When I commented to Portia Munson about the number of artists listed on the invitation for the new “Water” show that she’s jurying for the Muroff-Kotler Art Gallery at SUNY-Ulster, set to open this Friday evening, March 9, she laughed when I mentioned how small the type was. “I realized that, this being about water, I could literally fill the space up,” she said of the 78 artists included (and listed in what must be six-point type on the invites).
At that point, she was looking forward to how to hang the works in such a way as to give them fluidity and buoyancy, bringing together amateurs and career artists, conceptualists and traditionalists: a panoply of Hudson Valley talent including Christy Rupp and Frank Palaia, Tobe Carey and Nancy Azara, Linda Weintraub and Michael X. Rose, Sarah Harris and Jared Handelsman.
Munson is a local painter, photographer and installation artist known for her “Pink Projects,” made up of thousands of pink plastic objects that explore “the marketing of femininity,” and her large-scale mandala works of scanned configurations of flowers collected from her garden. She is currently finishing up a New York City subway-stop commission, and getting represented at the art fairs in New York City over the coming week. Given Munson’s reputation and sunny disposition, this may be one of the greater displays of talent that has surfaced in a single show in the region this year – on a par with Byrdcliffe’s new members’ show and similar efforts up and down the Hudson Valley. Expect a crowded and fun opening, as a result.
The show runs through April 13, with the gallery open Mondays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. or by appointment. Unfortunately, it is also closed on college holidays, including the upcoming spring break at the community college from March 12 through 18. “Water”’s opening runs from 6 to 8 p.m. on March 9 in the Muroff-Kotler Visual Arts Gallery, located in Vanderlyn Hall on the Stone Ridge campus. For more information, call (845) 687-5000 or visit www.sunyulster.edu.