Original paintings inspired by Genesee Valley on display through Dec. 30
PERRY — Over the past 6 months, Genesee Valley Conservancy has been handing out free canvases to artists across the region and asking them to create a painting inspired by the Genesee Valley.
Artists were free to choose their medium, subject, and style and were only required to use the provided canvas, a 12 inch square, and use the Genesee Valley as their inspiration. The product of this intentionally open-ended art project produced a wide variety of beautiful results.
As part of their mission to protect the habitat, open space, and farmland of the Genesee Valley, the Genesee Valley Conservancy hoped to capture the many different unique and special characteristics of the Genesee Valley that the community values. While words are most often used by the organization to determine its strategic mission and goals, images, as they say, are worth 1,000 words. What better way to capture the importance of the Genesee Valley than through imagery?
Benjamin Gajewski, Executive Director captured this sentiment, saying, “I am lucky enough to work to conserve important places in the Genesee Valley, but words often fail to capture why this work means so much to me personally. These paintings truly capture what it is about the Valley that drives my work at the Conservancy.”
Titled the Genesee Valley 100, for the 100 paintings the organization hoped to have created by the community, the results are now on view for the public to enjoy.
Works can be seen online on the Conservancy website (www.geneseevalleyconservancy.org) where sales are offered for most of the paintings. Sales will benefit the individual artists and the Conservancy with prices set by the artists. Prices range from $5 to $550, so there is an opportunity for everyone to take home an original painting should they be so inspired.
The best way to view the results is in person at the Silver Lake Brewing Project in Perry. These original paintings each have a unique texture and style that only comes across in person. The show can be viewed during their regular hours starting Nov. 14 through Dec. 30. A public reception will be held Sunday from 5-6:30 p.m.
All of the works will be displayed in the main tap-room, allowing the entire project to be viewed at once. Besides having a large space to handle a show of this size, the brewery, being in Perry, is also a strategic location for the Conservancy.
Water from Silver Lake is used during the brewing process and Genesee Valley Conservancy is currently working on three conservation projects in the Town of Perry in the Silver Lake watershed. By hosting the show at the brewery, the Conservancy hopes to draw the connection between clean water and healthy communities; for wildlife and for economic opportunities.
Artists recruited for this project come from throughout the region and include professionals and amateurs. Laurel Musser (Dansville) commented that this was her first painting in over 10 years. Others, like Beth Adams (Geneseo) paint nearly every day as part of her job teaching art and inspiring students at Geneseo Central School.
Students from Geneseo, Keshequa, and Avon participated in the project along with students from Genesee Community College. Other artists range from hobbyists to professionals.
Whether you enjoy waterfalls and vistas reminiscent of the Hudson River School, farm scenes, or modern art that is abstract in its interpretation of the theme, this show is sure to have pieces you will enjoy.
This community art project was funded in part by Steuben Trust Company and the Decentralization Program, a re-grant program of the New York State Council on the Arts.
Genesee Valley Conservancy is a nationally accredited non-profit conservation organization working to protect the habitat, open space and farmland in the Genesee River watershed. Over 17,000 acres of natural habitat and productive farm and forest land have been conserved by Genesee Valley Conservancy and private landowners. The organization also owns nature preserves open to the public year-round for recreation and education. For more information visit www.geneseevalleyconservancy.org