A community is defined by its members. A community’s culture is more than just the art it’s produced over time, but those among its artists that the community treasures.
Woodstock shows community and culture in the latest Towbin Wing exhibit opening Saturday, February 3, at the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum, 28 Tinker Street, just off the Village Green. In Remembrance, honoring and featuring the work of the late Woodstockers Jane Axel, Lenny Kislin, Pia Oste-Alexander and Sandra Palmer Shaw, will then run through March 11, with a special reception to take place 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Saturday afternoon, February 10.
Axel, who died at the age of 90 in 2015, first arrived in town to attend drawing classes at the Art Students League Summer Program in the 1950s, later studied sculpture with Tomas Penning, and bequeathed a collection of her own and others’ artworks to the WAAM Permanent Collection before her passing. Her work is seen by many as a link between earlier and later Woodstock art sensibilities.
Kislin, a former president of WAAM’s board of directors, curated exhibitions at Oriole9 restaurant across Tinker Street from the gallery for years, eventually combining its opening events with the institution he adored and showed at regularly over the years. A former antiques dealer, he built up a much-respected career creating distinctively witty and politically insightful folk art-like constructions created from salvaged antiques. He passed away last year after turning 70.
Oste-Alexander, an honoree at a WAAM Splash benefit three years ago, started showing in the Artists Association galleries 61 years ago and became known for her white line woodcuts and subtly innovative and evocvative collage works, represented for years by Elena Zang Gallery. She passed away this winter.
Shaw was a passionate supporter of WAAM’s Education Program, for which she helped procure a portable printing press. Her delicate and mysterious abstractions were regularly shown in a number of key WAAM exhibitions over the years.
All four are remembered for their dedication to artistic expression, their love and support of WAAM, and their role in the Woodstock community. The current exhibition will include the artists’ own works, pieces from their collections, and gifts they made to the WAAM Permanent Collection. The reception for In Remembrance will run from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, February 10 at 28 Tinker Street in Woodstock. Call 679-2940 or see woodstockart.org for further information.