Four artists exhibiting at Gallery 66 NY in Cold Spring use different materials that incorporate the theme of water in their personal visual language while connecting viewers to the emotions they experience when in proximity to it.
“wAteR waTer,” which opens Friday, Sept. 2, features works by Barbara Galazzo, Carla Goldberg, Bob Madden and Karen Madden.
“I’ve always been fascinated by water and how it moves, how it flows, what would something look like within that flow,” Goldberg said.
She will exhibit new sculptural drawings on Plexiglas from her “in the weeds” series. The artist uses carving tools to create linework that depicts the movement of seagrasses and seaweeds under water.
Goldberg reclaims post-construction end cuts for some of her Plexiglas “canvases.”
“Using these odd-shaped pieces really stretches your imagination,” she said. “At heart I’m an experimenter. I enjoy letting the size of the dimension guide me.”
It also speaks to her conservation-minded ethos.
“Instead of these pieces of Plexiglas going into the dump I reclaim them and turn them into something that has value to it, turning trash into something beautiful that is, hopefully, loved,” she said.
Goldberg and the other three artists in “wAteR waTer” will donate a percentage of proceeds from all sales to Hudson River Watershed Alliance, a coalition of groups, individuals and municipalities that aims to protect, restore and conserve water resources by supporting a collaborative network of information, innovation and effective stewardship in the Hudson River Watershed.
“The idea of presenting art about water is an important part of the regional dialogue about why we need to take care of our rivers and streams and watersheds, and raising awareness that these are essential resources that we all depend upon,” said Simon Gruber, alliance president. “Artists very often are the pioneers who understand things, who tell us what we have to pay attention to; they are our conscious, and in a sense our moral voice, reminding what each of us needs to be caring about and thinking about. This exhibit is an example.”
Galazzo combines the liquid of glass and the solids of clay to create dozens of pattern bars – an interpretation of the wavelike patterns created by erosive forces of water on sand and rock at the shoreline and in the depths of rivers and oceans – which she slices and fuses into multilayered sculpture to create a suspended underwater environment.
“Color and shape are the beginning of forming the concepts of this show,” she said in a press release. “I have to think about turning a concrete concept into something liquid and then solid again.”
Sculptor Bob Madden created a new series of fish in stone for his own take on water. The artist, who works to turn the raw hard material into something that reminds the viewer of motion, gave each fish a name that reflects a real or fictional person. It’s up to the viewer to decipher his puzzle.
Fiber artist Karen Madden, who works primarily in wool, was inspired by the “mystique” of water within and surrounding lakes, rivers and oceans.
“I envisioned myself beneath the surface and exploring the environment of life that is unseen on the surface,” she said in a press release. “In others, it is what I see when observing a body of water negotiating its space with the environment around it.”
Being around water provides health, relaxation and other benefits, said Gruber of the alliance, citing Wallace J. Nichols’ book “Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, & Better at What You Do.”
“It’s a fairly thorough discussion and review of all the many ways that people experience and benefit from water,” Gruber said. “He says if you look at history and science of the benefits of being around nature, water is the most clear example.”
Nichols is scheduled to speak at the annual Watershed Conference, which takes place Nov. 2 at the
For Goldberg, water provides both artistic inspiration and wellness benefits.
“I’ve always spent time by the water,” she said. “Anytime I’m by the water or looking at videos of water I find myself very relaxed. It’s very meditative for me.”
She hopes that the exhibition will help viewers discover their own connection to it.
“If it’s a trigger for people to investigate more about the water in our region then great,” she said.
Kathleen Murray is a freelance writer. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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