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When I first met Gerry Monaghan, it was early morning and I was making my way through the Commons to go to work. He was in the middle of the streatery/ restaurant row doodling what looked like a giant sun with a smiling face. I couldn’t quite make it out when I passed by, but the art wasn’t …

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By day, Katharyn Howd Machan is known as Tompkins County’s first Poet Laureate. A celebrated published poet, Katharyn is a perennial favorite amongst the students in her science fiction and fairy-tale-based creative writing classes at Ithaca College. Her most famous poem “Hazel Tells LaVerne…

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Although some place their faith in online galleries, window-front exhibits remain the best way to see ambitious new local art. It’s worth looking at two relatively substantial “group shows” currently on-view: “Emergence” at the State of the Art Gallery downtown and “DRIVE THRU” at Corners Ga…

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Megan Barber is back in town and now takes over the Community Arts Partnership

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In ordinary times, Ithaca’s downtown-centered gallery scene remains fairly vital. Inevitably, there are high and low tides: both socially and in the art itself. Keeping things going is the main priority. Putting on exhibitions is hard work and galleries and “art houses” demand a monthly-or-s…

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As a straight white male, I’m cautious about weighing in when it comes to race in America, but as a film critic who’s trying to be more worldly, the timing of Simon Frederick’s “Black Hollywood: They’ve Gotta Have Us” (Netflix-Array, 2020, 3 hrs.) couldn’t be better. Hitting Netflix in Febru…

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Visible from the lobby above, the underground Bartels Gallery is one of the most memorable spaces in late architect I.M. Pei’s 1973 Johnson Museum tower. Composed of concrete framing, white walls, and wood flooring, the big room is currently host to a remarkable installation: an enormous hor…

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“It saved my life. It gave me a purpose. It made me want to get up and actually go to Day Reporting on Monday mornings because I knew I had these people here.” Casandra Ponton is overjoyed that Civic Ensemble’s ReEntry Theatre Program, which provides people who were formerly incarcerated wit…

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The use of eccentric, unstable perspectives in painting goes beyond mere novelty. In the hands of a skilled, imaginative artist, it can challenge us to rethink our relationships to our bodies, ourselves and our worlds. At its deepest level, painting—and the visual arts more broadly—engage a …

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Currently (and through March 27), the Community School of Music and Arts is hosting “Dwelling in my Soul/Black, the Color,” a two-person show featuring local artists Charlotte Ghiorse and Colleen Shelton. Ghiorse works in painting and drawing (often in-between the two) as well as video and m…

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The use of found materials in art has a double legacy. Rooted in popular, folk and non-“Western” traditions, the practice has nevertheless, since the early 20th century, gone mainstream. Cubists Picasso and Georges Braque reinvented collage as a way of disrupting European painting, with its …

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Though impossible to prove, it is plausible to hold that those art-forms we have come to regard as separate—music and the visual arts among them—emerged together in human prehistory, bound up in ritual and the need for human togetherness. That these have emerged in modern culture as distinct…

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Digital imagery and illustration have an odd place in Ithaca’s mainstream gallery culture. While digital photography is omnipresent, pictures rendered or composed directly on a computer remain on the margins of what might be considered fine art or gallery art. As for illustration—work design…

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Painting convincingly on canvas requires a skill and sensitivity unusual today. Photography, drawing, illustration, mixed-media, and digital imagery appear more accessible—perhaps more “relevant”—to Ithaca’s artists and to our broader local culture. Our love of amateurism, while welcoming an…

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While the image of the contemporary visual artist tends to be deeply individualistic, the art world in practice is inevitably a social place—often held together through relationships of friendship and admiration. For the latest exhibit at Corners Gallery, director Ariel Ecklund asked a handf…

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Founded in 1999, the Ink Shop Printmaking Center has been, for two decades, one of the workhorses of Ithaca’s independent visual arts community. First filling a former airplane factory, the collaborative was for many years a fixture on the corner of State and Cayuga Streets. A fire in early …