September 12, 2013

Exhibitions explore food relationships, art in the woods

By ROBIN CAUDELL Press-Republican

---- — PLATTSBURGH — Bryan Briscoe ponders food a lot.

Under what conditions does it grow? Where does it come from? How is it harvested? How is it processed? How is it delivered and distributed? How is it consumed?


“Relating to Food,” a group exhibition at the ROTA Gallery & Studios, explores his take on the matter and that of his students Denise Wells and Donna Austin.

The opening reception is Saturday.

Each artist created three to five original paintings to be replicated as fine-art prints, signed and numbered.

Subject matter depicts food and food-related sources. The works encompass still lifes, food landscapes and abstract interpretations.

“The concept is basically a food show,” said Briscoe, an artist and community-art instructor.

“I thought food is very important the last five years. I thought this would be a way to get the community and local artists involved to create art for something that was extremely important in this country.”

Briscoe cites the disintegration of the education system and agriculture.

“The food event is bringing the community and local artists together to communicate something visually that’s important.”

The exhibition has a positive vibe and is family friendly.

“Fruit Bowl or Basket” is one of his works on exhibit.

About the watercolor-and-designers’-gouache painting, he writes: “I was thinking of how can I create appetizing fruit and a simple, flattened modern composition at the same time. Color, line and shape were more important in this painting than true representation of the individual elements.”

The show is touted as the first of its kind.

“(It’s) the first-annual limited-print show in the North Country,” Briscoe said.


There’s one day only to see “Beets and Bones: An Outdoor Exhibition” in Chazy.

The art can be experienced from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday at the Quarry Garden located on Route 9.

“The Quarry Garden is primarily a vegetable garden this year,” said Kimberly LeClarire, one of the featured artists.

“The bones represent life and growth. Beets and bones is about growing food and growing as a human.”

Installations and sculptures were created by LeClaire Gharan Burton, Meg Risley, Jeff Cochran and others.

“One of mine is called ‘Cocoon,” said LeClaire. “It’s mixed-media with fabric, wood and steel. It’s interactive so you can walk through it. It’s lit with candles and in the woods. It’s atmospheric. Ethereal. It’s very temporal. It’s specific to where I’m creating it.”

“Cocoon” measures 20 feet by 20 feet.

“It’s a really great opportunity to share the garden with people and celebrate a successful garden season. The quarry is private property that I garden on and operate my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Members and people in the community can come down and be in nature and be in the space.”

LeClaire started the enterprise six years ago and has 10 members.

“It’s a traditional art opening, and it’s open to everybody,” LeClaire said.

“Wear good walking shoes and bring bug spray. There will be snacks and live music. Come prepared to walk around. It’s kind of like Point Au Roche. Come to walk around and be in nature.”

Email Robin

IF YOU GO WHAT: "Relating to Food." WHEN: Opening 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday. Runs through Sept. 24. WHERE: ROTA Gallery, 50 Margaret St. Plattsburgh. HOURS: Noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Sunday. PHONE: 310-0205. EMAIL: WHAT: "Beets and Bones: An Outdoor Exhibition" WHEN: 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday. WHERE: The Quarry Garden, Route 9, Chazy.