Livingston Arts introduced two out-of-the-box exhibits—“Thinking Out Loud” and “Imagination Creation”—on Thursday Sept. 1, which showcase the work of Geneseo associate professor of studio art Patrice Case and regional artist Terry Finch, respectively. The work is presented in the center’s Apartment One Gallery, located in Mount Morris, New York. Although differing in style and medium, both artists display similar fundamental values through their unique alterations of traditional objects or photographs.
In “Thinking Out Loud,” Case uses materials such as metal and clay to create what might be thought of as kitchenware, but with a twist. In her statement, she explains, “Every little crack in the pavement, texture of gravel or pile of pebbles becomes inspiration for [my] art.” She describes the exhibit as a spontaneous and expressive process, where form and material go hand-in-hand.
Pieces resembling spoons are displayed in frames on the Gallery walls; “Scoop and Shake,” which is pierced and formed out of silver, suggests a type of strainer with a long, angular and abstract handle. “Pea Server,” described as “fabricated domes [of silver] with edge,” imitates a spoon, but includes several delicately carved domes in which peas may settle when scooping.
Case’s elusive designs show an appreciation for the subtle beauty of what is often considered an ordinary object. Her theme translates from one medium to the next, where clay replaces metal in a series entitled “Long Legs, Stubby Legs, Little Feet.”
The name accurately represents Case’s brightly hued pottery, all of which stand on either long, stubby or little legs. One musty-blue sculpture resembles a jellyfish, with a crowd of finger-like tentacles supporting a simple, lipped dish. Another emulates a flower with a petal-shaped rim standing on tiny leaf legs. The warm pinks and greens of the floral presentation insinuate a spring bloom.
Case’s diversity of color and shape highlights her ability to push the boundaries of the ordinary in an attempt to make one think. The bright shades are loud and add a dramatic flair, an attribute similar to the work of fellow regional artist Terry Finch.
The Gallery’s adjacent exhibit, “Imagination Creation,” displays Finch’s digitally enhanced photography of destinations throughout western New York. A Wayland native, his work demonstrates a deep connection with local beauty through the manipulation of color and contrast.
The canvas entitled “Black Moon” shows an image taken from the bank of Canadice Lake, yet Finch alters the original photo to appear “negative,” turning the tree-lined shores white and the lake an inky black. This contrast is accentuated by a dark sky, hence, “Black Moon.”
This theme of high-contrast and reverse-color is reflected in many more of Finch’s photographs. “Midnight Hollow” captures an unidentified glow between trees in a parting forest; again, the trees are illuminated in white against a deep black sky. “Tiger in the Moonlight” is another snapshot of Canadice Lake, this time with a faint yet distinct feline figure—a white tiger—resting on an icy embankment.
In addition, a few of the photographs, such as “Pure White,” feature words and poems written by the artist himself.
Finch’s work plays not only with contrast, but color as well, especially in his pieces “Sandbar” and “Sunrise on the Marsh.” “Sandbar” illuminates the room with a purple hue, a storm approaching a line of beachy grasses. “Sunrise on the Marsh” provides a splash of red and pink against a mossy backdrop. Rather than attribute these more abstract images to a specific location, he simply puts that they’re from “Imagination Creation.”
Through the unusual manipulation of color and shape in their respective mediums, both Case and Finch undoubtedly encourage their audience to think outside of the box. The presence of imagination in each exhibit gives Apartment One, at the very least, a special take on what it means to “create.”