By CHRISTINA LAUREL
Written for Artkestry
If you are looking for an unusual outing on Father’s Day, Brockport’s A Different Path Gallery is the venue I recommend. The father-son-daughter art exhibition, “Generational Influence,” is open through June 26. For hours and directions, visit the website www.differentpathgallery.com. Historically, the generational influence flows from parent to child, but don’t make that assumption here.
The paintings of Milford Apetz and daughter Jennifer Apetz hang side by side; one abstract, the other literal. Would one assume that the father’s generation would favor the traditional, while the daughter would have been influenced by expressionism? Surprise! Milford’s acrylic “Fantasy 1′-11″ is an energetic horizontal abstraction in blacks, whites and gold-tones; zen in one aspect with bold sumi brush-style strokes while other areas feature layers of paint dubbed in then erased, palimpsest-style. Landscape forms emerge, especially with the visual influence of Jennifer’s representational “Rockscape” hanging next door. Her watercolor takes the viewer’s eyeline from the boulders beneath her feet to the cloud-filled sky above.
Richard Harvey and son Eric Harvey share a medium – digital printing – to a point. That point of departure is Richard’s digital manipulation of his own drawings, with hands-on applications of other media, while Eric’s prints begin and end with digital manipulation. Subject matter varies as well: Richard’s hallmark is his inexhaustible exploration of the human face, while Eric pushes ordinary objects – cymbals, cash register tape – toward abstraction. Richard’s “Catlike” monochromatic monoprint is compelling in its directness. His “Primal Guardian” sculptures, with black slab bodies and metallic arms pinned to their sides, stare at the viewer open-eyed and silent. There is in Richard’s work the successful blending of old, actually ancient with his use of encaustic wax, and new. Eric embraces the new; both share a quiet strength in their work.
The exposed brick wall of A Different Path Gallery is such a natural backdrop for father/daughters Jack Wolsky, Bonnie Wolsky Farid, and Marsha Wolsky-Carson that the work almost dissolves and disappears. Almost. Bonnie’s “Fairchild Garden” watercolor series invites the viewer to take on an insect perspective while exploring the dry grass that weaves its neutral tones across the paper’s surface. I can hear the grass bristling and the insects humming. Marsha’s brighter palette surfaces in the springtime greens of her “Rhythm and Marks” series, although she shares the earth tones of her sibling in her mixed media and monoprint. Organic and geometric incised white lines dance and intersect in her colored pencil pieces. I read Jack’s “Sounding” series in encaustic as dark musings, the voice of an interior and private dialogue. Yet among the three, there is an art conversation that I am allowed to overhear, as if pausing at the open studio door.
Having grown up in a household where my late father was an artist, I know personally that the artistic influence can flow in both directions. The greatest influence I received was the inherent naturalness of the artistic life. That, coupled with a support for the exploration of medium and style, was a gift from father to daughter. “Generational Influence” is a positively affirming exhibition. You just might find that upon your return home, you and your father will be inspired to pick up a pencil or paintbrush, or sit down at the computer to digitally manipulate your images. Enjoy!