Sunday, May 2, 2010

Docent Talks

Below are are the contents of a series of docent talks presented on Friday, April 30, 2010, which were researched, written,and presented by the students of the Art Museum Theory and Methodology class.


"She Came in Through the Window" by R.D.

The piece, “She Came in Through the Window,” by Alexia Scott, brings a unique and refreshing outlook of how to convey what is normally perceived as cliché messages. This piece communicates its meaning of obtaining endless possibilities through unthought-of ways. Do not be surprised by this piece and its small domineer since it artfully packs a lot of meaning into its petite dimensions. It is truly a Napoleonic complex at its best.
When looking at the piece, “She Came in Through the Window,” the first thing that attracts the eye are the three bright colors of the piece, red, green, and blue that complement each other very well. It is not by coincidence that the focus of the piece, the window that reflects the clear blue sky, is also the brightest part. This part in contrast to the once vibrant greens of the window frame and reds of the barn that are now faded which then better showcases the crisp brightness of the blues in the reflection of the window which then becomes symbolic of light.
Another unique aspect of this painting is the unusual perspective the artist chose to convey the main message of the piece. Essentially, it is a photograph that is taken from an outdoor space at ground level, which is supposed to capture a reflection from an indoor confined medium (the window of a presumably enclosed barn) of the sky. This brings a very interesting point of view that is quite artistic, especially considering how this view is commonly conveyed through a straightforward approach of taking a photograph directly of the object.
It is also quite contradictory that the world’s most magnificent; forever continuous space physically, chronologically, and philosophically is expressed through the confines of a series of squires. This serious includes the cornered space of the window frame, the barn, and even as far as the shape of the literal photograph itself. This leaves one to ponder if there is any true way to express the significance of the sky and what some would relate to as the heavens in any tangible art form.
This almost oxymoronic medium of the piece is not the only aspect that is unusual. The uncommon angle perhaps reiterates the unique ways the artist conveys her message that deals with light and possibilities. This angle brings more than refreshing quirkiness to the piece, but also strengthening the message. The angle is looking upwards towards the sky, which conveys better possibilities and a hopeful prospective future.
Even the very setting of the photograph relates to the central theme of this piece. The photograph reinvents and twists one of the most iconic images of America, the bountiful unfolding farmland that spreads across this nation from the Pacific to the Atlantic oceans. This plentiful and seemingly never ending amount of space is a unique aspect that the United States is notorious for and can identify with the same characteristics of the sky.
One can interpret this along with the title, “She Came in Through the Window,” as opportunities that are most commonly coined by the Christian phrase, “When God closes a door he opens a window” Here the focal point of the piece is the window that reflects the clear blue sky that is symbolic of opportunities. Here the closed door of what would have been opportunities is not shown, but is assumed that the partial expressed barn the photograph depicts continues normally as any barn would.
Since God is often symbolized through light, especially light from heaven coming down through the earthly sky, one could also interpret the piece along with the title as heavenly light coming in through the window. The same light that nurtures the crops that most likely surround this barn is the same light that creates or revitalizes ideas, aspirations, and spiritual development. The light that is shining through the window that symbolizes cultivation of the spirit and aspirations is also representing the way in which the window itself replenishes goals and creates solutions. This expression of ideas and concept that is more of a reiteration than oppositional thinking is in sharp contrast to the way in which the oxymoronic way that the endless outdoor upwardly space was conveyed through a tangible confined indoor space at ground level.
Similarly to how we are all individuals of a greater picture, this piece is part of a greater collection of photographs in what is called the “Emotion” series. Most of the other pieces in the collection are tangible forms of expression; a human body conveying messages of thought and emotion through innate body language or more linguistically forms of communications such as photographs of words like, “surge” and “art” that is depicted next to a cross. The piece, “She Came in Through a Window” is only one of two that conveys emotion through theory and without the use of societies most depended upon forms of communication. This furthers the meaning of the piece and the significance of the heavenly sky to discover one’s own possibilities and spiritualities.
The piece, even with its seemingly simplistic form, conveys deep philosophical content through a multitude of symbolism, oxymoronic and reiterated expressions that all fit in the confines of one photograph. Viewing this piece is to view an unfolding exploration of artistic innovation that discovers new photographic subtleties in order to fully express the very concept of ingenuity and opportunities.

"Summer Landscape" by C.R.

