Monday, July 17, 2006
American Farmland Trust Event
Long Purple Barn, 2005, Oil on Panel, 12x16
Preserving farmland and open space is a pretty hot topic up here in upstate NY, as well as in other parts of the country, as it should be. We lived in Logan, Utah for 10 years and the rampant, unchecked growth of strip malls, big box retailers and badly designed housing developments contributed to our decision to leave the area. Our local area here in NY is very conservative about development, and one nearby town, Cooperstown, actually does not allow chain stores or restaurants such as McDonalds or Burger King within the town limits. The town is so charming and beautiful without golden arches on Main Street, and I think we have almost forgotten how things look without all of that clutter. (There are other drawbacks in Cooperstown, such as the rampant, unchecked growth of baseball souvenir stores, however, that's a post for another day.) Anyway, many large property owners, including us, have covenants that state that their property can only be subdivided once, or even not at all. After living here and really growing to appreciate and love the landscape (even though I am still not the outdoorsy type), I have come to feel very strongly about conserving open space and farmland, and try to support the issue whenever I can.
So when Gallery 100 in Saratoga Springs asked me to participate in a fund raising event for the American Farmland Trust, I immediately agreed to be involved. The work of five artists, Carolyn Justice, Clarence King, Ann Scott, and George Van Hook, and myself, will be included in an art show and cocktail reception to "celebrate New York's Agricultural and Equine Heritage" at the Saratoga Golf and Polo Club on July 29. My work will be included, because, like the other artists, my images tend to focus on farms, the local landscape and barns. The organizers of this event have been very respectful towards the artists, as they will be paying each artist a portion of the proceeds of sales of their work, rather than asking that the art be donated. I have also been very flattered as they have used several of my pieces in their promotional materials including on the invitation and the RSVP card.
I have eight barns all ready to go for this auction. All are paintings of local barns and I hope that whoever gets them will appreciate the value and meaning of them as much as I have come to. Even if the colors are a little flashier in my interpretations of life down here on the farm.