Juried Exhibit opens at Dansville ArtWorks Saturday, September 1


Appropriately, Fall is the theme of Dansville ArtWorks’ juried art exhibit that opens Saturday, September 1 with a reception 10am to noon. One piece will be selected Best of Show by jurors and announced during the opening reception. Additionally, throughout the exhibit’s two-month run, the public is invited to vote for the People’s Choice Award, which will be announced at the closing party on October 27.

“Dansville ArtWorks’ board believed it was both the right time and important to add a juried exhibit for non-photographic art to our offering,” says president Nicole Alioto. “Our juried photography exhibit, held annually in February and March, is immensely popular with artists and visitors to the arts center. The board is extremely gratified to feature fourteen artists in this juried exhibit; five are new to our arts center.”

Artists selected to exhibit include:  Gloria Betlem, Emily Bowers, Syrena Carver, Samantha E. Davis, Jackie Donohue, Christine Ferrigno, Kevin D. Hammon, Deborah McAfee, Jeff Miller, Laura Jaen Smith, Alex Segovia, Anthony Tremblay, Sarah B. Smith, and Jane Williams.

Jurors Jeff Swift and Mark Stash considered all visual art mediums excluding photography for this exhibit. Jeff Swift is the owner of Swift Custom Metal. While he is a native to western New York, his travels have taken him to live and make his art works in New Mexico, Colorado, and Brooklyn over the past 20 years. He now calls Dansville home once again and runs his metal shop/foundry studio from atop the Genesee Valley in West Sparta. In his youth, Jeff spent half of his formative years in the library; his mother was an English teacher and worked part time as a librarian pushing literacy and the melody of the written word. When not in the library, Jeff was surrounded by custom machine and colorful character; his father built custom cars and race engines for stock and drag racing cars! He attributes his artmaking philosophy to the narrative that transpired from growing up this way. His work uses autobiographical scenarios, narrative and allegory, even just a speck of it…to tell a very minute part of a memory “even if it didn’t happen that way at all!” Aside from making his own art and sculpture works, Jeff considers himself a “metal mercenary,” often helping others design and create their visions in all metals and vocations – furniture, lighting, and art casting for sculpture in bronze and aluminum and working with clients and artists from all over the world. He believes that art is a lifestyle. “If you put a high level of attention into everything you do, try to do it with elegance and grace, you have no need to call yourself an artist…as everything your gravity pulls from is now art.”

While in the middle of a successful career in magazine publishing and graphic design, Mark Stash has also chosen to pursue his love of fine art. A great respect for the outdoors, wildlife and the natural world have led Mark to capture that subject matter through the mediums of acrylic, watercolor and pencil. After acquiring a degree while majoring in illustration from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Mark started his career as a budding graphic designer and illustrator with Highlights for Children magazine. During this time, he also started his fine art career by displaying his work at various galleries in Pennsylvania. Mark moved to Rushville, New York, in the early ’90s and opened an art studio and gallery several years later. He presided over an open house the first autumn the gallery was open and had a successful showing. Since then, Mark has become a member of the Naples Open Studio Trail in 2011, and has been displaying his original artwork, art prints and notecards at his gallery every year. Mark’s style has been evolving from representational and realistic work to pieces that are bordering on impressionism. He continually experiments with his style, and is currently interested in capturing the dramatic light and colors that can make everyday scenes spectacular. Being a hiking, camping and outdoor enthusiast has inspired Mark to capture what he sees around him – waterfalls, woodland scenes, lakes and farmland are subjects that Mark enjoys capturing on canvas and board. He currently is editor and co-owner of Life in the Finger Lakes magazine and makes a point of highlighting local artisans and craftspeople.

The juried exhibit runs through October 27. ArtWorks is open Thursday-Saturday weekly.

Dansville ArtWorks Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to cultivate and enhance the visual, literary and performing arts opportunities in the greater Dansville community. They operate an arts center and gift shop at 153 Main Street, Dansville that features exhibited and consigned artwork, workshops for children and adults, and programs including Fairy Doors of Dansville and Chalk Walk & ArtsFest. For more information, contact 585.335.4746 or dansvilleartworks@gmail.com or visit www.dansvilleartworks.com.

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