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Azarian McCullough Art Gallery
The Azarian McCullough Art Gallery (AMAG) is located at the base of Costello Tower on the campus of St. Thomas Aquinas College.
The Gallery hosts seven exhibits during the academic year. Each exhibit features an artist’s reception and a gallery talk. Refreshments are served. Admission is always free and open to the public.
AMAG was established in 2000 through a generous grant from the Azarian-McCullough family. Since its inception, the gallery has hosted over 70 exhibits, collectively offering a variety of artistic expression and media.
One-person and group shows have presented themes as diverse as the Endangered Environment, Paradox and Conformity, The Cellular Universe, The City Revisited, Luminescent Painting, and Surrealism.
Exhibits have been informed by various cultures including: Cambodia, Russia, China, Korea, African and Native America. Media displayed have included painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, photography, fabric, electronics and multi-media installations.
Art has the power to delight, inform and instruct. Art stimulates our senses, contributes to our intellectual and spiritual growth and ultimately reflects upon our humanity. The Azarian McCullough Art Gallery at St. Thomas Aquinas College endeavors to present such art in the public interest.
GALLERY HOURS THIS SEMESTER
Monday 3:00-5:00 PM
Tuesday 3:00-5:00 PM
Wednesday 10:30 AM-12:30 PM
Thursday 12:00-2:00 PM
And by appointment. Contact Gallery Director, Timothy Hull at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 845 398-4195.
Artists are selected by the college’s Exhibition Committee each April for the following academic year. The postmarked deadline for applications is April
Artists working in any media in the tri-sate area (NY, NJ and CT) are eligible to apply. There is no application fee. Application information is posted on the NY Foundation for the Arts website each year, February – March.
14 Sculptors: Anomaly
November 14, 2022 through December 16, 2022
A typical definition of an anomaly reads: “Something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected.” According to the Cambridge Dictionary, that “something” could well be “someone” . . . possibly someone who appears incompatible or incongruous with his/her surroundings; often the dissident, the artist, or the outsider.
In the visual arts anomalies that often come to mind are those created by the Surrealists. The people or objects depicted in their works are for the most part recognizable to us, so why do they seem so strange? Is it because they deny our expectations and appear odd, or because they appear misplaced in their surroundings, or perhaps both?
The bigger question, however, is “why” ? How does one explain their presence? Are they there to shock or otherwise heighten our sensibilities, or do they convey some message of importance?
This exhibit, conceived by 14 Sculptors Inc., is dedicated to Dan Bergman, our dear friend, and colleague, who passed away in January 2022. We will miss Dan’s incisive comments, his dry wit, and creative spirit. In the words of fellow sculptor Herb Rosenberg, “Dan, himself was something of an anomaly; a man of dignity and order melded into a cacophony of magical chaos.”
Featuring the work of Dan Bergman, Allan Cyprys, Esther A. Grillo, Mary Rieser Heintjes, Bernice Sokol Kramer, Niki Ketchman, Siena Gillann Porta, Carl Rattner, and Herb Rosenberg
Olivia Hunter: Fragmented Fables
September 21, 2022 through November 2, 2022
The Azarian McCullough Art Gallery at St. Thomas Aquinas College is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Olivia Hunter titled Fragmented Fables. This body of work explores the medium of photography and how it relates to psychology and the body.
In Fragmented Fables, Hunter composes an abstract, broken narrative inspired by her own struggle with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. The photographs focus on the feeling of being trapped within a compulsion through themes of fragmentation, duality, and repetition; tropes common to both narrative strategies and OCD itself.
Although the work may appear to evoke the Greek concept of Pathos by presenting such haunting and emotionally striking work, Hunter seeks to present ideas that extend beyond the concept of suffering and struggling to arrive at something more germane to the contemporary human experience. This work is both personal and universal, as the artist expands ideas of how we represent our vulnerable, fragmented selves in a new and unstable world.
