June 9, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 47°F


Paintings in new exhibition showcase community’s art

Tractors, wolves and a bunny suit don’t normally go together, but at the current exhibition at Main Street Gallery, they do.

Local artist Stu Eichel captures the rural nature of the region in his paintings with his depiction of tractors. But more abstract paintings can be found right next to his at the Main Street Gallery in Groton, N.Y., which will run until April 25.

Mariann Loveland’s piece, which was painted in 1972, was inspired by one of her dreams. Her piece “Two Bound Figures” uses ambient, warm colors to depict two people bound together loosely with rope.

“I had a dream that I had painted two figures, bound together, but not tightly, giving the idea of all the interrelationships we all have together,” she said.

Curators Adrienne Bea Smith and Roger Smith presently have Loveland’s 38-year-old piece on display. Loveland met the Smiths at a local park and immediately developed a professional relationship with them. Adrienne said having local artists at the gallery is important for the community.

“This is our eighth season,” she said. “We know a lot about the local artists. It’s built up over the years so that there are a lot of artists in the Ithaca area who like to exhibit here.”

The juxtaposition of such wide-ranging artistic styles, from still lifes to abstract paintings, provides the Main Street Gallery with a surprising challenge in this exhibition.

“We are putting all of this together to form another type of art, which is the presentational aspect,” she said.

The diverse styles don’t follow a set formula, but Adrienne said the current exhibit serves a different purpose.

“There is no theme [to this exhibition],” she said. “It is a celebration of local talent.”

Rebecca Godin displays her strength as an artist by working with multiple media in the exhibition. Her piece “My Native Land” uses materials such as watercolor pencils and ink, but also uses thin sheets of Japanese paper in a process called chine-collé.

“I use all sorts of processes,” she said. “This one [at the Main Street Gallery] is partially a print and partially not a print.”

Adrienne said the gallery is known for bringing in works that use different processes, like Godin’s pieces. She said bringing something new to the community is essential.

“The Main Street Gallery does have a reputation for presentation,” she said. “We pride ourselves on diversity of style and bringing art to the mainstream.”