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Previous Shows at the Gallery

The 2008 Holiday Show

The human touch adds warmth to the holidays—whether it’s the scent of home-baked pies or
the personality that shines from original artwork. Design Principles, in Stone Ridge is warming
things up with a special holiday exhibit that runs from November 15th through the end of January, with an Artist’s reception on December 6th from 6 to 8 PM, and Open House on December 13th,
from 1 to 4 PM.

"Reflections, Chicago Botanical Gardens," photograph by Gary Allen

The show features artists and craftspeople from Ulster county, artists whose works epitomize the region’s unique mixture of country values and cosmopolitan tastes. Photographs by Gary Allen reflect his on-going fascination with the surface qualities of water. Lush pastels by Christine DeBrosky are a celebration of pure color. Ceramics by Brinton Baker’s work has a refined Japanese quality, while Laura Kellar’s glow with salt-glazed earthiness. Custom furniture by Phil Mazzei--constructed of unusual native woods (such as Kentucky Coffeewood, Cherry, Black Walnut and Tiger Maple)--are at once rustic and elegant.


Salt-glazed vase by Laura Kellar

Design Principles is always happy to have an opportunity to show the paintings of Thomas Stratton. His intimate views of rural and wilderness scenery, in watercolor or acrylics are somehow both realistic and modern—they only occasionally feature human figures (as the Romantics, did—as a way to render a scene picturesque), but they also have a cool modern detachment, almost a journalistic rigor, that seeks to show things as they really are—if only we had Stratton’s highly-focused observational skills.

"Stone Beach," acrylic painting by Thomas Stratton


"Candy Cane Spiral," computer-generated fractal by Chris Ursitti

At the other end of the technological spectrum, the exhibit includes the computer-generated work of Chris Ursitti.

The Holiday Exhibit runs from Saturday, November 15th through Wednesday, January 28th.

The Summer Show: Landscapes

Half a century ago, one of the then-reigning abstract expressionist painters exclaimed, "It's no longer possible to paint landscapes!"

While that may sound like the idle boast of someone who's art made traditional landscapes passé -- there was an element of truth in it. Exposure to the ideas of the new art made it impossible to view nature the same way as older painters saw it. The same thing happened in the early nineteenth century, when the Hudson River School painters first saw that raw nature could be seen through the lens of the new Romanticism. Later in the same century, when Monet and the impressionists saw that the landscape -- indeed all of the visible world -- was nothing more than the combined effect of the light it reflected, it made it impossible to see nature as the Romantics had.

Once we've seen Monet's haystacks, all haystacks are forever changed for us -- we can never regain our visual virginity, once we've been exposed to a new way of seeing.

What our action painter should have said was, "it's no longer possible to paint landscapes without taking our ideas into account." Since his time, we've seen pop art, op art, minimalist, post-modern, and a host of other "-isms" that have altered our perception of the world. Today's artists still paint landscapes -- but, in a twist on a well-known Oldsmobile ad, "they're not your father's landscapes!" Every generation recreates the world in its own image; today's landscape artists cannot do otherwise. Their eyes have been altered by everything that previous generations of artists have seen.

Perhaps we should be saying, "It's no longer possible to paint old landscapes -- the landscape is always new, because new eyes gaze upon it."

"Round the Bend," acrylic painting by Thomas Stratton

"Skywalk," pastel by Christine Debrosky


"North Lake," photo by Gary Allen

Design Principles, in Stone Ridge, New York, dedicated the summer to the rediscovery of the landscape. The exhibit featured works by photographer Gary Allen, whose work explores the effects of light on water; photographer Matt Calardo, with a glowing juxtaposition of raw nature and the agricultural efforts of man; Nora Crain's pastels that revisit her childhood haunts near Cooperstown; dreamy atmospheric pastels by Christine Debrosky; lush painterly portaits of the outside world by Dan Green; Joel Kraft's photos that seem to find water everywhere in the Hudson Valley landscape; Jim Smith, who has dedicated much of his career to capturing the Shawangunks on film; Thomas Stratton, whose brilliant oils and misty acrylics display a side of nature that is minimally affected by human presence -- or, at least, has had that influence softened by time; and Kevin VanBuren, whose camera often uncovers a more intimate side of "the Gunks."


"Ashokan #12 ," oil painting by Dan Green

The exhibit, featuring landscapes by local artists, ran from Saturday, August 16th through Wednesday, November 12th.


The Art of Food

The “starving artist” may be a cliché, but food has always been a prime subject for artists--and not just the hungry ones. The great Dutch still-life painters of the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries lavished their attention on detailed portrayals of fruits, fish, meats, cheeses and wine. Food and drink adorned the frescoed walls, and mosaic floors, of wealthy residents of Pompeii, a millennium and a half earlier. In fact, the earliest known visual art--cave paintings like those at Lascaux—consist largely of pictures of the animals that provided their favorite foods. Some of these images are over ten thousand years older than the Pompeian art.

Clearly, we’ve been thinking about our next meals for a very long time, and not just with our stomachs.

"Pie Fixins," acrylic painting by Thomas Stratton

Today’s artists generally use more sophisticated media than did the artistic Neanderthals, but the age-old fascination with food persists. Fresco and mosaic have yielded to computer graphics, digital photography, watercolor, oils, pastels and acrylics, but the aesthetic appeal of fresh fruit and vegetables, sparkling with dew, the saturated color of spices that suggest perfumed warmth, and the glowing color of a glass of wine still inspire artists today.

"Split Artichoke," photo by Virginia Luppino

"Red Pears," oil painting by Dan Green

Design Principles, in Stone Ridge, is dedicating their gallery for a time to the sensual pleasures of the table. The exhibit features works by photographer (and food writer/editor) Gary Allen, with images that find patterns in fresh ingredients; designer Deborah Begley applies humor and typography to utilitarian objects; Brinton Baker’s Japanese-inspired ceramics; John Bridges’s paintings of stylized ingredients; photographer Matt Calardo, with a radiant image of Hudson Valley abundance; painter (and playwright) Richard Corozine, whose work recaptures sometimes bizarre childhood experiences through food memory; juicy portraits of fruits by Dan Green; Melanie Winston Hall’s whimsical collages about shared tea; Virginia Luppino’s stunning black and white photos of an artichoke, garlic and a pomegranate; Kaete Britten Shaw’s amusingly stackable bowls; Phil Sigunick’s pastels of foods that often allude to other appetites; Thomas Stratton, whose watercolors and acrylics display his nostalgia for rustic food production; and Genevieve Zajac’s photos of Swiss festivities.

"Radishes," photo by Gary Allen

The exhibit, celebrating the pleasures of the table through art, ran from Saturday, May 24th through Saturday, July 12th, 2008. The artist’s reception took place on Saturday, May31st, from 6 to 8 PM.

Design Principles offers original art, crafts and reproductions that make great gifts (even if you’re planning to give a present to yourself!). Our talented design team can create custom framing to enhance your collection or gift. The shop is located at 42 Hillside Drive, Stone Ridge, NY 12484. For further information call 845-687-7630 for an appointment at another time.


Stone Ridge, NY • Office: (845) 687-7630 - Email  •  Gallery: (845) 687-2700 - Email