Tag Archives: dream state

From The Director: Art From a Dream State

Similar to the four artists included in this exhibition, I also make artwork that floats in the realm of dreams and a questioning of reality. Many of the exhibitions that we have here (selfishly) relate to my own studio practice or ideas that I am personally interested in and it is because I find these things so interesting that I choose to share them with you through our exhibition programming.

Installation shot from Dream State (pictured: "Isle of Wight" by Lin Price and "The Dream" by Carrianne Hendrickson)

Installation shot from the exhibition (pictured: “Isle of Wight” by Lin Price and “The Dream” by Carrianne Hendrickson)

The notion of the dream state is a never ending source of inspiration and it can be both the object and the subject of an artwork. We rarely give ourselves the opportunity to let our dreams inform our waking life but much can be gained by doing so. Our subconscious mind is often holding the answers to questions that we have been asking ourselves. It is able to offer a glimpse into a personal truth or a hint at finding some kind of greater understanding. The goal in engaging with your dreams, at least for me, is to build a stronger connection between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. The closer in proximity these two can be, the closer we are to realizing the benefits of dreaming.

Dream State, installation shot

“Dream State”, installation shot

The idea for this exhibition came after a studio visit with Lin Price in Ithaca. I was drawn in to her work when I first saw it in a solo exhibition at Axom Gallery two years ago. When I was talking to her about the prospect of being in an exhibition, I began to think about the sculptures of Carrianne Hendrickson—we had recently begun showing several of Carrianne’s figurative pieces in our gallery shop. Lin had one painting in particular that reminded me of a specific piece I had seen by Carrianne. It was one of the paintings shown in the exhibition at Axom Gallery.

These two pieces in particular (one of Lin’s and one of Carrianne’s) are the reason this show came together. Left: She Only Flies at Nite by Lin Price / Right: Sculptural teapot by Carrianne Hendrickson

While they are not included in the exhibition, these two pieces in particular are the reason this show came together. Left: She Only Flies at Nite by Lin Price / Right: Sculptural teapot by Carrianne Hendrickson

The moment I realized that these two artists in particular belonged in a show together was like a revelation. Two people who probably wouldn’t be in an exhibition together but desperately needed to be! One working in oil paint the other in clay, yet both traveling along the same cerebral path.

From my studio visit with Lin Price in Ithaca, NY

From my studio visit with Lin Price in Ithaca, NY

Lin’s work was a perfect fit for an exhibition called “Dream State”. Her paintings often feature a human figure engaging in some sort of mysterious activity in a nondescript environment. The colorful fields and atmospheres lend themselves to the notion of a dream or at least to a time and place that may not actually exist. Other of her paintings that do not include a figure still somehow evoke that same feeling. A feeling that something might happen or is happening just around the corner, out of frame and out of sight.

Sculptural vessels by Carrianne Hendrickson in the Dream State exhibition

Sculptural vessels by Carrianne Hendrickson in the Dream State exhibition

Carrianne’s sculptures are often layered in symbolism. Sometimes referencing known stories, other times referencing the inner world of the artist herself. To me, they often seem to suggest the moment of realization that things are not quite right. The idea that perhaps, I am sleeping and the world I am currently experiencing is in fact a dream. Examples from pieces in the exhibition include: blank stares from eyes whose head is balancing a bird’s nest, the closed eyes of a dreamer covered in snakes on a yellow striped couch, and the existence of goblins or human/animal hybrids.

Once Lin and Carrianne were secured for inclusion, I then set my sights on finding other artists to bring in to the exhibition and make it more comprehensive.

Left: From my studio visit with Matt Duquette in Buffalo, NY; Right: "The Space In Between" by Matt Duquette

Left: From my studio visit with Matt Duquette in Buffalo, NY; Right: “The Space In Between” by Matt Duquette

I was drawn in by his paintings of chickens. They have an otherworldly feeling to them but are still so relatable because of their subject matter. The paintings of Matt Duquette are often based on dreams and at least one painting in this exhibition was based on a guided meditation session.  Each of the paintings in the exhibition have the same cool, dark color palette. The atmospheric quality of these paintings presents us with situations and we have no idea how we got there. For the most part, there is no other point of reference, just a blue/black void and a light source to accompany the owls and human figures. I get the feeling that these scenes or visions are plucked right from a dream. They tell us something but that “something” is veiled and different for each of us.

