Ortlip Gallery Opens New Exhibit

August 30, 2023

The Ortlip Gallery is proud to announce the opening of a new exhibit titled: Concept, Material, & Design: Contemporary New York Artists in Conversation. The opening reception for the show will be Friday, September 1st from 6:30-8:00. The exhibit is on display through Homecoming weekend, October 6th-7th.

Stepping into the gallery for this exhibit, visitors will instantly be impacted by the dramatic scale and color as well as the contrasting media of each artist. The show features wooden, ceramic, metal, matte-board, and cloth pieces made by six different artists from around New York State. The theme throughout the exhibit is three-dimensional design.

Design is a category of art whose hallmark is that it seeks to meet a specific human need. Interior design is the most famous branch of this subfield but design in general also encompasses the making of furniture, lighting, vessels for eating and storage, as well as anything else created to alleviate the human condition.

Ortlip Gallery director Linda Knapp says, “What I hope visitors realize from this exhibit is that functional art is not bereft of beauty. I think also that we gain an understanding that amidst the banality of every day work and life, we are actually using objects that someone else spent time designing. It’s easy to take that—or them—for granted. Moreover, in a world of Walmart and Amazon which satiate our cravings for the cheapest and fastest, this show reminds us that the mundane of life can be infused with something greater when we opt for designs that are thoughtfully and meticulously crafted.”

The central show-stopping works of Taeyoul Ryu, with his towering lamps and color-saturated chairs overlayed with gold and embellished by old cold-war era plane parts, dominate the space visually. Ryu has his MFA from RIT in furniture design and continues to work for the Wendell Castle studio in Rochester. He has been the recipient of numerous design awards and was recently featured at the Burchfield-Penney Art Center with his solo exhibit, Royalty.

Surrounding Ryu’s furniture is stimulating work by other designers. David Dowler, the famous Steuben Glass Company’s designer from Corning, shares his thought-provoking metal sculptures. Houghton University’s own art professor and the visionary behind this show, Aaron Harrison, created a wooden floor lamp. With an MFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, multi-disciplinary designer Elizabeth Mayhle shares two unique works that bolster a sense of belonging for marginalized people groups. One is a three-dimensional model of an old school building in Harlem that she redesigned as an apartment complex. St. Bonaventure Art Professor Anne Mormile graciously accepted the invitation to participate in this exhibit despite a busy summer of travelling to Europe where she participated in an Art Residency at the Domaine de Boisbuchet in Lessac, France. Mormile is known for her large ceramic installations but in this exhibit she submitted her functional soda-wood-fired stone pieces. Local furniture-maker Tracy Fiegl is a quiet genius living in our midst. He too has worked for the famous designer, Wendell Castle, but now creates his own designs. Fiegl’s work is flawless and elegant; he draws on natural motifs inspired by the woods surrounding his studio in Short Tract, NY.

For those interested, many of the works in this exhibit are for sale through the Gallery Director