Olivia Hunter is a New York based visual artist originally from Virginia. She received an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in Photography, Video, and Related Media in 2018. During 2020, Olivia pioneered an online photography workshop (through the Josephine Herrick Project) for members of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in NYC.
Rebecca Pry: Let Us Disappear Into the Plants
February 16, 2022 through April 6, 2022
The Azarian McCullough Art Gallery at St. Thomas Aquinas College is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Rebecca Pry titled Let Us Disappear into the Plants. This new body of work seeks to expand the field of illustrative painting by developing new combinations of shape, color and form as they leap from the picture plane onto the wall. Rebecca Pry, a well-known freelance illustrator and designer has also become recognized for her large-scale mural paintings. Her exhibition at AMAG will not only feature a new wall mural but also a suite of recent paintings.
The new work has snippets of landscapes, intriguing environmental scenes both real and imagined, plants and leaves flowing everywhere and a riotous sense of color. In fact, it is Pry’s smart and playful use of color that makes her work so compelling.
Employing her signature color palette with energetic patterns, Pry’s work throttles between the abstract and the figurative. Often inspired by travel, Pry’s work references the myriad locations of her creative sojourns such as the deserts of New Mexico and the medinas of Morocco. Duly inspired by the spirit and compositions of David Hockney, Pry’s work takes those cues and moves in her own direction. Having developed a strong and unique voice in her graphic and illustrative sensibility, Pry charts new and expansive territory for her exhibition at AMAG.
Rebecca Pry lives and works in Warwick, NY. Pry holds an BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and is an adjunct professor of Design at St. Thomas Aquinas College.
John Belardo: Creative Destruction
January 22nd through February 19th, 2021
The Azarian McCullough Gallery at St Thomas Aquinas College is pleased to present a solo exhibition by John Belardo titled Creative Destruction. This body of work comprises new work in clay and on paper. Primarily focused on realistic, complex and classically inspired scenes, Belardo examines the fraught relationship between form, matter and narrative.
The terra-cotta sculptures in Belardo’s oeuvre are richly detailed and meticulously crafted with a strong hand that belies modernity. He begins with a chaotic mass of clay and allows chance, whim and serendipity to begin directing the evolving forms. Out of this mélange arises figures and relationships that are undeniable in their narrative thrust. Stories both ancient and modern arise, weaving connections that underscore Carl Jung’s notion of the Collective Unconscious; narratives and myths that survive for millennia through myriad cultures and religions. Through a meticulous study of anatomy and the particular movements of the body, Belardo has a keen eye to direct, material representation.
Trained at traditional institutions such as the New York Academy of Art and the Newington Cropsey Academy, Belardo employs a decidedly classical and conservative technique. Not necessarily conservative in the themes or depictions, but conservative in the way that time-honored traditions are maintained. This evocative work uses the techniques and methods employed for centuries to create scenes, raise questions and provoke thought for a modern audience. There is something almost radical or subversive to use such resolutely traditional approaches in a pluralistic era of art where ‘anything goes.’ Belardo’s work will amaze and delight the viewer who is used to de-centralized, post-studio and thoroughly baffling modern art.
John Belardo lives and works in Pine Plains, NY and the Bronx, NY and teaches sculpture at CUNY Lehman College as well as other institutions.
14 Sculptors: Shelter
November 20th through December 12th
Shelter is a curated exhibition of art works that collectively explore the notion of ”shelter” as imagined or experienced by individual artists. While ”shelter” is often thought of as a place of safety and refuge, as in shelter for the homeless (or for those battered, addicted or other wise afflicted), the shortcomings of a society that has generated such “refuges,” suggest the darker side of what ”shelter” might mean. And then there are our personal notions of “shelter …” Hopefully, the homes we had grown up in were places of caring and love, but we certainly know of others that were compromised by fears both real and imagined; the experiences of being stranded, alone and vulnerable. How artists deal with such ambiguities is explored in this exhibit.As conceived by 14 Sculptors inc., SHELTER currently features nine of our member artists. A short video entitled *© Shelter and the Human Condition, initiated by member artist Herb Rosenberg, working in collaboration with independent videographer, Michael Vernazza, is available here.
