There’s some artwork in Corning right now that is worth seeing; and I’m not talking about the new wing at CMOG. Ann Welles is the owner of Exhibit A on Market Street and I’ve known for many years about her eye for unique, poignant artwork and upcoming artists. This time, she’s outdone herself.
Ann found some really great, young artists and is showing off (and selling) their work in her gallery. It’s worth just stopping by so you can see the art for yourself, even with no plans for buying anything. Valerie Kasinski’s exhibition is called Together We Are. Her idea is to show people essentially “wearing” landscapes, giving the sense that who we are and where we’re from are forever inseparable. It’s a really cool way to drive up those feelings of hometown pride we all experience.
The other exhibition is called Refigured; this one features several artists and the eclectic ways in which they represent the human figure. My personal favorites are by Hong Sungchul who creates a type of mosaic by using strings. As you get closer to or further from his artwork, or if you’re off to one side or another, you can see the 3D quality and it’s really fun to watch how it changes.
Regardless of whether you like the exhibits in Ann’s gallery, though, there’s a larger idea at play. Just like we’ve praised T.O.P. for bringing some new, unique musical acts to Corning, Ann is doing the same thing with visual artists. She’s finding people from Binghamton, Buffalo, Rochester, New Jersey, and beyond, convincing them to show their work in our small (but creative) town. She’s representing them professionally in Exhibit A, paying meticulous attention to lighting and atmosphere the way a quality music venue would pay attention to acoustics and sound.
Ann’s dream – and mine – is for everyone in Corning to realize what she’s built; to realize that we have some pretty amazing artists represented here. Jerry Ott, for example, who is part of the Refigured exhibition also has artwork in New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and the Walker Art Center. I’d say that’s pretty good company for Exhibit A and pretty good company for Corning in general.
You can check out these exhibitions at 22 East Market Street until they close on July 18. Some of the artists will be there to talk about their work at a closing reception on Saturday, July 18 at 5pm, which is free and open to the public. And if you can’t make it to this one, stop in anytime at Exhibit A to see which talented artists Ann found once again.