Kaitlin Van Pelt has finally found the right garden to plant her artwork in.Van Pelt, a local artist, musician and facilitator of the campus farmers market, is having the opening reception of her new art exhibition, flyaway garden, on Saturday, Sept. 15, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Team Love RavenHouse Gallery.
Flyaway garden is Van Pelt’s first solo show but second appearance at the Team Love gallery. Van Pelt’s drawing of a record player adorns the gallery’s current window display. Flyaway garden will feature 30 works of mixed media, including drawings on paper, acrylic and oil on canvas and found objects.
After graduating from SUNY New Paltz in 2010 with a BFA in painting, Van Pelt now works at the art museum, Dia:Beacon, while pursuing art and music in her free time. Flyaway garden is the first large body of work she has been able to put together since her senior thesis.
Van Pelt’s artwork can be found throughout the Hudson Valley, primarily on gig fliers and band posters. She’s part of the indie folk-pop band, Breakfast in Fur, where she covers visuals, as well as vocals, synthesizer, piano, drums and accordion.
Inspired by browsing through Grimm fairy tales with the artistic Dada style in mind, Van Pelt, along with Breakfast in Fur bandmate Dan Wolfe, came up with “flyaway garden” as their next album name.
“It felt very appropriate to call my show at Team Love this…because it inherently reflects a time in my life where my musical endeavors are interwoven with my visual art,” Van Pelt said.
Team Love RavenHouse Gallery Director Cornelia Calder became familiar with Van Pelt’s work three years ago when she moved to New Paltz with her family.
In November 2011, Calder, who was drawn to Van Pelt’s band album covers and the music of Breakfast in Fur, invited her to contribute to Team Love’s first diorama exhibition, “Tiny Winters.”
Glad to once again work with Van Pelt to put together flyaway garden, Calder said she emphasizes the gallery-artist collaboration as opposed to the traditional presence of a curator.
Calder said Van Pelt’s show is a “beautifully rendered series of very intimate personal drawings and paintings,” and she hopes people will come to celebrate the artist and her artwork.
Calder said flyaway garden finds a way to resonate and bridge generational gaps.
Many of the paintings in Van Pelt’s show were ideas for future albums, and share a theme of nostalgia as she was inspired by memories and photographs from her life and the lives of those close to her.
“Exploring images from my personal past is a way of understanding it—I think my lens can have surreal and whimsical tendencies as I try to reconnect with little me’s and grandmothers I never got the chance to know as an adult,” she said.