A Virtual Showcase Of Artistic Talent

A virtual showcase of artistic talent An abstract piece of art from Jean Somlo can be viewed online at earlvilleoperahouse.com/virtual-gallery until March 20. (Submitted photo)

EARLVILLE – The Earlville Opera House is pleased to host its first Virtual Gallery Series of 2021.

We are excited to exhibit the artwork of Jean Somlo, Phil Leith-Tetrault and Karen Burns. This set of virtual exhibitions can be viewed at earlvilleoperahouse.com/virtual-gallery through March 20. We encourage you to visit these vibrant virtual delights free of charge with donations always appreciated in support of our mission.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic prohibiting onsite visits to the EOH, and to maintain support of professional and emerging visual artists, EOH launched this virtual gallery to continue highlighting artistic talent and promotion for the visual arts community near and far. We are currently continuing to accept Requests for Proposals for the Virtual Gallery Series and information on submissions can be found on our website.

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Jean B. Somlo has a Master’s Degree in Art Education from Syracuse University. An art teacher since 1963, she presently works at the Oasis Senior Education program in Syracuse. Her award winning work has been exhibited in 45 solo shows; numerous invitational groups; and juried regional exhibits. These venues include: Everson Museum; Onondaga Historical Association; Syracuse University Museum Galleries; Munson Williams Proctor; Schweinfurth Museum; Albany Museum of History and Art; N.Y.S. Library (Albany); S.U.N.Y. Albany Art Gallery; Troy Historical Society; and the Springfield Museum. In addition, Jean has been a juror for various regional art exhibitions. Her art work is included in numerous private and public collections in the U.S. and Canada.

Jean’s exhibit features a series of 23 abstract acrylic paintings on gallery wrapped stretched canvas and is a recent experiment with color, shape and line. Her style has evolved over many years from realism in oils to abstraction in acrylic.

Next up is Brooklyn based artist Phil Leith-Tetrault, a digital artist specializing in landscapes. He was born in Baltimore, Maryland and graduated RIT’s New Media Design program in 2007. Phil worked for 10 year as a digital designer, and more recently, a digital artist. His work explores the idea of beauty in desolation.

Inspired by his childhood trips to Greenland, Newfoundland, and Northern Quebec, he emphasizes the pristine beauty of these environments as well as their loneliness and distance from the modern world. The landscapes suggest places free of society's grip, places without boundaries or rules. There, beauty and desolation are inseparable and reinforce one another.

Phil makes his landscape prints using illustration software. He draws organic shapes in the form of old houses, mountains, trees, rocks, and flowers before filling them with vivid color and photographed textures. During this process, the landscape begins to suggest physical and emotional feelings associated with its location.

Our third artist in this series is Karen Burns, an artist and graphic designer who has been painting her whole life. Living in Syracuse, NY, she finds inspiration in her immediate surroundings and in the beauty of our region. In the past few years she has concentrated on oil painting and digital art. Karen has exhibited her work in many Upstate New York venues and can be found in public and private collections throughout the United States. In her words about her artwork: “The journey from seeing to interpreting takes many turns. The energy generated when I first encounter a specific subject will be eventually channeled in unique ways.”

Though her paintings lean toward abstraction, their inspiration is grounded in nature. While not divorced from outside influences, Karen primarily take cues from her surroundings. Often work is based on a familiar scene or object, seen afresh on a new day, in a different light or changed season. Other times, insight gained from earlier paintings organically finds its way into the new work, this additional perspective unearthing a richer understanding of the subject matter. As she continues to explore what drew her to a particular place, scene, or object, shapes become simplified. Color choices evolve, shifting the everyday world into one of personal expression.

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Whether it’s the illusion formed when a cloud bank appears behind bare trees, the luminous quality of a redbud at dusk, or the subtle shift in greens from summer to early autumn, Karen is always absorbing the beauty of her surroundings. She currently works out of her studio in Syracuse, NY. Oil on linen is her primary medium but over the past few years she has also created art on her iPad. Creating digital art has opened up a new way to explore, to play and to share work. Many of her iPad drawings have inspired new paintings.

Enjoy the talent that these three artist bring into our view!

The Earlville Opera House, constructed in 1892, is located at 18 East Main Street in the quaint Village of Earlville, NY 13332. We are currently closed for onsite programming. For more information, contact us at info@earlvilleoperahouse.com, through Facebook or visit www.earlvilleoperahouse.com.

EOH events are made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and through the generosity of EOH members. Special thanks to Golden Artist Colors for their support of our Visual Arts Program.

- Submitted by the Earlville Opera House


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