Archive for Sarah Rutherford

Inward glimpses: “Spyglass” by Sarah C. Rutherford & Brandon Colaprete

Posted in review with tags , , , , , on June 2, 2012 by Rebecca

This post originally appeared on Rochester City Newspaper‘s art blog.

A detail from “Spyglass,” on view at 1975 Gallery through June 16. PHOTO BY REBECCA RAFFERTY

This world hasn’t lost its wonder and its magic for Sarah Rutherford – in fact she insists upon its presence and will manifest it, conjure it up from scavenged detritus wherever it’s not readily apparent. And those who also feel the sweet tug of the beautiful mystery are drawn to her luminous work like so many sleepy little moths, shaking the dust from their wings and hovering about, fascinated. On Thursday, May 31, a flurry of us swarmed to the lantern-lit preview of her new installation, “Spyglass,”created this time not with art collective, The Sweet Meat Co., but with architect Brandon Colaprete. The show is installed at the former Little Bakery spot on Charlotte Street, which will be the future, permanent home of the nomadic-no-longer 1975 Gallery.

On the approach toward the former bakery from Main Street, viewers first spy a whorl of wood surrounding a window and creating a portal; the other side of the building is illustrated with a dreamy mural of clockwork crows.

Once inside, visitors navigate distorted, twisting walls into a created room within a room, where they step into nooks or peek through globes and various found lenses into wee spaces populated by cut-out figures, animals, bones, books, gears, feathers, and all manner of natural nuance. Weatherworn warrior women stand strong, alone, or make silent appeals to elusive, reliable menfolk.

Coming from a background of painting and drawing, Rutherford says “it was wonderful working with someone who thinks in more three-dimensional terms.” Her creative partner in this exhibition is Brandon Colaprete, an architect with Chaintreuil Jensen Stark Architects, which is the firm behind the Eastman Theatre Expansion & Renovation project. In creating “Spyglass,” Rutherford felt herself starting to think differently about space. “The 2-D objects, the crows/figures, etc., became the same as the lumber – all just parts of a whole piece,” she says.

“Brandon pushed me to work in a more planned manner, at least with the overall concept/building of skeleton, and I pushed him to loosen up,” she says. “This wasn’t a building or a permanent thing we were creating. It was a place to explore ideas and concepts in a more organic way. We were creating something that will be destroyed after two weeks of being finished. I think that freedom was fun for him, but also a challenge.”

The setting feels like a fragile, broken down sylvan cathedral, a sacred spot protected by all things capably feral. And like any stumbling upon the fae world, it might not be there the next time you visit. Above the reconstructed bits of architectural salvage, more clockwork crow illustrations soar among lights and cut paper which casts layers of shadows above and below. A life-sized, seated king-of-the-forest figure presides over the scene, but various beings watch viewers from every direction. Step up to one nook to find a secret boy child on high, spying down on all.

Like all of Rutherford’s endeavors, “Spyglass” is rife with unexpected nuance, and discovering it all could fill many hours. The origin of Spyglass began with a piece Rutherford created for last year’s Sweet Meat Co. installation, “Welcome to Sweetsville,” in which she used lenses given to her by 1975 Gallery owner and fellow Sweet Meat artist, Erich Lehman, to create a little viewing box with materials scavenged from an abandoned warehouse. “I wanted to play with that same idea but on a smaller scale – drawing the viewer into a private, intimate viewing experience,” says Rutherford. “After the show, I couldn’t stop thinking about what it would be like to make a whole room act in the same way – playing with the idea on a large scale and also on a intimate scale.”

Scavenging materials for the art is ever a part of the process for Rutherford and her friends. “It’s what I do, it’s what the crows do, it’s how this show was built. We as artists are scavengers – whether we use found materials or simply scavenge ideas and visual reference from our environment,” she says.

“The crows also have such impact for me as a visual reference for Rochester,” says Rutherford. “They are an integral part of our community and so powerful when they unite as this huge group or murder of birds. It’s in the same way that I look at our community. We are all uniquely beautiful, different, but coming together has its own power that could never be created working alone.” Though “Spyglass” was primarily created by the artist pair, Rutherford says “the wonderful group of people who participated both with labor and with support are both why it exists and what fuels me.”

