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10/23/2017
Teaching Gallery at Hudson Valley Community College to Show Cut Paper Works by Barbara Owen

The Teaching Gallery at Hudson Valley Community College announces Vivid Forms: Cut Paper and Installations, an exhibition by Rhode Island artist Barbara Owen on view Oct. 26 – Dec. 2, 2017.

Owen discusses her work on Thursday, Oct. 26 from 3 to 4 p.m. in the Bulmer Telecommunications Center Auditorium; a reception follows from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Teaching Gallery, located in the Administration Building on the Troy campus. Both events are free and open to the public.

Owen’s brightly colored, cut paper works and installations explore the intersection of painting, sculpture, color and abstraction. Departing from her earlier paintings of floral and organic forms, Owen began cutting up and reconfiguring her templates and preparatory drawings to uncover new approaches to looking at her work. Painted cut paper has since become the material and starting point for both flat works in frames and, more recently, improvised on-site installations.

Vivid Forms: Cut Paper and Installations includes framed and unframed wall installations composed entirely of cut paper. “As the cut paper work evolves, my interest and focus is shifting toward aspects of drawing (and what I see as drawing) with this material both two and three dimensionally,” Owen said. “The paper is cut entirely by hand. I cut with attention to the expressive quality of the line, just as in traditional drawing. I am ‘drawing’ with my X-acto knife – fat, thin, or wavy lines, varying the quality and character to imply space, movement, and shape.”

Several installations are included in the exhibition that employ a scanned drawing that has been machine cut from MDF (medium density fiberboard). This new process builds upon Owen’s ongoing inquiry into the practice of drawing and what happens when an artist changes material and method: the act of translation from template to object, shifts from drawing to sculpture and again uncovers a new way to look at the work.

Regarding her installations, Owen said, “Although these works are prepared in the studio, their final configuration only takes place as they are assembled on the gallery wall. The installed piece combines process and object, it presents the inseparability of knowing/not knowing. The installation is the result, sum and residue of action, time and space. My work has evolved through the act of process; one piece leads to another. For me the most effective way to make art is to find a methodology [that] allows the painterly process, once set into motion, to proceed as a natural force.“

From her smaller, one-color framed works to the sprawling, multi-color installations, Owen’s work dances between references to drawing, painting and sculpture inviting the viewer to experience its shifting layers, marks and colors. Her installations grow, swirl and recede across the wall recalling the growth cycles of her earlier floral paintings. While devoid of recognizable imagery, Owen’s works conjure associations to whirlwinds, blowing fields and tidal patterns in testament to the untapped complexity of simple materials.

Owen received her B.A. in sculpture and poetry in her native Vermont at Bennington College and apprenticed with sculptor Brower Hatcher (Mid Ocean Studio, Providence, RI) for four years. Her work has been widely exhibited in group and solo exhibitions including at The Bristol Art Museum, Bristol, RI; the American Embassy, Papua, New Guinea; the University Art Gallery, UMass Dartmouth, and the Southern Vermont Arts Center, Manchester, VT. She is the founder and director of Periphery Space Gallery in Pawtucket, RI, and works from studios in Pawtucket and Brooklyn, NY.

Teaching Gallery exhibitions are supported by the Department of Fine Arts, Theatre Arts and Digital Media and the Vice President for Academic Affairs with assistance from the Cultural Affairs Program and the Hudson Valley Community College Foundation. All exhibitions are installed and staffed by students in Gallery Management classes. Associate Professor Tara Fracalossi is gallery director.

Teaching Gallery hours
Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Wednesday: 1 to 7 p.m.
Saturday: noon to 4 p.m.
Sunday and Monday: closed
Directions and more information: www.hvcc.edu/teachinggallery

Image of Barbara Owen's Work
Barbara Owen, Yellow Puffs with Orange and White Shapes, 2015 acrylic and ink on paper


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Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 85 associate degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences, and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of nearly 11,500 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has more than 75,000 alumni.