“Forces of Nature” Opens at Cooperative Gallery 213

River Watcher
River Watcher: oil on canvas, 30 x 40 in.

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein

On Thursday, April 6, and First Friday, April 7, 2017, Cooperative Gallery 213 will open “Forces of Nature,” a dual exhibit by Glenda Blake and Chuck Haupt. The exhibit, running through April 30, includes photos of nature across two continents by Chuck Haupt, and paintings / drawings by Glenda Blake of allegorical figures in natural settings. An opening reception at the gallery, public welcome, is planned for Thursday, April 6, 6-9:00 p.m.

Blake says: “My part of this exhibit is made up largely of pieces from my ongoing “Watchers” series. It’s a concept I picked up somewhere in my youthful reading — ancient religious or allegorical symbols or minor deities, observing us as we pass unknowing along their hidden paths. Humanoid objects in incongruous settings often strike me as dispassionate observers of the joys and disasters of our world. There is something in them that is positive — neither hopeful nor despairing, but also not clinging to outcomes, and open to whatever comes. I don’t normally explain my work. I can only let whatever is in me manifest itself, with little or no conscious input from me. After many years as a rational planner and designer of publications, I find this a difficult but rewarding lesson. I’m dedicating this show to the memory of my mother, Beatrice Knoeller Blake, who died on February 22, at the age of 88.” Blake is an award-winning and juried artist who has shown her work throughout the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic regions. She also shows her work at the Circle Gallery in Annapolis, MD.

Haupt says: “Photographing nature has become my passion after spending 36 years as a photojournalist, telling people’s stories visually. Photography is just an extension of my personality. I look for moments happening in front of me that resonate for me. Photography freezes moments in time, forever. The camera alone does not make the picture; I make it, using my eyes, emotions and heart.”

On photographing in black and white: “I like being able to strip away the colors, which I feel enables the viewer to more easily get to the heart of the image — to not be distracted by the colors we all see in everyday life.”

Haupt and Blake have both been exhibiting members of Cooperative Gallery 213 since 2015

Cooperative Gallery 213, a popular stop on the First Friday Art Walk, is located on ArtistsRow / State of the Art, at 213 State Street in Binghamton. The gallery is open on First Fridays 3-9:00 p.m. and regularly on Fridays 3-6:00 p.m., and Saturdays noon – 4:00 p.m. Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter on our website at www.cooperativegallery.com or on our Facebook page, Cooperative Gallery 213.


UNLIKELY DANCE coming along…

Scottish Country Dancers
Scottish Country Dancers

I have quite a lot of photography done now for my grant-funded Unlikely Dance project. At Tuesday night’s session with the Binghamton Scottish Country dance group I finally figured out how to use the fast-burst function on my powerful little camera, and got some wonderful shots. They were so kind to dress up for the night, so I could get them in proper kilts and tartans. Currently I’m combing through the 2700+ images I captured that night…

B.F. Harridans Morris
B.F. Harridans Morris

Jo Malin of the B.F. Harridans, the Binghamton women’s morris dance team, alerted me beforehand that they’d be dancing at the Newark Valley Apple Festival on October 6, and I managed to find them (unlike their previous dance stand, when I managed to miss them altogether) and to take some pretty useable photos. Wish I’d had the fast-burst function figured out for that one, and that the light had been better — it was a typically chilly, rainy October day, and they were dancing under a tent roof. Strange lighting, but I’m working one of the photos — with some major adjustments — into a composition with storm clouds I shot earlier in the week.

Parlor City Commons
Parlor City Commons

Feels great to be finally putting together a composition for UD. I’ve been shooting landscapes and public places, as settings, for some time now — still need more trad dancers in other forms. I missed the October Binghamton Contra Dance, but hope to catch the Kindred Spirits Day of Dance put on by Binghamton Community Dance. We’ve had a bit of a go-round about how to manage the issue of photo releases from dancers — always an awkward issue, asking people permission to use their images — but I think I’ve arrived at a solution: a promise to not use any faces. Instead, I’m purchasing a male and a female mannequin head to photograph in

Clouds over Johnson City
Clouds over Johnson City

light set up to duplicate dance settings, and will patch in those heads during the digital composition process. Hope this will fly with the BCD folks — the Scottish Dancers thought it was fine.

And back to those Scottish Dancers — thanks to one of the dancers there, it looks like I’ll have a venue for showing the finished Unlikely Dance series, January through March, 2014, at the Tompkins County Public Library! This is very exciting, and I’m so grateful.

In the meantime, I hope to start actually painting UD by mid-November.
Now if I can just shake this cold…

The “Unlikely Dance” project was made possible by a grant from the Artists Fund of the Community Foundation for South Central New York

To follow my progress in Unlikely Dance, just click on the “Unlikely Dance” link under TOPICS, on the left of any page in this blog.