For my Docent talk I picked Marilyn Senko’s Summer Landscape Painting’s, with my primary focus being painting # 3. While I thoroughly enjoyed the whole gallery I choose Marilyn for the reason of knowing her better than any other artist in this year’s 2010 Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition. After knowing Marilyn through taking several classes with her I’ve personally gotten to see how she develops her work from start to finish. Luckily, I was in the Outdoor Landscape Painting class in which Marilyn created these paintings. I first met Marilyn during last year in the painting class with Jian Cui during the first session of summer classes.
Marilyn is currently a part-time student at Suny Oneonta Majoring in Studio Art as well as completing a minor in Art History. Marilyn said that since she can remember she’s always loved drawing and painting. When discussing to me her background in art she replied “I remember when I was in 4th grade, I was able to skip a lesson that the rest of the class had to do just to copy a drawing on a large scale because the teacher needed a large drawing of a ship.” Another fond memory she recalled was creating Holiday crafts through drawing and painting. After graduating high school in 1983 she worked as a waitress until 1990 when she decided to attend college. Marilyn completed her associated degree in Fine arts. Her goal was to continue on to complete her BA and receive a Masters in Studio Art. With this, her dream was to be an art instructor at a college. Unfortunately, after her life took a drastic turn, Marilyn ended up going back to school to be an RN due to the economy at the time, and all the cut backs going on in the art field. Several years later, Marilyn decided to once again pursue her dream and started attend Suny Oneonta as a part-time student in Spring 2008. Though there were many things preventing Marilyn from attending school from 1992-2008, she said one thing remained the same, which was her consistent love for art. Back in school, and loving her major, Marilyn decided to sign up for Landscape painting. She had mentioned that she was curious to know what the class had to offer since she hadn’t drawn or painted in several years. Marilyn enjoys taking drawing/painting class because she believes the more she is able to have time to paint and draw the better her artist skills will become. If all goes well, she aspires to teach at a college somewhere other than NY State. She had mentioned, that maybe if she gets good enough, she’ll sell her professional painting’s, and would love to display them in an exhibits. Unsure of what the future will truly bring, she stays optimistic about being an artist because she loves it, and believes it is truly a part of her soul. Other than being a student/artist, Marilyn is a mother and a full-time nurse at Cooperstown Bassette Healthcare center where she works in the cancer level of the hospital. With Marilyn working on such a stressful floor in hospital, the painting class became a joyful and meditative adventure. With being a full time nurse, it’s not often that one gets to stop and enjoy the scenery of an outdoor setting especially on a nice day.
Our instructor, Jian Cui is an amazing Assistant Professor at the State University of Oneonta who teaches mainly in the categories of Computer Art and Drawing. Jian Cui received his MFA in New Media from Pennsylvania State University, and his MA in Computer Art from Savannah College of Art and Design, GA. He also received a BFA in Sculpture from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing where he began his art career, being native to this area of China. Jian Cui's works deal with the internal and external conflicts between an individual and the environment. He is interested in integrating traditional 2D and, 3D arts with contemporary digital media. He loves Landscape painting and was the perfect mentor in the outdoor painting class.

In Jian’s class we literally sat outside every day from 10am to 12pm. Within the 6 week course the weather was phenomenal, barely a drop of rain. The class went to various locations spending a week at each one. The Campus Pond was our first serious painting location. The pond is actually depicted in one of Marilyn’s three paintings, which landed its spot in the middle of the three landscape portrayals. Through the paintings, and especially in the way they are displayed, viewers can observe how Marilyn’s artistic quality progressed. The chronological display not only shows how Marilyn’s artistic skills improved, but it also shows how Jian helped us to evolve through lending his students constructive criticism. Along with exploring the campus region, the class was instructed to explore new scenery, such as down town Oneonta which has beautiful old houses. In addition, Jian encouraged his students to paint at home, explaining that a 6 week course was barely enough time to develop gifted painters, thus the weekly homework assignment. The top picture in the display is one of Marilyn’s homework assignments, which depict the street in which Marilyn resides.

