I am a sculptor working mainly with clay and fiber. My current imagery is animal focused but I still make some figurative work. I am inspired by my dreams, nature, mythology and past experiences.
In college I studied sculpture, fibers and animal behavior and these three passions have come together in my sculptures.
I have worked as a registered art therapist and art instructor in a variety of settings. I am currently fortunate to be working full time on my work. My day starts with a cup of coffee and my sketchbook, moves on to a walk in the woods with my dogs, then into the studio to get my hands dirty. I get a thrill when something I make seems to have its own energy or spark of “aliveness” to it. When someone else is touched by my work I feel enormously grateful to be doing what I am doing.
Julie Branch, 941 Upper Gregg Road, Rotterdam, NY 12306
Carol Law Conklin
I grew up in New England and spent my youth in rural areas of Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Horses and art were my main love and when not riding and caring for my horses I was drawing and painting. I graduated from Massachusetts College of Art in Boston and went on to study printmaking at the Museum School of Fine Arts also in Boston. I was very fortunate to spend a summer in Italy studying printmaking at the Europa School in Rome.
It was a short time later in Western Massachusetts that I fell in love with the batik medium, an ancient method of painting on fabric with wax and dyes. This medium seemed perfect for expressing my favorite themes, nature, the season’s cycles, mythological and primordial themes were and still are subjects I embrace in my art. My work was shown in many New England galleries and sold across the country and abroad at this time. I had a one person show at the Ghent Gallery in Norfolk Virginia and received special awards for many of my batik.
My batik are featured in several blogs and publications “Seasoned” and “Catapult” online art magazines. They are displayed in many local galleries and selling across this country and abroad.
Please visit my website to see more of my art and the tutorial section for lots more instruction about the batik process.
Carol Law Conklin, Amity Farm Batik, Fort Ann, New York
Karen J. F. Cooper
Karen J. F. Cooper has been a member of the Oakroom Artists, the only membership-by-invitation art association in the Albany area, for almost three decades. Cooper has been devoted to the arts most of her life. She was a member of the Schenectady Civic Ballet Company in her youth and began painting in 1977. Her award winning watercolor paintings have been included in numerous major regional and national exhibitions including the prestigious Salmagundi Club in New York City, galleries, and museums.
Cooper stated, “Painting attracts people that like excitement and a challenge. It inspires a kind of passion for life when color is brushed on paper. There are limitless applications to express emotion with paint. There is a freedom of movement making marks on paper that I relate to my past dance experience.
Karen J. F. Cooper
Ruth Christie Crotty
Ruth Crotty has exhibited in solo and group shows through out the Capitol District for the past 20 years. Her art education includes a BFA in painting from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia in 1969, Summer Six Courses at Skidmore College from 1971-1997, workshops with national artists and study with three local painters. In addition to studying and painting, she taught art at Shenendehowa Central Schools. Ruth currently belongs to many area art councils and associations.
In the last 4 years she has concentrated on Plein Air oil painting, a change from the previous studio watercolor and acrylic work. The Plein Air painting focuses on capturing the effect of fleeting light on landscape colors and textures. These elements and the moods that they create, have always been the focus of her art, and her reason for painting.
Ruth Crotty, Saratoga Springs, NY
Katherine Ehle is an art director, photographer and artist who splits her time between Johnstown and New York City. She has been the art director for OPERA America since 2002 and has also designed for The Glimmerglass Festival, Symphony Space, the National Performing Arts Convention and the National Endowment for the Arts. She holds a B.S in Organizational Communication, Learning and Design from Ithaca College.
An avid music photographer, Kate has been an invited regular contributor to nyctaper.com and WNYC's Culture Hub. She's shot for OPERA America, Symphony Space and the Anthology Film Archives and has been published online by Gothamist and The Village Voice and in print by The Boston Globe and Opera America.
Kate creates her digital collages by manipulating and combining her images and experimenting with color, texture and mood. In January 2012, she had a solo show for her digital art at the historic American Hotel in Sharon Springs.
Katherine Ehle, Johnstown, NY
Sea Glass Jewelry
I grew up in Gloversville and still have strong family ties there. After high school, I went to college in Boston, then moved to the North Shore of Boston, eventually settling in Gloucester with its rocky coast and beautiful light that’s a beacon to artists for decades.
I owned my own business just out of college, designing and selling custom handbags, then I continued to design for other companies. My long and winding career includes marketing, design and product development of jewelry, bags, fashion accessories and apparel.
