Members’ Show

September marks the second Members’ Show of the year.  Eighteen of the gallery’s twenty-five artists will show paintings, drawings, photographs, prints and sculpture in our newly renovated space.  A reception for the show will be Friday, September 4, 5pm-8pm.  Show dates are September 2-27.  Our small gallery is now the Salon and it is where members will show their work ten months of the year; in March we host our Annual Photography Show and in December, we alternate between our Invitational and our Juried Competition.  Through October 2009, the Salon will also show the fourteen pieces of art donated by gallery artists for our first-ever raffle.  These pieces are also shown on our web site, and raffle tickets may be purchased from all members and at the gallery for $10 each. The drawing of the winning raffle tickets will be Friday, October 30.  Don’t miss this chance to own a piece of fine art for a fraction of its selling price!

Painted Escapes

Gas prices are high, disposable income is low. Can’t get away for a vacation? Escape through the expressive paintings—abstract and realistic—of  Marian VanSoest and Patty L. Porter at State of the Art Gallery during August.

There are times when a person just needs to escape from the moment, but often the means or the time for this escape are not available. That’s where a connection with a painting can be very useful. Whether you want to go to a foreign land or just retreat into the depth of color and abstract form, a painting can facilitate this need.

Van Soest and Porter are two artists who have created paintings with just this in mind. They have painted together, traveled together and ruminated about art together for the past fifteen years. “Painted Escapes” exhibits paintings from their travels—both together and separately.

Van Soest says that she has taken a vacation from realism to revel in memory and painterly fun. Of her abstract works in the show, some evoke places seen from an airplane or by a bird out to catch fish. Some recall fields of roses or bluebells glanced from a car window. A few realistic figure paintings are included to show traveling painting companions at work and play. To Van Soest, these paintings—watercolor sketches—probably say it best: painting with friends on a summer day is one of life’s special joys.

Porter’s more realistic images of the hill towns and fields in Umbria, Italy, give the viewer a sense of the ambience of being in a foreign country while actually traveling only in your mind. For her, the idea of moving through the narrow antiquated passages of Orvieto and Spello suggest more possibilities of escape by considering what lies beyond the turn in the wall: the possibilities for escape are endless—hopeful, exciting, treacherous and tranquil.

A reception for the artists will be held Friday, August 7, from 5-8pm at the gallery, 120 W. State Street in Ithaca. Porter will be present at the gallery on Aug. 22, 12-5pm and Aug. 29, 12-5; VanS oest will be present on Aug. 9, 12-5pm and Aug. 15, 12-5pm. This is an opportunity for viewers to talk about the paintings with the artists. “Painted Escapes” runs from August 5 – 30, 2009. There is curbside parking and the gallery is ADA accessible. Hours: Wed. – Fri., 12-6pm, Sat. & Sun., 12-5pm. Contact information: 607-277-1626,


The Counterpoint Cafe


How do we as individuals respond to the world around us? Two artists, Yvonne Piburn and Stephan Phillips, explore this question in a two-person show at State of the Art during July. Both Piburn and Phillips work within the still life genre and the paintings in this exhibition are new works by each painters.

Staged cafe tables and jazz music will transform the typical gallery setting. Life and art become entwined as objects from the paintings spill over onto the tables of the cafe. Different interpretations of our world come into focus as viewers see its representation in painting. This is the Counterpoint Cafe.

Piburn is the recipient of a regional artists award from the Arnot Art Museum. She has shown as a guest artist with the NYC based still life painters known as Zeuxis. Her work is represented in numerous private collections throughout the state.

Phillips is the recipient of the Lenore Segan arts award from the Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation in NYC. Frank Robinson, the director of the Johnson Art Museum, has described his work as possessing “a quiet integrity and strength” and “an evocative mysteriousness”. His painting “Clown” was reproduced in the arts journal Stone Canoe.

At reception for the artists will be held Friday, July 3 from 5 to 8pm at the gallery. State of the Art is located at 120 W. State Street in Ithaca. There is curbside parking and the gallery is ADA accessible. Hours are: Wed. – Fri., 12-6pm, Sat. & Sun., 12-5pm. Contact information: 607-277-1626,

Abstract Discoveries

Over the past twenty years, artist/photographer Stan Bowman has explored the computer and digital software as tools for creating art.  “Abstract Discoveries,” the most current evidence of his efforts and explorations will be on display during June to visitors of State of the Art Gallery in Ithaca.  Bowman’s work in this exhibition is in the form of giclee prints:  most are printed on canvas and a few on metallic paper.

“These current images are for me a celebration of my interest in abstraction,” Bowman says.  “I am an abstract artist by inclination. Even when I began as a photographer in the 1950s my black and white images of subjects were organized with overall abstract patterns in mind. Places were important but so was the way the picture was organized in the frame. This attention to the abstract nature of imagery probably came originally from my years spent as an architect with its strong design emphasis, and my very intense interest in modernism with its focus on simplicity of form, shape and texture.”

