With increasing attention paid to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education as the future for our schools, some are saying that it’s time to turn STEM into STEAM: The A is for art. “We know that the scientist’s laboratory and the artist’s studio are two of the last places reserved for open-ended inquiry,” writes Rhode Island School of Design president John Maeda. “Artists and scientists tend to approach problems with a similar open-mindedness and inquisitiveness. They make natural partners. With such complementary thinking, there is great potential when they collaborate from the offset, resulting in unexpected outcomes that can be exponentially more valuable than when they work apart.”
The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art on the campus of SUNY-New Paltz will celebrate “the laboratory-like environment of the artist studio, exemplifying the exploration and curiosity that is at the heart of many artistic practices” in a new exhibit, “Worlds of Wonder: Hudson Valley Artists 2014,” opening on Saturday, June 21. A curator’s gallery talk will be held at 4 p.m., with an opening reception following from 5 to 7 p.m. The exhibition will remain on view in the museum’s Alice and Horace Chandler and North Galleries through November 9.
The show is part of the annual Hudson Valley Artists exhibition series, which has been one of the Dorsky Museum’s signature invitationals for more than 20 years. It is curated from an open call for emerging and mid-career artists who live in and have an active art practice in Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster or Westchester counties and who have not had a major one-person museum exhibition or an exclusive contract with a commercial gallery. Students are not eligible.
“Worlds of Wonder: Hudson Valley Artists 2014” is curated by Ian Berry, director of the Tang Museum at Skidmore College. Berry selected 16 artists from a field of more than 320 applicants. In his call for submissions, Berry asked the artists to consider “the extent to which science and nature, architecture, design and history weave in and out of contemporary art-making” and how their work might bring disparate elements into a singular work, or cluster related images or objects.
The exhibit, designed to appeal both intellectually and visually, includes photography by Kay Kenny and Mike McGregor, architectural drawings by Mison Kim, collage works by Fern T. Apfel and abstract paintings and constructions by Gabe Brown, Loren Eiferman, Reuben Moore, Douglas Navarra and Stephen Niccolls. Linda Stillman and Caitlin Parker’s artworks take their inspiration directly from the color and patterns found in nature, and site-specific installations by Adriana Farmiga, Holly Hughes, Sean Sullivan, Judy Thomas and Angela Voulgarelis bring together a wide range of media, found objects and construction materials in beautiful and surprising ways.
The Hudson Valley Artists Annual Purchase Award of $3,000 will be used to acquire one or more artworks from the exhibition for the museum’s permanent collection, funded through the Alice and Horace Chandler Art Acquisition Fund.
With more than 9,000 square feet of exhibition space, the Dorsky Museum is one of the largest museums within the SUNY system. The Dorsky has presented more than 100 exhibitions since its dedication in 2001, including commissions, collection-based projects and in-depth studies of contemporary artists. Museum hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed holidays and intersessions.
“Worlds of Wonder: Hudson Valley Artists 2014” curator talk, Saturday, June 21, 4 p.m., opening reception 5-7 p.m., through November 9, $5, Dorsky Museum of Art, SUNY-New Paltz, 1 Hawk Drive, New Paltz; (845) 257-3844, www.newpaltz.edu/museum.