Tag Archives: Architecture

From The Director: Heightened Awareness

roberto bertoia, gregory page, main street arts

Heightened Awareness (Installation shot)

The themes that are explored in this exhibition are a nod to the fact that we (human beings) don’t fully experience life. Seldom do we allow ourselves to fully experience all of the subtle nuances that exist in our world. Many of us are glued to glowing screens, experiencing things removed from real time and processed through a social media feed. This mediated existence leaves us missing out on things in the moment and maybe some of us don’t care about that. Perhaps we relish in the fact that technology and human life are becoming one and the very idea of “being in the moment” is changing, however, it is a certainty that there are other things happening that are worthy of our attention.

Left: LPV No. 3 (Detail) by Roberto Bertoia; Right: Motifs From ISU Greenhouse (Detail) by Gregory Page

Left: LPV No. 3 (Detail) by Roberto Bertoia; Right: Motifs From ISU Greenhouse (Detail) by Gregory Page

Heightened Awareness presents the work of Roberto Bertoia and Gregory Page, two artists who are interested in these ideas and their work comes from a place of slowing down and noticing the quiet moments in life. Both artists have a desire to be aware of the minute details of their surroundings. This exhibition is a contemplation on being present in the moment and truly experiencing things.

Gregory Page, Lithography

The translucent film for the print “Euonymus Alatus Burning Bush , State 1″ by Gregory Page

Gregory Page has 11 large-scale lithographs featured in the exhibition and each of them utilize his own unique process of drying plants, rehydrating them in a lithographic drawing solution, and arranging them on a translucent film which is then used to make the final printing plate. The plants he uses in his work come from as close as his own backyard and as far away as Edinburgh, Scotland. For Greg, it is about experiencing nature and plant life first-hand.

“I love getting up in the morning, getting in the garden and getting my hands in the dirt. Moving some compost around, planting something and watching it grow. The garden has been a real inspiration for me for a long time.” —Gregory Page

Gregory page, Lithograph, Main Street Arts

“Motifs from ISU Greenhouse, Selection II” (detail) by Gregory Page

It is also about cataloging and making a record of things that exist in our world. With nature in a state of flux, it becomes important to create a record of things as they existed in a certain moment in time.

The sculpture of Roberto Bertoia is made with second-hand, salvaged pieces of wood. He turns them into something new, something other than what was originally intended. He uses his material in an intuitive way, building without a solidified plan, similar to a painter responding to each brushstroke. Through this organic and fluid process his finished pieces are an homage to architecture and design and create interesting relationships between the interior and exterior.

Roberto Bertoia, Sculpture

“Untitled 1″ (detail) by Roberto Bertoia

He enjoys the paradox of seeing and not seeing and contemplating what is hidden and what is revealed. Roberto’s sculpture can be a metaphor for the ways we hide and reveal specific things about ourselves. The subtle moments that slowly shape our perspective on how we interact with people and the world we create for ourselves is something that he finds inspiring.

Roberto Bertoia, Sculpture

“Where Am I To Live” by Roberto Bertoia

“I try to be open and receptive to what’s going on around me. What may seem everyday or mundane may seem more important when I end up in the studio.” —Roberto Bertoia

The notion of slowing down and paying attention is not a new idea but it is one that we are constantly reminded of. Specifically, I think this is the way that we should experience art. Instead of breezing through an exhibition or merely scrolling through an artist’s Instagram feed, let’s spend some time thinking in front of the actual artwork. We may be surprised by where this small, yet meaningful  experience will take us.


The exhibition Heightened Awareness will run through Friday,  August 17, 2018 and you can view available work on the gallery’s Artsy page.

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Susan Stuart

It was while doing graduate work at the University at Albany that the size of my studio space influenced my painting.

Susan Stuart Painting Detail

Photography By Rob O’Neil

As a part time student, I was not provided with a studio so I had to use a small room at home. Because I wanted to paint large works, I began sectioning my work, making both diptychs and triptychs.

Susan Stuart Painting Studio

Photography By Rob O’Neil

I earned my MA from the University in 1976, and, over the years I graduated from the small room at home to a studio in a friend’s basement, and eventually to a space of my own on the 3rd floor of an old factory. It was perfectly situated halfway between my house and the high school where I taught for 33 years. Now, with a ground floor studio in a building adjacent to the old factory building, I’m able to easily create and transport large works.

Susan Stuart Painting Studio

Photography By Rob O’Neil

I’m retired from teaching, and I‘m fortunate to be able to focus
full-time on my painting, which currently has an emphasis on two different series. One is architectural and the other features dogs. For the Main Street Gallery exhibition, “Structurally Speaking”, I am showing a painting from my architecture series.

Gunner and Painting

Photography By Susan Stuart

My interest in architecture began in the mid 1970’s when my husband and I moved into a 19th century row house in Albany. We began the process of renovating our historic home, and we lived in the house during the renovation. It was at that time that I began to appreciate the aesthetics of new building materials. For example, there were patterns of light and shadow cast on the two by fours, and there was a rhythm created by the shapes of the construction material and the resulting spaces.

Architectural Paintings and Inspiration

Photography By Rob O’Neil

Originally, my architectural paintings were of structures in my environment: lifeguard stands at the beach, supports to the roadway overpasses, as well as the facades of buildings in and around Albany. Following the 2008 recession I began a series inspired by structures I found at abandoned construction sites. The result has been paintings that stress the lines, shapes, spaces and patterns of light that I observed at those sites.

I see my paintings as a way to ”recycle” these deserted sites. Today, I continue to be captivated by the challenge of abstracting and creating architectural paintings from new and abandoned sites alike.

Susan Stuart Painting in Studio

Photography By Rob O’Neil

The painting process is also an integral part of my work, and the subjective use of color is an important element. To create a rich surface for a painting, I use both wet and dry pigments, which is a direct influence from 19th century French impressionists. The intermixing of pastels, oil paint, and occasionally pumice, allows me to create a contrast in the color’s intensity and value, as well as providing an enhanced surface texture.

Susan Stuart Painting in Studio

Photography By Rob O’Neil

For more information on Susan Stuart’s artwork, visit her website at www.susanstuart.com. Her painting, “Let It Go” won Director’s Choice in our current exhibition, Structurally Speaking. Stop by Main Street Arts to enjoy the show and see Susan’s artwork.

Take a look at our previous Inside the Artist’s Studio blog post by Rochester painter Jean K. Stephens.