Artist: Stu Eichel
Located in historic Hubbard Hall in Cambridge, NY, and amidst the rolling hills of Washington County in upstate New York, Valley Artisans Market is one of the oldest arts cooperatives in the country. Local fine artists and craftsmen work in a variety of hand-crafted media including glass, paper, cloth, photography, oil paintings, pastels, wood, mosaic, sculpture, metal, jewelry, ceramics and more. The Small Gallery features rotating shows by members and guest artists, and the market is always staffed by one of its artisan members.
September 23, 2016 - October 18, 2016
Susan Williams chose mixed media collage as her means of artistic expression after studying and working in representational watercolors and abstract acrylics for many years. Collage has become her visual metaphor for memories, interpretations, and ideas. She combines all of her learned and intuitive methods of making art with her passion for texture, ephemera and reusing old things. She is interested in placing recognizable images in a new context. “Lately, my collection of antique photographs, ephemera, lace and booklets is my primary source of inspiration. I search handwritten notes and old snapshots for the personality they convey. I find subtle beauty in worn, discarded materials. I value these things as a visual bridge to the past, and I hope that the viewer will make that connection as well.”
Susan’s method of creating her somewhat abstract collages starts with creating painted papers with acrylic media and various mark making materials and tools. She randomly applies paint and gesso to a large sheet of paper, adding layers of texture, pattern and color using brayers, stamps, combs, brushes, palette knives, plastic cards, stencils, bubble wrap and all sorts of discarded, recycled stuff. These papers are then cut and torn as needed in a collage. She uses canvas as a substrate, and begins by painting the surface with acrylics and gesso while attaching pieces of painted paper with acrylic gel matte medium. When creating her most recent series of work, she begins to design the piece by choosing a photograph or two and placing them on the canvas. Then she starts arranging antique ephemera such as old letters, photographs, scrapbook and autograph book pages, ledgers, sheet music, notebook and magazines pages, envelopes, cards, documents and the like. She also uses purchased art papers, vintage fabrics and lace. Some of the smaller pieces are first sewn together in layers with a sewing machine. To add marks to a collage, she employs colored pencils, oil pastels, ink and acrylic paint, as well as needle and thread. Changes are made by adding collage elements, and by covering areas with paint or fabric. Often when a collage is in the finishing stages, she will attach small buttons or hardware for added texture and dimension.
“I hope to create an interesting narrative for these old images and materials, to capture their poignancy, so that they are given a new life and a voice.”
Anita Witten, an artist known regionally for her collage abstractions and assemblages has included in this show dynamic and quiet multi-media pieces that “push the envelope”. Quoted in her studio on the Battenkill she said “I hope viewers will free-associate on their own wave-length with joy and reflection”. Recipient of a NYSCA award and long time plein air coach, Anita was one of the co-founders of the Valley Artisans Market in 1981.
Familiar to many, Witten’s work has been seen regionally at LARAC, Southern Vermont College, Albany Center Gallery and Institute of History & Art, Gallery 668, SUNY Adirondack, The Georgi, Redux, Camfield Galleries, as well as in Boston, New Hampshire, and Paris venues. Her work is also included in the UN and private collections. Following a career in publishing in NYC and studies at the Art Students League and Columbia University, she and her husband settled into country life on the Vt /NY border. Their creative work thrived for over thirty five years, including Witten Family Frames, while they enjoyed our mountains, museums and happily raised two sons.
Anita and Susan each create work that thrives on found objects and unexpected materials.Sue W 1 Sue Williams 2 2016-08-18 anita witten 2 001
Valley Artisans Market is celebrating our 35th year in business with a contest: Two Truths and a Lie. Each week, from Sept. 18-Nov. 20, we will post two truths and a lie about one of our members on our FaceBook page. Guess the lie correctly by responding in the FaceBook post and you will be entered into a drawing to receive 35 percent off ONE item at VAM. (Yes, you can receive a discount off of an expensive painting, an item out of a Small Gallery show, or that piece you have had your eye on that is just out of reach.) The more correct guesses, the better your chances are of winning. The drawing will be held at VAM during our Holiday Open House on Nov. 26, 2016. To be a winner, you must sign up for our monthly email newsletter; find the link at the bottom of the home page of our website. The winner will be notified via our newsletter. Winners must come into the market to make their purchase in person. Good luck!
Clothing artist Kathleen Horton continues our contest. Which is the lie?!
1. My first job was on a tobacco farm, harvesting tobacco leaves.
2. I have walked the Great Wall of China.
3. I have a twin sister named Karen.
Input your answer on our FaceBook page by Oct. 2 when the answer will be revealed and the next question will be posted.
- Helen Greene & Adrian Sweeney: Faerie Houses
October 21, 2016 - November 15, 2016
- Annual Member Holiday Show
November 26, 2016 - December 31, 2016
Drop by Saturday, October 8 (10 am-5 pm) or Sunday, October 9 (11 am- 2:30 pm) and browse, say hello and check out our artisan members while they demonstrate their arts and crafts next door in the space formerly used by The Village Store. During the weekend, Mary Lou...read more
Here’s some tidbits about one of our members, Barbara Sarvis, that you may not know. Barbara is a part-time teaching artist for MassMoCA, helping the education department with developing art curriculums for school age students that attend the museum. “We...read more