What Makes a Marriage?


Ithaca sculptor explores gay and interracial marriage debates

In January 2010 Eva M. Capobianco will present “What Makes a Marriage?” at State of the Art Gallery in Ithaca, NY. The show will be a benefit for Marriage Equality New York and the Ithaca Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender Task Force (ILGBTTF). Fifty percent of the profits from all sales at the show will be shared equally by these two organizations.

The exhibit dates are January 6-31, 2010. There will be a reception for the artist on Friday, January 8th, from 5-8pm. Harpist Myra Kovary has generously agreed to perform at the reception free of charge in support of the fundraiser. State of the Art Gallery is located at 120 W. State Street, Ithaca, NY. Hours are Wed. –Fri., 12-6pm and Sat. & Sun., 12-5pm. The gallery is ADA accessible, free and open to the public. The artist will be present at the gallery from 12-5pm each Saturday during the exhibit.

The work for this exhibit began during the general election in November, 2004. Ms. Capobianco states: “I found myself deeply upset by how the issue of gay marriage had been used by conservatives as a wedge issue to mobilize their base.” Feeling discouraged, she began to explore ways to use her art to compare today’s struggle for gay marriage equality with the fight for legal interracial marriage that culminated in the historic Loving v. Virginia case in 1967. Reading and researching these two issues has lead to some fascinating comparisons. The artist has incorporated quotes and ideas from these parallel debates into her sculptures in ways that she hopes will foster a healthy discussion about them.

Gay marriage has now become legal in several states, but it has also seen major setbacks in recent months and years. Capobianco says “My partner and I have been together for 27 years. Right now we COULD choose to get married in Canada or Iowa or several other states and that marriage would probably be recognized by our home state of New York. But it would not be recognized by the federal government. That would leave us without most of the benefits and protections that straight couples enjoy. It is important to support organizations that are working to educate the public about the fundamental unfairness of our current system.”

This exhibit is also part of the Light in Winter Festival, www.lightinwinter.com. There will be a second reception during the festival, on Friday, January 22nd, from 5-7pm.

Juried Show Winners announced

Video of show

The winners of SOAG’s biennial Regional Juried Art Exhibition have been announced:

Best of Show
Linda Andrei   “Conversation”

2nd Place
Allen Crittenden Smith   “Yellow Gray”

3rd Place
Paul McMillan   “Moonlight Over Cornstalks”

Honorable Mentions

John Whiting   “To and Fro”
Barbara Page   “Wind Drift Eight #2”
Edmond Caputo   “Brown Fish”
Gunilla Feigenbaum  “Chinese Red #2”
Ileen Kaplan    “Cafe Days”

Fifty works of art were chosen,  representing thirty-seven artists.  Included in the show are paintings, watercolors, drawings, mixed media, prints, assemblage and sculptures in clay, paper and metal.

Lin Price, a faculty member in the Department of Art at Ithaca College announced the prize-winning works at the reception for the artists Gallery Night, Friday, Dec. 4, 2009.

Event Horizons

On November 6 SOAG opens a new solo show by Barbara Mink. “Event Horizons” features mainly large-scale abstracts in acrylics and oils.

Mink says this body of work is the culmination of her thinking about connections between painting and science.

“Ten years ago I founded an annual winter festival which features performers in both the  arts and sciences, so thinking about creative synergies is often on my mind. Painting has always been a part of my life, but this past year I tried an experiment: framing my work with concepts in physics and math.

At first I veered strongly toward rather literal connections but I soon became uncomfortable with the self consciously didactic results. I ended up naming the works in “Event Horizons” more playfully, so the titles touch only lightly on the paintings.

With a nod to the Romantics and Abstract Expressionism, my work rests on the energy of the gesture, the visible trace of the process, and the coherence of carefully controlled elements, with textures and densities ranging from thickly layered to ephemeral.”

State of the Art is located at 120 W. State Street in Ithaca.  Hours are Wed. – Fri., 12-6pm and Sat. & Sun., 12-5pm.  The gallery is ADA accessible and there is curbside parking available.  Contact information for the gallery is 607-277-1626 and www.soag.org.

Closeups of Paintings

Opening Night of Events Horizon

Art Trail Show

State of the Art Gallery will feature an exhibition of Greater Ithaca Art Trail artists during October, the same month as the Greater Ithaca Art Trail Open Studio weekends.   Beginning on September 30, approximately 40 of the 56 artists on the Art Trail will exhibit one piece each in the main gallery.  In the Salon, the newly renovated and re-named Members’ Gallery, an exhibition of work by gallery artists will be on display.  A reception for all artists will be held Friday, October 2 from 5-8pm and the show runs through November 1.

The Greater Ithaca Art Trail represents the wide spectrum of talented and versatile artists who call Tompkins County their home.  Visitors to the Gallery AND to the Art Trail will not only find painters working in all media, but also sculptors, printmakers, fiber artists, ceramists, jewelers, makers of fine furniture, collage artists, glass artists, mixed media artists, digital artists, a blacksmith and creators of decorative functional art.

Gallery visitors can preview Art Trail artists’ work in one location before embarking on the trail itself, a two weekend self-guided tour of 53 studios spread throughout Tompkins County. All studios are open from 11am to 5pm on October 10, 11 and October 17, 18.  Art Trail brochures with maps to the artists’ studios are available at the gallery.

State of the Art is located at 120 W. State Street in Ithaca.  Hours are Wed. – Fri., 12-6pm and Sat. & Sun., 12-5pm.  The gallery is ADA accessible and there is curbside parking available.  Contact information for the gallery is 607-277-1626 and www.soag.org and for more on the Greater Ithaca Art Trail, visit www.arttrail.com or call 607-273-5072, ext.20.  The brochure can also be downloaded from the Art Trail web site.

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, www.soag.org 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, www.soag.org


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, www.soag.org

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.soag.org//and www.http://Stanbowman.com//

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 www.soag.org

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.

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