Young artists from New Paltz and the Hudson Valley area were invited to submit their artwork for an exhibition at Roost Studios & Gallery. Marcy Bernstein, president on the board of directors at Roost Studios, recently held a gallery opening for the current exhibition, Rising Artists, featuring student artists from the college and recent graduates.
“Some of the participants had never shown their artwork in a gallery before and to provide this kind of opportunity is a privilege for me and a way to give back to younger artists and keep passing the torch,” Bernstein said.
Bernstein hired curators like Jasmin Mitchell to advertise and select artists and artwork for the exhibition.
Mitchell, who received her Master’s in museum science at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, didn’t realize Roost Studios even existed in the small town of New Paltz. When she saw a sign seeking curators, Mitchell went to introduce herself to Bernstein.
“I went upstairs and introduced myself, and I just graduated with my masters,” Mitchell said. “A few days later, Marcy called me and said, ‘Jasmin, we’d really like for you to curate a show for young, unknown artists,’ and that was right up my alley.”
As a curator, Mitchell’s responsibilities were to send out a call for artists through emails and advertisements. She received emails from about 10 to 12 artists and allowed them to submit up to five pieces with no limit on style, genre or type of artwork. The challenge for her was selecting pieces without thinking of a theme.
“I really wanted anyone to submit anything they wanted to submit and kind of let the chips fall where they may,” Mitchell said. “When I did that, I had no kind of expectations or pressures on anyone, including myself, because that would’ve been even more pressure to get only certain kinds of things to fit a certain kind of genre.”
Fifth-year art education and printmaking major Tara Platania learned about Roost Studios searching for artists through a friend who was taking a silk screening class with Professor Rimer Cardillo. Platania was told they were looking for serious artists, applied and got accepted into the show.
The overall theme of Platania’s work has to do with her own personal healing process of bad memories, past abusers and emotional abuse. The two pieces she submitted were titled “sutured” and “little weights.”
“‘sutured’ is very much part of that healing process, and ‘little weights’ was more about me letting go of that emotional pain, so they’re both related to each other, but at the same time [they both have] very different feels to them,” Platania said.
As a printmaker, Platania likes to use drypoints and monotype techniques. Drypoints, a method Platania used for both of her submitted works, is where a sharp stylus or needle is used to scratch lines directly into a metal plate. Monotype is a technique made by drawing on glass or smooth metal with a greasy substance and then pressed by hand onto a sheet of absorbent paper or printed on an etching press.
Platania is currently working with her own handmade paper for her piece that will be featured in the Samuel Dorsky Museum next month. The piece is designed to be touched by viewers, something that Platania feels is important.
“I have abaca, I have some cotton and then I have some that are recycled prints,” Platania said. “I also embedded these strings, which are when you’re making the paper you sandwich a piece of whatever you want into them and that’s the process I made with these strings pieces.”
For a graduating artist like Platania, getting artwork selected to be in a show outside of the college has built up her confidence in herself and her work.
“Our mission involves getting the commnity involved and creating a gathering place for artists in our area,” Bernstein said. “I am thrilled to see this come to fruition with a show like Rising Artists.”
Rising Artists can be viewed until April 2 at Roost Studios at 69 Main St., 2nd Floor.