The objective of Jian’s Class was for the students to work as an advanced studio art class, where we would use new media’s and subject’s that were not covered in other Suny Oneonta’s painting classes. The emphasis that Jian strived for his students to adapt to was the integration of creative and technical aspects through Painting. Jian's Inspirations for the class came from 19th century impressionist’s artist and, featured landscapes from central New York, many from the Oneonta area. Students were encouraged to work with acrylic and gauche on watercolor paper, thus Marilyn’s submissions of acrylic on paper. The Painting is of one of downtown Oneonta’s most distinct buildings, The Robynwood Homecare Agency located on 43 Walnut in downtown Oneonta. Through observation, I have found that in painting on several of Oneonta’s beautiful streets, the Robynwood building has become quite a popular choice for students to pick for their Landscape Portrayals. Marilyn’s depiction of Robynwood Homecare displays the various rendering skills in which Jian taught his class to learn. This was one of the final locations that the class painted in.
To better understand what Landscape painting is about, I’ll explain how Jian educated the class. Landscape art is a type of painting that covers natural scenery, such as streets, mountains and valleys. In landscape painting, the subject is a wide view, with its elements arranged into a cohesive composition. The goal of Landscape painting is to capture as many elements as permitted by the canvas. Typically the sky is always included in the view of the artist. Another element that should be taken into consideration when painting is the weather. The overall mood and tone of the painting is often affected by the weather conditions.
Now that we understand what we’re looking for let’s take into consideration the fundamental objectives through viewing Marilyn’s Landscape Painting #3. When viewing Marilyn’s painting, my immediate feeling is warmth, a perfect portrayal of a warm summer day, which may I add, she has done quite nicely in all three. Seeing the bright orange/red brick makes you feel as if the sun is shining right and reflecting off the hot brick structure. The contrast of the house against the cool trees and the almost opaque sky makes the building pop. The sky gives off a very warm and dreamlike setting for the painting. The contrast of the juxtaposed colors makes the viewer focus on the small and intricate detailing that the building has to offer, and more importantly its 3-dimensionality. The warm grayish-white really highlights the bright yellowish-white gingerbread molding that trims that house. You can feel the cool areas in the painting. Marilyn did a lovely job creating the shaded areas in the painting, such as the shadows under the molding and porch area, as well as underneath the trees and flowering plants. The variation in the shades of the green in the foliage makes them seem so lively and real. Overall I’m just really drawn to the picture; to me it’s warm, and familiar.

I think that Marilyn is a very talented individual. I have enjoyed taking classes with her, and getting to know how wonderful she is on the inside. Her love for art is so inspiring to me. Like Marilyn, I too would like to get my Masters in art education. To see how her passion has for art has always prevailed is so touching to me personally. Her patients with school and work, I’m sure, will be greatly rewarded.

"Cow" by J.H.

Mullen Gallery- Student Show

One piece that I felt stood out the most was the one of the cow. It was like none of the other pieces in the whole show. This piece was done with little sections of paper to create this over sized picture of a cow. Cows around here are not a rare sight, but people who live in cities this could be. For myself I have seen a cow but being next to this is like being next to a real cow as funny as that sounds. Luke Dougherty used watercolors created this piece. For this talk I had took it upon myself to email Luke Dougherty to get a few questions answer that I had about the piece, which he did respond to.

The first is the medium Luke used, which is watercolor. I thought that the chose of watercolors was perfect because of the texture it gives to the paper. The subject being a cow means that it has fur and when painting with watercolors you have brush stokes, which lends itself very well for fur. Each block of paper was painted separately and then maneuvered together to create this cow. With each block being painted gives each block a unique look to it because not one brush stoke is the same. The brush strokes show movement and give the cow movement. Along with each block being painted individually there are shadows and light spots and give the cow a sense of depth. From a far view you would think this would be a real cow until you get closer and see all the brush strokes.

When looking at the painting you see the cow looking back at you as if the cow is frozen while looking at you. You don’t know what it is thinking; maybe its nervous, or just have no idea what is going on around it. Looking at how the painting was done, by grid, it started from a photograph first. I have done grids before and how I’ve done it was you take a picture and grid it out then on the paper make an enlarged version of that same grid with the same amount of sections. Then for each section you paint what you see in the picture to make it a larger version of its self.

The first question I had asked Luke Dougherty was why a cow? You don’t see many pieces that have a cow as the main subject and I have found this interesting. You never really see a cow alone they’re always with a group. This cow has an interesting story behind it, Luke Dougherty was photographing cows in a neighbor’s field, and he had made a project of these photos. The cows have this amazing presence, Luke stated, and “they are really quite peaceful and curious, although you do have to be fairly careful about them. Jack, the farmer that lets me photograph his cows is a neighbor with a notorious slob named Arney. Arney raises Jersey cows while Jack raises Belted Galloways. It turns out that Arney let his fence fall into disrepair and one of his Jerseys impregnated one of Jacks Galloways. The white head is Jersey while the black body is Galloway. I liked the idea of a Bastard cow. I think I am a bit of a bastard cow myself.” After reading this email it made the painting so much more than a painting of the cow because it has more meaning behind it with the cow being two different types of cow. When you looked at the painting you know it was a lonely cow until you here its story on how different the cow really is. The first time I saw the cow I thought it was cute and then you keep looking at it, and he’s alone just looking at you.

