The Edgewood Gallery’s holiday-time show stresses flexibility, the ability of artists to shift from one medium to another, or to find a new direction within a body of work.
It’s a group exhibit showcasing pieces by three artists: Jan Navales, Deborah Rogers and Mary Raineri.
About six years ago, Navales focused mostly on fabric works. At Edgewood, she’s showing pieces in various media — ceramic bowls, a felted vase, various papier-mâché creations, and a wine bottle decorated with copper wire.
Clearly, the display of those works produces variety, but that’s not the endgame for the artist. She’s created artworks interesting in themselves and in conjunction with other pieces. Thus, the softness of the felted vase plays off a solid ceramic vessel or a papier-mâché sculpture. The latter work is large and looks substantial but is actually very light.
And Navales seems to have an affinity for making interesting boxes. Viewers will encounter a papier-mâché box decorated with ginko leaves; a ceramic box with textured fibers. The ceramic work is small, featuring fiber strung on it like rope or rigging.
Deborah Rogers, meanwhile, used to concentrate on landscape painting. In the current exhibit, she’s displaying mixed-media collages and jewelry.
Her collage, “Downtown,” suggests an urban setting complete with sidewalks, streets and a grid pattern. There are no glimpses of shoppers or stores; this is an abstract work.
In “Dark Secrets,” a large piece, Rogers incorporates dense patterns and bits of lettering. The text doesn’t offer a message or code. Rather, it’s a visual element.
Other collages include “Revisiting Newgrange,” with its mix of forms and patterns; “Picture This,” which highlights bright colors and splattered paint; and one of the best collages, “When The Music Stopped.” It encompasses an excerpt from a page of sheet music and several discordant forms, musical imagery in a state of chaos.
Ranieri, the third artist, has mixed-media pieces on display; they come from her “Tranquil Tone” series, on wood panel, paper and canvas. Some, like “Tranquil Tone XVIII,” have a rough surface. Others emphasize earth colors.
And “Tranquil Tone XV” has an entirely different tone. It’s calm, picturesque. That’s just one indicator of the variety found in the 16 works. “Tranquil Tone XXIII” suggests the flow of a river or another body of water.
Another piece combines rice paper, metal and beads. Because Ranieri has 16 pieces in the exhibit, it’s easier to get a sense of how she improvises with the collages.
The show as an entity succeeds on several fronts: the opportunity to compare and contrast collages by Ranieri and Rogers, the presence of individual works that stand out. Navales created a paper-mache piece with an Art Noveau sensibility. Rogers’ collages include works like “Blues” and “Energy.”
In addition to this exhibit, Edgewood has other artworks on display: David MacDonald’s bowls and other pieces, pastels by Nicora Gangi, Brian Brickley’s ceramics, and Jason Howard’s glass works.
The holiday show will be at Edgewood, at 216 Tecumseh Rd., through Jan. 6.
The gallery is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, call 315-445-8111 or visit edgewoodartandframe.com.
Carl Mellor covered visual arts for the Syracuse New Times from 1994 through 2019. He continues to write about artists and exhibitions in the Syracuse area.