Tompkins County Public Library

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Animalia in Art Curated by Jenny Pope

The exhibit Animalia in Art, on display at Tompkins County Public Library through March 22, 2013, features the work of six local artists.

Curator’s Statement.

Animals are part of our daily lives. Whether we live with a poodle or have squirrels in our attic it is unlikely for a day to pass without bumping into another fuzzy being. This show celebrates animals in art in a plethora of scenarios from deer that have created a chew-line at the base of a tree, fuzzy images of a beloved dog to a wolf headed monster suckling a black cat.

Artists have been portraying animals for ages and it is with pleasure that I was able to bring together 6 locals to showcase our distinct perspectives on the topic. I have always had a fascination with animals and with art. When I melded my interests my artwork made more sense and I think all the artists in this show have found a similar calling to make work about the fuzzy, scaly, feathered, “others”of the world. We can only hope to learn more about ourselves during the process.

Jenny Pope

Featured Artists:
Karen Allaben-Confer

Wildlife Artist 
“ To know the natural world is to understand it; to understand it is to love it; to love it is to care for and interact responsibly with it.”

I have drawn pictures almost all my life.  When I married John Confer, an Ithaca college professor, aquatic ecologist, and ornithologist, he introduced me to the world of birds, luring me into their magic. Now, birds and all that relate to them consume our professional and personal lives. We have shared our passions on wilderness canoe treks in NW Ontario and northern Saskatchewan and on censuses of wildlife on the Hudson Bay Lowlands. I have soloed to draw seabirds on islands off the coast of Maine and Newfoundland. Everywhere we travel, we learn and are inspired.

I have come to believe that Nature tells its own story, that science is tied inexorably to Art – both requiring great observational skills and both seeking truth – leading to a union which is the catalyst for an environmental ethic critical to survival of Earth. I hope my art reflects the knowledge, responsibility, and passion that all influence my interpretations of birds in Art.

Dede Hatch

Looking closely at things is something I love to do:  removing context, isolating a shape, noticing light, feeling texture with my eyes.  I also love spending time with my dog Pepper.  Late one summer afternoon, she indulged me while I studied her with my camera.  She quietly gazed upon her universe (back yard) while I made pictures and experienced yet another level of gratitude for this wonderful dog of mine.

Craig Mains

Craig Mains is the exhibit/publications designer and co-director for the Ink Shop Printmaking Center. He received a BFA in photography from Cleveland Institute of Art and studied printmaking while working for the main research library at Cornell University.

In prints I depict things that have gone awry typically by natural causes or human miscalculation. Usually the disaster involves objects, but locally, seemingly the most common devastation comes from deer and their persistent defoliation of the forests, trees, gardens and shrubs. The precise line created by the limits of their reach is clear evidence of their appetite.

Jenny Pope
Jenny Pope is a full time artist living in the finger lakes region of New York State. She sells her work at numerous festivals around the country including the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival Reston, VA, Crosby Festival of the Arts Toledo, OH, Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts State College, PA, Rittenhouse Square Philadelphia, PA, and Clothesline Art Festival in Rochester, NY. Her work can be found at Chelsea River Gallery in Chelsea, MI, Central Booking in Brooklyn, NY, Handwork Co-op Ithaca, NY.  She is currently working on a number of projects including an ongoing series about Invasive animals, a book about the history of Starlings from the UK to the US, Global Warming Band-aids and a new series titled “Isolation Produces Oddballs” which is a fun way to incorporate any creature that is isolated for any number of reasons.

Send a note, or a message in a bottle. Enjoy art, and turn off a light, or your computer...reuse a jar, I dunno, eat more carrots from a local farmer...
Margaret Reed

Margaret Reed graduated in 2003 from the Grand Valley State University illustration program in Michigan. In 2002 she developed her charcoal drawing style while participating in the student exchange
program to Kingston University in England. In 2006 she moved to Ithaca and has been living here happily ever after. Although most of her images are based on specific stories in mythology, they depart from the strict narrative and become symbolic of the overall identity themes in the text. Recurring imagery throughout the pieces suggests connections to a larger story, allowing for the personal interpretations of the viewer.
Sylvia Taylor
The imagery in Sylvia’s relief prints is both playful and somber, with
narratives that have an undercurrent of longing, uncertainty and ambiguity. She often uses images of animals in her work, as she finds them to be perfect alter egos and has always felt a profound sense of kinship with them.  Sylvia’s work is autobiographical, informed by experiences and observations of life.  Although much of the work is inspired by stories that are deeply personal, viewers can relate to the underlying sentiments that are shared universally.
In 2002, Sylvia completed her Master’s Degree in Fine Arts at Vermont College of Norwich University. She currently lives in Ithaca, New York where she works as a full-time studio artist.

This exhibit is made possible in part by grant support from the Community Arts Partnership.

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