Full Disclosure: I’ve started this blog post three times and wasn’t happy with any of them. I’m going to go with my third first paragraph and reserve the right to write further posts on the subject.
Another note: I know protocol for news writing is to refer to someone by first and last name the first time you mention them, then by last name only. It did not feel write to talk about Wilcox. To me he is Frank and that is how I refer to him. I hope that’s OK.
I was disappointed that I could not find a friend to accompany me to the exhibit opening at Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts (MVCA) last Saturday. However, I did not want to miss the opening reception for Frank Wilcox’s “Landscapes Old and New.” I figured I would find people there to chat with and I hoped to hear Frank talk about his work. I was right on both counts.
As I walked around looking at the paintings, I chatted with a few people. One was another artist, Pamela Menotti. I mention her, because she gave me a card about her own exhibition, “All Aboard: Train Paintings in Pastel,” at the Kirkland Town Library in Clinton, NY from Nov. 1 to 30 with an opening reception Nov. 8 from 12 to 2 p.m. I carefully tucked the postcard into my notebook and returned to perusing Frank’s exhibit.
The exhibit features landscapes of the Adirondacks. Last fall at MVCA’s Annual Great Art Giveaway, Frank talked about the sense of place in his art. He wanted people to look at his paintings and say, “I’ve been there,” or somewhere like there. I like that idea, because one thing I love is to look at art and say, “I wish I was there.” Looking at the paintings Saturday, I said, “I’ve been somewhere like there,” several times, and “I wish I was there” about practically every work.
The new landscapes were the Adirondack Ikons, inspired by an ikon that was given to Frank, and by music by the British composer John Tavener. An ikon is a visual representation of a spiritual idea. Ikons traditionally use specific colors. Frank used these colors in his Adirondack Ikons. He talked about the colors and the inspiration of the music. He suggested we return when the gallery is less busy to study the paintings while listening to the music that inspired them.
After his talk, Frank answered questions, which I enjoyed very much. He talked about his work methods habits, his background and more. I didn’t ask any questions, but when I see him again I have one. Has he ever considered writing a book about his art?
The exhibition is on view at MVCA, 401 Canal Pl., Little Falls, NY through Nov. 22. The gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday 12 to 4 p.m. I encourage everybody to go check it out. For more information call 315-823-0808