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Adirondack Landscapes at MVCA

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

Mohawk Valley Art

Saturday afternoon I drove to Little Falls, NY, with my friend Tracy to attend an art opening at the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts (MVCA).

I’ve stopped in at MVCA before, most recently in September during the Garlic Festival. Regular readers may remember that I won two lovely pieces of art at the MVCA Art Giveaway in October. This is the first opening reception I’ve been to. I hope it will not be the last.

The exhibit was “People and Places in My Travels” by Deborah Rosato. I was enchanted by “Christmas in Old Forge,” which MVCA shared on its Facebook page. The other watercolors and pastels in the exhibit did not disappoint. Ms. Rosato was on hand to answer questions about her work. I didn’t have any questions; I just took it all in.

Tracy and I chatted up Kevin Mihaly, the executive director. He mentioned volunteer opportunities. I am interested in that, if it could work out. For one reason, I might get some blog posts out of it.

We also talked with Frank Wilcox, one of the artists who had donated work to October’s Art Giveaway. I also knew Mr. Wilcox because he was in the play Strike Story, which was presented in Little Falls’ Black Box Theatre and at Ilion Little Theatre.

I later noted in MVCA’s Calendar of Events, “Art Matters,” that he will be teaching a 10-week class in Mixed Media beginning in January. MVCA offers a number of art classes. I had said at the Art Giveaway that I was inspired to create something. Perhaps a class is in my future.

After looking at the exhibit and enjoying some of the refreshments, Tracy and I went into the retail section, The Selective Eye. Art, jewelry, clothing, postcards and more are available for purchase. I bought some postcards when I was there in September. They didn’t have any new ones this time.

I was really happy I had made it to the art opening. I was also pleased I had picked up the Art Matters Calendar of Events, so that I can take advantage of other events. For more information on MVCA, you can call 315-823-0808, visit their website at www.MohawkValleyArts.org, or Like their Facebook page.

Supporting the Arts

Friday night Steven and I supported the arts in the Mohawk Valley.

Doesn’t that sound fancy? It was a little fancier than our usual Friday night activities (sit around in sweatpants and order pizza is our favorite). We attended the Annual Art Giveaway of the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts (MVCA).

I recently Liked MVCA on Facebook, which is how we found out about the giveaway. The center posted a beautiful picture, and I started making immediate plans to try to win it. Unfortunately, Steven had to work till 6:30, and the event began at 6. I could have made my way to the arts center in Little Falls, NY, to look at the art and purchase tickets, but did not manage it for one reason or another. Regular readers will not be surprised to hear that I didn’t even have my act together to look at works online and do things by mail or over the phone.

So I went to Francesca’s Banquet in Ilion, NY by myself, with Steven promising to join me as soon as possible. I gave my $5 donation to get in, spent another $5 on 50/50 tickets, made my usual lame joke about how the ticket doesn’t tell you how long to “Keep This Coupon,” then went on to look at the art.

I purchased a book of ten tickets for $30. It was set up like a Chinese auction; you put your ticket into a bag next to the piece you liked. Thirty-five works of art were offered. I figured if there weren’t ten I liked, I could put in multiple tickets for my favorites, like I do at regular Chinese auctions. Of course there were more than ten I liked, but I do have to watch my budget, so I put in for my ten favorites.

Then I realized I had missed a gorgeous soft-sculpture frog at the very end. Steven collects frogs. A few years ago, we had purchased a raffle ticket for such a frog at the arts center in Little Falls, but alas, did not win. I went back to where they were selling tickets and bought just one more ticket.

I saw a few people there I knew. I chatted them up as well as a few new people. There was a table of light refreshments and a cash bar. I indulged in a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and nibbled some cheese and vegetables.

Soon they began to draw for the artwork. Some of the artists were present and said a few words before the ticket for their piece was drawn. They spoke about their views of art in general or their method of working or the story behind that particular piece. I was fascinated. I kept telling people I was inspired and was going to take up an art so I could donate a piece next year. People were very gracious about it; nobody said anything like, “Yeah, like you’re going to be as good as that in a year or less!”

I ended up winning two very beautiful pieces. I was so excited! Steven will have to re-arrange some things on our walls to make good places for them. In the meantime, I’m watching the MVCA Facebook page for their next fundraiser.

For more information on the arts center, visit their website at www.mohawkvalleyarts.org/.