The second questioned I asked Doughery was why he decided to use a grid. From my view it was because this was a different and easy way to enlarge a picture. One can see he wanted this to be a large painting and the easiest way to blow up a small picture is to block it out and go by each section and redraw it. Also with a grid each piece is important to the whole painting because without one it can through off the whole picture. This may have taken a long time to create but all put together it made a really well done painting of a cow. What he had said to me for the reason was, “The Grid references modernism. In my mind Mondrian started it, and Agnes Martin, Sean Scully, and of course Chuck Close used it in ways that thrill me.” The grid also made the painting a little playful because it had to be put together like a puzzle and showed off the light heartedness of the painting.

Next was why the large size? For me the nice was necessary because it is a cow and it makes it feel really. When I look at this painting you just get this feeling that the size was so important. What Dougherty said was “I painted the image large because I wanted it to have several aspects. Monet's Water Lilies at the MOMA in NYC are very realistic from a distance but as you stand closer to them they turn into abstractions, a beautiful language of marks, tones etc. I love that.” This I find beautiful the fact that he wanted it to be seen as perfect from a far but as you come closer you see that it is not and it is full of loud brush strokes and paper showing through. The only way I feel someone can represent a cow and make it tasteful is to exaggerate it. What I mean by this is if you are going to paint a cow make it a cow. People see cows all the time, but never as a focal point for a piece of art.

One aspect of this painting that I find very important is Dougherty’s use of color. In this painting there are a lot of muted colors and at first I thought that this was because the cow was alone. I thought he wanted you to look at this and feel what the cow was feeling with the dark outside around him. This was not true when I asked Dougherty the question about the use of muted colors. His answer was “The colors are muted because in my opinion muted colors have the most lasting dignity. I work in almost all grey of one sort or another. Bright colors don't grow on you, they are what they are. Think of grey eyes that seem to shift colors depending, this is a really interesting experience. There is also a somber quality to muted, like a minor key, only without the forced drama.” This statement shows me there is truly a lot of thought behind this. That by using all different tones of grey he wanted to create a serene environment so that when you look at his painting you are not over whelmed with the over use of color. I think this make the painting have some sophistication even though it is a cow.

What I find that is very important about this painting is the use of a strong brush stroke. The way he applied the paint really lends its self well for the painting. I think that the strokes show off the fur of the cow, and give it a sense of movement. It also helps with the abstract feeling the Dougherty was trying to create. Dougherty stated that, “strong brushstrokes are exciting to me. Think of Japanese brush painters, the calligraphy of a mark conveys a lot of feeling.” You see this feel that he is talking about with the brush strokes. One can see the movement with his use of large brush strokes.

Last what I feel is important to the cow painting is what Dougherty was feeling at the time. This I feel has something to do with every piece of work. Their needs to be that spark, something that makes you want to create something. Dougherty said I don't know what I was feeling at the time. There is this thing that happens to me, I start to think about an image, maybe the way you start to think about something you are going to write, and the image sticks around, like a piece of furniture I pulled out of the garbage. There is something that I like about it. If I tried to say what, I would just be selling you or myself. I think images come from a place that is aside from verbal reasoning, not better or truer, just different. I think for him knowing the story behind this cow helped him with his idea of the cow painting. I also believe this thought was unconsciously thought of during the time the painting was being created.

I am very excited that I chose this piece and emailed the artist. I know now the really reason for this painting and that is how the cow differs from all the other cows. This painting I found to be different for all the other paintings in the show, it stood out to me. I was very excited when the artist emailed back, and hope he goes far with his art.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

"Catalogue Entries"

As an exercise, the students of the Art Museum Theory and Methodology course at SUCO (Spring 2010) wrote entries for a virtual catalogue to accompany the exhibition at the Martin-Mullen Gallery.

Each entry describes the artwork and discusses it utilizing a theoretical methodology, or "view", such as feminism, psychoanalysis, or postmodernism.


