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Patterson Library to open new exhibit

March 13, 2014
Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

The Patterson Library Octagon Gallery is pleased to exhibit "Collage Invitational with Monica Angle, Nancy Belfar, Liz Birardi, Joyce Hill, Cletus Johnson, and Gerald Mead" March 14 - April 4. The opening reception for the artists will be held Friday, March 14, from 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. in the Octagon Gallery. Wine for the opening is generously provided by Johnson Estate Wines.

Monica Angle was born in Omaha, Nebraska. She attended Harvard College, pursued advanced courses in printmaking and bookmaking at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and received an MS in geography from Pennsylvania State University. Angle has had recent solo exhibitions Buffalo, NY, Charlottesville, VA and Minneapolis, MN. Her work has also been featured in exhibitions at City Hall in Minneapolis, MN; the Massachusetts State House, Boston, MA; and the University of Virginia Art Museum, Charlottesville, VA. Angle's work is part of several collections, both public and private, including the Burchfield Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN.

Nancy Belfer is a fiber and mixed-media artist. She received a diploma from the Albright Art School, a Bachelor of Science from the State University of New York College at Buffalo, and a Master of Fine Arts from the School of American Craftsmen at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

She is professor emerita at the Design Department at Buffalo State College. Belfer is the recipient of many honors and awards, including the State University of New York 1982 Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 1981 Crafts Fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts. Her work has been in numerous regional and national exhibitions, including Objects: USA, at the Smithsonian Institution, Stitching, at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts in New York City, and Embroidery Now at the Denver Art Museum.

As part of the U.S. State Department Arts in Embassies Program, her work was included in an exhibition at the American Institute in Taiwan from 2003 to 2004. A solo exhibition, Continuum: Recent Work of Nancy Belfer, was held in 2009 at the Indigo Gallery in Buffalo. She has also been included in numerous exhibitions at the Burchfield Penney Art Center, and was a juror for Art in Craft Media 2013. In a statement for that exhibition, Belfer observed: "My research into historic textile traditions has always been a great influence [on my own creative practice], especially the resist-dye processes of Asia and the Americas, along with the application of complex surface detail through stitching and embroidery found in the textiles of many indigenous cultures.

Through experimentation and intuition I have tried to adapt some of these traditional methods to my own work: to find a kind of vision or projection of what is possible and then figure out a way to make it happen." Belfer's current series of mixed-media works, painting, collage, and drawing are combined and inter-related in various ways. Numerous graphic and textural elements are utilized to explore intuitive arrangements of space and color in an expressive, pictorial mode. The resulting compositions allude to the surface qualities of abstract landscapes and patterned structural surfaces.

"The forms are suggested but not defined. In a departure from traditional collage techniques, the original 'identities' of the cut paper elements are not retained but are merged with the developing areas of painting and drawing in order to enrich the imagery.

Each work is slowly built into a dense composition, obsessively detailed and richly colored, with many overlays that often seem to suggest the spatial depths identified with excavation sites, archways opening into space or earth and rock formations. I want the work to express a mysterious, evocative quality that engages the viewer in self-reflective awareness and thought."

Liz Birardi of Buffalo says her "collages came to life after rediscovering a box of paper I made during a weekend workshop years ago. At the time I was afraid to ruin the paper by doing anything to it so it went into the box and then, a closet and I did nothing. But now I see opportunity to give these subtle textures and colors purpose.

The paper is now 'Out of the Box.' I approach the paper intuitively, allowing the paper to lead me to create these collages, picking a part of this piece, a part of that one and adding some other materials such as wool, thread or wire. While the images will say different things to each person, they evoke the natural world around us; a beach, a tree, clouds.

I have made art most of my life. I studied art at the University at Buffalo and then Empire State College where I earned a degree that combined art and natural sciences. My education has continued through workshops and informal studies. I am the current President of the East Aurora Art Society and an associate member of the Buffalo Society of Artists."

Joyce Hill of Williamsville was educated at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y. and has been exhibiting her work since 1982. Hill states "My mixed media paintings are created using acrylics, spray paints, collage and photo transfers. I believe my work communicates my feelings about beauty in discarded items, markings, and urban images.

There is a tangible space between people, color, and words within the paintings." Joyce Hill's work has appeared in international and national exhibitions in the United States and Canada, as well as in private collections around the world. She is a signature member of the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club in New York City, The National Collage Society, Collage Artists of America and the Buffalo Society of Artists. She was a New York MARK program recipient in 2011.

Joyce's work can be found in The Brooklyn Art Library collection, The Legislature of Ontario, Canada and many private collections around the country. Solo exhibitions in 2011 showing her work were held at the Jeanie Madsen Gallery, Santa Monica, Calif., and the Carnegie Art Center, Buffalo, N.Y. Her work will be seen in upcoming exhibitions at the Art Dialogue Gallery, Buffalo, N.Y., and 6 pdx Gallery, Portland, Ore.

Cletus Johnson's shadowbox sculptures and collages of photographs and ephemera operate through simple but effective juxtapositions. Often, a precisely placed figurative image turns a ticket, playbill, envelope, or other paper souvenir into a kind of stage. Some of his best-known works, which were exhibited in several solo shows at the noted Castelli Gallery, represent theaters in miniature. In the late 1980s and early '90s, Johnson collaborated with Black Mountain poet Robert Creeley on a series of collages incorporating fragments of text written by Creeley, and later illustrated his 1991 book Gnomic Verses.

Gerald Mead's "small-scale photographic based collages and assemblages are never larger than several inches and are intended to encourage careful inspection of their complexity and obsessive detail. I combine vintage photographs, historical art reproductions and popular media images with a broad spectrum of (often enigmatic) found materials. Appropriating (and subverting) these images and objects represents not only my aesthetic and intuitive choices; it also creates a dialogue with the viewer about how tactile and visual material is perceived and interrelated and how strategies of recombination affect their interpretation.

The works included in this exhibition represent two recent Series. The "Pinned Series" combines contemporary images of wrestlers with vintage glass lantern slides originally used for instruction at the University of Buffalo Medical School. In the "Classics Series" I have merged black and white images of Olympic athletes and typography with art historical halftone reproductions printed by Boston University."

The Patterson Library Octagon Art Gallery Program is funded in part by the New York state Council on the Arts Decentralization Re-Grant Program administered by the Cattaraugus County Arts Council. Please contact Nancy N. Ensign, Octagon Gallery Curator, for interest in art exhibition for the year 2015 at 326 2154 or



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