The current shows at the Station gallery address divergent subjects and do so in radically different media: There’s “A Walk Through the Woods,” which features Steve Susman’s nature photos, and “Faery Land,” a sprawling, fantasy-inspired exhibit, displays oils, acrylics, faery huts and dragon eggs.

“Night Terrors: The Degenerate Art Show of Nazi Germany (1937)”, which documents a campaign by Nazi officials against all forms of modern art, is still up at The Station, too. It presents prints of 80 artworks.

That situation doesn’t pose a problem for Peter Svoboda, the gallery’s curator and president of  the board for Pinnacle International, a non-profit group overseeing the Station. He welcomes the diversity, noting, “we want people to come here and experience different things.”

The three exhibitions certainly provide that opportunity. First, Susman’s subjects range from a loon on a lake to the Red Rocks formation near Sedona, Arizona; from a pond in autumn to sand dunes on Cape Cod near Wellfleet, Massachusetts. One of the best images shows whales feeding in the Stellwagen Banks, off Provincetown.

Second, the “Degenerate Art Show” references two exhibits set up by Nazi propagandists. One highlighted examples of supposedly “healthy art,” while the other condemned impressionistic and expressionistic artworks, saying they were created by sick minds and threatened the German nation.

Read more: ‘Degenerate’ art show at Station Gallery features prints of 80 works condemned by Nazis

Svoboda did extensive research for the show which displays prints of work by Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Gustav Klimt and Else Berg, among others. In addition, extensive captions discuss both the Nazi-organized exhibitions and the backgrounds of the artists whose work was condemned.

The third exhibit, “Faery Land,” is large and growing. It showcases small acrylics and large oil paintings by Izzy Dugger, a Syracuse artist long interested in folk tales and creatures celebrated in mythology.

Indeed, viewers will encounter her oils depicting fairies, ogres, a mermaid and other creatures. A recent painting portrays an elfin figure and a human.

That’s one aspect of the exhibit. It also displays faery huts. For example, Dugger built a good-sized hut for a faery using a glass bottle for a base and materials such as cardboard, clay, and stones.

The Station has encouraged community members to take part in “Faery Land.” The gallery collaborated with the Westcott Community Center on a grant supporting a do-it-yourself workshop at the center. There, Dugger taught techniques for making faery huts.

Each hut is created individually, but the folks constructing them typically worked with sticks, pieces of bark, stones, and artificial flowers or faux moss, as well as a cardboard box or bottle for a foundation. The next, free faery hut making class is scheduled for Aug. 12 from 12 to 2 p.m. at the Westcott Community Center.

Since the show opened in April, several huts have been added to it.

Moreover, other artworks are displayed in and around the show. Dugger has done oils that fall into the realm of steampunk, a genre influenced by science fiction which focuses on steam-powered machinery from the 19th century. Her steampunk works, “Nautical Horse Power” and “Steamed Heart,” are at the Station.  

Another Central New York artist, Carrie Fetterman, has both small paintings and other works on display. Look for her colorful papier-mache pieces depicting subjects such as a bird, horse and turtle.

In the gallery’s current exhibition schedule, “Faery Land” and the “Degenerate Art Show” are being displayed on an ongoing basis. However, Susman’s show will wrap up July 31.

A new exhibit, “The Attic in My Mind,” which presents work by Ting Germain, will open August 1. It’s the first of a series providing a month-long exhibition slot for local artists.

Beyond that, the gallery has other projects underway. On Thursdays starting at 5:45 p.m., there’s a forum where people are encouraged to talk about art and other cultural topics. The public is welcome to attend. In addition, an improv-comedy troupe meets twice a month at the Station.

Finally, Svoboda reports that planning has begun for special events in September. He’s hoping to have a presentation titled “Incense and Peppermint.” It would combine musicians playing protest songs by Richie Havens, Joan Baez and other luminaries with readings of Beat poetry.

He notes that the Station has now been open for 13 months, saying he and his collaborators wanted to have a space where people could do art, talk about art and celebrate art.

The Station, located on the third floor of 400 Burnet Ave., is open from  11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is free, with one exception: There’s an $8 admission fee for viewing “The Degenerate Art Show.”

For more information, call 315-391-5115 or access www.The Station.Design.

Carl Mellor wrote about visual arts for the Syracuse New Times from 1994 to 2019. He continues to write about artists and exhibitions in the Syracuse area.


Suggested Reading