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Luminous Landscapes exhibition opens Jan. 30

Submitted Photo Thomas Annear, Woodchuck Hill, 2019, oil on panel, 12" x 24"

JAMESTOWN — Luminous Landscapes, an exhibition of scenes familiar to western New York, opens January 30 with a reception from 6-8 p.m. in Jamestown Community College’s Weeks Gallery.

The event, which is free and open to the public, includes refreshments. Visitors to the exhibition can also experience another element of JCC’s cultural arts programming by attending the production of the musical La Cage aux Folles after the reception. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. performance are available at the theatre door.

The exhibition is on display until March 19. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, and by appointment. The Weeks Gallery is located on the second floor of Sheldon Center.

Included in the exhibition are a selection of 19th century paintings from JCC’s permanent collection as well as works by contemporary regional painters Thomas Annear of Fredonia, Thomas Kegler of East Aurora, and Mikel Wintermantel of Allegany, and large format landscape photos by photographer and JCC alumna Janelle Lynch.

The works exploring the play of light, color, and atmosphere on the landscape. Reminiscent of works from the Hudson River School art movement, they reflect the grandeur of nature and share a reverence of the spiritual, offering viewers a space to reflect on the natural world and their place within it.

Annear, a native of Virginia who moved to Fredonia in 2000, graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in fine arts. His work, he notes, has shifted from political and abstract pieces to paintings that focus on contemporary uses of our environment and a strong sense of place.

“Over the past nineteen years, I have completed a series of plein air paintings that celebrate the beauty and history of local agricultural communities,” Annear says. “Through these works I have sought to capture the unique geography, weather patterns, and natural resources of western New York.”

Emphasizing that conservation and sustainability issues have become central to his work, Annear also notes, “Luminous Landscapes has given me the opportunity to go back to school, with the hillside view as my primary classroom. Instead of merely recording features of the landscape, I’ve allowed nature — the flows of the water, weather, the seasonal plays of light and color, and the soundscapes — to inform the works.”

Kegler, a self-taught painter, producer, and certified teacher, is internationally recognized as an associate living master by the prestigious Art Renewal Center, master Roycroft artisan, member of the Salmagundi Club, painting instructor for the Grand Central Academy in New York City, and senior fellow with the Hudson River Fellowship.

Kegler’s traditional oil paintings of landscapes, still lifes, and figures draw from the masters’ approach to the canvas. Revisiting the processes and techniques of the “Old Masters” in light of classical and contemporary subjects guides his expression of life’s subtleties.

His work has been shown internationally and has been featured in notable magazines and publications including American Arts Quarterly. His paintings reside in several prominent collections throughout the world.

Kegler is committed to the consistent growth and development of his skills and to the promotion of art education with an emphasis on classical techniques. He self-produced a documentary video focused on traditional plein air painting approaches.

“Through my work, I strive to bring an awareness and respect for God’s creations and their temporal qualities,” notes Kegler. “They provide an infinite supply of beauty and inspiration. I paint traditionally — mirroring a time when academic training and processes were embraced and nurtured. This approach has given me the skills and knowledge to express myself through hand, head, and heart.”

Wintermantel is a landscape painter and Copley master living and working in Allegany. A graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology, Wintermantel also studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and the State University of New York at Potsdam. He has received numerous awards and has exhibited extensively throughout the Northeast.

“I am an artist schooled in tradition and raised in a modern world,” Wintermantel notes. “I have been able to cross the advancement in modern materials and tools with my deep respect for old world methods. Through years of exploration my method and materials have become almost transparent in the creation process.”

Inspired by the Luminist artists of the Hudson River School, Wintermantel is drawn to the deeply filtered light of dawn and dusk.

“I strive to keep my vision fresh in each painting,” says Wintermantel. “I keep my palette simple by sticking with pigments that work well together. I paint layer by layer, scumbling in color in thin, transparent washes at first then working to final details in rich opaque paints. The multiple layers of color marry into a luminous display of color, light, and atmosphere.”

After graduating from JCC, Lynch completed a master’s degree in photography at the School of Visual Arts. During her 20-year career as a photographer, she has investigated themes of absence, presence, transcendence, and the life cycle through the landscapes of the U.S., Mexico, and Spain.

Lynch’s photographs are in collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of the City of New York, New York Public Library, Brooklyn Museum, George Eastman Museum, and the New York Historical Society. Three of her monographs were published by Radius Books.

Lynch’s work has been shown at the Museo Archivo de la Fotografia, the Southeast Museum of Photography, and the Burchfield Penney Art Center. A solo exhibition of her series, Another Way of Looking at Love, for which she was shortlisted for Prix Pictet honors, opened at the Hudson River Museum last September. The Prix Pictet exhibition opened at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London last November and will travel globally to 12 venues.

Her work has been published in The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Boston Globe, The Buffalo News, The Photo Review, Photo District News, photo-eye, L’Oeil de la Photographie, Photo-International, and La Vanguardia. She is a faculty member at the International Center of Photography and writes about photography for Afterimage, photo-eye, and The Photo Review.

Lynch has received several awards and honors and has done artist residencies at Wave Hill, the Burchfield Penney Art Center, and the Hermitage Artist Retreat. She was a finalist for the Cord Prize, Santa Fe Prize for Photography, and Photo Espa’a Descubrimientos.

“Presence is a series of photographs I made as artist-in-residence at the Burchfield Penney Art Center in 2013, seven years after I was introduced to the work of watercolorist Charles Burchfield,” says Lynch. “I identified with his reverence for nature, anthropomorphic vision, and embrace of the spiritual in the landscape. In the course of the year, I created the series of 15 photographs using an 8×10 inch camera in the nature preserve across from Burchfield’s former residence and studio in a nearby suburb of the city.

“I studied Burchfield’s paintings, journals, and writings related to solitude,” Lynch continues. “I also read Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, a meditation on her discoveries during a year of observing nature in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She, like Burchfield, was inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s nature writings and transcendental philosophy, which posits that the natural world is formed and informed by spirits and that its elements are symbols of a greater spirituality.”

What emerged from Lynch’s residency was a series of portraits of trees and still lifes that depict coupled saplings and intertwined vines with circular motifs. She titled the images with the names of those who influenced her: Burchfield, Dillard, environmental activist and writer Wendell Berry, Burchfield Penney Art Center executive director Tony Bannon, head of collections and curator at the Burchfield Penney Art Center Nancy Weekly, and Lynch’s grandmother, Josephine N. Cusimano, who raised Lynch in Jamestown.

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