"Hand's Bloom" by B.B.

Nadin Kayserian
Hand’s Bloom, 2009.
Stone (unknown, possibly Alabaster),13” x 6 ¼” x 4 ¾”.
Martin-Mullen Art Gallery,
State University of New York College at Oneonta.
The sculpture presents a rough hand, almost claw-like that emanates a “life force” evoking the purity and enlightenment of a lotus flower. From its organic beginnings, Hand’s Bloom evolves into a biomorphic Surrealist form resonating with a refined beauty and eloquence that captivates the viewer. The elongated shadows cast by the work express the flow of energy radiating from the stone. With each individually carved finger, Ms. Kayserian invites the spectator to partake in the essence of Hand’s Bloom.
The dichotomy of the composition’s surface relates to samsara – the Buddhist cycle of rebirth. As the lotus grows out of the still water and mud of the pond, it leaves the mud (worldly existence) behind to emerge straight toward the sky, appear clean on the surface (purity), and blossoms into a beautiful flower (enlightenment). The flower opens its petals to catch the warm sun rays, reveals its beauty and purity, and shares its fragrance with the world. Hand’s Bloom was inspired by the words of Hindu Prince Gautama Siddhartha, the founder of Buddhism (563-483 B.C.): “As a lotus flower is
born in water, grows in water and rises out of water to stand above it unsoiled, so I, born
in the world, raised in the world having overcome the world, live unsoiled by the
world.” Carved out of the traditions of Buddhism, Hand’s Bloom is rich with its iconography.
The sculpture references mudras, the Sanskrit word for the stylized hand gestures (literally a sign or a seal) depicted in Buddhist art. Each mudra expresses a meaning and is often used as a symbolic gesture in rituals and meditation. Kayserian’s Hand’s Bloom correlates to Bhumisparsha Mudra, or a gesture of touching the earth. “The mudra recalls the historical Buddha’s path to enlightenment, when he asked the earth to bear witness to his worthiness to become a Buddha.” The sculpted hand is a visualization of the tenacity associated with the historical Buddha.
Beyond the symbolic representation, the artist was affected by the Buddhist themed music and music videos of the three time Grammy Award winning progressive metal band Tool – particularly the group’s videos for the singles “Vicarious” (the first computer-generated imagery), “Parabola” and the innovative album art of Alex Grey. This California rock band has been exploring alternative music since 1990. Tool was described by Patrick Donovan, chief music writer of The Age as, "The thinking person's metal band – cerebral and visceral, soft and heavy, melodic and abrasive, tender and brutal, familiar and strange, western and eastern, beautiful and ugly, taut yet sprawling and epic, they are a tangle of contradictions." Alex Grey (born 1953) is an American artist specializing in spiritual and visionary art often associated with New Age. His artwork is featured on Tool’s “Lateralus” album and forms the stage design – massive reproductions of the album’s artwork – for the band’s corresponding tour. Grey’s artistry is the creative force behind the computer-generated imagery for “Vicarious.”
Kayserian’s preliminary design was a lotus blossom, but the shape of the raw stone developed into Hand’s Bloom. She carved an “ugly” hand to mimic the murky pond waters of existence. Kayserian wanted the viewer to be repulsed by the abrasive digits and drawn to the soft, rounded, smooth texture and pristine qualities of the “bloom” – from worldly existence to purity and enlightenment. The artist “hoped the observer would see the shapes and want to touch them.” She chose to leave the hand part of the sculpture grossly chiseled and unpolished yielding “a dusty, whitish-gray color” contributing to the unattractive qualities and reflecting “the beautiful flower growing out of a disgusting pond.” She was delighted when the highly polished shapes revealed this explosion of color – “swirls of reds, greens and browns with stripes and specks of crystal” – in effect, a spectrum of energy. The piece was executed by hand using a sculpting hammer and chisel in her 2009 fall semester Sculpture I class; it was Kayserian’s first work completed in stone. Hand’s Bloom fulfilled the assignment to complete a sculpture and explore the subtractive method by carving forms and spaces in stone with emphasis on the positive and negative form, as well as on the surface qualities of the materials. The sculpture is a beautiful means of bringing subtle, inner realities to a focus in outward expression.
The artist is a senior Computer Arts major at the State University of New York College at Oneonta. After graduation in May, 2010, Kayserian will begin an internship in New York City at Motion Capture NYC where she will use motion capture technology for their parent company, VLC Global. She hopes to pursue a career in this field and eventually work in film or television.

