Jim Grinches and Norm Phenix, the owners of 204 Main Bar & Bistro, are converting the village’s original bank into a gallery space that will feature rotating exhibitions that mine the incredible wealth of artistic talent in our area.
The first show at BANK will open as part of Garden Party Festival on Memorial Day Weekend and will feature 4 artists:
James Richardson (sculpture)
Born in 1980, James Richardson was, at best, indifferent toward art, its creators and connoisseurs. By 2001, an aspiring Communications Major with a bright future in retail, Richardson embarked on a college history trip to Italy and returned mesmerized by Italian renaissance sculptures. Two years later, Richardson enrolled at SUNY Albany with the intent of immersing himself in the study of sculpture. James’ final project as an undergraduate, Tower 1, remained installed on the University grounds for 3 years until dormitory construction forced its removal. In 2011, Richardson accepted a commission from the Cooperstown Art Association to build Tower 2. Richardson currently works and lives in Cooperstown, NY.
Duncan Chase (sculpture)
Duncan constructs assemblages that depict a moment frozen in time. Within these stories are themes of work, protection, rage, and compassion. The sculptures initially boast strength and virility and yet slowly yield to become objects that speak vulnerability and humanism and illustrate cultural expectations of men –hidden desires, imbalance of power, dependency and helplessness.
In his installations, he employs the familiar and somewhat universal elements of birds, insects, musical instruments, and architecture as reoccurring themes. “In order to understand a story, as well as a piece of art, we must be able to recognize elements from our subconscious and conscious memory. We all have personal experiences and emotions surrounding animals, music, and architecture, so these elements hopefully become the viewer’s doorway, or entry, thus allowing the universal to become personal engagement.”
Chris Duncan (sculpture and collage)
Chris Duncan is a Professor of Visual Arts and Union College and his work has been widely exhibited and praised. The constructing and the making process is essential to the final form. He assembles and disassembles elements looking for combinations of line and volume, gravity and balance that make sense visually and physically. He looks for structure and expressiveness–a kind of tension between the raw and the cooked.
Steve Larson (hand printed wallpaper)
Steve Larson co-founded Adelphi Paper Hangings in 1999 in conjunction with Chris Ohrstrom. His exposure to wallpaper as a child came from the wallpaper pattern books lining the lower shelves of the paint and decorating store which his father managed. His early artistic career, after studying ceramics at the University of Washington in Seattle, centered on producing sculptures, many of which were of papier maché covered with wallpapers from the 1950’s and 60’s from rolls he found in basement storerooms and attics of small town paint stores.
Eventually, these colors and styles began to seem too limited for his work and he developed an interested in producing his own papers. In 1997, a serendipitous opportunity to work at the American Paperstaining Manufactory at the Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, an operation also founded by Chris Ohrstrom, allowed him to learn historic techniques first hand.
At Adelphi’s inception Steve focused on formulating paints and refining printing techniques for simple block printed papers. Since then he has investigated and reproduced traditional flocked papers, plain varnished papers as well as patterns with both irisé print and irisé ground colors. He is currently developing a line of contemporary block printed patterns which can be tailored to fit specific spaces.
As a special part of this inaugural event, a second part of the show will feature an installation called “The Banality of It All”, conceived by Jim and executed by Norm. They explore the premise that “1 is mundane but hundreds can be beautiful”. Onlookers will be able to take home a piece of the exhibit.
The gallery will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday and by appointment.
New exhibits will launch approximately every 3 months, and for those who live far and away from Sharon Springs, we’ll post an online “gallery” of each exhibit.