Sharp Outline, one of the giclee prints in the exhibition, demonstrates Bowman’s use of abstract patterns and the ways he builds and manipulates them on the computer.  Although not black and white, he has organized his subject–colored shapes, which look like they were formed from a thick painting medium textured by a trowel–in layers of various colors and stages of enlargement.  There is an action caught–as if it were being captured through the viewfinder of a camera—of opaque shapes rising upward and leaving below trailings of what they once were.

Bowman has created this abstract imagery using programs like Adobe Photoshop.  “I am now pushing forward into new exciting territories,” he says, “I zoom in and feature pixels as the building block for abstract patterns, altering them using the powerful manipulation and transformation tools of Photoshop.  For me, discovery is the name of the game.”

“Abstract Discoveries” will be on exhibit June 3-28, 2009, with a reception for the artist Friday, June 5 from 5-8pm at the gallery.  State of the Art is located at 120 W. State Street in downtown Ithaca.  There is curbside parking and the gallery is ADA accessible.  Hours are:  Wed. – Fri., 12-6pm, Sat. & Sun., 12-5pm.  Contact information:  607-277-1626, www.

Members’ Show

State of the Art Gallery holds the first of its 2009 biannual Members’ Shows during May.  Most of the gallery’s twenty-five artists will exhibit paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture and two and three-dimensional mixed media work. A reception for the artists will be held Friday, May 1 from 5-8pm.  Show dates are April 29 through May 31.

Among the paintings being shown is Ethel Vrana’s String Quartet, Stephan Phillips’s still life Horse Skull with Beads, Barbara Mink’s Wedding Bouquet and Erica Pollock’s Jewelry Way. Leslie Brill, who usually exhibits paintings, will show a large charcoal drawing titled Something Different.

Photographs exhibited include Women in Pink:  The Senate in 2009 by Jan Kather, Gull’s Wing Siberian Iris by David Watkins, Jr. and Night Times by Sheryl Sinkow.  One of the gallery’s sculptors, Eva Capobianco, will show two pieces:  Couples and Spooning.

Those members not showing in May will exhibit their work in the September Members’ Show.  State of the Art is located at 120 W. State Street in Ithaca.  There is curbside parking and the gallery is ADA accessible.  Gallery hours are:  Wed. – Fri., 12-6pm and Sat. and Sun., 12-5pm.  Contact information:  607-277-1626 and

Landscapes Near and Far: Diana Ozolins

The cry of gulls, the boom of surf exploding on  rocks, sun drenched ancient slabs of granite, wind roaring in from the ocean — Schoodic, Maine, is a magical place. “Landscapes Near and Far” presents  paintings inspired by the ocean and tidal pools of Maine, as well as more familiar places closer to home. This show contains both small works done quickly on location, as well as larger works done in the studio from photos and oil sketches. Traveling with paint has become a regular part of the year for Ozolins. The rigor of  painting in unfamiliar surroundings leads to only one rule — no preconceptions, no mulling over what or where, just find what strikes the eye and rivet it to the canvas. Returning home always lets her see the local environment with fresh eyes, whether it is the sunrise over East Hill, the snow on a forsythia bush, or rain over the inlet.

Ozolins’ works have been familiar to gallery goers  in Ithaca since the early 1990’s. She works with either palette knife, or brush;  fragmenting the light and shadow  into a splintered burst of color, or gently caressing the folds of rock and swirls of water.

“Landscapes Near and Far” runs through April 26 at State of the Art, 120 W. State Street in Ithaca.  A reception for the artist will be held Friday, April 3, 5-8pm.  Gallery hours are Wed.-Fri., 12-6pm, Sat. & Sun., 12-5pm. In addition, work by gallery artists will be exhibited in the Members’ Gallery all month.  Information:  607-277-1626,,  The gallery is ADA accessible with curbside parking available.

Landscapes and Labyrinths: Frances Fawcett and Margy Nelson

January, 2009

Landscapes & Labyrinths
Frances Fawcett and Margaret Nelson

Wednesday, January 7, through Sunday, February 1, 2009
Opening reception:
Friday, January 9, 5:00-8:00 pm
Second reception: Friday, January 23, 5:00-8:00 pm (Gallery Night)

“Landscapes & Labyrinths”, a two-person exhibition of new work by Margaret Nelson and Frances Fawcett, will be the first show of 2009 at the State of the Art Gallery. Because January is a month for a number of art-related events in Ithaca, there will be two receptions for the artists. The first will be Friday, January 9, 5:00-8:00 pm and two weeks later, in conjunction with Ithaca’s Light in Winter Festival, a second reception will take place on Friday, Jan 25, 5:00-8:00 pm. This is also Gallery Night in downtown Ithaca. Both receptions are at the gallery, free and open to the public.

