Images & Objects, Stories & Sounds
Catherine Sebastian and Lenny Kislin at the Orphic Gallery – June 7th Reception
You are cordially invited to The Orphic Gallery in Roxbury, NY on Saturday, June 7th from 5 to 7 pm for an artists’ reception celebrating its first exhibit for the Summer of 2014 – Images & Objects, Stories & Sounds featuring sculpture by Lenny Kislin and photographs by Catherine Sebastian. Both Catherine and Lenny will be in attendance this gala evening, and Lenny will give a demonstration of his sonic sculptures. The exhibit will run from May 24th through June 29th and be open to the public during the gallery’s normal business hours, Thursday through Saturday 12-5 pm, Sunday, 12-3 pm, and by appointment. The Orphic Gallery is located at the Roxbury Corner Store at 53525 State Highway 30, Roxbury, NY, at the corner of Main and Bridge Streets.
Lenny creates sculpture from antique rarities and oddities transforming them into intriguing assemblage pieces. For this exhibit, Lenny has chosen a variety of his musically inspired works, some that function as musical instruments and others that suggest evocative narratives. Catherine will exhibit a selection of music photography from her time in California and New York. She will show portraits, concert photos, and intimate behind the scenes shots including pictures of Levon Helm, Muddy Waters, Taj Mahal, John Sebastian, Pete Seeger, and Richie Havens.
Catherine Sebastian’s mother was a painter, which no doubt contributed to her daughter’s exceptional eye for what makes an outstanding photograph. Catherine has been taking pictures since she was a Los Angeles teenager. She studied darkroom and printing technique with the legendary teacher Kirk Kirkpatrick. “Like every other person who picks up a camera I had a lot to learn about light and shadow and how to lay them down on film. I immediately felt this was for me, the excitement of interpreting the visual world,” she said. “What I learned in those classes and exercises still informs how I think about capturing what I see. Light is the medium. It is the brush and also at the heart of emotional import.” Sebastian was a charter member of the Soho West Gallery, in the early 1970s and contributed several of her series of prints –hand-tinted double-exposures depicting Los Angeles– for a collective show.
Long known for her photographs of the musicians who were part of her life after her marriage to the Lovin’ Spoonful’s John Sebastian. A Woodstock, NY resident for decades, Sebastian produced album cover work for Levon Helm and the RCO Allstars- with Booker T, Duck Dunne, Fred Carter, Jr, Mac Rebbenack and Steve Cropper- covers for Leo Sayer, Music from Mud Acres, and Eye to Eye, a collaboration of blues greats including Pinetop Perkins, Calvin “Fuzz” Jones and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, and, back in Los Angeles, in the early 1980’s she took iconic photographs of a number of New Wave artists including the Textones, the Plimsouls and Doug Feiger as well as for solo projects by Peter Case, Doug Jack Lee and Kathy Valentine. “I have a shot from that period — a telephone pole on Sunset, outside the Whisky, and every single photo and poster stapled on it was my work,” she remembers with a laugh.
She has had work published in The Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Chronogram, ROLL, Blues Revue, LA Connection, BAM, Fine Art magazine and Trouser Press. A cover portrait of Levon Helm was recently voted by Chronogram’s reader’s their favorite cover in the twenty year history of the venerable magazine’s wonderful covers. “That honor had more than a little to do with it being Levon, as well as a great shot” says Catherine.”
Lenny Kislin combines his eye for rarity, his razor-sharp wit and pithy sense of humor to create truly individual one-of-a-kind pieces. Limiting himself to using only the pieces he has in front of him, a veritable treasure trove of antique miscellaneous items, the artist produces three-dimensional wall sculptures and stand-alone sculptures. Kislin considers his work to be collaboration with artists from the past: “I express myself through my respect and creativity for the pieces, made by many different souls, many years ago. I pay homage to the early artisans whose work I am offering-up to new eyes,” states Kislin.
His work ranges from sardonic to irreverent. He often uses playful juxtaposition and whimsical titles, but his work is far from limited to making people laugh. Cool Cats is one of several Kislin works which takes a pointed look at the history of race relations using blackface folk art, pieces which may have been derogatory in the way they were rendered, creating fresh commentary on the past.
“I regard the hunting and choosing of material to be a primary part of my art. My palette is limited to objects I can find in my hunting,” he explains. He chooses objects that are both aesthetically and spiritually thrilling, creating fresh perspectives on the past for modern generations.
Through his childlike wonder at the power of found objects, Kislin has become a recognized and highly patronized artist. His first piece ever, titled Suicide, was made up of an 18th century carpenter’s traveler and an old bowling ball. It was purchased by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Hawaii. Alan Stillman, CEO of Smith and Wollensky Steakhouses is a prominent collector who displays the pieces across the country. Gloria Vanderbilt purchased Kislin’s art work for her personal collection and he has received innumerable “Best in Show” awards from respected art organizations. Kislin was chairman of the Woodstock Artists Association from 1996 to 2002, and has curated over 75 art shows in the Ulster County area of New York and continues to do so.
The Orphic Gallery
The Orphic Gallery opened the summer of 2012 in the artistic enclave of Roxbury, NY. The gallery exclusively exhibits art related to music including photographs, concert posters, musical instruments, portraits of musicians, souvenirs of musical events, specimens of musical technology, etc. All work exhibited at the gallery has a definite connection to the world of music, and it features exhibits based on both local music history, and musical traditions from around the USA and abroad.
For further information on Images & Objects, Stories & Sounds or the Orphic Gallery, please contact Phillip Lenihan at 607-326-6045 or email@example.com.