What’s New at the Dorsky: Spring 2017

Photo by Jeannette LaPointe.

Equipped with a keen sense of who’s who and what’s what in the art world, curators at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art are bringing diverse talent to campus this spring. 

One new exhibition, “Intimately Unfamiliar: New Work by SUNY New Paltz Faculty,” opened this past Wednesday, Jan. 25. Coming in early February are three more exhibitions, including “Carl Walters and Woodstock Ceramic Arts,” “Text/ures of Iraq: Contemporary Art from the Collection of Oded Halahmy” and “Sarah Greenberger Rafferty: Gloves Off.” The Oracle spoke to the Dorsky’s own Ursula Morgan, interim curator of programs and exhibitions, and Sara J. Pasti, Neil C. Traeger gallery director, for the inside scoop on the latest works to hit the gallery walls. 

The Dorsky will host a spring 2017 opening reception for the following exhibitions on Saturday, Feb. 4 from 5-7 p.m.

“Intimately Unfamiliar: New Work by SUNY New Paltz Faculty”

Curated by Accord-based artist and independent curator Michael Asbill, “Intimately Unfamiliar” puts the spotlight on SUNY New Paltz’s own faculty, showcasing recent works from your favorite art professors. Included in the aptly-titled exhibition’s lineup are familiar faces on the SUNY New Paltz campus, such as professors Andrea Frank, Francois Deschamps, Myra Mimlitsch-Gray, Emily Puthoff and many more.

“[The works are] connected by a tension that exists between recognizable objects, places and spaces encountered every day and the degree to which the ordinary is complicated, fascinating and most likely unknowable,” Morgan and Pasti said.

“Intimately Unfamiliar” opened last Wednesday, Jan. 25 and will run until Sunday, April 9.

“Carl Walters and Woodstock Ceramic Arts”

The works of Woodstock art colony ceramics artist Carl Walters have truly run the gamut throughout his 40-year career. Curated by Bard College art history professor Tom Wolff, this retrospective exhibition offers viewers a glimpse into the culture and historic legacy of the Woodstock art colony. 

“Carl Walters” will be open to the public from Saturday, Feb. 4 through Sunday, May 21. 

In conjunction with “Carl Walters,” Wolff and his students also curated two complementary exhibitions, titled “Selections: Contemporary Woodstock Ceramic Arts.” Both exhibitions will be on display at the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild and the Historical Society of Woodstock from Saturday, Feb. 25 through Sunday, April 9. 

According to Morgan and Pasti, the partnership between the Dorsky and the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild is longstanding: the Dorsky, along with five other organizations, belongs to a group called the Hudson Valley Visual Art Collections Consortium.

“The organizations in this consortium and others throughout the region often partner with each other to share collection objects and to present exhibitions that showcase the extraordinary work made by artists who have lived and worked in the Hudson Valley,” Pasti and Morgan said.

“Text/ures of Iraq: Contemporary Art from the Collection of Oded Halahmy”

Born in Baghdad, Iraq, raised in Jaffa, Israel and based in New York City, sculptor Oded Halahmy has amassed an impressive collection of art that transgresses national boundaries. “Text/ures of Iraq” features artworks from Halahmy’s personal collection and alongside Halahmy’s own work. Morgan and Pasti believe that this worldly exhibition couldn’t come at a more important time.

“We wanted to honor both Oded’s own sculptural work as well as the work he has been doing to support Iraqi artists,” they explained. “We believed that the work would be of interest to faculty and students on campus as a touchstone for discussion and a model for maintaining hope in the face of despair.”

“Text/ures of Iraq” will be open to the public from Saturday, Feb. 4 through Sunday, May 21.

“Sara Greenberger Rafferty: Gloves Off”

Brooklyn-based artist Sara Greenberger Rafferty leaves no stone unturned. A fan of provocative and controversial creations, Greenberger Rafferty works in mediums like photography and printmaking, using her artwork to critique contemporary corporate and ideological monoliths (think the fashion and garment industry, consumer culture, etc.) “Gloves Off” is a collection of her recent work curated by independent curator and art scholar Andrew Ingall, who lives and works out of New York City. Morgan and Pasti described Greenberger Rafferty’s art best. 

“Essentially, her work, like that of the Iraqi artists, seeks to tell the truth as she experiences it,” they said.

“Gloves Off” will be open to the public from Saturday, Feb. 4 through Sunday, May 21.