The New Botanicals
was also featured in Elegy at the Theo Ganz Studio, Beacon, NY
March 9 - April 7, 2013
Dear Mother Nature
Curated by Linda Weintraub
June 23- November 4, 2012
The Dorsky Museum of Art
SUNY New Paltz , NY
Curator Linda Weintraub invited artists to create something that expressed one's relationship to and feelings for Mother Nature, and to write a related letter directly to Mother Nature expressing our personal feelings and beliefs, cautions, prayers, pleas or pledges.
By getting to know Ms. Weintraub and many of the other 42 artists, it became clear that this was not just a coordinating theme, but a passionate topic for each person involved. It took several viewings to take in the diverse approaches, intellectually and visually, that made an important, powerful, and ultimately unified statement. Ms Weintraub's passion and generosity of spirit was unbounded. I am so very glad to have been chosen to be part of it.
"The New Botanicals", 2012, clay, paint, wood, glass.
(A comment on increasingly prevalent GMO plants in our food chain.)
Dear Mother Nature,
-A warning to watch out for our human tinkering with your creations.
-A request for forgiveness for our dangerous hubris in forgetting we are a part of you and belong to you.
- A prayer for guidance for the faithful humans who need to persuade those in control of mismatched genes and lawmakers, to give up their long term and dangerous folly.
-A petition to entrust these new organisms to you for safe keeping since they are not here of their own volition and may not know how to get along with their natural siblings.
ArtsWestchester, White Plains, NY
October 6 - November 23, 2011
"The Forest For the Trees", 2011
6" x 8' x 4.25", Wood, Clay, Paint, 22k Gold
It was curator Leigh Taylor Mickelson's vision for an exhibition of ceramic artists to explore sustainability, the environment, and how we as a community can effect positive change.
My piece refers to our ability to be oblivious to the obvious; to not see the beauty and elegance of natural systems, nor notice the havoc and destruction we humans wreck upon them.
The work addresses our personal and collective world views of environment, relationship, community and responsibility.
Each of the 64 sculptural elements has a title and imagery that is symbolic of dangers, blessings, pitfalls or optimism that the natural world, corporations, society, and culture display daily.
It is up to each one of us to choose what to notice and how to act accordingly for future generations and the earth itself to prosper.
Habitat for Artists Residency
No Farmers, No Food 2011
Common Ground CSA Farm at the Stoneykill Environmental Education Center, Wappingers Falls, NY
Habitat For Artists is a collective project that uses the idea of the artist’s studio as a catalyst for mutual engagement between artists and communities. The “habitats” are small, temporary, 6 by 6 foot art studios installed at a variety of locations. HFA invites local and member artists for periods of residency to work in these small studios. The studios are made from recycled and reclaimed material and are reused for each new iteration of the project. While exploring their own creative process, the artists engage in active dialogues with a new audience from each location.
The public is invited into interaction and discussion about the artists, their role and pertinent issues relevant to their own local community. Since its creation in 2008, HFA has partnered with more than 20 different organizations and schools and involved more than 50 artists.
My residency was to begin the day Hurricane Irene arrived. Three days later when I was able to get to the site, the water had subsided and mud was everywhere. The top soil and crops had been washed away. Clean up had begun, some new plantings in less damaged fields had been done. Later that week, Hurricane Lee came through and washed those seedlings and more soil away.
I had been mulling ideas for weeks as to how to use my shed. Many use it as a new studio, a fresh place for new ideas. After watching the farmers survey the damage, replant and replant at the mercy of the elements, I new that I wanted to build a monument of sorts to these people. Yes, without the land, the farm, there would be no food. But I began to realize more importantly, how without these extraordinary, tenacious people we would not, could not, be eating as we do.
The piece is about our modern life's disconnect between food production and our use of it. We take so much for granted. Along with them, I watched the weather for days of working on the exterior and days working inside. Dealing with the sun, the heat, the winds and bugs, my temporary activities mimicked their daily working patterns.
The exterior is covered with painted carvings of food producing plants, their outdoor world of daily tending. The interior makes reference to our use of historic food motifs in symbolic design and ornamentation, without realizing the direct fruits of our labors. My audience was mostly the farmers and the changing volunteers that came each day, who wanted a more direct experience with the food they ate. Conversations were brief but rich as we each had our task and time based jobs to do. Mutual admiration and respect developed.
In keeping with HFA mandate of recycled materials and smaller creative footprints, I cleaned out my studio by using scraps left from other projects, and remixed pots of paints. All in all, the only thing I needed to purchase was a tube of glue. The other mandate, to do something you've not done before, has given me different materials used in more literal ways from my regular art making practice.
Enriched in many ways, I'm utilizing this experience in two new series, growing from the mental and physical compost of previous work. The "new" New Botanicals will translate the small ceramic pieces into painted polystyrene large scale outdoor specimen gardens that include wall mounted work. And my tree and food subject matter will grow as more comprehensive installations.