Richard A. Gard, Buddhism. Great religions of modern man. New York: G. Braziller, 1961, 75 – 81.

Ibid., 84 -87.

Richard A. Gard, Buddhism. Great Religions of Modern Man. New York: G. Braziller, 1961, 79 – 81.

Ibid., 74.

Ibid., 87 – 95.

Ibid., 97.

Patrick Donovan, Music Reviews, Fairfax Digital, Sydney, Australia, 1991,, 23 April, 2010.


Alex Grey,, MicroCoSM Gallery, New York, 1999,, 24 April, 2010.


Interview with the Artist, April 22, 2010.




Interview with the Artist, April 22, 2010.


Syllabus, Sculpture I.

"Exposure" by R.D.

Exposure by Genevieve Pedulla:
Interpreted through the view of Griselda Pollock’s piece The “View from Elsewhere”
“Exposure” by Genevieve Pedulla can be interpreted as an expression of a young woman’s journey of reclaiming her identity through feminist thought. In order to portray this crossing-over experience into self-defining and self-identity, it takes more than just one photograph to convey a process that has taken a person’s entire lifetime thus far; which is why the entire set of “Exposure” was grouped together as one in this catalogue entry. This photograph series has managed to convey a sense of honesty from the artist that expresses a sense of green naivety and yet raw jaggedness at the same time.
This conveyance of frankness derives from the perspective of one young woman reinterpreting herself through a feminist mindset. This painting subtly portrays an inner quest to reanalyze oneself in regard to questions of sexuality and representation, spectatorship and power. When one grows up in a patriarchal society, it is only natural and expected to view through a male lens in which deconstruction of such thinking can turn into a lifetime process. Once one makes the commitment it becomes extremely difficult to find your way out of what is known as the “matrix of patriarchy.”
One of the reasons why this is so hard to do is because all existing histories (art history included) and theories of reading, writings, sexuality, ideology, or any other cultural production are built on male narratives of gender, bound by the heterosexual contract; narratives which persistently reproduce themselves in feminist theories. This tends to happen, and will do so unless one constantly resists and critiques others analysis and interpretations as well as one’s own.
As the artist of this piece expresses her own personal struggle through identifying herself outside of the definitions and expectations of patriarchy, a self conflicting dichotomy unravels across the set of photographs. How does a developing mind already unsure of the complexities of life and self-worth manage to find new answers to questions that have already been explained by men a thousand times, redefining definitions that have been set in stone for generations, or figuring out how to interact in society when gender roles are all you have ever known? What you get is a young woman’s expression of feministic growing pains, subtle contradictions that the inner self either has not noticed or quite figured out how to solve yet, and a healing process embarking towards a brighter, more fulfilled future.
This construction of gender which takes place through the interlaced processes of representation and self-representation that all Western Art and high culture ‘engraves’ on the individual as “technologies of gender.” What the artist tries to do in her series of photographs is to equally become a medium for radical deconstruction of gender. As her tattoos become a mechanism for communication in her photographs, the importance lies in the tattoos themselves as well as where they are placed. One of her tattoos she makes into the focal point of two photographs which are an ambiguous cluster of belonged ovals that are centered on her hip. One could interpret this as the ceaselessly unanswered question of what is true womanhood.
When one looks at how the tattoos further convey the meaning of the photography set as a whole, once notices the placement of tattoos share a bilinear relationship between the intimate and practical parts of the body, showcase not only what her redefining of sexuality into sensuality, but also the practical parts that usually do not get included on the feminine pedestal including, the arms that can be used to hold a child or the back that bears life’s burdens.
In this series of photographs, the artist defines herself and by extension humanity’s womanhood outside the confines of class and consumption; bringing the female essence to its most basic form. The artist is a woman exposing her own womanhood that represents an essence that is inherent in all women. This very act is reclaiming worth to a particular perception that is so commonly in our patriarchal society overlooked and undervalued. To patriarchy, not all women hold value; only certain bodies are worthy of male desire.
One can tell that certain photographs focus on portraying a high value for womanhood. One in particular bears striking similarities to one of Edvard Munch’s pieces “Madonna.” Both Portray a young woman with her eyes closed, arms removed or position in a way that leaves the breasts jutting out completely exposed, but the artist does put some unique twist on her own interpretation of this painting. The young woman in the photography set is covered in a wet white sheet that leaves a vague image that Evard Munch simply interpreted and abstracted. It is also different in the fact that the photograph is from a woman representing a woman and not just a man’s interpretation of a female model. This brings new meaning to the photography piece as it conveys not only how a woman’s sexuality leaves vulnerability, but also how woman can reclaim their bodies through art,
This not only provides woman with self-given/self-received respect, but also an unspoken “talking cure” that helps enable women to endure the struggles that exist in a patriarchal society. Using art as a form of art therapy and an alternative means of communication of expression, the artist conveys her own self-worth and value of women in society. This is important when considering that there is equally a “listening cure” that is a natural part of therapy for women.
Through the artist’s expression of feministic identity, she not only manages to redefine one’s sense of self, but also many important aspects of women’s lives including, sexuality into sensuality and the just as important components of intimacy and practicality that all women hold and what should be equally celebrated and cherished. Reclaiming one’s self in a patriarchal society is not something you check off on your “to do list,” but rather a journey you pursue each day with each analysis that happens within the privacy of your own thoughts and the actions you make outside, The very act of a woman showcasing art is feministic, but Genevieve Pedulla goes a step further by giving art a purpose towards the betterment of all woman.