My vocation and avocation are based on creativity, the food that feels my soul. My inspirations are often about turning something old into something new. Among the mediums I’ve worked with are old jeans, antique handkerchiefs, men’s wide ties and my new love, sea glass. It can take over a hundred years for an old bottle, plate or glass to become a smooth, frosted piece of sea glass. I find beauty and inspiration in each unique piece. I love to enhance the natural beauty and to transform each piece of sea glass into a one of a kind piece of wearable art.
Bev is the sea glass hunter and has been collecting for several years. She loves the thrill of the hunt and spends hours combing the beaches of Gloucester and Rockport. Besides pounds of sea glass, her finds include marbles, buttons, porcelain pottery shards, pieces of clay pipe stems and wooden knife handles and the occasional tooth and porcelain doll piece.
Together we create BeLo The Sea Treasures.
Judith Plotner’s work has been exhibited nationally in group and solo shows including Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Museum, Washington, DC, American Craft Museum, New York City, Whistler House Museum of Art, Lowell, MA, Thirteen Moons Gallery, Santa Fe, NM, Oceanside Museum of Art, Oceanside, CA, Perrella Gallery, Johnstown, NY, Art Center Gallery, Saratoga Springs, NY and Dairy Barn Cultural Arts Center, Athens, Ohio.
Publications including her work are Portfolio 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, Studio Art Quilts Associates, Inc., Quilt National 2007, 2009, 2011, Lark Books and The Dairy Barn Cultural Arts Center, Fabric Art Gallery, Banar Designs 2005, Fiberarts Design Book 7, Lark Books 2004, Stamping with Style, Katherine Aimone, Lark 2001.
She has received three Individual Artist Grants in New York State, the Hillary Morrow Fletcher Award, Quilt National, and Presidents Choice Award, Quilt Visions .
Judith Plotner, 214 Goat Farm Road, Gloversville, NY
Sandra Grace Smith
A graduate of Hartwick College, with graduate work at Skidmore College and instruction with master potters Peter Sabin and Regis Brodie, Smith taught Art for over 30 years in public education and private lessons. She conceptualized and brought to fruition the first exhibit of children’s art at the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs, working with the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company as subjects. Upon retirement from public teaching, she continued teaching at The College of St. Rose and Fulton Montgomery Community College.
Her art work has been exhibited locally, nationally, online and in private collections. Her watercolor paintings have been honored with the NY Watercolor Society top honor for watermedia, the National Elsie M. Birch Watercolor Award and Master Division Selection. Fulton Montgomery Community College held a one person exhibit of her ceramic, fiber and watercolors. Five of Smith’s photographs were exhibited at the "63rd Artists of Central NY" show at Munson Williams Proctor Art Institute along with and one photograph exhibited at the "81st Annual Cooperstown National Art Exhibit" winning a National Merit Award.
A New York State mini-grant, a New York State Foundation for the Arts grant and a Rensselaer Council for the Arts have been awarded to Smith, along with publishing articles in art education magazines.
Sandra Grace Smith, Gloversville, NY
Pressed Flower Figures — Petal People
My mission is to make you smile and bring a sense of childlike whimsy with my Petal People pressed flower figures. No part of these figures has been drawn, painted or computer-enhanced. They are created only from real ferns, leaves, flowers and herbs, or parts of those plants that I have grown in my garden (or snatched from other gardens, road sides and fields). Lately, I’ve been putting a little more sass in them, including a naked stick figure here and there, which entertain me to no end.
I have no formal art training. I majored in English in college and spent a decade working as an editor at a Boston newspaper. Making “stuff” was a way to relax from the stresses and deadlines of the job. As a result, I have dappled in many art forms and taken a slew of adult education classes, from stained glass to furniture upholstery, needle felting to book binding ... which means I have every tool known to man: a glass grinder, glue gun, a tabletop loom, a gocco printer, knitting needles and every kind of pliers you could imagine. I am simply called to create every day, whether it is in my garden, my studio or my kitchen.
Eileen Carey Testo
Fiber Artist and Shepherd
Eileen and her husband live on a small farm in Westerlo, NY where they raise Border Leicester, Romney and Long Wool Cross sheep. Eileen has been involved in fiber art for more than 25 years and works in a variety of mediums, all of which incorporate products from her own farm. Her work has been displayed at art galleries, shows and exhibitions and has won various awards, including several Best in Shows.
She is especially well-known for her needle-felted characters. These 100% wool art pieces comprise a broad range of subjects, with inspiration ranging from local people to whimsical creatures.
Incorporating colors from nature and around the farm is a central theme in Eileen’s work. The great depth of color can be seen in her many felted or woven pieces as well as her wonderful yarns and garments. She also incorporates antique fabric and trims into her designs which provides yet another layer of richness to her finished pieces.
For more information about Eileen’s work and Weston Hill Farm, visit www.westonhillfarm.com
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