A “World of Wonder” at the Dorsky

Photo by Maxwell Reide.

Hudson Valley artists discussed their works currently featured at the Dorsky Museum on Saturday, Oct. 18. The presenters were part of the Worlds of Wonder: Hudson Valley Artists 2014 exhibit, a show that features hand-picked artists from the Hudson Valley area. Sara Pasti, director of the Dorsky Museum, began the talk by speaking about how selective the Worlds of Wonder program is. According to Pasti, New Paltz received 325 applicants, and only 16 artists were given an opportunity to display their work at the Dorsky. Holly Hughes discussed her work first, a collection of paintings done on ceramic and canvas arranged on the wall with a colorful backdrop. The piece is titled “Blazon: 18 Components in 18 Feet.” The works consists of wild patterns painted onto white ceramic bowls and plates, as well as blank canvases. Hughes described the patterns as a combination of “heraldic” and “organic” imagery. Hughes is a New Paltz graduate, and currently teaches art at Rhode Island School of Design. She has had her work displayed at galleries in places such as Hofstra and Hempstead in Long island. Hughes explained why she decided to hang her works in “salon-style.” “It’s a conversation, a conversation between [the artworks],” Hughes said. “It makes it clear that each work is not autonomous.” Mike McGregor, a commercial photographer who primarily worked for many different publications including Time, The Guardian, and The Observer, was next to discuss his work: a series of five photographs titled “Preserve”. The series got its name after featuring photographs of taxidermied animals, including a lion, elephant, alligator, zebra and more. Some of the works featured the taxidermists in the picture with the animal. McGregor talked about how he could relate to taxidermists, part of the reason why he chose to feature them in his pictures. “Taxidermy is similar to what I do,” McGregor said. “The people doing this work at the highest level are truly artists.” McGregor described the connection between the animals and taxidermists as “visceral,” adding that there is “an interpersonal relationship” that he was interested in. “I like to interact with people and explore cultures,” McGregor said. “I delve into new cultures to find things that surprise me.” McGregor graduated from Montana State University-Bozeman with a BS in photography in 2001. He was chosen as a finalist for Photolucida in 2013. Adriana Farmiga, a Cooper Union graduate and current adjunct professor, presented a series of four 3D works of art, titled “GUTTER.” The works include gutters laid out against the wall and on the ground, a gutter connected and filled with concrete and mica and a wooden figure with a piece of gutter attached to it, which Farmiga described as a “prosthetic.” She said this series was inspired by two specific events in her life, Hurricanes Sandy and Irene. “Irene and Sandy profoundly affected me,” Farmiga said. “My relationship to water completely changed.” Farmiga talked about water as something that was more than just what we drink every day. She described it as something that was “linear,” something “graphic.” Gutters are able to control the flow and violence of water. Farmiga also described her personal life, speaking about how she was raised by a Ukrainian family, where everyone needed each other, which translated to her work. “It’s important that [the artworks] all need each other,” Farmiga said. “There is a language, an interpersonal relationship between the works of art.” Anyone can go see these works of art, and more from the Worlds of Wonder series at the Dorsky Museum, until Sunday. Nov. 9.