“For this show, it was important to me that nothing was “for sale,” says Rutherford. “I truly wanted the show to be something that was about the experience and also heavily built around impermanence.” But after working on two Sweet Meat Co. installations, Rutherford was aware of how expensive they can become. Her solution was to create an eventual takeaway component of the exhibit: each person who donates $40 dollars towards the show will receive one of the crow drawings at its completion. “I liked this idea instead of simply asking one or two people to fund the whole exhibit – this way it is funded by the community,” says Rutherford. “They are the reason it exists.”

Rutherford’s breadcrumb trail might soon appear in different cities. “This installation was very much based around the building – its shape and flow, but also based around Rochester,” assembled from “discarded and forgotten pieces of our fine city,” says Rutherford. “I would love to work on this idea in a different city, using its fabric to see how that would translate.”

“For me, this show doesn’t feel “complete”, its an exploration, a part of a whole,” says Rutherford. Each installation feels to her like a chapter from a book – they are completed in a finite period of time, build momentum and background from the last endeavor, and create anticipation for what will come next.

“Spyglass: A Viewing Experience”
by Sarah C. Rutherford & Brandon Colaprete
1975 Gallery, 89 Charlotte Street
Saturday, June 2, 4-10 p.m.
Limited Showings from June 5-16:
Tuesday-Friday 6-9 p.m., Saturday 4-8 p.m.
OurSpyglass.com, 1975ish.com

“Nothing New” opens Friday night

Posted in alternative spaces, art collectives, first friday, upcoming shows with tags , , , , , , on March 3, 2011 by Rebecca

If you don’t already have this reception on your First Friday trek skedge, take note. Presented by 1975 Gallery, “Nothing New: The Ruminations & Imaginings of Sarah C. Rutherford and St. Monci” will open tomorrow night, 6-9 p.m. at Booksmart Gallery (250 N. Goodman St., entrance on Anderson Alley), and will run through March 26.

Despite the title, the show will feature new, mammoth work by each artist (including a 40 foot painting by Monci) as well as collaborative works between the two. All works draw from the artists’ visual and stylistic vocabularies, each finding new ways of looking at and expressing familiar subjects. Custom frames, constructed (with the help of Felix Caruthers, who is featured in one of Rutherford’s works) of found fascinations, will grace Rutherford’s work.

Rutherford's in-prog dreamy portrait of Mary Cross (and pal), with reclaimed-object frame.

Since vague ruminations of the show settled into Rutherford’s consciousness, she’s been sharing bits and peeks of reference photos, sketches, works-in-prog, and inspirations on a virtual progress blog dedicated to this endeavor.

Last week, I stopped over to Sarah’s studio to check out her nearly-finished works, as well as many of the collab pieces with St. Monci. Rutherford’s fantastical illustration style paired with her serious portrait skills have made superhero gypsy-vagrants of her circle of muse-friends. The show “is about the people I’m painting, obviously through my lens, but I am trying to give them a power of maybe…how they’d like to see themselves,” Rutherford says, in discussing what she calls the “fantasy-aspect, edging toward superhero.” Her portrait of 1975 Gallery director Erich Lehman, for example, reveals him as a champion of the arts and patron saint of the skaters, with his gaze raised and eyes set on some soon-to-be-realized vision.

The colorful, nostalgic paintings lend a sense of urban-fairytale adventure and contain steampunk, street, and natural elements. For the collab works, Rutherford says, St. Monci would typically begin work with his ribbons and jets of spray paint, and she would play off of his colors and forms.

Collab work by Rutherford and St. Monci.

Monci’s tight, kinetic, and soaring paintwork will have room to elicit maximum awe with that giant painting he’s promised. You can preview the progress at his site or on the lovely photography blog of his eagle-eyed wife, Hannah Betts.

This show is the second presented at Booksmart by 1975 Gallery, which will hold exhibitions twice annually in the space. A small-edition exhibition catalog produced at Booksmart will accompany the show. Also, 1975’s creator, Erich Lehman, designed this rad show card.

See you there.
See you there.

First Friday, March!

Posted in alternative spaces, art collectives, first friday, pop-up galleries, quick pokes, upcoming shows with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2011 by Rebecca

So, we’ve had little teases of spring on and off, but now it’s back to frigidness (Rochester, she is a fickle bitch). Will we be bundling for Friday’s art trek, or liberated in, at best, 30something degree weather? (har)

In any case, here is a preview of some of the gems opening up this Friday (first printed in Rochester City Newspaper this morn)…

March’s art scene, like the weather, is rolling in as fiercely as a lion. First Friday, the monthly city-wide gallery night, is held by non-profit, university, and commercial and indie art venues in Rochester, where we all trot about from station to station, filling our eyes and ears with what’s new and exciting in our community. On Friday, March 4, 6-9 p.m. (and sometimes later) you can check out art openings, poetry readings, and musical performances in various locations. Visit firstfridayrochester.org for a list of this month’s participating venues, and check out all the flyers in cafes and such for more events happening the same night. Here are just a few:

1975 Gallery at Booksmart Studio (250 N. Goodman St., 1975ish.com) will present a new show by two members of Sweet Meat Co., “Nothing New: The Ruminations & Imaginings of Sarah C. Rutherford and St. Monci,” with new work by both artists as well as collaborations between the two.

