Pictured above: Artists Barbara DuRant, Sarah Berney, and Philip Gebhardt stand in front of a painting by Arlene Santana Thornton
Hudson-based painter and art instructor Philip Gebhardt has opened his studio at 609 Warren St. to five fellow local artists for a new group show, opening Saturday December 10 and running for just one week.
After participating in the Hudson Open Studios weekend back in October, Gebhardt told us he was “inspired to meet fellow artists and connect with them, which kind of grew into the idea of doing this group exhibition.” Not everyone in the cohort is represented by a gallery currently, so this was a chance for all to show their work to the public.
Gebhardt has cleared out the furniture and supplies from his own sun-drenched third floor studio at 609 Warren St. to make way for his fellow artists. “The space that this show is in is unique in itself— it has a lot of charm,” he explained. “It’s a great space for art to be displayed and for people to gather and really just soak in the atmosphere.”
Gebhardt is joined by painters Arlene Santana Thornton, Barbara DuRant, Nicole Mayhew, Nicolas Dalton, and Sarah Berney.
“A few of the artists actually live or have a studio right in this very building, so I immediately wanted to involve them,” Gebhardt told us. “The other artists I met all around the time of Open Studio, as well as through showing my artwork with the New Gallery at Park Theater Hudson.”
As for what it’s like creating art in Hudson, Gebhardt said this: “Hudson’s a unique place to be an artist because there’s so many creative people here. There’s a lot of new things happening and a lot of change, but there’s also a lot of historic elements as well.”
Above all else, he hoped people would respond to the upstart nature of this group show. “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun, and I think people will really enjoy it and be happy that they were able to experience this special place.”
Read artists statements from three of the six participating artists below:
Philip Gebhardt is an abstract artist based out of Hudson, NY. With a zealous and gestural style, his works go through phases of deconstruction and reworking, creating a dynamic, emotion inducing result. His work is textured, holding a space within painting and drawing, declaring moments of both figurative and abstract fragments. Philip works spontaneously while analyzing his application process, conscious of how each brushstroke plays off one another. His work emulates the constant breakdown and build up of the environment around us, inspired by both natural and human forces.
Philip is a life long New York State resident who developed a passion for art making at a young age. He studied art at Fairleigh Dickenson University before receiving a BFA from Marist College. Philip has a Masters in Art Teaching from The School of Visual Arts with 15 years of teaching experience working in both New York City and the Hudson Valley. Philip resides in Hudson, NY where he has a studio and paints daily.
Arlene Santana Thornton
I experience nature as a living thing. The forms and colors I see in it are internalized through many hours of direct observation; in the studio, the memory of what I have experienced takes form in my work. I aim to convey what I have seen and felt, as well as that which is not seen but only imagined as being there underneath it all.
My working process is largely intuitive, with an additive— subtractive approach. The works have many layers of paint, which are often scraped and gouged with graphite. Texture, color, and context are important to me. Paint is added, wiped out, replaced, and changed many times in a reductive process in which I attempt to discover the essence of what I have experienced. My wish is to convey my personal response to the natural world to the viewer in my work.
My work has to do with myth— with all the dragons and obstacles one might expect to find. It is a quest that has everything to do with the nagging questions of purpose and meaning. A pilgrim’s journey, steeped in discovery. Layer upon layer, brought to life, and then destroyed, united by a depth of what went before. The question of what will ultimately emerge— in the painting— and within myself— is what connects me. Mythical components of transformation, very personal, and with passionate intent. Markers from the depth of soul. It is an individual journey…seeing, feeling, interpreting.
The process is about engagement— charcoal, oil and wax medium, uniting to find the expressive nature of color, line, texture, shape, and the physical marks of each brushstroke. It is a painterly style varying in both technique and quality of expression depending on the moment and where the process takes the painting. Images appear and are destroyed. Layer upon layer are subject to being erased, only to be honored again as the work finds new paths toward resolve. The history is preserved as it is built, uniting the process. There is considerable freedom of technique and execution with a particular emphasis on the expressive quality of the paint itself.
Follow her online at instagram.com/barbaradurant1948
Nicole splits her time between Hudson and Brooklyn, NY. With a unique upbringing in New York, raised by a family of artists and entrepreneurs who encouraged her from childhood to pursue all forms of art and expression. Later receiving a degree in sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design, she was
described as “sculpting like a painter and painting like a sculptor”.
Her primarily focus at the moment is oil on board, often large in scale, depicting figurative imagery. In the most current series, the main focal points also become the most distorted. Perspective lines and under-drawing techniques co-mingle with veins, wrinkles and natural surface elements of the body. It is a way to honor the parts/ experiences that make the whole (being). And to emote through line quality. In this way they ask the viewer to spend more time on moments that are less easy to understand.
“Sutra 3. The universe is manifold because of the differentiation of reciprocally adapted objects and subjects.” From Pratyabhijnahrdayam: The Secret of Self-recognition
I returned to the visual arts during the Pandemic after a twenty year break to teach Svaroopa yoga.
The complexity of the times, because of Covid and political turmoil, made me feel a deep need to explore simplicity. I started by filling up notebooks with line drawings of basic shapes, squares, triangles, circles, etc., exploring the seeming inevitability of time and space.
In December of last year I found a lovely studio space in the heart of Hudson where I could commit fully to bringing the work out of the notebooks and into paintings and larger drawings.
Because nothing ever remains simple, I set basic, somewhat arbitrary, rules from which to build series of related paintings/drawings. A rule can be as simple as, for instance, using only two colors. The heat from these constraints allows me to explore, learn, and build from one painting to the next until I reach a point where the rules have to be broken in order to continue. When too many rules are broken, it’s probably time for a new series.
For me, art is the process of recreating the universe, an exploration of the endless “reciprocal adaptation” between the painting and itself, the painting and the painter and, ultimately, the painting and you the viewer. Searching for what comes before time and space.
I live with my wife and two sons in Taghkanic and continue to teach Svaroopa yoga online.
The group art exhibition opens from 5-9pm at 609 Warren St, Floor 3, on Saturday, December 10, and runs for one week. If you miss the opening, there will be a closing reception on Saturday, December 17, from 5-9pm.
Words and photos by Alexandre J. Petraglia, Hudson Business Coalition president.