SAUNDERS FARM PROJECT 2010
Collaborative Concepts, 853 Old Albany Post Road, Garrison NY 10524
September 4 - October 31st. 2010
I am honored again to be included in this ever expanding site specific exhibition that celebrates Nature, Farming, Cows and the Arts is such a lovely bucolic place. My piece, Flower Fountain, is located in Field VI, on top of the cistern.
Please go to http://www.collaborativeconcepts.org/2010.html for photos and a full description of everyones work, directons and info for mid run and ending receptions.
THE GARDEN GALLERY AT HUDSON RIVER HEALTHCARE
55 Bank Street (corner of Bank & Main Streets)
Peekskill, NY 10566
THE SECRET LIFE OF PLANTS
Sculpture by Lisa Breznak
June 5 through August 16, 2010
Lisa Breznak's work often refers to nature and examines human interaction with it. In her exhibition "Secret Life of Plants" at the Garden Gallery at the Hudson River HealthCare on the corner of Bank and Main Streets in Peekskill, NY, the bright metallic surfaces of her playful abstracted sculptures of plant forms transform into objects of contemplation within a garden context that we often take for granted.
"I often get the feeling that the plant world is teeming with energy and activity that is always there but few of us take the time to see it. " says Breznak. "The tenacity and resilience with which plants can break through asphalt or stretch through debris to get to the sunlight; and how they seem to enjoy the breezes and rain with a face up pleasure. These sculptures are parts of stories I see in their whole working social order. I give each an obvious body language to express it."
Ms. Breznak lives and works in Peekskill NY, and has degrees from Rochester Institute of Technology, SUNY and Goddard College. She exhibits internationally, and has had artist residencies in the US and Japan, a solo exhibition at the Hudson River Museum, and was a fellow in NYFA's Mark program in 2008 . She is active in Peekskill's Downtown Artist District and historic preservation initiatives.
In 2009, the Hudson River HealthCare opened its Garden Gallery as a public sculpture space integrally connecting art, community and health care. A portion of all sales of the sculptures showing in the Garden Gallery go to the HRHC to support their efforts to provide health care to those in need. The Garden Gallery is part of a larger program, City Spaces, that promotes and places art in public places in downtown Peekskill.
This exhibition is supported in part by the Strategic Opportunity Stipends Program through the NY Foundation for the Arts and the NYS Council on the Arts, administered in Mid Hudson by the Garrison Arts Center.
SAUNDERS FARM PROJECT 2009
Collaborative Concepts, Garrison NY September 5 - October 31st. 2009
I am honored again to be included in this site specific exhibition that celebrates Nature, Farming, Cows and the Arts is such a lovely bucolic place. My piece "Overhead" is #31 in field IV.
Please go to Collaborative Concepts blogsite for photos and a full description of everyones work, directons and info for mid run and ending receptions.
August 27-September 26, 2009
Park Row Gallery
CHATHAM, NY -- "World Views", a two-person exhibition of sculptural work by Laura Cannamela and Lisa Breznak, opens August 27 and runs through September 26 at Park Row Gallery, 2 Park Row, Chatham, N.Y. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, August 29 from 4 to 6 p.m. Paper relief works by Laura Cannamela and miniature ceramic sculptures by Lisa Breznak will be on view.
Cannamela's architectural reliefs are composed entirely of papers fromaround the world. They are informed by art historical sources that include Persian miniatures and Tibetan paintings, as well as Japaneseillustrations of "The Tale of Genji." These works reveal Cannamela's interest in texture, color, space, and pattern, and how these design elements are interwoven to create a balance between representationalspace and abstract form, between implied space and actual depth.
Breznak's sculptures, made of clay and gold leaf, suggest a variety of imagery from ancestral totems to modern abstraction, from natural sources to geometric forms. These palm-sized objects are intimate portrayals of texture, light, and form, reflecting a wealth of worldly influence, and playing with the power of scale to refute the idea and prejudice of size.
Cannamela and Breznak both participated in the New York Foundation for the Arts MARK Hudson Valley 2008 program. They found a common interest in cross-cultural imagery, textural forms, and diminutive scale.
Park Row Gallery is celebrating 20 years of providing service andsupport to clients from Manhattan to the Upper Hudson Valley andneighboring Berkshires region, satisfying all of their fine art needs and promoting the exceptional works of regional artists. This exhibit has been supported in part by a Strategic Opportunity Stipend, a grant program of the New York State Foundation for the Arts and The Arts Center of the Capital Region.
• June 6 , 2009 Opening reception 12-2pm for the innaugural exhibition of the Garden Gallery of the Hudson River Health Center featuring sculpture by Sarah Haviland, curated by Lisa Breznak and sponsored by the Beanrunner Cafe and Gallery. The Garden Gallery is located on the corner of Main and Bank Streets, Peekskill, NY
• "MARKING TIME" February 21-March 28, 2009
Hudson Opera House
Hudson NY From their Website:
Hudson Opera House and the Columbia County Council on the Arts present a group exhibition of Hudson Valley artist. Working in a wide range of media and styles, the 12 artists reflect on the idea of TIME and how its passage manifests itself in their work. An opening reception with the artists will be on Sunday, February 21 6-8pm. A gallery talk by each artist on this topic, will be on SaturdayMarch 7th at 4 pm.
