For Immediate Release — February 7, 2005

Contact:

Mary E. McCrank

Media Relations Officer

(585) 245-5516

mccrank@geneseo.edu

TRIBUTE TO OAK TREES KICKS OFF SPRING ART EXHIBITIONS AT SUNY GENESEO LOCKHART GALLERY

GENESEO, N.Y. — One of the Geneseo region’s most beloved symbols — the oak tree — will be celebrated in upcoming exhibits at the Lockhart Gallery at the State University of New York at Geneseo.

The "Celebration of the Oaks" exhibit is being held in conjunction with the Genesee Valley Conservancy, a non-profit conservation organization devoted to the preservation of open space within the Genesee River watershed and adjacent agricultural areas. The exhibit will kick off the conservancy’s yearlong "Celebration of the Oaks," which will include a series of activities, lectures and performances.

The conservancy selected the oak tree as the theme for its 15-year anniversary because the stately tree is synonymous with Geneseo, said its executive director, Eric Grace.

"They’re such wonderful specimens, and I do think we need to safeguard them more," said Grace.

The exhibit opens Feb. 26 and will run through March 28. The opening reception will be held from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26.

This special exhibit will showcase collections of works of art from the Genesee Valley dealing with images of the oak tree. Works in the exhibit will include representations of the venerable oak by such legendary artists as luminist painter John F. Kensett; photographer Ansel Adams; Virginia Daley, a painter based in Washington D. C.; and regional luminaries Richard Beale, Kent Diver, Donna Kelsey, Guy LeClair, Sally B. Moses, Will Wadsworth and Dante Thomas Zachinini.

Gallery’s Second Show to Depict Arab-Israeli Culture

The gallery’s second show in the spring will be "O’ Jerusalem," a multimedia installation by Cyril Read. Read, an internationally exhibited sculptor, is an assistant professor of art at Rochester Institute of Technology.

The show will open April 8 and run through May 6. The opening reception will be held from 5-7:30 p.m. Friday, April 8.

Originally exhibited in the Art Gallery of the CUNY College of Staten Island, "O’ Jerusalem" combines drawings, brass reliefs, sculpture in the round and photography, to explore the complex interrelations between Arab and Israeli culture as embodied in both the current and the historical situation of Jerusalem. Nanette Salomon, its original curator, explains, "The installation is constructed of various parts whose rich allusions and thoughtful, artful presentation all contribute to his message as a whole. As the conglomerate parts of ‘Arab/Israeli’ are inextricable, so too are the parts of Reade’s installation to the whole."

Mark Denaci, director of the Lockhart Gallery and assistant professor of art at SUNY Geneseo, said Reade’s exhibit fits in with the mission of the Lockhart Gallery.

"I am especially interested in how the work avoids taking sides in the current political conflict, and instead calls attention to the paradox of borderlines, which serve both to unite and to divide. As such, I think the exhibit embodies the Lockhart Gallery’s ongoing exploration of different aspects of the concept of community in a particularly thought-provoking way," said Denaci.

Cyril Reade received his master of fine arts degree from Concordia University in Montréal in 1982. Following a successful career as a practicing artist and professor of fine arts, he began to pursue a growing interest in art history, theory and criticism, receiving his Ph.D. in visual and cultural studies from the University of Rochester in 2003. His dissertation, From Mendelssohn to Mendelsohn: Visual and Case Studies of Jewish Life in Berlin, will be published by Peter Lang (Bern and New York).

The Lockhart Gallery, located in the McClellan House at 26 Main St. in the village of Geneseo, is open from 2-5 p.m. every day with extended hours from 12-8 p.m. on Thursdays. The exhibits are free and open to the public. For more information, call the SUNY Geneseo art department at (585) 245-5814.

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