Unlike most of the museum's curated exhibits, the just-opened Art to the Point juried show in the Katonah Museum of Art's galleries does not have an overarching theme or focus on any one issue—but that doesn't mean it's aimless.
It's as it should be, given that this eclectic collection of 88 works of art was selected from 697 diverse entries by artists throughout the tri-state area.
In fact, the individual contemporary paintings, sculptures, photographs and mixed-media works all convey a clear message, "eschewing art which requires elaborate analysis," said juror and artist Donald Sultan, who selected the pieces and judged the competition.
"Artists have to say what they mean, and say it clearly," he said when putting together the show.
One local artist conveyed what he wanted to say through the use of childhood toys.
Dan Cohen of Bedford Hills—who had two works selected for the show—wanted to contrast a real-world war hero with a toy-world version in his piece, Patton. He created a graphic representation of General S. Patton with plastic green army soldiers that he remembers playing with as a boy.
"I juxtaposed the image of George S. Scott playing Patton with an idealized boyhood image of soldiers," said Cohen, creative director at BBDO, an advertising agency network in New York City.
"I do conceptual work that's usually graphic in nature," he added, drawing parallels between his day job and his art outside of advertising. While he's previously exhibited at the KMA in the 2006 show "I love the Burbs," earning a New York Times mention, he said he was excited to be in his first juried show.
In the exhibit, some works are attention grabbing—like the expression on a naked boy's face in Sherry Camhy's Innocence and Robert Brush's Golden Diaphragm—these works took first and third place cash prizes in the juried competition. The second prize went to Dana Rosenberg for Meditation.*
Others are more subtle in the way they draw in the viewer. The performative drawings of Morgan O'Hara's Live Transmission: movement of a conductor Rachmaininoff "Symphony No. 2" 4th movement require a stop, step back and a closer look. And the graceful movement of a conductor's baton is revealed.
Robin Jilton, a Waccabuc resident, visited the museum on Sunday to seek O'Hara's work out. They met over 20 years ago while working together in New York City, and happened to bump into each other at the Saturday night. Jilton said she was struck by O'Hara's current work and with the overall presentation of the show.
Neil Watson, the museum's executive director, describes Art to the Point as a "stunning and cohesive exhibition" that shows "abundant talent to be discovered in our region."
You may also want to check out these artists from Bedford and Katonah:
Carol Bouyoucos, Bedford: Angel Wings
Tracy Burtz, South Salem: Blue Girl
Dan Cohen, Bedford Hills: Patton, 4 Chairs
Kevin Falco, Bedford Corners: fig. 16a, fig. 2c
Susan Fierro, Katonah: Sunset from the Top of the Dome; Yukon Territory
Shiela Hale, Katonah: Maidenhair: Palimpest
Mitche Kunzman, South Salem: Erosion
is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10am-5pm, Sunday 12-5pm and closed on Mondays. Admission: $7 general, $5 for seniors and students; members and children under 12 free. Tuesday through Friday, 10am-noon, free.
* We originally said Dana Rosenberg took third place but she won second prize. We have fixed the copy and regret the error.