• On view in Garrison NY at the SAUNDERS FARM PROJECT by Collaborative Concepts. Summer and Fall 2008
" Tree Spirits: Gift of Utility" A new site specific work by Lisa Breznak
About the piece: During an artist’s residency in Japan in 2000 I was struck by the Shinto references to trees as living entities and as dwellings for the revered nature gods (Kami). Such trees are marked in ways that designate them as sacred. After repeatedly encountering these sometimes majestic, sometimes humble, often ancient specimens, I began to be aware of my relationship with specific trees, with the myriad gifts from trees, with the protection and inspiration they provide us with personally, intellectually and ecologically. Tree imagery became an ongoing part of my work.
Another aspect that struck me was how the shrines and temples symbolically defined a sacred space with objects that transformed the experience of an environment physically and emotionally as one moved in and out of the area. The gilded tree forms make reference to the gods within and to the gifts of utility (such as the fence posts) that are given in many forms by trees. Tiny side sproutings refer to renewal. The entire piece also serves to demarcate the sacred space of the living woods behind as a place to contemplate our interaction and use of nature.
For its third season, Collaborative Concepts at Saunders Farm invited local, national, and international artists to place sculptures throughout 100 acres of an historic farm in Garrison, NY. Located across the Hudson River from West Point, the rolling hills and wooded glens of Saunders Farm culminate in panoramic views of the Hudson Highlands. Black Angus cattle can be seen grazing peacefully in stone-walled pastures. More than 50 site-specific artworks were chosen to complement the farm's spectacular vistas. All the sculpture installations are temporary, and many works are for sale. The exhibition is free and can be viewed from 10 am to dusk, August 30th until Oct. 31st. Visitors should dress appropriately for a walk in the country. Collaborative Concepts thanks Mr. Saunders for his support and for hosting this third exhibition featuring more than 40 artists.
• "PLAYING WITH FIRE" 12 Approaches to the Ceramic Process
Upper Gallery, Paramount Center for the Arts
Saturday, October 4th - Saturday, November 22, 2008
Reception: Saturday, October 4th 2-4 pm
"Playing With Fire" showcases the wide range of work in clay made expressly for the wall, from tiles, to tableaus, to sculptural installations. The exhibition highlights the unique working methods of twelve artists—which are central to their creative visions. Curators Lisa Breznak and Sarah Haviland chose multiple pieces by each artist to give visitors an in-depth view of the varied aesthetics, approaches and versatility to the medium of fired clay.
"Playing With Fire" is part of All Fired Up! a county wide, 60 venue, celebration of the ceramic arts. Museums, multi-art centers, libraries, schools, universities, parks and alternative sites will present parallel exhibitions that explore the breadth and depth of ceramic expression- from folk arts to fine arts, historical to contemporary.
All Fired Up! is a consortium project led by the Westchester Arts Council, the Clay Arts Center, the Westchester County Office of Tourism, and a steering committee made up of arts patrons and leaders from our county’s major arts organizations; made possible by support from Chase, Entergy, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Department of Economic Development, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Arts & Business Council of NY and Westchester County Government.
List of Participating Artists:
Tomoko Abe, NY Roger Baumann, NY Liz Biddle, NY Dina Bursztyn, NY
Ada Pilar Cruz, NY Jessica Dubin, NY Luanne Morse, NY Barbara Rittenberg, NY
Debbie Sigel, PA Cheryl Tall, CA Novie Trump, VA Jackie Welsh, CT
Paramount Center For the Arts
1008 Brown Street
Peekskill, NY 10566
Exit Art Gallery, NYC
June 7, 2008 at 6pm
Hudson Valley Artists to Present Work at Major New York City Art Venue
Twelve Hudson Valley Artists have been invited to present their work at Exit Art (www.exitart.org) for the inaugural New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) MARK Artists’ Talks on Saturday, June 7th. The NYFA MARK (www.nyfa.org) program helps to develop the professional careers of working artists. Part of sixty-six artists selected from across New York State, the Hudson Valley Artists have been meeting on a regular basis during the six-month NYFA program. The conclusion of these efforts is a weekend of networking, public presentations, and gallery visits taking place in New York City.
Covering a broad range of disciplines, the Hudson Valley Artists are a unique group. They continue to develop an understanding of the arts that has long engaged this area of New York, a conversation with historic roots, now energized by the present. The twelve individuals, all accomplished artists in their own right, have come together as a group to expand the impact that the arts have in the Hudson Valley, creating an energy that will grow far beyond the program.
The Hudson Valley NYFA workshops have been hosted and supported by the Columbia County Council on the Arts in Hudson, NY. The New York City events mark the first time that all sixty-six artists will meet after having received NYFA staff guidance in such areas as writing artist statements, project descriptions and proposals, letter and grant writing, fine tuning portfolios, goal setting, and public presentation.
Hudson Valley MARK Artists Talks took place at Exit Art in Chelsea, 475 Tenth Avenue, NY, NY on Saturday, June 7 at 6pm. All presentations are free and open to the public.
All Content © 2017 Lisa Breznak All Rights Reserved All Photographs by Howard Goodman