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Posts Tagged ‘painting’

A Mix of Many Talents

Work by Ayuko Sakurai '14

Prismacolor butterflies. Black and white typography. Cupcakes and dandelions, in triplicate.  Colored-pencil portraits. A powerful pink-and-orange sunset. A ship sailing off on a sea of cotton.

Cupcake Series by Winsome Zinkievich '14

These are some of the works featured in the Keuka College student art show, running through April 18 in the Lightner Gallery, with additional works on display on the fourth floor of Hegeman Hall.

The gallery, located in Lightner Library, is open during regular library hours, which vary during the academic semester, but can be found online at:

The exhibit will  featured  drawings, paintings, sculpture, mixed media, and photography from the hands of freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, as well as a few seniors who are non-art majors.

Senior Ashley Larimore and others enrolled in the new graphic design course offered this spring have debuted typography collections in the show. Larimore said that although she does not major in art, she loves drawing and painting, and “couldn’t wait” to add the new course to her schedule so that she could build more design skills working with Adobe software.

“The experience I gained working in Adobe Illustrator after the first project is incredible. I’ve really enjoyed overcoming the challenge of creating art through a screen using a mouse, rather than my hands,” Larimore said. “Every time I see my finished product, I have to remind myself it’s my work.”

According to Melissa Newcomb, assistant professor of art, the submissions for this student show are “the best yet” in  her four years teaching  at Keuka.

“I say every time, ‘It’s the best show yet,’ and it seems to get better every year,” Newcomb said. “The quality is just great.”

Work by Ayuko Sakurai '14

The majority of pieces surround drawing and photography works from the Drawing I & II and digital photography courses held in the fall. In addition, works from last spring’s Painting I course, and mixed media pieces from a general-education course, Foundations of Art and Design, as well as  Sculpture I & II, which were both offered this spring, appear in the show.

Junior Stephanie Collins, an occupational therapy major, said she could relate a lot of the material she learned in art education class to art therapy. The show features a series of colorful butterflies Collins created using colored pencils.

“I’ve never really used them for a project before so it was really cool to see how bright I could get the colors,” Collins said. “This class lets me explore different materials like crayons and colored pencils that I wouldn’t be able to use on other projects. It teaches me how to incorporate art into things I never would have thought of before.”

According to Collins, the student works in the show tell her a key point about Keuka: “I am impressed with all of the talent at the school!”

"Rural Twilight" by Kristin Galens '13, taken at the corner of Voak and Ferguson Corners Roads, near Gorham, N.Y.

The student show will be followed by Keuka’s senior show, which will feature capstone works from six seniors majoring in visual and verbal arts.



Beyond 9 – 5

Carol Sackett and two of her paintings, "Still Waters," left and "Sunrise," right.

By day, Penn Yan resident Carol Sackett manages the circulation desk at Lightner Library, a post she has held for 32 years. But through March 7, visitors to Keuka College can glimpse a different side of her, as seen in three oil paintings gracing the walls of Lightner Gallery.

Sackett’s paintings are on display alongside numerous other works from members of Keuka’s faculty and staff, whose job titles may not necessarily disclose the individuals as creative “artists-in-residence.”

Beyond 9 to 5: The Hidden Talents of Keuka’s Faculty and Staff runs through March 7 in Lightner Gallery,located in Lightner Library. It features  a range of artistic mediums, including painting, photography, ceramics, glass work, digital art, and film.  More than 20 faculty and staff members submitted work for the show, including President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera.

During a special artists’ reception – open to the public – Thursday, Feb. 21 from 4:30 – 6 p.m., the exhibit will also feature select culinary art from four members of the faculty and staff. The exhibit remains open daily during library hours, available online at:

Hand-painted glass by Doreen Hovey


Seniors Make Artistic Statements in Show

Nicole Groth and her senior art project.

Red, black and white clothing designs fashioned out of more recycled goods than just fabric. A giant animal cage adorned with photos and paintings of rescue dogs, with a door allowing a person to step inside. A bronzed sculpture of a hawk, wings stretched out before it takes flight.

All three art projects are the work of a trio of graduating seniors at Keuka College and can be seen as part of the student art show, which runs through May 30 in Lightner Gallery, and also features additional works by underclassmen.  And all three seniors are clear that their respective artwork makes a statement they want others to “hear.”

