their mouth open, absorbing everything until they have what they really need.”

Susan Weisand's Collagraph acrylic ink drawing “Release.”

Each of the four artists have done just that, filtering and funneling their observations of the natural world and contemporary society, politics and family concerns to shape a unique point of view.

“Each work represents a dynamic narrative derived from the accumulated beliefs and experiences of the artist expressing a visual perception of the present intending to invoke the viewer to append personal anecdotal connections,” the artists said in a joint exhibition statement.

“What we see and understand is not only shaped by the eye but by accumulated beliefs and experiences,” the artists noted. “In this show, we pay witness to varying ideas all the while rooted in the visual perception of the here and now, ideas such as: ‘What is our place in nature?’ ‘How does the history of gender and societal norms play into today’s reality?’ Viewers continue this process, adding their own layers of meaning and enriching the stories we tell.”

Scott Oldfield ’06, a SUNY Cortland Art and Art History Department lecturer in drawing and interim Dowd Gallery director, noted, “Through their specialized media, each artist invokes a sense of place and contemplation communicated through subjectively unique experience and reference, appropriated images, or imaginative spaces.”

“Eye Witness” events will include:

  • Artist talk. Carla Stetson will share her personal experiences as an artist from 5 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 1.
  • Artist talk. Lin Price will discuss her personal experiences as an artist from 5 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15.
  • Guest Speaker. Nancy Green, the Gale and Ira Drukier curator of American and European art emerita at Cornell University’s Johnson Museum, will discuss the topic of “They Came, They Created, They Conquered. A brief history of women artists in America” from 5 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22.
  • Artist talk. Minna Resnick will share her personal experiences as an artist from 5 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 29.
  • Artist workshop. Bryan Thomas will give a hands-on demonstration of vinyl cutting from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 21.

Visit the Dowd Gallery website or follow social media using the #dowdgallery hashtag for detailed information about yet-to-be-scheduled artists, speakers and events.

Minna Resnick's mixed media drawing “Friends Forever.”

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday with hours extended on Thursday until 7 p.m. Visit the Dowd Gallery website for details about exhibiting artists, upcoming events or gallery availability. Walk-ins are welcome. For more information or to schedule a visit, contact Scott Oldfield ’06 at 607-753-4216.

“Eye Witness” is supported by the Art and Art History Department.