A six piece sculpture garden of Matt's work can be seen and experienced on the grounds of Keene Arts. Horner’s stones are all local, excavated from nearby rivers and mountains. His process starts with marking the stone and blocking out the form, sawing cuts into the stone, then hand chiseling off the unwanted material and finally grinding and polishing to achieve the desired finish. The forms that emerge – with their organic, flowing curves and earthy palette of colors – are a reflection of the inspiration Horner draws from his abundantly mountainous home. His exceptional technique and mastery of form, balance, scale and detail result in a unique collection of stone art objects.
Horner is also a licensed rock/ice and fly fishing guide, and when he isn’t carving stone he can often be found climbing on it. The patience, commitment and aesthetic sense of line that is such a part of this discipline also informs his stone work.
Malcolm MacDougall III
Malcolm D. MacDougall III, has produced a number of large-scale works that play off organic and inorganic metaphors. The projects stem from a fascination with the natural sciences, in particular, microscopy, the method of using microscopes to view objects that cannot be seen by the unaided eye. Snapshots of bacteria and cellular platelets retrieved by this method are a metaphor for his sculptures. Although stagnate, they remain imbued with the sense that the forms and surfaces will continue to undulate and recalibrate as time passes. On a macro level, MacDougall draws from geological processes, such as the dynamic effects of plate tectonics and erosion of the landscape.
One of his large-scale projects, Microscopic Landscape, was installed in New York City’s Union Square Park from 2012 - 2013. He studied at SUNY Purchase College of Art and Design, graduating with a BFA in sculpture and has his MFA from Lesley University in Boston. Malcolm is a professor of sculpture at Queens College. His studio and foundry is located on the banks of Hudson River in the Town of Dobbs Ferry, NY.
Craig Usher, (b. 1987), Is a New York native, receiving his BFA at SUNY Purchase, and MFA at the New York Studio School. Following the completion of his studies, Craig took an extensive Tour of Europe, culminating in an honored residency position at European Sculpture Park in Poland. Upon his return, he was asked to assist an iron session class at Penland School of Craft. Craig is now settled in his Ossining, NY Studio, facing the Hudson river, and battling it out with his sculptures. He continues to show and make work; developing as an artist, educator, and human being. His current work embroils themes of rawness, landscape, and systemic imaginings.
I have a deep respect for classical sculpture, and have recently moved from working with large scale steel abstractions to more traditional subjects such as portraits. I feel that the way to understand where to go, is somehow found by reconnecting with the past. What artists have done for thousands of years has a reason and makes sense. In retrospect, I see my past work as metaphorically figurative. I am interested in the blending of progressive and traditional sculpture. Sculpture is a kind of vessel reflecting the self, which continues to communicate information beyond the work of the maker. This idea of transcendence is a powerful inspiration; one can move beyond one’s self to connect with others. It is in this way that I am moved to struggle. Sculpting is one way for an individual to make a mark, and counter the immense alienation of existence.
Born and raised in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains of northern New York, Tim Fortune studied art at Tyler School of Art of Temple University where he received a BFA. He later graduated from New York University with a Master of Arts degree in Studio Art and subsequently studied in Italy for several years.
Often focusing on the effects of water which surrounded him in Venice, Italy; Florida and the Adirondacks, Mr. Fortune has a passion for a dramatic "inner light" and unique richness of color which is readily apparent in his works. Integrating the experiences accumulated over the years, he has interpreted his surroundings with a mature and sensitive vision.
He comments on his current work noting, "These pieces represent a fresh look at a familiar place. As T. S. Eliot wrote '...the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.' My inspiration comes from many directions, a drive in the country, attending an art exhibit, improvisational sketches, or a look out my back door. Perhaps the most productive approach is experimentation with materials and images in my studio. Starting a work and not knowing where or how it will end is the most exciting part of my creative drive."
Mr. Fortune's works have been shown at numerous galleries both nationally and internationally. Several of his pieces are included in corporate collections. His works have been exhibited in the American Embassy in Guatemala as part of the Art in Embassies Program of the U. S. Department of State. He has won numerous awards including the prestigious Annual Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting at the Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach. Fortune's work is also represented in the permanent collection of the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake, New York.
Currently Mr. Fortune is continuing his exploration of the unique qualities of the Adirondacks from his studio in the High Peaks region of the Adirondack mountains of northern New York.
