VACI Partners show their skill in last show of the year

From the 58th Chautauqua Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Art through the Annual Student Exhibition, the Fowler-Kellogg and Strohl art centers have hosted a number of different artists from all over the country this summer.

Now, it is time for one last show and one last group of artists: Chautauquans themselves.

From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. today, the Fowler-Kellogg Art Center will host the opening reception for the VACI Open Members Exhibition. All members of VACI Partners can have a piece or two of any media in the show if they so choose. This summer, these pieces include paintings, photographs, stone sculpture and even a quilt. The exhibition runs through Aug. 26.

“It’s a real honor and a real source of pride to have your work in this gallery space,” said Jerry Chesley, VACI Partner and contributing artist. “And it’s good that they involve the community in the art galleries themselves.”

Some of the work has even been produced here at Chautauqua. Juanell Boyd, one of the artists in the show, learned about photography from Special Studies courses at the Institution. Both of her pictures in the exhibition were taken at Chautauqua.

The pieces are part of her larger show at the Presbyterian House titled “Omnia Sol Temperat,” or “The Sun Shines on Everything,” taken from the title of a section in Carmina Burana. The photographs are printed in an unusual process on metal-coated paper, which reflects light better.

“Because the whole show is about the sunlight, it’s about sunrises, the metallic paper is particularly appropriate,” Boyd said.

Boyd has been submitting work for the last five years, but others have been in the show for much longer.

Bob Ivers and Beth Munro, a father and daughter team of painters, have had work in the show for nearly 10 seasons. Together, they have watched the show evolve.

“I think [the Open Members Exhibition] is at a very high level right now,” Ivers said. “I remember in years past, it was very, very uneven. But now, I think it’s at a pretty good level.”

This year, Munro and Ivers are displaying their newest work, which is going in a new direction for both of them.

“We have been historically representational painters, but we both are doing abstract work in the last year or two, so all of the work we’ve submitted are abstracts,” Munro said.

The show not only serves to highlight the growing and changing art of Chautauquans — it can also inspire other artists in the community to try new things.

“Three years [ago] at the VACI show, I saw a piece printed on watercolor paper and immediately knew that a couple of my pieces would look better on watercolor paper than on standard matte or glossy or luster paper,” Boyd said. “So I went home and experimented with that.”

Many of the artists will attend the opening to answer questions about their work, which will cover both floors of the Fowler-Kellogg Art Center.

“[Gallery Director] Judy Barie does a wonderful job in staging the show,” Chesley said. “The gallery always looks good.”