Art — Small-Town Art Hits The Big City At SNHU

Small-town art hits the big city at SNHU

By Michelle Saturley []

Vermont-based painter Lauren Olitski says that the inspiration for the exhibit “Rural Artists With Urban Sensibilities” was the result of a visit to friend and artist Arthur Yanoff’s studio.

“Arthur is an abstract artist as well, living in Great Barrington, Mass.,” Olitski said. “The two of us were kind of commiserating about the isolation involved in being a rural artist.”

Both Olitski and Yanoff are abstract artists, a choice that Olitski says makes rural creativity even tougher.

“There are a lot of small communities where traditional painters can grow and develop their work, and even flourish,” she said. “But abstract art doesn’t have the wide appeal of portraiture or landscapes or watercolor.”

After the two artists vented, they began to formulate a plan for a new exhibit.

“Here we were complaining about how there weren’t enough exhibitions of abstract artists, when someone said, ‘Why don’t we just plan a show of our own,’” Olitski recalled. “We quickly rattled off a handful of our favorite contemporary artists, and it just sort of snowballed from there.”

Joining Olitski and Yanoff in the exhibit are Paula DeLuccia (Catskill, New York), Roy Lerner (South Salem, New York), Susan Roth (Canastota, New York) and Michael Williams (South Dorset, Vermont.). All six are abstract painters, and all of them live “in the middle of nowhere,” as Olitski puts it. “Rural Artists With Urban Sensibilities” made its debut at a small college in western New York and has since traveled to Portland, Maine. The exhibit makes its final stop at the McIninch Gallery at Southern New Hampshire University, beginning September 17 and running through October 23.

“Bob [Craven, Director of the gallery] knows my father, and was contacting him about one of his exhibitions,” Olitski explained. “I happened to be at my father’s studio that day, and shared my own idea with Bob. He was intrigued, and invited me and the other artists to bring the exhibit to Manchester.”

Olitski and the five other artists will all attend the opening reception, scheduled for October 1. In addition to the reception, the artists will participate in a special panel discussion with the University’s art history students. All the artists are looking forward to the experience.

“Bob does some incredible things with that gallery,” Olitski said. “I’m glad to be a part of it.”

“Rural Artists With Urban Sensibilities” opens at the McIninch Gallery, on the SNHU campus, located at 2500 North River Road, on Friday, September 17. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Thursday evenings, 5- 8 p.m. The gallery is closed Sundays, during University vacations and between shows. The reception for the artists will be held Friday, October 1, 7-8 p.m.

—Michelle Saturley

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