Susan Kendrot, painter and Betsy Jo Williams, sculptor
The Cooperative Gallery 213 will open an exhibit by Susan Kendrot and Betsy Jo Williams titled Fragments, an exhibit of charcoal drawings, acrylic paintings and mixed media sculpture. The exhibit will run Sept 1 through Sept. 26 and a reception, open to the public, will be held at the gallery on Thurs., Aug. 31 from 6 to 9 PM.
Susan Kendrot and Betsy Jo Williams explore fragments of war and fragments of life. Both artists lend emotion to their work by an expressive and energetic approach to their materials. Fragments tells stories through bits and pieces of materials and images. Sometimes the stories are similar in theme and sometimes not, but each is heartfelt and expressive and executed with the same vigor and compassion.
Kendrot’s drawings in this exhibition further dissemble and abstract the stone images of the Parthenon Marbles (also known as the Elgin Marbles). Stone depictions of heroic warriors and steeds, which graced the walls of the Greek Parthenon, were later reduced to rubble by successive conquerers. Susan explains, “The immediacy and simplicity of charcoal and paper allowed me to expend my energy on the execution of the drawings and imbue them with the life, emotion and compassion inspired by this collateral damage of stone and flesh.”
The paintings are an outgrowth of the drawings, but the horses here begin to tell a broader story. She continues, “I choose to work within themes to more fully explore what each has to offer.” Some deal with social commentary and some with forms of aggression, but each is handled with energy, expression, anger or empathy. Past themes of Kendrot’s work have included African Wildlife, Angry Men, 9/11, Semi Trucks, Boxing and The Resurrection. Her favorite media includes paint, drawing and monotype.
Betsy Jo Williams discusses her new works, “I sculpt to freeze a single moment in time; to capture that “wow” moment, that moment when you emotionally react to an event or to a feeling. Often it is only a fragment that is caught, but it can be more powerful than the whole. My brain becomes silent and my heart takes over.”
She continues, “I use a multitude of media. Sticks to suggest a form, foam to build on, clay to sculpt the body and wax to create skin. Each piece asks to be built with its own unique material. I follow where the sculpture is taking me and fight the urge to force it to go where I think it should go. My work has been about the process of change but my goal will always be to arouse a reaction in the viewer, be it sadness, bravery, fear, or humor.”
The Cooperative Gallery, a popular stop on the First Friday Art Walk, located at Artists Row –State of the Art, at 213 State Street in Binghamton, is open on First Friday 3- 9 pm and regularly Fridays from 3-6 and Saturdays from 12- 4 pm. A free weekly e-newsletter is available by signing up at www.cooperativegallery.com or on Facebook at Cooperative Gallery 213.