Shelter features the work of Dan Bergman, Allan Cyprys, Esther Grillo, Bernice Sokol Kramer, Niki Ketchman, Siena Gillann Porta, Carl Rattner, Herb Rosenberg and Chuck Von Schmidt
In the Shape That Chance and Wind Give the Clouds
October 9th through November 6th
The Azarian McCullough Art Gallery at St. Thomas Aquinas College is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Will Hutnick titled In the Shape that Chance and Wind Give the Clouds. This body of work seeks to expand the field of abstract painting by developing new combinations of shape, color and form as they leap from the picture plane onto the wall. Hutnick is known for immersive, complex and colorful abstract paintings that often push the boundaries of the picture plane and expand what we understand of the parameters of two-dimensional space. Although abstraction is a well-trodden path of expression, Hutnick discovers new directions and asks illuminating questions about how reactive and plastic the field of painting can be. In fact, the plasticity of the picture plane is an essential aspect of Hutnick’s practice, as his paintings reveal an enormous malleability of compounding and overlapping fields of space.
Hutnick’s work asks questions about impermanence, time, and place by conjuring up queer spaces that exist in-between perception, the real, and expectations. He works with personal, found, and discarded objects to act as stencils (and act as printmaking tools) because of their indexical nature and allusions to topography. There is a potentiality to queerness that Hutnick finds interesting. He says, “Queerness is always shifting and doesn’t seem to exist in the present or in its current iteration. Queer people consistently have to demand to occupy space, in one way, shape or another; the spaces that I create question and enable modes of navigation and communication to occur.” Camouflaged colors and fugitive, awkward shapes seem to reveal themselves on their own time without a prescribed normative trajectory. A hidden language or network of coordinates is ultimately – and simultaneously – revealed and obscured. By creating multiples and variations, Hutnick’s work explores how spaces – real, fantasy, queer – are constructed, assigned, and occupied, and how malleable they actually are.
Will Hutnick lives and works in Wassaic, NY in Dutchess County, and work as the Residency Director at the Wassaic Project, a non-profit organization that uses art and arts education to foster positive social change. Hutnick holds an MFA from Pratt Institute and a BFA from Providence College.
The Orphic Dance & Persephone’s Eyes of Water
September 7th through September 27th
The Azarian McCullough Gallery at St Thomas Aquinas College is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Samuel Abelow titled The Orphic Dance and Perspehone’s Eyes of Water. This body of work examines the relationship between Orpheus, the young, wildly romantic musician, and Persephone, the young woman, who has a cunning imaginative wit and powerful emotion.
The paintings are colorful and play with lyrical shapes, classical and exotic patterns that dance within malleable borders of the picture plane and imagery of mythic characters. In the course of exploring ancient myths and their variations across the timelines of historical culture, Abelow has developed central themes, or characters which have colors, patterns, sounds, and so forth. Each meditation on “Orpheus,” or “Persephone” (as well as the others in his purview) are not just a personal intrigue, but become the catalyst for vibrant multicultural conversation in a public forum.
Abelow’s work is rooted as much in painting as it is in a deep inner probing of religion, philosophy, psychology, politics and history. Particularly, his work is of specific concern to psychology. There is a breadth of literature and material from across the arts that focuses on Orpheus and Persephone. It is with these through-lines that he explores the connections between political liberalism and postmodern philosophy, science and technology, psychoanalysis and world religions, as well art and art history.
This evocative work opens us to many questions about the human condition with various conclusions. One such conclusion might be: we all live mythic images. The work reveals that understanding life mythically and imaginatively provides for rich meaning and purpose.
Samuel Abelow lives and works in Easton, Connecticut. This is his first solo exhibition.