Creative Pieces Come Together In New Paltz

Photo courtesy of Union Arts Gallery.
Photo courtesy of Union Arts Gallery.
Photo courtesy of Union Arts Gallery.

We come across things in our lives that are like pieces of a puzzle —they never seem like they would fit together but with a creative eye, they were meant to be all along.

The Gallery at Unison Arts Center, located in New Paltz, opened an exhibit on Sept. 7 titled  “Joyful and Animate.”

Stacie Flint, one of the artists in the exhibit, is a New Paltz native who has been featured in publications like The New York Times and has illustrated a children’s book.

Leslie LeFevre-Stratton, also featured in the exhibit, said “formal art education gave her the tools to express a lifelong passion for the decorative arts.”

Flint and LeFevre-Stratton didn’t know their art would be put together prior to the show. Both the artists knew each other previously, but said they were not sure how their art was going to be presented cohesively because of the opposite nature of the pieces.

With the help of Unison Gallery Committee Chair Amy Pickering, who is also the visitor services coordinator at the Dorsky, the two artists said they found unity within their works by looking and comparing the similar energies and shape structures of the pieces. They said they felt even through all the chaos in  a seemingly dark world, they were able to look beyond that to find beauty and positive energy within the chaos.

Humans and animals are the key focus in many of Flint’s paintings. She said her paintings are like puzzles that are bits and pieces of her history and her inner emotions.

“In a world of great suffering, I would rather contribute something uplifting that makes people feel good about being alive,” Flint said.

LeFevre-Stratton’s work portrays marine life of prehistoric and modern time periods. She said she has had a fascination with the ocean ever since she was a young girl. Some of the aquatic figures represented in her pieces are a combination of prehistoric aquatic life and her own creative input to create an entirely new creature. All of LeFevre-Stratton’s work is made on fine cotton.

“Joyful and Animated” will be on display at the Union Gallery through Sept. 28.