Summer is the season that shapes our lives through memories collected, embellished, catalogued and augmented each year. This summer, The Lionheart Gallery in Pound Ridge, N.Y., is offering visitors a collection of works by different artists that embody an entire summer’s worth of enrichment and inspiration.
At times summoning imagery directly invoking the feel of summer, the 17 artists featured in the Group Summer Exhibition push beyond surface impressions and dig deep into the psyche of this defining season.
That type of deeper exploration is powerfully accomplished by several artists who favor alternative process photography and immerse themselves in historic processes that yield quietly dramatic handmade images with very painterly qualities.
Louisiana artist Ann George combines pixels, paper, ink and paint to create photographic fusions like “Hope Is a Thing With Feathers,” depicting a classically beautiful young woman in a sheer blouse or robe, enigmatically holding a small bird—and unflinchingly holding the gaze of the viewer with an air of vulnerability.
In her “Tales From Above” series, New Mexico photographer Jennifer Schlesinger poetically and provocatively interprets the myths and legends of the stars through dreamlike narratives. “Orion” depicts a voluptuous woman facing away from the camera and holding a sword as she stands like a sentry outside a widow emanating warm light, her nakedness contrasting with snow on the ground and icicles hang from the roof.
Mary West Quin of Mississippi depicts a girl in a pool in her photograph “Baptism”, but hints and much deeper meanings, while Emma Powell’s photo “Angel” from her “In Search of Sleep” series speaks to the complex relationship of purity, desire and mystery.
New to the gallery for this exhibit is photographer Jerry Pozniak, who practices wet-plate photography, a slow process from the1800’s that predates the use of film. The images that result embody powerful meditative qualities.
While alternative process photography is a highlight of the group exhibition—with the photographers’ work gathered in one of the gallery’s two exhibition spaces—there’s plenty of intrigue and impact in the paintings and mixed media works on display.
Philippe Halaburda’s mixed media work “Caniis Miror Cassiiop K” imagines a constellation of celestial bodies with shapes and boundaries emanating from his imagination.
The cut paper work “Jewel I” by Gregg Welz bursts into the consciousness like the brightest star in the sky, and “Awareness” by Dario Campanile rages like an apocalyptic storm that will yield absolute calm and clarity—but also be missed and mourned once it has passed.
“Lake Series 1” by Roxanne Faber Savage pushes right past the scenic nature of a lake to settle on the powerful memory tattoo of having surrendered oneself to the depths of an untamed watery realm. It’s not what the lake of your youth looked like, but what it feels like when remembered.
“Nelson” by Jo Hay and “Cygnus” Christopher Shore offer representational takes on summer visitors, but stylized in a way make you pause, admire, ponder and appreciate the depth of all creatures great and small. Mary Manning’s work “Nagaina,” reads as either micro or macro, depending on a viewer’s mood. It’s intricate patterns and folds feel at once like a topographical map of a kingdom past or future—and like the inner politics of a small organism amplified under a microscope.
“Official Hank” by Serge Strosberg is a dapper young man on promenade, while “Eve V” by Claudia Mengel peels back the outer layers of public persona to reveal the more raw realities lurking inside all of us. “Glasses” by Helen Cantrell offers a literal and metaphoric lens into the depths of a pensive interior monologue, while Betsy Podlach’s painting “Lady on the Couch” is both summer dreamer and summer muse. She sleeps at the day’s still point, full of wonder for what has transpired, and filled with longing and anticipation of new adventures to come.
Another artist debuting in the summer exhibit is Australian multimedia artist John Douglas, who has exhibited internationally and will show a gouache on paper work from his “Earth Cycle” series.