Bill Finger's work from the alumni exhibition at RIT

Bill Finger’s work from the alumni exhibition at Rochester Institute of Technology

I saw some of Bill Finger’s photographic triptychs in circular mats at RIT in October of 2016 and was an instant fan. His photographs are a constructed reality running in tandem with the one we live. Whether based on actual places or totally made up, these images have a feeling like trying to recall a dream. You can remember the place and where things were but something seems off. Each of his photographs chosen for this exhibition keep us in an augmented reality where we are unsure what is possible or impossible.

Desert House (Night), a photograph by Bill Finger

Desert House (Night), a photograph by Bill Finger

Imagery that relates to a house or home comes into play throughout this exhibition. Houses, room interiors, nests, these are all familiar images and are all references to places of comfort which are needed to be engaged in sleep. These places become a jumping off point to engage in something that might be unfamiliar or at times, disconcerting. While we have no say in the matter of sleeping, some of us have the ability to recall and consider our dreams. Perhaps not in the way of figuring out the meaning of the dream itself, but to see how the dream may relate to things transpiring in our everyday lives. My hope is that this exhibition can serve as a reminder of how important it is to dream and that we all might begin to look inward in an effort to gain a greater understanding of who we are and how we relate to the world. I know it has for me.


See Dream State at Main Street Arts through this Friday, February 16, 2018. You can also preview some of the work on Artsy: Artsy.net/mainstreetarts.

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Lin Price

In Lin's studio with her dog, Cherry

In Lin’s studio with her dog, Cherry

Originally I am from Ann Arbor Michigan, but have spent most of my adult life in New York State, near Ithaca. I had an unconventional and circuitous path toward the arts. After the birth of my second child I decided to return to college and became completely smitten with painting, earning a BFA from Ithaca College and an MFA in painting from Bard College/Milton Avery Graduate School for the Arts. I am drawn to painting because it is a non-verbal language with limitless expressive possibilities.

Isle of Wight, oil on cradled panel, 24" x 18", 2017

Isle of Wight, oil on cradled panel, 24″ x 18″, 2017

Looking at art, especially painting, from all historical eras and styles, gives me new insights and pleasure. Over time, this ‘looking’ is condensing into my own specific vocabulary. My paintings are dream-like and non-linear and explore themes and symbols I believe are universal to most humans; desire, regret, isolation, and joy. Water often plays an important role.

Lover's Knot, oil on cradled panel, 48" x 40", 2017

Lover’s Knot, oil on cradled panel, 48″ x 40″, 2017

The Jetty, oil on cradled panel, 28" x 34", 2017

The Jetty, oil on cradled panel, 28″ x 34″, 2017

I use all kinds of painting media, although lately, oil paint is the medium of choice, which I find challenging and forgiving.

Paint box

Paint box

Lin Price's studio in Danby, NY

Lin Price’s studio in Danby, NY

The landscapes in my work are invented and abstracted, sometimes inhabited by single miniature figures, completely self-contained, creating a sense of aloneness and quiet as they focus on the task at hand. I enjoy surrounding the figures with unusual, unexpected, and mysterious events. The perspective is voyeuristic, one has the sense of peering in at someone’s private obsessions.

Sunrise, oil on canvas, 48" x 60", 2016

Sunrise, oil on canvas, 48″ x 60″, 2016

Fountain Maker, oil on canvas, 44" x 54", 2017

Fountain Maker, oil on canvas, 44″ x 54″, 2017

Margaret, oil on cradled panel, , 21" x 28 1/2", 2017

Margaret, oil on cradled panel, , 21″ x 28 1/2″, 2017

Corona, oil on canvas, 42" x 50", 2017

Corona, oil on canvas, 42″ x 50″, 2017

The paintings evolve with experience and accident, creating areas of texture and intimacy of touch, building a psychology into each environment. This is a challenging and fluid experience. One has to pay close attention when a painting starts to speak.

More of my work can be found at linprice.com


Six of Lin Price’s paintings can be seen in Dream State, on display through February 16, 2018. The exhibition also features photographs by Bill Finger (Seattle, WA), sculpture by Carrianne Hendrickson (Rochester, NY), and paintings by Matt Duquette (Buffalo, NY). Work from the exhibition can be previewed and purchased online. 

Inside The Artist’s Studio with Carrianne Hendrickson

Carrianne_ThenAndNow2

Left: Me when I was 10 years old, holding my cat (photo credit – Betty Rooker); Right: Working in my studio a few years later

My name is Carrianne Hendrickson and I have been practicing ceramics for 22 years. My main focus in clay is figurative and narrative based imagery that gravitates toward the unusual.

Graveyard near my childhood home

Graveyard near my childhood home

I believe my childhood experiences have had a pretty significant impact on the imagery I covet. Growing up living next to an old graveyard, and early exposure to Bosch and Bruegel paintings, may have also guided me toward developing an admiration for some of my more unusual image combinations.

