Since opening last January, the Lockwood Gallery, located on Route 28 adjacent to Hickory Barbecue and Smokehouse, has become one of the area’s premier venues for contemporary art; the current show, “In Pursuit of Color,” showcasing the work of 25 artists, is an embarrassment of riches, a symphony of styles and media that is a feast for the eye as well as the mind (see accompanying article). When Michael Lockwood began leasing the approximately 1,300-square-foot space, which had formerly housed a home design store, for his architectural firm, Lockwood Architecture, PLLC, in January 2018, he didn’t initially plan a gallery. Instead, he envisioned an expanded office space and designed a series of rooms, including a conference room, reception area and drafting stations. A few months later, when he finished construction, he realized that the beautifully crafted matte-white walls crowned by a ten-foot ceiling were the ideal setting for art – a particular passion of his. Plus, he had the special skillset needed to help make the gallery a success. “I really enjoy hanging art, and as an architect, I have an eye for composition,” he said. “When I hang a wall and it’s perfect, I get a kick out of it.” That high standard has a lot to do with why the shows look so good.
So far, he has had five shows, starting with an exhibition of Pat Horner, which he curated himself, along with the second show, of Ralph Moseley. “My goal is to have the best artists, to help them grow and get recognition,” he said. The Moseley show was followed by an exhibition of Harold Roth’s photographs and Susan Spencer Crowe’s tower sculptures, and then, in the same month of September, of the colorful paintings of Manhattan streetscapes and Woodstock landscapes by Mari Lyons, who had passed away in 2016. Lockwood recruited Alan Goolman, a cosmetics industry consultant specializing in creative marketing and brand development who’d curated shows in Saugerties, to curate the Roth and Crowe exhibition as well as the current exhibition. “I work constantly, so I don’t have much time to put into this,” explained Lockwood, who also is a partner in the construction company Dynamism, LLC. “Alan could put in the time, and he loves to do it. He can make the gallery grow faster and turn it into a real thing.”
The gallery, which takes the standard 50 percent commission, has had some sales. Each opening attracts more people: The November 9 opening for “In Pursuit of Color” “was packed shoulder to shoulder,” according to Lockwood. That exhibit will be up through January 4, to be followed by an architecture show.
Lockwood, who is married with two grownup children, is a native son. He graduated from Onteora High School and attended the Woodstock School of Art for a year on scholarship. (He recently resumed his art studies and is currently taking an oil painting class at the school.) He attended Alfred University, the Boston Architectural College and SUNY-New Paltz, getting degrees in Architectural Engineering and Graphic Design. After school, he worked in construction, unable to find a job in architecture due to the slow economy, and worked his way up on major projects. After injuring his back in a car accident, he had to change gears again and took a course on AutoCAD, a software program that draws blueprints digitally, at SUNY-Ulster. He then worked at a variety of architecture firms and got his architect’s license before hanging out his shingle in 2015, renting an office in Kingston. When the space on Route 28 became available, he grabbed the opportunity, given its much-better visibility.
The one thing the gallery lacks is an effective social media presence. “I need someone to help with this,” Lockwood acknowledged, noting that he is just too busy. Indeed: The connections that he has made through the gallery have led to some commissions, including the Woodstock School of Art’s parking lot expansion and the renovation of a studio once owned by a famous artist in Woodstock, which is now operated by a foundation. But having the gallery has also benefited him in a more fundamental way. “I just love the art,” he said. “I love having it hanging in my space. It inspires me and makes me want to make art myself.”
Lockwood Gallery, Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday by appointment, 747 Route 28, Kingston; (845) 532-4936, www.thelockwoodgallery.com.
“In Pursuit of Color” now on view at the Lockwood Gallery
“In Pursuit of Color,” an exhibition at the Lockwood Gallery consisting of 62 works representing 25 artists, most based in the Hudson Valley, is aptly titled in that it suggests a quest that beckons the eye. Entering the space, the visitor is greeted by Andrew Lyght’s Painting Structure 645C, in which a large orange/red pentagon shape cut out of plywood is perched slightly askew in an open, gridded oak-and-metal frame edged with aqua, as if signaling one to a journey while metaphorically offering the ride, as if the pentagon were a kind of conceptualized craft one could take down from its frame and push off in.
