2015 Southern Tier Biennial
September 19-October 23, 2015
Best of Show:
Winter Wonderland, or A Chesterfield Christmas
How Did We End up here, Wherever here is
Gina Pfleegor- Emma; Matthew; Glenn
Christine Sullivan- Frederick's Farm #5; Passing Conversations
Austyn Taylor- Bontebok; Duiker; Dik-dik
Robin Caster Howard-Alfred, NY, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wayne Claypatch, Owego, NY, email@example.com
Trish Coonrod, Ithaca, NY, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tracy Fiegl, Fillmore, NY, email@example.com
Hall Groat II, Endwell, NY, firstname.lastname@example.org
Phil Hastings, Silver Creek, NY, email@example.com
David Higgins, Corning, NY, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jill Johnston, Fredonia, NY, email@example.com
To say it was difficult selecting the works for the 2015 Southern Tier Biennial would be a great understatement. The diversity and quality of the works presented was beyond impressive, making the selection process very challenging. I was especially engaged by the range of paintings, including unique and quirky portraits, strange explorations and beautifully executed landscapes. There is a rich history of the visual arts in the Southern Tier of New York State and I know the works included in this Biennial exemplify the incredible talent in the region. I was thrilled to participate and I look forward to further involvement with the arts community in the Southern Tier.
Executive Director / Curator
Rochester Contemporary Art Center
Chrissy Lapham, Corning, NY, firstname.lastname@example.org
Shawn Murrey, Arkport, NY, email@example.com
Amanda Parry Oglesbee, Wellsville, NY, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gina Pfleegor, Corning, NY, email@example.com
Lin Price, Spencer, NY, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hannah Shea, Freeville, NY, email@example.com
Christine Sullivan, Elmira, NY, firstname.lastname@example.org
Austyn Taylor, Alfred Station, NY, email@example.com
A commonly-asked question from artists over the years when I’ve pursued studio visits is “What would you like to see?” To which I always reply, “What have you got to show me?”
Curating and looking at art is very much like exploring thrift shops in pursuit of some unexpected gem. You need to put in the time, do the work, and sometimes go to the father-flung point to find the thing that will surprise you. So, embarking to Olean to co-jury a show for the Southern Tier Biennial is hardly a chore. Ideas are borderless pursuits—you have to go to wherever they’re manifest.
Bleu and I work in biggish small cities at venues that give a preference to contemporary and experimental forms of art which appear more frequently in denser, urban centers. Once you get further out into the landscape, it appears that more traditional forms appear with greater frequency—more landscapes, more portraits, more still lifes. While generally true, this is also a deceptive generalization that belies the wide variety of artwork produced outside of urban centers.
The biennial we had the pleasure of jurying cut a very concise cross-section through a large variety of art-making modes and ideas. We selected works that struck us in and of themselves, as well as works we felt would speak to each other—in whatever ambiguous ways works speak to each other—in the scenarios of two compact but beautiful art spaces. Bleu and I don’t have exactly the same tastes and it was great to converse and quibble about why we liked and why we liked it—I’m sure he would agree that we do this work because we love looking at and talking about art. It’s more or less everything we do.
And despite our biggish-small-city-pretentious-contemporary-curatorial-credentials, it’s an even more pleasant memory to recall that, among all the works we discussed, we probably talked the most about…portraits and landscapes.
Visual Arts Curator
Hallways Contemporary Arts Center