Margaretville — Opening this week at Margaretville’s Longyear Gallery are Jennifer Jefferson’s “The Green Hour” and Helane Levine-Keating’s “Recent Work,” two solo shows displayed in separate spaces of the gallery accompanied by a group show of all Longyear Gallery member artists in a third area.
The exhibitions will run from Friday, May 18 through Monday, June 11, with the Artists’ Reception held at Longyear Gallery on Saturday, May 19 from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Named for The National Wildlife Federation’s Green Hour program that encourages an hour per day for children to play and learn outdoors in nature, Jennifer Jefferson’s “The Green Hour” includes paintings inspired by the natural world, a fusion of scenes both remembered and imagined. According to the artist, “From the simplicity of a single wildflower to the complexity of the deep sea, I aim to give fresh insights and perspectives to my subjects. I am outside, observing, as much as possible, and study field guides and natural history books to learn more about what I see.” As Jefferson notes, “A connection to nature is vital to me, and The Green Hour seems a fitting title to this exhibit as the geography of childhood is within me still.” Her work “meanders the border that separates abstraction and realism,” for she hopes to “give the viewer something to hold onto–a hill, a pond, a wave– but then take them beyond that object into something deeper.” Though she is painting a visual image, she is also trying to “convey a sense of the scene, a feeling, to tap into the viewer’s memories and longings.”
Jennifer Jefferson studied art at Mills College in Oakland, California under Ralph Ducasse and Ron Nagle, among others. After painting sporadically in the following years, several years ago she began painting steadily and continued her studies at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum with Christie Scheele, Joerg Dressler and Mary Giammarino. Jefferson’s work has been exhibited at the Loading Dock Gallery in Lowell, Massachusetts; Longyear Gallery in Margaretville, New York; and the Hunting Tavern in Andes, New York, where she had a two-person show, On a Dark Ground, with the late Catskills artist John Hopkins.
Helane Levine-Keating’s “Recent Work” includes new photographs taken during September and March visits to Martha’s Vineyard as well as images taken in Delaware County. As in her earlier work, Levine-Keating continues to blur the lines between representation and abstraction, between photography and watercolor. One group of new color images conveys “the everchanging and ethereal nature of the sea” while another evokes “the mystery of nature’s thresholds.” As Levine-Keating notes, “I’ve also recently become more interested in including an occasional human being or sense of human presence in this work than in the past, be it someone contemplating the sea or someone’s window filled with dawn light, and I continue to be drawn to conveying landscapes and seascapes in black and white.” According to the artist, “I’m always challenged by translating what I see behind my camera’s lens into an image that evokes and invites a viewer into nature’s textures, tones, and shapes, which also means printing on different types of archival paper to achieve the desired effect, especially when some of the images may be black and white while some are in color.” For the first time Levine-Keating has included several three-dimensional “paper accordions” of linked images in this new exhibition.
Helane Levine-Keating has exhibited widely in solo and group shows. Since 1983 she has taught Comparative Literature and Creative Writing at Pace University New York, and her recent poetry chapbook, Lunar Eclipse, was published by Finishing Line Press this past January.
Longyear Gallery is located Downstairs in The Commons, 785 Main Street, Margaretville. Gallery hours are Fridays, Sundays, and Mondays 11:00 – 4:00 p.m., Saturdays 10:00 -5:00 p.m. and by appointment. For information, please see Longyear’s website, www.longyeargallery.org, or call 845.586.3270 during gallery hours.