Reflections: Minimalist Photography by Chris Zec

 On display at Roast Coffee and Tea Trading Co. is a solo exhibition featuring a series of minimalist photographs by Chris Zec. This series of photographs finds Zec utilizing seascape reflections to create abstracted minimalist compositions that mesmerizes the viewer as he or she admires the serene natural beauty captured by the artist. The subject matter depicted by the artist, along with the manner in which each image is arranged, invites the viewer to observe the exhibition in quite meditation, as he or she loses his or herself deep in thought, within the tranquil stillness imposed by the pictures.

One piece included in the exhibition is Reed Reflections, No. 1, a photograph that depicts several grass-like reeds that have grown in still waters. Zec voids the photograph of a setting, opting to focus his camera, and the viewer’s attention, on the reeds and its still reflections captured on the water’s surface. The artist magnifies the sharp details of the plant, which pierces the water’s surface with its sharp blades of green with yellow and brown undertones. The grouping of reeds are placed just off-centered, aligned to the left-hand side of the visual plane, allowing the sky-blue listless body of water, caught in the pre-dawn’s light, to fill the remainder of the composition. Upon observing the work, along with others in the exhibition, the viewer becomes transfixed, lost with his or her own thoughts in the void created by the artist.

Reed Reflections, No. 1

Chris Zec, Reed Reflections, No. 1, 2014

Chris Zec is a fine artist from Farmingville, NY. He is a member of several Long Island arts organization including the Art League of Long Island, the Patchogue Arts Council, and North Shore Art Guild. His artwork has been exhibited extensively across Long Island including exhibitions at East End Arts in Riverhead, NY, Phoenix Gallery in Bellport, NY, and Gallery North in Stony Brook, NY. More information on the artist can be found online at http://www.chriszec.com.

The Patchogue Arts Council is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation founded in 2008 to promote, encourage, and support the arts on the greater south shore of the Town of Brookhaven. The Patchogue Arts Council and Roast Coffee and Tea Trading Co. created the PAC Members Gallery at Roast in the summer of 2013 as an alternative exhibition venue where members of the Patchogue Arts Council can exhibit their artwork. Information on how to exhibit at Roast Coffee & Tea Trading Co. can be found online at http://www.patchoguearts.org.

Reflections: Photographs by Chris Zec is on display at Roast Coffee & Tea Trading Co. from March 28 – May 15, 2016, with an opening reception on Sunday, April 10, from 2 – 4pm. The reception is free and open to the public.

Jay Schuck

Chris Zec

Reflections of Light | JoAnne Dumas

THIS ESSAY HAS BEEN PUBLISHED IN THE APRIL 2016 ISSUE OF ACES MAGAZINE

JoAnne Dumas is a fine artist from Long Island, NY. In her artwork, Dumas attempts to capture the ever-changing lights that reflect off the surfaces of different bodies of water. In her two and three-dimensional pieces, the artist finds an endless variety of shapes, patterns, colors, and translucency that is created by the interplay between light and water. Dumas starts each piece with her camera, exploring the many shores of Long Island, before returning to the studio to edit and manipulate each image. Many of her finished pieces are presented without a frame, allowing them to hang on the wall as if they are floating, as if the artist has taken these reflected light surfaces from the ocean and transposed them on the walls of galleries and museums.

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JoAnne Dumas, Silver Ripples, 2014

Silver Ripples is one such example were Dumas attempts to recreate the calm tranquility of shimmering surface water. The rectangular surface the photograph is printed on does not sit flush against the wall. Rather, the three-dimensional photograph waves rhythmically across one side to another, rising and falling against the wall. Ripple rings appear throughout the composition, mimicking a calm pond catching raindrops that disturb the still water. The reflective surface of the photograph, aided by the visual illusions of the image and forms created by the wooden base, allows the artist to transport the viewer from the gallery to his or her favorite shore.

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JoAnne Dumas, Vivacious Ripples, 2014

Produced on a similar wave-like base, Vivacious Ripples is a stunning display of silver, grey, and metallic blues that reflects light off of the surface from different angles and layers within the finished product. Strips of pigment are printed and placed on the cradled board in a collage-like fashion that gives the three-dimensional work a sense of depth. The printed materials exceed the dimensions of the board as they curl over the sides. Upon close observation the viewer will find ripples, similar to the ones found in Silver Ripples that have rings that extend out from its central point in concentric circles.

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JoAnne Dumas, Floating Rhythms in Blue and Gold, 2014

In some instances, Dumas breaks from the traditional method of presentation opting for more alternative methods that further engages the viewer. Floating Rhythms in Blue and Gold finds the artist utilizing a series of six printed images that hang suspended from the ceiling at different heights. Each image captures what appears to be a sunset that reflects off the water’s surface from different angles. Dumas abstracts her images here, breaking the pictures down to their basic colors that enables the viewer to study the different colors that appear in these reflected images of light as opposed to a scenic waterscape in which the viewer may be distracted by the environment. These piece hang at alternating heights that inspires the illusion of drifting in space. Despite being two-dimensional works, by suspending each piece from the ceiling allows Dumas to invade the viewer’s space, further establishing a dialogue with him or her. Floating Rhythms in Blue and Gold, along with ten other works including Vivacious Ripples, is currently on display at the Sirens Songs Gallery in Greenport, NY.

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JoAnne Dumas, Artist Proof #5, 2016

Furthermore, Dumas’ Artist Proofs gives great incite into her artistic process as one can develop a sense of how her artwork appears before it is sent to the printer. Artist Proof #5 is an intricate mix of reds, greens, and oranges that must have been taken around twilight or dusk while Artist Proof #8 captures simmering twinkles of light that dance off a cool metallic green surface. What makes the Artist Proofs different from Dumas’ finished works are the surfaces they are printed on. Without the reflective materials or curved cradleboards, the Artist Proofs appear flat, trapped within the confines of digital pixels that will become three-dimensional once they are printed and mounted.

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JoAnne Dumas, Artist Proof #8, 2016

JoAnne Dumas is a fine artist who lives and works on Long Island, NY. She received her Bachelor and Master degrees from the Pratt Institute in New York City. Her artwork has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout New York. She has been the recipient of several New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) grants, and has participated in several international artist residencies and symposiums. Dumas teaches visual arts at SUNY Suffolk County Community College. Her artwork is currently on display at the Sirens Song Gallery in Greenport, NY alongside Anneli Arms, Alison Perry, and Caroline Waloski. For more information on JoAnne Dumas and her artwork, be sure to visit her website http://www.dumasphoto.com.

Jay Schuck

Caché: Mixed Media Works by Debra Rodman-Peck

On view in the Museum Shop of the Islip Art Museum is a selection of abstract mixed media works by Debra Rodman-Peck. In her work, Peck uses color to lead the viewer through her work, which is marked by moments of extreme gestural outbursts that border on representational, set against sections of empty spaces of color.

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Debra Rodman-Peck, Horse & Gemstones (2015), Courtesy of Islip Art Museum

The representational fuses into the abstract in a trio of oil stick and graphite drawings entitled Horse & Gemstones, Horse & Lanterns, and Horse & Net. In these framed works, the head and mane of each steed emerges from fields of muddy browns and greens. