The Longyear Gallery will open an exhibit, “A Family of Artists,” on Saturday, March 20.
‘Three Solo Exhibitions: Anna Contes, Douglas Maguire and Alethea Maguire: A Family of Artists,” will be on view through Sunday, April 11, at the gallery at 785 Main St. in Margaretville. This is a first trio exhibition for the family of artists: Husband and wife, Douglas Maguire and Anna Contes, and daughter Alethea Maguire.
The gallery is open from noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
As a teenager, Contes, a New Yorker, “escaped to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with my bagged lunch, every Saturday morning for several months of each high school year,” she said in a media release. At 16, she received a painting scholarship from the American Art School in New York City and then went on to receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, from Pratt Institute, in Brooklyn and a Master of Science degree at SUNY New Paltz.
“As an artist, my reality is a pulsation of color vibrations,” she said. “To translate this, I formulated my own hand made, fade proof, non toxic pastels. My research in pure pigment came from working in traditional egg tempera as a Greek Orthodox Church iconographer and muralist, in the Byzantine style. Pastels require that one think in color since each color choice is made separately.”
She now uses oil paint and oil paint stick, she said but she continues to focus on color. She paints out of her Woodstock studio and travels often to New York and abroad to Greece. For about 25 years she has taught summer workshops at the Woodstock School of Art.
“My work is about solitude and freedom,” her husband said in the release. “The landscape is a metaphor for breath, life and transformation. The paintings must breathe and change also. For me, freedom from material constraints is best expressed through the mutability of nature.”
He was born, raised and educated in New York City. After attending the High School of Music and Art, in which he majored in architecture, he joined the U.S. Navy and was trained to be an aerographer or meteorologist’s aide.
He finished two years at Pratt on partial scholarship, he said, and dropped out to work to raise the money to continue his education. He went to work for a display company as a builder/artist. At the 1964 World’s Fair, he said, he worked to build, finish and install scale models of the world’s mountain ranges. Before returning to Pratt, he attended classes in philosophy and sculpture at the New School for Social Research in New York City. He returned to Pratt in 1965, and graduated in 1967 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in art education and a New York Provisional Teaching Certification for grades K-12. Later, he received a Master of Fine Arts degree from The City College of New York.
In the summer of 1968, the couple, who were married in 1966, accepted artist residencies for two months at the Edwin MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire.
He taught for 27 years in Greene County and lives in Woodstock, “two places on earth where romantic realism was nurtured and is in collision with ‘abstract-isms’ of every stripe,” he said.
The daughter is a fine artist and college educator, born in Connecticut, where her parents taught nearby at the original Barlow School, in Amenia, New York. She studied fine art at the University of Delaware, graduating with at Master of Fine Arts Degree in 1995, incorporating graduate study as a Julin Scholar at the University of Iowa, and completed her undergraduate degree at SUNY Purchase in 1993 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, which include a semester overseas at the Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, Academie Beeldende Voorming. She teaches full time as a professor of graphic design/fine art/film media at Berkeley College, and has taught at the University of Delaware, Long Island University/Post, SUNY Nassau, Pratt Institute Associate Degree Programs, Central Wyoming College, Delta College, Mid Michigan Community College, and periodically teaches at SUNY Westchester and SUNY Rockland.
She has exhibited at such venues as the Scarab Club, Hankins Gallery, Paperworks Gallery, Ford Gallery and Saginaw Art Museum in Michigan, the Steinberg Museum of Art at Hillwood, Hudson River Fine Art, Green Kill, Contemporary Art Network/Midtown West Art Associates in New York, additionally exhibiting in South America, Greece and the Netherlands. She is represented by Longyear Gallery and Artifact, also in New York.
“With deep empathy for the Earth, my observations center primarily on the reaction and reclamation of nature,” she said in the release. “Aware of the wrestle between entropy and geometry, at odds within the landscape, I seek remote locations where atmospheric occurrences clash. More wild than tame, I visit places that can be intuited, having a definitive character or placehood. Often I meet with a space of natural phenomena that echoes expansion.
“... I further experiment with altered formats such as trapezoids, sectors, circles, quadrants, irregular polygons and arc-segments, integrating vanishing points that may act to energize the shifting, if not haptic horizon,” she continued. “Landscape is an outpost: obscure and omniscient, a collision of alchemical elements that I work to apprehend, with regard for its defiance.”