One of Sarah C. Rutherford and St. Monci's epic collabs in "Nothing New..." opening this Friday. More on this soon...

“Winter Blooms” will open at the Firehouse Gallery at Genesee Pottery (713 Monroe Ave., 271-5183), and will feature artistic, functional ceramic work by Giselle Hicks and Kala Stein.

The Hungerford Urban Artisans (The Hungerford, 1115 E. Main St., thehungerford.com) will present the “FLUX: THAW at the Hungerford” in Suite 258, and continuing on Saturdays 10 a.m.-3 p.m. through March. Arti Gras comes to Anderson Alley Artists (250 N. Goodman St., 442-3516, secondsaturdayartists.com), with open studios, shopping, live Zydeco music and dancing, Friday 5-9 p.m., and continuing on Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. While in the building, be sure to check out “Collaboration Collisions” with work by local artist Heather Erwin and NYC artist Duane Sherwood, in Studio 215, 6-9 p.m.

The Mill Art Center and Gallery and The Rabbit Room (61 N Main St, Honeoye Falls., 624-7740, millartcenter.com) will host “Relevant: An HF-L Alumni Art Exhibition,” with work by Honeoye Falls-Lima High School alum, and includes work by internationally acclaimed artists. The 6 p.m. opening will feature live music by Steve Grills and the Roadmasters.

On the alternative-spaces front, check out “Book of Nights” work by Aydin Ture at Living Room Cafe (1118 Monroe Ave, thelivingroomcafe.com), 6-8 p.m. And at the Gallery at Rubino’s Cafe (1659 Mt. Hope Ave., 271-0110), 5-7 p.m., you will find “Whimsical Art” by Margot Fass, Mollie Wolf, and Martha Schermerhorn.

February First Friday Preview

Posted in alternative spaces, first friday, upcoming shows with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2011 by Rebecca

As seen in this morning’s Rochester City Newspaper

The bitter cold may be tempting you to stay in and skip February’s First Friday, so I’m here to tell you what you won’t want to miss. The monthly city-wide gallery night is held by non-profit, university, and commercial and indie art venues, where we all trot about from station to station, filling our eyes and ears with what’s new and exciting in our community. On Friday, February 4, 6-9 p.m. (and sometimes later) you can check out art openings, poetry readings, and musical performances in various locations. Visit firstfridayrochester.org for a list of this month’s participating venues, and check out all the flyers in cafes and such for more events happening the same night. Here are just a few:

Start your night off with a preview of art’s future with the Fourth Annual Invitational Showcase for Student Artwork at the Bevier Gallery (RIT, Booth Building, 132 Lomb Memorial Drive, 475-2646), 5-7 p.m., which includes work from more than 300 area middle- and high-school art students.

Rochester Contemporary Art Center (137 East Ave., 461-2222) will present its annual Mentors & Makers exhibition, this year featuring new sculpture by artists and educators Wendell Castle and Nancy Jurs, and their former students Tom Lacagnina and Bethany Krull. The reception takes place 8-10 p.m.; while there, check out the LAB Space exhibition, “Charlie Arnold: Pioneer of Electrostatic Art,” which is part of the “Thaw” area-wide collaboration of simultaneous shows.

 

A new work by Wendell Castle, part of the "Mentors & Makers" exhibit opening at Rochester Contemporary.

Another “Thaw” exhibition opens Friday at the Hungerford Building (1115 E. Main St.), with “Thaw: Melting Hearts” at Crocus Clay Works (Suite 225, 414-5643), which will include a variety of ceramic works by Christine & Brian Krieger, Sabra Wood, and Jennifer Buckley. The Main Street Artists’ Gallery & Studio (Suite 458, 223-2006) will feature art by Christine Norris as well as original small works.

Also part of “Thaw” is “No Boundaries: New Expressions in Black Art,” which opens 6-9 p.m. at the Baobab Cultural Center (728 University Ave., 563-2145) and will include works by Hiram Cray, Edreys Wajed, Michelle Harris, and Shawn Dunwoody.