Heart of Gold

Some of Margy Nelson’s art reflects the subject matter and precision she brings to her “day job” as a biological illustrator. The rest is her escape from precision into free association, in watercolor and “digital paint.” Here is what she has to say:
“Though normally an articulate person, I find myself to be inarticulate about my art. The meditative process of creation does not translate easily into words… Art, after all, is a visual, not a verbal, medium. So take a look at my images and decide for yourself what I am about. Whatever that may be, its exploration gives me great pleasure. I hope it will give you some pleasure too” (more images)


Acrylic landscape paintings — large and small, expansive and intimate — make up Frances Fawcett’s share of the show. One of her interests is capturing the gestures of line in grasses, wood and water. She likes to paint environments that invite the viewer in, or that the viewer can imagine inhabiting were they a different creature altogether — a small mammal or an insect — or that call attention to the interest and beauty of often overlooked places in the landscape. (more images)

This is not the first time these two artists and friends have collaborated on an exhibition. They are both members of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators and this past summer, they organized an exhibit of sixty-five pieces of scientific illustration to hang at Cornell’s Hartell Gallery. Nelson says submissions came from all over the world and it was a very impressive collection.

This exhibit is funded in part by a grant from the New York
State Council on the Arts Decentralization Program.

20th Annual Juried Photography Show

Friday, March 6 through Sunday, March 29, 2009

Frequently Asked Questions

2009 Exhibitor Agreement

  • Submit up to two works.
  • All work should be current and original, ready to hang (matted, framed, glass or plexiglass in front, and a wire or other suitable hardware for hanging in back), and must have used a photographic process in the production. The works should not have been submitted to the State of the Art Gallery (SOAG) in the past. Current members of SOAG are not eligible to exhibit in the show.
  • The entry fee is $30.00, non-refundable, and does not guarantee that your work will be shown. Bring cash or a check made out to “State of the Art Gallery” with your entries.
  • We do not accept mail entries; all entries must be delivered in person.
  • Each entry must have three labels. TWO attached to the FRONT of the work and ONE to the BACK with the following information (please print carefully):
    • Name of the artist
      Title of the work
      The year in which the work was produced
      Medium ( e.g. “silver gelatin print”, color print, Giclee print)
      Retail price ( if you are not selling the print, write NFS )
  • The SOAG commission on sales is 30%.

Please note: While the State of the Art Gallery, its members and agents will make reasonable efforts to protect your work, we cannot indemnify you against loss or damage to your work. In submitting your work you agree that the State of the Art Gallery is not liable and must be held harmless if your work is damaged or lost.

Submission of work to the gallery

  • Sunday, March 1, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm and/or
    Monday, March 2, from 3:00 to 7:00 pm.
  • No work will be accepted after times listed above.
  • Work not juried into the show must be picked up on Thursday, March 5, between the hours of 2:00 and 7:00pm.

Selection and Prize Criteria

  • A minimum of $500. in prizes will be awarded at the discretion of the prize judge.
  • Works will be judged on artistic vision, technical merit and quality of presentation

An opening reception will be held on Friday, March 6, 2009, 5:00-8:00 pm at the gallery. Prizes will be awarded at 6:30 pm.

The show ends Sunday, March 29, 2009.

New Members-Leslie Brill, Erica Pollock, Andrea King, Ethel Vrana

Wednesday, November 5 through Sunday, November 30, 2008
Opening reception:
Friday, November 7, 5:00-8:00 pm
(The gallery will be closed Thanksgiving day, November 27.)

Paintings of urban life, trees, explorations of color and texture and collages of gods and goddesses which personify the planets will fill the front gallery at State of the Art during November. The work is by four new gallery members: painters Leslie Brill, Erica Pollock and Ethel Vrana and collagist Andrea King. The four artists will be present at a reception for their exhibition Friday, November 7, from 5:00-8:00 pm at the gallery.

This exhibition opens Wednesday, November 5, and runs through Sunday, November 30. In addition, other gallery members will exhibit paintings, prints, photographs, sculpture, and assemblage in the Members’ Gallery.


This exhibit is funded in part by a grant from the New York
State Council on the Arts Decentralization Program.

Jan Kather

February, 2009

Jan Kather
Water Preserves

Wednesday, February 4, through Sunday, March 1, 2009
Opening reception:
Friday, February 6, 5:00-8:00 pm


“Water Preserves” explores our complex and sometimes precarious relationship with water by visually and aurally examining its beauty, magic, terror, and poetry. The photo/video installation includes a special invitational collaborative piece created from the work of ten international video artists:

Michael Chang, Denmark
Simone Stoll, Germany
Marty McCutcheon, United States
Kika Nicolela, Brazil
Niclas Hallberg, Sweden
Alicia Felberbaum, England
Kai Lossgott, South Africa
Brad Wise, United States
Stina Pehrsdotter, Sweden
Junichiro Shindo, Japan


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