Just beyond the corner of that front wall, in an adjoining space, one glimpses Laura Gurton’s pair of painted elongated glittery medallions, which pick up the chromatic theme in their respective red-and-aqua grounds; one could interpret them as a prize, the Grail beckoning one deeper into the journey. Their intricate gold patterning, as richly hued as a Byzantine mosaic or sumptuous Persian carpet, caresses the eye, which naturally continues its perambulations along the wall to the smoldering, similarly hued sweep of Charlotte Tusch’s acrylic painting, Fall, which exults in its watery tones of gold, spanning the temperature spectrum from dull turquoise to pinkish rust.
That piece in turn is a segue to Alex Kveton’s small sculpture, a swoosh of smoldering copper-colored patinated bronze called Red Wind. The passage along the wall ends in the dramatic punctuation of Jeanette Fintz’s two square acrylic-on-wood paintings of swirling orange geometric forms in a field of white, which has the texture of marble, as if the shapes were pieces of inset mosaic; the freewheeling movement of the fragmented circular forms recalls the work of Sonia Delaunay, cementing the Modernist stylistic theme that permeates the exhibition.
The point is that the exhibition, which was curated with exquisite sensitivity and care by Alan Goolman, is much more than the sum of its (wonderful) parts; it has a kind of symphonic richness and unity, with passages alternately somber, playful, atmospheric and dramatic and a syncopated rhythm deriving from the sometimes-surprising juxtaposition of works. For example, a trio of Steve Niccolls’ paintings of stacked biomorphic, stonelike shapes, alternately cool and warm, is interrupted by Josepha Conrad-Ferm’s large, spacious, light-filled painting that riffs on his three-day binge of listening to jazz (it’s titled Cornu). In the context of Niccholls’ dense arrangement of color-rich forms, it reads as their inverse, as if a powerful wind had swept through and left only the traces of those shapes. The musical theme of Cornu is further extended by the undulating steel sculpture, in pale painted-and-weathered steel, of David Provan’s sculpture Umbilicus, which confronts the group of four wall pieces from its perch in the middle of the room.
The opposite wall consists of a group of handsome “Color Chord” paintings by Ralph Moseley, dating from the 1990s, that further add to the richness of the theme, while constituting a universe in themselves. Their multiple grids could be read as aerial views of land plots, whose regularity is interrupted by odd breaks, bites and insertions and whose Van Gogh colors, striking for the most part a minor key, convey both spookiness and warmth.
There are so many highlights in this show, I fear to name many more works, since others would be unjustly left out. But here goes: Susan Spencer Crowe’s tour de force in cut-and-folded paper, Floating on Blue, in which the painted pattern seems to float above the physical surface and shifts as you move around the piece; Talya Baharal’s two rugged mixed-media abstract acrylics in pink, which transform a color often signifying soft femininity into a tough, elegiac last stand; Mike Cockrill’s series of collages patterned on the motif of the class picture and especially his graphite drawings, with pale accents of watercolor, depicting artists and models, in a language conflating cartoons with Picasso; Angela Voulgarelis’ framed portrait of a woman, which regards us with the quiet dignity of a Rembrandt, except that the face is obscured in a wash of blue watercolor paint; and D. Jack Soloman’s small, quirky mash-ups of pop and scientific imagery, which have the delightful vintage quality of 1920s advertisements. Carole Kunstadt’s drawings on Mylar, in which marks of color are subtly interspersed among the thickets of penciled lines, and Melanie Delgado’s expressionistic paintings on paper form a kind of basso continuo.
The other participating artists, all of whose work is excellent and adds various grace notes to the whole, are Stephen Pusey, Ruth Wetzel (who contributed the single photograph), James Austin Murray, Christopher Skura, Pat Horner, Zalv, Vivien Collens and Gus Pedersen, who built the Modernist sideboard. But come see for yourself. The show is up through January 4.
“In Pursuit of Color,” through January 4, Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday by appointment, Lockwood Gallery, 747 Route 28, Kingston; (845) 532-4936, www.thelockwoodgallery.com.