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Arts Mid-Hudson Blog

“Power of 13” by Penny Dell

I am one of thirteen artists from the metropolitan New York area who support each other as friends and critics. We work in sculpture, painting, photography, mixed media, printmaking, drawing and collage.

As an individual artist I relish working on ideas that have caught my interest and translating them into visual form. Most of this happens alone with interior conversations. I also enjoy swapping discoveries and new materials with fellow artists.

Tumbling Blocks by Penny Dell

While pursuing different interests, this group, “Power of 13,” meets regularly and has built affinities of shared concerns and practices – exploring patterns, nature, the figure, found objects, collage and assemblage. Currently the group is exhibiting their works at the Barrett Art Center in Poughkeepsie.

Abstraction is represented by Ellen Reinkraut’s exuberant paintings and drawings that track the energy and mood of their making. “My art is layered with meaning … drawing from an intuitive center, empowered by the intention to promote well being and manifest light,” Reinkraut said.

Dail Fried’s art features nuanced color values and exciting surfaces. Her sleek bronze and marble sculptures resonate with her 2-dimensional work. A similar three-dimensional “pop” seems to levitate Susan Lisbin’s figures off unusually colored grounds.

Ann Winston Brown’s abstract prints and mixed-media works use architectural features such as doors, and stairs often leading into unbounded fugal colors.

A calligraphic force is evident in Valerie Mankoff’s abstract work. Sandra Frech’s works have evolved through photorealism to expressionist landscapes into space abstractions.

Representing figurative approaches, Susan Sinek has small paintings of mixed media on canvas and acetate. Her recent use of gilding isolates her figures in an iconic look. Pauline Chernichaw, both in her gritty street photography and in her paintings, communicates the essential humanity of her subjects. Edna Dagan, a musician, features the figure in paintings, mixed media works and bronze sculpture.

Water Series #18 by Pauline Chernichaw

My recent work combines printmaking with collage in works that use patterns seen in security envelopes that bills and bank statements come in. Hexagons in quilt patterns lead to meditations on “security blankets” and homeland security, and to the appreciation of the central role security holds in today’s unstable world.

Collage is well represented. Ruth Bauer Neustadter cements glass, sand and found objects into thick acrylic or oil. Her dense surfaces invite touch: “I want a kinesthetic response,” she says. Alice Harrison, too, uses extensive collage in her paintings, prints and books. Nancy Nikkal, a self-described “layerist”, who teaches Collage at Pelham Art Center, explores geometric forms as well as typography and symbols in her paintings, prints and collages.

Like a crystal “Power of 13” shows the capacity of a group as facets of individual artists.