Cochell's designs, in 2D and 3D.

With her collection of red, black and white dresses, Crystal Cochell of Trumansburg is protesting in color and form the waste she observes in the environments around her, especially corporations. Nicole Groth of Henrietta showcases her work with humane societies through black and white photos of puppies playing in the yard of an animal shelter and color paintings of dogs adopted into families she knows, including her own. And Stephanie Lange of Apalachin is eager to invite interaction from the public — students, faculty and visiting community members — with the bronze installation she hopes might become the first of several sculptures to adorn the campus. (more…)

“Doctoring Up:” Realist painter, sculptor exhibits at Keuka

Final in a series of three paintings.

The faces and forms of the people in his paintings look as though the individuals brushed into living color could step right off the canvas and into conversation.

They look, in a word, real. And that’s exactly how artist Lennie Muscarella of Victor wants it to be.

“If you were right next to it, it looks like a hodgepodge, but step back 10 feet and you’ve got a photograph,” he said, explaining that a number of contemporary painters in the same Realist style he aspires to are currently striving to master that technique.

Muscarella had lots of time to become intimately acquainted with the human face and figure. After studying biology at St. Bonaventure University, and a brief stint in the U.S. Navy, he entered dental school at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Self-portrait of Muscarella surrounded by the people and things he loves: a canvas of his wife during her battle with cancer, his Bible, paintbrushes, and clocks representing the passing of time. He calls this painting "The Human Condition."

Though he had given up art school to pursue a “day job” that could support a family, Muscarella found himself rewarded, he said, because dental school turned out to be “a very sophisticated art school.”

“They taught you how to paint porcelain and you have to know your colors inside out to match anteriors [teeth], and they hone your sculpting skills down to a tenth of a millimeter and bless them, they give you the privilege—not the right, but the privilege—to dissect the human body twice,” he said. “As a figure painter, you can’t get any better than that.”

While he may be “Dr. Muscarella” by day, in his free time he is simply “lennie” the artist, and yes, he spells it lowercase, because painting such a long name with a brush involves more work. “It’s much easier, if [I] use the one name,” he said.

In Muscarella’s mind, dental school was also a saving grace because had he instead entered art school in 1977, he would have confronted what he considers “a horrible year, the post-modern movement, [which] we’ve suffered from the last 40 years. They threw away all the technique and all the skill level is gone.

“I’m so sick and tired of people signing toasters or toilets and calling it art. It’s the king and his clothes, and people have got to be told the king is naked,” he said. “America’s got a wonderful crop of world-class figure painters on the East Coast right now making a comeback—they’ve held the fort up quite well.”

Muscarella will also show some of his drawings and sculptures at the Keuka exhibit, which continues through April 13. While he enjoys both sculpting and oil painting, casting sculptures is more expensive, so he tends to lean toward toward painting, he said.

“Painting is like playing the violin and sculpture is like playing the drums — it’s more physical. There’s a hammer involved, welders, tables with clamps on them. It’s very satisfying in its own way. I like both. But [sculpture’s] a lot messier.”

"The Huddle"

Muscarella will meet the public Thursday, March 22 during an artist’s reception, 4:15 – 6 p.m. in Keuka College’s Lightner Gallery, where light refreshments will be served. Prior to the reception, Muscarella will give a demonstration of his oil painting technique, known as the old master’s method, to Keuka drawing and painting students taught by Melissa Newcomb, assistant professor of art. And while it would be impossible to finish a work that typically takes 60 to 90 hours in an hour-and-a-half, Muscarella plans on giving them a significant taste in the science of it.

To that end, he will dissect one of his portraits in progress, creating a four-part cross-section on linen canvas where one quarter of the portrait is simply his drawing, and the next is coated with a sepia-tone wash of diluted oil paints. The final two quarters are in stages he calls “underpainting” and “almost done.” During the demonstration, Muscarella will take each cross-section to the next stage of completion. The canvas-in-progress will be put on display during the reception.

“It’s the process of making art, the doing that’s important,” Muscarella said. “Once one [work] is done, it’s time to move on to the next, like a rainbow in the next field. You never quite get there, and you’re always chasing it.”


Partnering Through the Years

In 2011, CSCY volunteers painted a porch on a Catholic Charities home in Penn Yan.

