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‘A Cut Off the Old Block’

Grey Art Gallery presents group show this month

October 9, 2011
By DAVID WHITMAN - Sun-Gazette Correspondent , Williamsport Sun-Gazette

On Oct. 1, the Grey Art Gallery ushered in October by unveiling "A Cut Off the Old Block," a group show featuring woodcut print and wood-themed art, running through Oct. 29.

"A Cut Off the Old Block" features 60 pieces from 16 different artists.

Artists on display include: Josh Dannin, Daniel Dallman, Christopher Leete, David Moyer, Danita Moore, Gretchen Moyer, Darren Beck, Raymond Heffner, John Taylor, Brian Flynn, John McKaig, Phil Evans and Jeff Evergreen.

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On Oct. 1, the Grey Art Gallery ushered in October by unveiling “A Cut Off the Old Block,” a group show featuring woodcut print and wood-themed art, running through Oct. 29.

Also, Grey Gallery co-owners Casey Gleghorn and John Yogodzinski show off their creative talents and share space upstairs with local artist Keeley Loy in separate installations.

Usually the first thing people notice at a gallery is what's displayed in the front window. It's the visual hook that turns a passerby into a gallery visitor, and potentially an art buyer.

"When setting up the show I look at what fits best in the front window, like for this show I knew what was going in the front window," Gleghorn said.

The "A Cut Off the Old Block" group show features a front window installation with an "Old West" feel by artist Jackie Zeisloft. A huge piece of rawhide is stretched like a sheet of paper between two metal poles. Burnt into one corner of the rawhide is a small image of several stacked chairs. She's also added a bunch of sculptural pieces and paintings in addition to her window piece.

"I've given her free reign over the front of the store, I told her the only requirement is it needs to be eye-catching and turn people's heads. That's the purpose of the front windows," Gleghorn said. "What's in the window doesn't have to be wood-based at all, for this show it's sculptural and is not related to this show so it's very open, very flexible here, not a narrow view of as far what I do with the shows and everything else."

Gleghorn always looks for some contrast and diversity in his shows. That means Grey Art Gallery shows, like the "A Cut Off the Old Block," do not consist solely of hung and framed art.

"I have to think about if someone is coming in here and looking for something out of the ordinary and rough. I'm not going to have that if all I have are framed, nice-looking pieces so I'm always striving for something interesting," Gleghorn said.

Darren Beck's works fit this description and slightly altered the show's direction.

When Gleghorn and Yogodzinski first started planning "A Cut Off the Old Block," it was going to feature only woodcuts. But they expanded it after seeing the folk art of artist Beck.

Christopher Leete, who's also part of the show, introduced Beck's work to Gleghorn.

"I was totally blown away by his work. His pieces are like bubble gum folk art - pink and whites accented with the raw wood. It has a kind of a graffiti-esque feel to it," Gleghorn said. "It's dark but with a comedic overtone. But the color scheme he uses creates the appearance of a really layered oil painting. Normally you come to a show like this and it would all be classy framework but his is very rough - I like that."

Another area artist showcased is David Moyer. He and his wife, Gretchen - she's also part of the show - own Red Howler Press in Muncy. His black line wood engraving explore literary themes for images that are also part of fine press books his featured pieces.

"David's lines are so fine. You're thinking how all of the white spaces were carved out of a block of wood," Gleghorn said. "And then a print is made of this, and all the black is what's left of the wood - it's just so skilled."

A few pieces really stood out to Yogodzinski as well.

"I love Josh Dannin's woodcuts. When I first saw the Banana Republican image in an email I wasn't as impressed - I thought it was an 8 1/2-by-11-inch print - but seeing it in person, the size and details really make the piece. His Ostrich piece, 'Big Brother,' is another good one that blends the unique characteristics of a woodcut print-the grooves in it are created by cutting it out - with the randomness of the ostrich's feathers."

As far as artists who've shown previous months that are not in the current show, their work still is available and can be seen in the archival room when visiting the gallery.

Gleghorn has agreements in place with some artists to constantly have their work on display at the gallery.

Other artists will do a three-month contract where he shows their work for a month and then has their work in the inventory for another two months; if it doesn't sell then the pieces are returned to them.

Gleghorn said 15 percent to 20 percent of art sold in the gallery was sold from the archives out of the back room.

This is the gallery's fourth show.

"It just keeps getting better and better. We're not getting ahead of ourselves or getting big heads," Gleghorn said. "We know there's a long way to go to get to where we want to be. John and I are just focused on doing shows that people want to come to and create a mark, a memorable mark, here in Williamsport."

"A Cut Off the Old Block" runs through Oct. 29 at Grey Art Gallery, 140 W. Fourth St.

For more information on show, check out Grey Art Gallery online on Facebook and at www.greygallery.com.

 
 

 

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