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.
April 13, 2018 - May 8, 2018
Beverley Mastrianni is an artist who lives and works in Saratoga Springs, NY. She graduated from Skidmore College in 1976 and received her MA from the University of New York at Albany in 1979.
Regionally her artwork has been exhibited at the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery and the Schick Gallery at Skidmore College, the Art Gallery at the State University of New York at Albany, the Albany Institute of History and Art, Adirondack Community College, and the Southern Vermont Arts Center as well as in many private galleries. She collaborated with two other artists on the artwork for the Saratoga Train Station. Recent work was shown at SeaFair in Miami, ArtPalm Beach, and Art SantaFe.
Her work is in private and corporate collections in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
When I returned to Skidmore College for a mid-life career change from nursing and raising a family, my goal was to become a painter. That lasted until I walked into the sculpture studio and found my home.
After graduating with my Master’s degree from SUNY at Albany, I set up a studio and began fabricating large outdoor steel and aluminum sculptures for business and industry, along with smaller sculpture in wood and metal for homes and offices. My mentor, Richard Stankiewicz, and a number of “art representatives” to industry helped smooth the way. It was physically demanding work and required a lot of model-building and presentations to Boards of Directors. This type of work is not usually shown in regional galleries, although I did make some smaller pieces for regional shows and had a several one-person shows in the area.
After a number of years, there was a question in my mind about what I could do to continue working with less physical stress. The surfaces of the sculpture began beaconing me to use them differently, so I began working smaller, painting them, and engraving through the paint to the metal below (most often aluminum) or wood.
As a result of this change of focus, I am energized in a new way….and constantly drawing and photographing wherever I travel. I hope you enjoy the exhibit.
Artist reception will be on April 14th 3-5 PM at the Valley Artisans Market. The public is welcome.
Glass artist Cheryl Gutmaker has run out of peacock green-colored glass. Since this color was one of the most popular in last year’s designs, it is frustrating that she can’t get more. Two companies that supplied the glass closed two years ago. A third company has no projected date for when they will manufacture this color again.
But Cheryl takes the challenge in stride. She has shifted gears many times in her life when she has hit speed bumps. She recreated herself after losing her job as a music teacher due to budget cuts. She beat cancer. And then she began a career in glass when others might have thought of slowing down.
Cheryl has just returned from a four-day workshop at The Bullseye Resource Center in Mamareneck, NY. Her voice crackles with excitement about what she learned at this renowned glass center. “We played with different textures of glass in the kiln and experimented with firing different sizes of glass together,” she explains. “We explored what effect there would be if you fired the same piece at different degrees. How is it going to affect the material? How is it going to look different? How will the color change?” One of the thrilling parts of the workshop for Cheryl was playing with frit powder, or tiny bits of glass, that allowed her new possibilities in her artwork. “I have always wanted to make a weeping willow tree and never could get the effect until taking this glass course,” she says. (See photos)
She’s come a long way from her artistic beginnings. She began her career as a glass artist creating beads for jewelry. She forged them with a torch, glass rods and an annealing kiln. After accumulating baskets of beads, she looked for a new way to use her kiln. “I started making soap dishes because I could fit three in the kiln.” They were a hit. Now Cheryl owns seven kilns and uses the small annealing kiln to make handles for her large serving platters and bowls.
Recently, Cheryl has been experimenting with more complex techniques. Painting with glass – called frit paintings – intrigues her the most. Creating a landscape takes enormous planning and a wealth of knowledge about fusing glass. “If I put a bird on a branch, I have to figure out if I should fire the bird first.” Cheryl explains that glass will react differently at different temperatures. The juxtaposition of pieces of glass also impacts the eventual artwork because of the presence of differing amounts of copper, sulphur and lead. “I want a nice amber in the background but amber is very reactive so there has to be clear glass between the amber glass and other pieces,” she says. There are also a finite number of times you can fire glass. “Some glass can only be fired three times before it starts to break down, while others can be fired 25 times.”
Her knowledge is dizzying but she is constantly learning. Sometimes, the best lessons come from mistakes. “When I put on little bits [of glass], I use Superglue to tack them into place. Sometimes the glue burns off before I want it to and the glass slides a bit. I was doing eyes for crabs and they slid so that the crab came out with googly eyes.” Her customers loved them so much that she changed her design.
But for now, Cheryl is trying not to make any mistakes. She is busy creating inventory for the prestigious Paradise City Festival in Massachusetts in May, facing many happy hours fusing glass. If you own one of Cheryl’s creations with peacock green in it, consider yourself especially lucky. It may be a while before a matching piece will be available.
- Leah McCloskey: “Exhibition: Experiments in Paint”
May 11, 2018 - June 5, 2018
- Clancy King: “Small Still life oil paintings”
June 8, 2018 - July 3, 2018
- Adirondack Regional Textile Artists Association: “Variety”
July 6, 2018 - July 31, 2018
- Nancy Powhida: “Painting, Sculpture, Prints”
August 3, 2018 - August 28, 2018
- Pottery Sale & Overstock Sale
August 18, 2018 - August 19, 2018
- Ann Larsen: “Landscape Painter”
August 31, 2018 - September 25, 2018
- Jack Metzgar and Mary Muncil: “Sculpture”
September 28, 2018 - October 23, 2018
- Judith Plotner: Fabric artist
October 26, 2018 - November 18, 2018
- Holiday Show
November 20, 2018 - December 31, 2018
See past shows →
Two of our member artists — Mary Lou Strode and Bliss McIntosh — brought work from the Market to the Schenectady Today show. If you have a few minutes, take a look at the beautiful arts and fine crafts that we have in at Valley Artisan, going strong since...read more
Three things that happened in 1981: Ronald Reagan became president; Lady Di married Prince Charles; Valley Artisans Market was born. Celebrate the latter on March 18, 2-5 p.m. at our 37th anniversary party. The party will be held at Valley Artisans Market and the...read more