Flower Pot by A.A.

The Flower pot on display in the Martin-Mullen Art Gallery at SUNY Oneonta, is a sculpture of color and vibrance. Sabrina Niewiadomski created this piece for her 3D sculpture class. The colors and shapes make this a unique piece. But why did she make a pot full of flowers? The whole class is set around different project with different methodologies. This class readies the artist for a eclectic idea of sculpture. A great well-rounded class centered around all different elements.
One point of this project is that of taking certain shapes created by the students. Specifically made, these shapes have certain measurements so that all of the students have a sculpture made of the same shapes, but everyone’s looks different. The point is to create something creative, and well made, but while staying within the confines of the shapes. Sabrina decided to instead of making something abstract and intangible, she made something finite, and recognizable. Being in that she wanted to make something recognizable, she decided to stick to simplicity. Making the flower pot was exciting she said. She really had been discouraged by her art classes, and finally came back to the feeling of childhood with her sculpture.
Childhood art projects are always fun. Creating something colorful and fun brought the child back out for Sabrina. Creating art as a child your work is never judged, or criticized and being in college for art can be competitive. She felt like she was always on trial, but creating this sculpture, it reminded her of why she is attending SUNY Oneonta in the first place; fun. She loves bright colors, big shapes and a big size, which are all incorporated in her piece. The carboard cut outs and tubes are created by her, and it’s quite funny that her tubes are actually toilet paper tubes connected, and then wrapped in brown paper.
The feminist side of Sabrina came out as well. Flowers are very feminine, and full of symbolism in art, and also just for women. Expressing her feminism side through making flowers expresses her desire to make the role of women in today’s society more exceptable. Sabrina succeeded in capturing the symbolism of women, but while not being overly feminine.
While trying not to be too feminine, the flowers in this flower pot can be made into a masculine phallic symbol as well. I think that Sabrina didn’t think about the phallic element of her sculpture, but I think it is still worthy to write about. The two juxtaposition of the two sexes in this piece are interesting. When learning about the anatomy of flowers in school, you learn that flowers are A Sexual. Which means that they contain the both genders in one biological life. Flowers spontaneously spread their pollen and spread their seed. Thinking of how I was going to write analytically, or metamorphically about this piece, it never occurred to me to think in terms of gender, but the flower encompasses all they need to expand their reach in terms of population. They don’t need a female, or a male, only themselves. Being close to Sabrina, I know that she wants to expand her love life to include just one person. Being in love with one person, and not being alone. But making this sculpture in the tune of two genders in one as a flower is, I feel like it could have helped her deal with the stress of being single.
Sabrina is a unique individual who appreciates the wonders of being a child, and making art as a child created the love of art, and continuing her education with art is expanding her life to another end that she never though she could get. She has grown as an artist and as an individual.

"Sew the Tradition Continues" by C.R.

