Sunday, March 14, 2010

Starting Small, show at The Artist Knot

Boats by Molly Dougherty (photo provided)

Amy Brown meant to start small but her first show at the newly remodeled gallery, the Artist Knot in Andover, drew a huge crowd – enormous in enthusiasm and massively impressed.

Among the first guests to walk in were Rick and Sarah Recio from Wellsville. Rick said that several forces nudged them to attend the show. They read articles about the store/gallery in 2 area papers and then their neighbor brought a gift from the Artist Knot. Rick drove past it twice a day for a while – always too early or too late to stop – but the postcard about the show made them set the date for a visit.

Recios found three “favorites” on display in the show as well as in the main gallery: a Salvador Dali print, a painting of elephant tulips and a Dick Lang bowl. They sipped wine, visited friends, snacked on an engaging spread of food and in the end chose the Dali, an intricate design wonderfully framed and matted.

Ann and Rich Hampshire, present, were pleased that there is a place like the Artist Knot to show off all our local artists.

Anthony Lipnicki, proprietor of the Mustard Seed Inn, said, “This is a wonderful addition to the community of Andover. Andover is turning into “the place to be” and this opening gave me the chance to appreciate the talent in our area. It also made me realize the quality of art made by some of my friends.”

Another guest, Ty Houston from Hornell, spent a great deal of time studying Bob Chaffee’s wood carvings as well as an oil painting by Jay Pullman of Hornell. Pullman’s painting, Time for a Rest III showed a pile of logs, large diameter pieces on the bottom and smaller on the top, a blue jacket hanging on one log and a maul leaning against its future task.

Houston works for the Tribune in Hornell. Last week, her job required her to visit a sawmill so the topic in Pullman’s piece caught her eye, surprising her. While working, she had walked past stacks of wood, mundane things unworthy of note, but Pullman had looked at much the same scene and turned it into art. “He took a small part of life and made it bigger. He saw something I would never have seen,” she said as she continued to study the patterns in the wood.

“The title is Time for a Rest III and that makes me want to know the story. Was the jacket still on the person in number one? Was there a number 4? Was it the painter’s jacket?”

Houston left those questions hanging but later Pullman arrived with answers. Before painting this series, he had been living in the south but hurricane Katrina destroyed his home so he moved to the “family homestead” in Hartsville. There he faced that pile of wood, wore that jacket and wielded that maul to turn chunks of tree into winter heat. His wood piles were neatly stacked with an artist’s eye toward pattern - and the pattern came to this series of paintings. The larger logs at the bottom of the stack were those that refused to yield to his maul.

The Artist Knot is filled with the work of 48 artist and artisans but Starting Small has small works created by 12 of them. The show includes drawings by Jerry Brown, paintings by Tom O’Grady and o’bhriuthiann, wood carvings by Alec MacCrea, silver jewelry by Trina Allen and pottery by Mark Corwine. Molly Dougherty, of Richburg, was not only the youngest artist but the most popular among patrons Starting Small opened on Friday, March 12, 2010 and continues on Tuesdays through Saturdays until April 23 during regular hours. In addition to art, the Artist Knot also sells professional art supplies and materials. Visit for hours.

Bob Chaffee's Lonesome Indian (photo provided)

Trina Allen's Free Falling Leaves necklace (photo provided)

Dick Lang's Brown Covered Jar (photo provided)

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