Patrick Kirmer, “The painter of Johns Brook,” continues to paint in his new residence at the Keene Valley Neighborhood House. Born in Hollywood, Calif., Kirmer was one of six children of a butcher and stay-at-home mom. He attended Hollywood High School just a few years ahead of Carol Burnett. Kirmer’s formative years were dusted by “Tinsel Town” during Hollywood’s “Golden Age.” After serving in the U.S. Army, Kirmer parlayed his G.I. Bill into a bachelor’s degree in art from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland.
His teachers included Sabro Hasagawa, Jason Schoener and Richard Dieberkorn.He relocated East to pursue art in New York City. He was an art teacher at Baldwin School for 30 years. He first came to this neck of the woods to teach art at the Baldwin School Camp mid-century in Keene Valley. This was when he adopted Johns Brook as his lifelong study, coming to the Adirondacks each summer for 1964 until 1989 to develop his own personal art work.
"It was not until I came up here and became enamored of nature on its own terms that I found something else other than the sardonic to draw," said Vanderbeck, who discovered the Adirondacks in the early 1990s. "When I realized how profound - how beautiful and profound, to use overused words - the mountains were, I went off on a completely different line of drawing: the truth of the earth, the truth of nature."
A former student and a retired janitor from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island, Vanderbeck splits his time between Providence and the Adirondacks. When he's here, which in recent years has been from spring until fall, Vanderbeck mostly lives in the forests of the High Peaks, sleeping in lean-tos and tents, only coming out to resupply and get refreshed at the Keene Valley Hostel.
When he heads into the woods, Vanderbeck carries a heavy pack that is weighed down by his art supplies and two weeks' worth of food and gear. He now has the weight down to about 70 pounds and hopes to drop it even more, possibly to 60 pounds, with addition of some ultralight camping gear. Because of the heavy pack, the farthest he's ever camped from the trailhead is 6 miles. From there, he goes on day trips.
Vanderbeck's preferred tools for creating his art are now colored pencils and a grayish paper. Once he finds a place that he wants to draw, he sits down and gets to work. This often means he's in the same spot for hours at a time. He thinks it's important to capture the essence of a place in one sitting and not have to rely on his imagination or returning to the landscape, which may have changed between drawing sessions.
"When I'm doing these drawings, I'm figuring out what I know about the history of the landscape, how the trees are growing, how everything is interacting as a complex. I'm drawing not only the separate objects, but their interrelationship, so I take into account the juxtapositions between them."
Born in Kingston, Jamaica lived for more than 25 years in the small city of Easton in Pennsylvania, United States. He studied graphic design in the early 1980s, at the Jamaica School of Art, now called the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. Of the many artists that influenced Freestylee during the formative years, few did more than the Rastafarian artist Ras Daniel Hartman. Hartman’s prolific output of drawings in the 1970s represented for Freestylee a rich source of Rastafari references and traditions that were growing deep influences on the Jamaican popular culture. Freestylee’s influences were not, however, exclusively Jamaican, or the Rastafari movement. Like other young progressive artists in Jamaica at the time the anti-apartheid struggles and liberation movements in Southern Africa were very inspiring, so were the struggles in Latin America. The subjects were evident in his earlier personal designs, drawings and paintings (1970s – 80s). During that period, he won two successive poster competitions in Jamaica, which gave him the opportunity to participate with the Jamaican delegation in the 11th World Festival of Youth and Students in Havana, Cuba in 1978, and again in Moscow in 1985.
Michael was committed to the mission of helping to transform Kingston into a global port of call. The catalyst and centerpiece of his vision is reggae. Michael’s ultimate goal was the erection of a monumental Reggae Hall of Fame Museum in Kingston, designed by a visionary architect of the caliber of Frank Gehry. This grand structure must evoke the voice, vision and vocabulary of reggae and related musical genres. Michael’s vision pays full respect to the roots and lineage of reggae’s past. His mantra is a combination of heritage and tradition, of aspiration and intuition. Michael believed in advocating and celebrating a music that is cosmic, optimistic, righteous, hip, healing – a wholesome alembic for these tricky millennial times.
I have no formal training in painting, instead having opted for a lifetime guided by a deference to Awareness. Painting needs to be a process. For me the process is rarely the same with the exception of Awareness. In that moment of painting, you need to pay attention to the surface, the materials, the color and the interactions of these manifestations. The finished piece owes me nothing and I owe it nothing. The whole thing is a process of Awareness.