This needs a caption

Box of my collected objects

I grew up in a rural community near Seneca Lake. I moved to Buffalo at age 17 for college, and lived there on the west side most of my young adult life. It was quite a drastic change from where I grew up. I didn’t own a car for a handful years so I traveled mainly by foot, by bike, or by bus (both day and night). A lot of unusual experiences were had because of this direct connection to the city that might not have occurred had I been in the driver’s seat of a car whizzing by everything. Eventually I had my “fill” of such experiences and bought a car.

I moved to Rochester, NY four years ago and my life is quite different now again, for unexpectedly wonderful reasons.

Work in progress and a curious studio assistant

Work in progress (including two pieces in this exhibition) and a curious studio assistant

My work in ceramics is primarily hand-built. My clay choice is usually low fire, however recently I have been working with cone 6 clay bodies and glazes.

Work in progress

Work in progress on “Child with Rabbit Ears”

I don’t usually have a completely concrete vision of what I am making when I start, but instead prefer to begin figures when the concept is more of a vague form in my mind.

The Dream (left) and The Cloud (right), two non-functional teapots included in the Dream State exhibition

The Dream (left) and The Cloud (right), two non-functional teapots included in the Dream State exhibition

You can see more of my work on my website: www.carriannehendrickson.com


Twenty-two sculptures by Carrianne Hendrickson can be seen in Dream State, on display through February 16, 2018. The exhibition also features paintings by Matt Duquette (Buffalo, NY), photographs by Bill Finger (Seattle, WA), and paintings by Lin Price (Ithaca, NY). Work from the exhibition can be previewed and purchased on Artsy.

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Matt Duquette

Matt Duquette

Matt Duquette

Being a 40-year-old commercial artist and graphic designer, gallery work has always been an idea in the back of my mind. I haven’t dedicated much effort to painting and showing because most of my creative energies are spent in the day-to-day of a design and illustration studio in Buffalo, NY. The gallery seems to be an allusive place where I’m required to be extroverted and share my thoughts and experiences. It does, however, offer an opportunity to create something purely for my own, with materials that allow for exploration.

While in school at RIT, I began to develop a loose, painterly style because I liked to convey action or even emotion of the moment. I was leaning more towards candid portraiture since most of my interests laid in music and sports. In 2000 I attended The School of Visual Art (SVA) in New York City to further develop my visual storytelling. Here, I began to include collaged elements—paper, photos, notes—to help explain the storyline and add visual texture.

Mixed media work from early 2000's

Mixed media work from early 2000′s

Many of my older paintings focused on personal life experiences or at least followed a surreal storytelling approach and almost always involved a figure. I was exploring concepts of home and family, along with the stresses of caring for an ill parent.

Matt Duquette

Figurative work “A New Day” & “Homesick”

A few years ago, after taking some time off from painting, I began drawing the chickens we raising on our small farm. It started merely as an exercise in making art, but I rather enjoyed it because there wasn’t much thought involved. I just drew pictures that I wanted to draw. That experiment has since sparked a number of paintings and drawings, and a new excitement which has allowed me to focus on style. I also get to talk about my chickens.

Matt Duquette

Chicken portraits

The series I worked on for the Dream State show a came at a time when my wife had just experienced a guided meditation dream involving an owl. Even before the show I knew that I wanted to do some type of bird interaction so it was perfect timing. Owl dreams have so many interpretations, but I did the best I could to remain close to her experience. The focus, of course, was the majestic owl guide in a outer space-like atmosphere.

Matt Duquette

Process detail

I’m most comfortable with acrylic paint because it’s fast drying, easy to control, and easy to clean up. It works well with collaged elements and layering of drawings. I typically work with washes of color to build the forms but quickly move to a dry brush technique to layer on the paint. I like to mix the color on the surface, so many times I’ll just use paint straight from the tube. For sometime I’ve used basically the same 6 colors: black, raw umber, burnt sienna, yellow ochre, pthalo blue, and gesso as my white. I only have 3–4 brushes that I’m comfortable using so I try to make it work with what little I have. Again, I would not classify myself as a fine artist.

Matt Duquette

Materials used for painting

You can view more of my personal artwork at mattduquette.com or follow my art and farming adventures on the Instagrams @matt12grain. Thanks for looking!


Five paintings by Matt Duquette can be seen in Dream State, on display through February 16, 2018. The exhibition also features photographs by Bill Finger (Seattle, WA), sculpture by Carrianne Hendrickson (Rochester, NY), and paintings by Lin Price (Ithaca, NY). Work from the exhibition can be previewed and purchased online.