Sew The Tradition Continues Is one of the many Art works that was entered into the 2010 Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition. Rebecca Robinson, who is the artist of this piece, is one of the several senior students that submitted a variety of fine arts projects. Robinson is an Art Studio major with a concentration in painting. With several other of her entries being paintings, Sew The Tradition Continues uniquely different from the rest of her works. Made from a variety of materials, this mixed media entry is feminine and quaint. Sew The Tradition Continues will be displayed from April 12-May 22, 2010 at The State University Of Oneonta Martine-Mullen Art Gallery.
The piece was created in the schools Artist Books class which introduces the dynamic field of Artists Books. With the new artist form rising rapidly since the early 1980’s, several schools have decided to introduce this art category into the curriculum. Artist books have explored both traditional and innovative book structures; Sew The Tradition Continues does this precisely. In the Suny Oneonta class, the teacher’s objective is to allow the student to develop a broad spectrum of theoretical approaches as well as design. The intensions of Artist Books, is that students will produce a number of sculptural book objects with a strong conceptual base. Aesthetic consideration is brought to this class from, Drawing, Design, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, Painting, Ceramics, and Computer Art. The combination of artistic skills and concepts produce this new artistic field of complimentary components.
In the Creation of Rebecca’s Artist Book, she experimented with dress patterns by fusing two pieces together to create a translucent sheet that was durable and aesthetical. With a durable medium, Robinson was able to sew the material and apply fabric using web fusing. With these materials she created the skirt for the dress that represented pages of her book. Rebecca handwrote her story on the folded dress skirt, the story tells about her first introduction to sewing. The story then proceeds on to tell how she learned different techniques from her mother and further how sewing weaved its way in and out of her life for the past thirty years. The Bodice of the dress holds the quotes from her daughter on the learning process of sewing. She used a translucent fabric to randomly sew these quotes onto the dress. Rebecca initial struggled for the title and finally came up with Sew The Tradition Continues, which was quite an appropriate title for such an Artists Book. The base of Rebecca Robinson’s book b is a traditional mannequin.
Sew The Tradition Continues is a twofold, as Rebecca Robinson created her book she also taught her daughter to sew. She was taken by her daughter’s interest and excitement to learn the new skill of sewing. Unplanned for the two to go hand and hand, Robinson was thrilled for the tradition of sewing to give her such inspiration for her Artist Book. Subsequently, Robinson bought her daughter a small sewing machine so the two could work side by side as she created her book. Surprised by her daughter’s perseverance she was enthralled that her daughter was actively working on straight stitches, moving the fabric around, backing up and asking all the right questions. The concept for Robinson’s book was based on her love for sewing, and how she learned sewing for her mother, as well as how she was passing her knowledge of sewing to her daughter. Though the means for sewing changed from one generation to the next, it is unique in that all the women that inspirited Robinson’s artist book had a desire to create.
The mannequin in Rebecca’s Artist Book speaks volumes about her work. This articulated female figure is often used by artists, tailors, dressmakers, and others especially when displaying clothing, so it is only appropriate that Robinson used the mannequin as her base. Sadly the female mannequin is an idealized female body, with no legs or features other than the ever so prominent hourglass torso. Robinson’s inspiration came from her childhood. Not coming from a wealthy family, Robinson often made clothes for her dolls and Barbie’s. Learning to sew at an early age allowed Robinson to create and design clothing at a young age, thus permitting her to create a wardrobe of variety for her small framed idol. With Barbie being one of the most iconic hourglass shapes, it is understandable that Robinson after years and years of sewing toy clothing, drew inspiration from Barbie’s figure. Both mannequins and Barbie are identified as surprisingly sexual female figures, in which young children constantly associate themselves with. With the bust and hips of the mannequin/Barbie almost the same size, and the waist minuscule in comparison. The female body standard is being portrayed to be unrealistically small like mannequins and Barbie. It allows viewers to perceive the female figure as an object, instead of being a subject, giving it a promiscuous connotation. This iconic figure is recognizable to every western woman; it has influence and changed the thoughts and feelings of the female self-image from decades. Fortunately, children in today’s generation have different views on self-image. Luckily, with Women such as Robinson influence children to be creative and innovative, to learn through curiosity and not demand.
Sew The Tradition Continues is more than just a glance back at a childhood. It is a flash back in to the reality of materialism in America. Robinson’s humble childhood inspired many phases of her life. Barbie may not have prompted a national crisis in female self-esteem, but it certainly touched many lives nationwide. The vampy fashion doll helped to bring about the sexualization of childhood, evidence of which is everywhere today. Fortunately Rebecca Robinson’s daughter desire to sew came from the joy of watching her mother’s creative and artist abilities, and not from the desire to make Barbie even more materialistic than she already is. The beauty of the project lies with in the custom. Three generations of sewers, three different women, and one beautifully formed Artist Book.