“Shedding Light” by Pamela Vander Zwan will open at Visual Studies Workshop (31 Prince St., 442-8676), with a companion show, “A Reading Room for Shedding Light,” at the Link Gallery at Central Library (115 South Ave.). The reception takes place 6-9 p.m. and will feature work that “asks fundamental questions about participation in democratic society” (per the press release) through the pairing of “photographs of blindfolded people in situations that demand the use of sight or adaptation to a lack of sight,” with Braille reading stations “that put the viewer into a situation in which sight does not automatically equal awareness.”

Since the bar stays open until 2 a.m., the “Lux Be a Lady” show at Lux Lounge (666 South Ave., luxlounge.com) might be your last stop of the evening, though the opening’s official hours are 6-9 p.m. It’s ladies night for the next month or so, featuring work by Rheytchul Chickenbone, Sarah Rutherford, Stacey Mrva, Juni Moon, Lea Rizzo, and Sara Purr.

 

I'll drink to this.

PARK(ing) DAY Photos

Posted in guerilla art shows with tags on November 4, 2010 by Rebecca

Here are some images, provided by the talented Sarah Rutherford and others, of our PARK(ing) DAY endeavor. From about 6:30 a.m. to well after 10 p.m., and with the help of Felix Caruthers and many lovely friends, we constructed (and kept adding to) the reclaimed parking spaces, using found and collected objects (we’re all packrats), artwork that Sarah brought and/or made for the day, as well as random junk that we turned into a playground with a fort, sandbox, kites, birds, origami objects…

In the end we deemed it a gypsy street camp, which you’ll be able to detect in these photos.

Many people stopped by to ask what the hell we were doing, others contributed. Special thanks to Mike Calabrese and Java’s for the lunch and bottomless coffee. We needed it. You guys rule.

Next year I’d like to see the project expand, with more people altering the spaces all over this town. We’ll have to start planning earlier in the month. Interested? Join the Rochester Art Front on Facebook, subscribe to this blog’s email list, and keep in touch.

(Most of) our parameters.

 

Sarah checks out the progress.

 

An example of Sarah's lovely pigeons, constructed of cardboard & paint.

 

Impromptu musicians carried us into the evening.

PARK(ing) Day in Rochester

Posted in guerilla art shows, pop-up galleries, quick pokes with tags , , on September 16, 2010 by Rebecca

Very excited to transform a metered parking spot into a temporary mini park tomorrow in Rochester’s East End. Involved parties include Rochester Contemporary, Sarah C. Rutherford, and others. Come visit us and contribute random possessions, quarters to help feed the meter, or your person. We’ll be there all day and into the evening.

Info on PARK(ing) Day.

First Friday 4/2 preview bits n’ pieces…

Posted in first friday, upcoming shows with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2010 by Rebecca

It’s time again for your monthly First Friday travels, and your dose of fresh new art happenings in the city…

Visit firstfridayrochester.org for a list of participating venues, or check out all the fliers in cafes for the indie ones. Make sure to put these on your itinerary:

Step into “Other Worlds” at Rochester Contemporary Art Center with colorful, whimsical, new sculpture by Paul Knoblauch and densely packed drawings by John Kastner, including his recent illustration project of Nannette Nocon’s “What’s UP with Yuk?

FourWalls Art Gallery and Thievin’ Stephen Dorobiala will present “On the Cut,” a stencil show featuring the talented Thievin’ Stephen, Crook (FUA), Downer, Biles, Jeff Copp, Kurt Ketchum and The Sweet Meat Co’s: MR. PRVRTSarah Rutherford, and St. Monci. Enjoy live turntablism by The NYAC Crew (Fresh Fingaz, Tim Tones, Silly Cutty, & Naps), a performance by the neo-funk band Lifeforms, and a video installation by The NGB.

The Record Archive is keeping the fabulous Allie Hartley’s lovely-dark illustrations and mixed-media mummy sculptures in house for another month!

Gallery r will be showing the Senior Fine Arts Studio Exhibition, and similarly, Image City Photography Gallery is hosting “Through the Student Lens,” an impressive show of student – and teacher – work.

Just around the corner in the same building is Gilded Square Picture Framing and Gallery, with the First Friday reception for the current showing of Lanna Pejovic’s “New Work: Paintings, Drawings, Prints.”

*This is a modified version of my FF bit originally printed in City Newspaper.