Providing opportunities to investigate artistic visions and appreciate the unique role of critical imagining, the Weeks Gallery at Jamestown Community College will present ''Dan Reidy and Nathan Naetzker: Fact, Fiction and Fantasy'' Feb. 7 to March 18.
The show's opening reception Saturday, Feb. 5, will be an ArtParty, which gallery director and curator James D. Colby describes as a multi-faceted event where community members, JCC students and faculty, and local artists can mingle and socialize.
''ArtParties introduce Main Street to global artists and perspectives, and present superb musicians that are classically trained and multicultural,'' Colby said.
Artwork such as the above piece by Nathan Naetzker will be on display in the Weeks Gallery at Jamestown Community College in the exhibit ‘‘Fact, Fiction and Fantasy,’’ Feb. 7 to March 18. The display will open with a reception and ArtParty on Saturday, Feb. 5, beginning at 6:30.
The event will begin with an introduction of the artists and an opening of the exhibit in the Weeks Gallery at 6:30 p.m., followed by a performance by the band Scythian in the adjacent Scharmann Theatre at 7 p.m. The official ArtParty, which will include hors d'oeuvres and a beer and wine tasting, will begin in the theater lobby and the Weeks Reception Hall at 8:30 p.m.
Dan Reidy's art toes the line between humor, satire and observations of cultural icons and life's complexity. Among the pieces that will be displayed in the Weeks Gallery during the ''Fact, Fiction and Fantasy'' exhibit are eccentric reinterpretations of Frankenstein, Santa Claus, Nicholas Cage, Mr. Spock, Barney Fife and Superman.
What: Opening reception and ArtParty for "Dan Reidy and Nathan Naetzker: Fact, Fiction and Fantasy"
When: Saturday, Feb. 5: artist introduction and opening of exhibit, 6:30 p.m.; performance by the band Scythian, 7 p.m.; ArtParty, 8:30 p.m.
Where: Weeks Gallery, Jamestown Community College
Cost: $15, general admission; $10, area students and senior citizens; $8, JCC FSA members; $5, children 12 and under.
For more information,
Reidy's work to be displayed also includes gorilla and monkey head sculptures, and a pair of Converse sneakers that teeter on the edge of a chair, defying gravity.
Currently a lecturer at Corning Community College and a visiting lecturer for graduate seminars at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Reidy received a BFA in painting/drawing from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and an MFA in painting/drawing from the University of Georgia. He has participated as a guest lecturer at Indiana University, the University of Nebraska, Skidmore College and the Center for Contemporary Arts.
His art has been exhibited in shows in Ithaca, Elmira, Albany and Olean, as well as in Kansas City and at the University of Indiana. Colby said he selected one of Reidy's pieces, ''Spock,'' for the exhibit's brochure cover because its provocative style and symbols piqued his interest. The curator said he asked the artist why he selected character for an interpretation.
''Reidy collects photos and eccentric artifacts,'' Colby said. ''He e-mailed a digital copy of a torn newspaper clipping so I could see the original stimulus. Spock was expressing his classic glance, but the image was black and white and lifeless - without color, context or animation.''
Colby said he was impressed by how Reidy was able to transform such an ordinary picture into an extraordinary painting.
''Roman sculptors invented styles to reveal human complexity, and Reidy enlivens 'Spock' with innovative symbols, painterly nuance and multi-faceted flesh,'' Colby said. ''Reidy reveals Spock's superhuman traits.''
The quirky nature of Reidy's subjects make them easy to enjoy by everyone, no matter their knowledge of art, Colby said.
''Reidy's paintings vary from playful to humorous to satirical,'' he said. ''Most are cryptic, tricky to decipher, but easy to recognize and aesthetically enjoy.''
Nathan Naetzker, meanwhile, relies on the pure abstract elements of colors and forms as the primary subject of his art that will be on display during the exhibit.
Originally from Ashville and now residing in Buffalo, Naetzker graduated from Jamestown Community College before receiving a BFA in painting from Buffalo State College and an MFA in painting from the New York Academy of Art. He now teaches at the University at Buffalo, Buffalo State College, Niagara County Community College, Erie Community College and Buffalo Arts Studio.
His work has been displayed all over Buffalo, including at ArtSpace, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center and Bryant Street Gallery. Additionally, he has had exhibited at the State University at Fredonia and the Olean Public Library Gallery.
Naetzker has received the HRH Prince Charles Award for landscape painting, the Mayoral Commission for the City of Buffalo, scholarships from the New York Academy of Art and Chautauqua School of Art, and he was a Congressional Art Award juror.
Colby said he had an opportunity to familiarize himself with Naetzker's newest works at a recent show at ArtSpace in Buffalo, ''Let It Loose.''
''Rather than composing skies, fields, water and trees, his newest works present fluid variations of geometric and biomorphic forms,'' he said.
Pure abstractions such as Naetzker's are like jazz improvisations, Colby said, and Naetzker said that music affects his work as he creates it.
''I listen to music when I paint, (and) sometimes the music comes through ... like a halo surrounding it,'' the artist said.
Colby said that while some people naturally gravitate to abstract art and find themselves spellbound by the sensations and emotions it elicits, skeptics say they find it difficult to grasp. The gallery director said he engages those skeptics with a simple question.
''Who has never been mesmerized by sunsets, glowing fireplaces, Hubble's distant galaxies or Western New York's fall leaves?'' he said. ''No one raises their hand, expect in jest. Everyone appreciates primal or cosmic abstractions for their own sake, and many note that staring at natural wonders elicits pleasure and promotes daydreaming.''
Opportunities to see art such as Naetzker's are special, Colby said.
''Art offers unique opportunities for enthusiasts to engage right-brain activities, see artworks as windows into the artist's and the viewer's thoughts and fantasies, and to understand how imaginative processes are integral to everyday life,'' he said.
THROUGH MARCH 18
Rock band Scythian, who will entertain in the Scharmann Theatre during the event, plays Celtic and world music with hints of Gypsy, Klezmer and bluegrass.
Consisting of a pair of classically trained fiddlers, a rhythm guitar, a funky accordion and jazz percussion, the rousing and raucous group was voted best local band by readers of Washington City Paper in 2009. It is renowned for its Celtic and world music, with a driving force of punk rock sensibility.
The internationally touring Scythian has been described by The Washington Post as one of the capital city's ''most energetic and eclectic bands'' and by Glide magazine as playing a set that is ''an interactive reel-based frolic, (where) all the members of the band play a variety of instruments and are natural showmen, engaging the audience on every number.''
Tickets for the concert and ArtParty are available through JCC's FSA bookstore box office, by calling 338-1187, or at the door on the night of the event. Prices are $15, general admission; $10, area students and senior citizens; $8, JCC Faculty Student Association members; and $5 for children 12 and under.
The exhibit, ''Dan Reidy and Nathan Naetzker: Fact, Fiction and Fantasy,'' will be on display in the Weeks Gallery from Feb. 7 to March 18. Gallery hours are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The gallery is closed on all college holidays.
For more information on the exhibit, the gallery and its collection, visit on the Web at weeksgallery.sunyjcc.edu.