The Central New York Watercolor Society’s Signature Show, on display at Le Moyne College’s Wilson Art Gallery, showcases a range of watercolors. It swings from paintings depicting flowers such as John Morrow’s “The Wild Iris” and “Tulip Twist” by Martha Deming to an occasional abstract piece like “Serenity” by Karen Harris and various works portraying landscapes.
This is a large, juried, group exhibition, and participating artists only have one or two paintings on display. Yet, viewers do get some idea of an artist’s body of work.
For example, Polly Bunk is represented by her watercolor portraying an abandoned church in Pleasant Valley, Ohio. This isn’t a “one-off” artwork. She’s done many paintings depicting abandoned structures in rural areas and has a strong interest in historical preservation.
Similarly, Jeanne Lampson’s painting of a winter scene reflects her affinity for nature and study of seasonal changes in the Adirondack mountain region. She has created a bevy of paintings referencing that region.
A third artist, Amy Cunningham-Waltz, has varied artistic interests, including fiber art. And so, “Portrait of A Runaway” positions a rooster against a background of repetitive patterns, evoking a quilt. It’s a strong artwork.
And the Signature Show moves in other directions, with paintings portraying people. Susan Murphy’s “Pasta Face” depicts a young boy whose meal gets messy, while “Besties” by Donna Atwood captures two youngsters sitting on a dock by a lake, enjoying each other’s company.
In addition, “Plymouth Plantation,” Lorraine Van Hattan’s straight-up piece, references a scene near Plymouth, Massachusetts. It portrays two women in Pilgrim costumes, taking part in a presentation for the public.
On the other hand, Judith Hand’s watercolor adopts a non-realistic approach in its impression of a woman posing for an open figure drawing session in Syracuse. The model/ballerina wears a Scheherazade tutu, named after a principal female character in “One Thousand and One Nights,” a collection of folk tales from the Middle East.
The exhibit presents several watercolors celebrating flowers. Each has its identity, but they also remind viewers that artists take various paths in depicting flowers.
The Signature Show includes Margaret Wilson’s “Poppies,” with its contrasting colors; “Vie en Rose,” Geraldine Meday’s nicely detailed watercolor; and Bonnie Bergan’s portrayal of roses, which is dedicated to Rose May Conners, a friend she’s known for many years. Look for Carol Koziol Clark’s painting focusing on summer finch and lavender wisteria.
Finally, the exhibition presents other noteworthy works. There’s the rough terrain seen in Kate Turner’s “Summer Mountain” and the peacock strutting through Christy Lemp’s “Loud and Proud, ” which stresses turquoise and leaf-green colors.
Eric Shute’s distinctive landscape, “Campfire Pit,” revels in soft colors, demonstrating an ability to transform an everyday scene.
This exhibition is one of several shows organized each year by the Central New York Watercolor Society. Founded in 1982, it seeks to promote awareness and appreciation of watercolors and water media and is open to watercolorists living in the United States. Members include artists just starting out and a number making a living from art. Signature Members are selected by a jury, based on review of their work.
The current show is on display through August 17 at the Wilson Art Gallery, located on the first floor of the Noreen Reale Falcone Library on the Le Moyne College campus. The gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s closed on major holidays such as July 4. Admission is free.
For more information about the Central New York Watercolor Society, access its website: www.centralnewyorkwatercolorsociety.org.
Carl Mellor wrote about visual arts for the Syracuse New Times from 1994 to 2016. He continues to write about exhibitions and artists in Central New York.