Over the many years that Celebrate Service … Celebrate Yates (CSCY) has been held,  Robin Hoppe can only remember one year when the non-profit she works for did not request CSCY volunteers to come carry out yard work and other repair tasks on the annual day of service.

“I think we missed one because I lost of the track of the date,” said Hoppe, program supervisor for the three Catholic Charities residential homes in Penn Yan. The homes are part of 10 operated by the Diocese of Rochester in Yates, Wayne and Monroe Counties for adults with varying degrees of developmental disabilities.

Like other Yates County non-profits, the “to-do” list is generally longer than the volunteers available to complete needed service, so CSCY—to be held this year on Sunday, April 22—provides a much-needed helping hand to non-profits.

And the theme of CSCY, “Hands Across Yates County,” is as true today as it was nearly 15 years ago when the annual day of community service began as a joint project between Keuka College and the Yates County Chamber of Commerce. Last year, some 280 volunteers, comprised of Keuka students, families, youth and seniors, joined hands to conduct minor repairs, washing, cleaning, outdoor work and other needed tasks for some 30 non-profits – including  camps, churches, fire houses, cemeteries, public trails and more—across the county.

“We schedule projects that are ones we never seem to get to, unless planned out like this,” said Hoppe, adding that requested service is usually for yard work such as clearing garden beds at two of the three properties. One house, at 219 Main St., often has its porch furniture polished by CSCY volunteers, and the special treatment lasts through the next year, she said.

Last year, CSCY volunteers began painting the porch of one home, getting the project “off to a good start,” Hoppe said. “It gave us the impetus to get it finished.”

Partnerships are key to the success of CSCY. College and community leaders team up to plan the event, with the College coordinating volunteers and transportation, and the Chamber of Commerce seeking business and service sponsors.

One of those sponsors 15 years ago was the former Clearplas Containers Inc., later acquired by Silgan Plastics.

“As one of the biggest businesses in town, we were an active supporter. We were involved in that partnership from Day One,” recalled Don Oakleaf, a Clearplas/Silgan employee who had also been inducted into the Penn Yan Rotary through former College President Art Kirk Jr.

Fellow Rotarians Sue Anderson of Lyons National Bank and Stacy Wyant of Stork Insurance helped their companies get involved as sponsors too, he said.

As for Oakleaf, he found himself coordinating the Rotary’s portion of CSCY service, where Rotary volunteers bag some 500 seedlings for elementary schoolchildren to plant in honor of Arbor Day, as well as clean a portion of Route 54A, from the water plant at the edge of the village down to Keuka’s Central Avenue “entrance.”

While the Rotary Club conducts its community service on a different Saturday in April than the “official” CSCY Sunday of service when all other volunteers meet and pitch in, the Rotarians are veteran partners in the service, donning the CSCY T-shirts as they, too, put many hands together to make light work.

“We make sure every second-grader in Penn Yan goes home with a bag with three to four seedlings ready to plant,” Oakleaf said. This year may well be the first when the Rotary’s CSCY Saturday and the “official” CSCY Sunday occur back-to-back.

“That approach has been the same for the full 15 years. We [Penn Yan Rotary] have been involved since the beginning,” he said.

Oakleaf said that if he has one “overriding thought” about CSCY, it’s “the overwhelming amount of community spirit involved in the Yates County community. This is one excellent example of the coordinated impact that people can make if they get together and work on it.”

After watching how the Catholic Charities group home residents are also able to work side-by-side the CSCY volunteers when they arrive, Hoppe agrees.

“One of our missions is to include and integrate the folks we serve — the residents at these homes— in the community. The residents help and there’s a real partnership there of working together,” Hoppe said. “We just wish [CSCY] could be longer – it’s never quite enough time – it just flies by!”

Through Friday, those interested in volunteering for this year’s event can submit their commitment form to Keuka College in time to receive a souvenir T-shirt marking the 15th anniversary. Additional volunteers are welcome to sign up, or even walk-in the day of the event, but T-shirts cannot be guaranteed. Lunch at Keuka is also included before volunteers receive transportation to the various work sites. Registration and lunch begins at 11 a.m. at Dahlstrom Student Center Sunday, April 22. Following a brief opening ceremony at 1 p.m., volunteers disperse to conduct community service work from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Also through Friday, non-profit agencies in Yates County eager to receive service the day of the event as an official work site may contact McKala Accetura or Case Hamilton at (315) 279-5397 or email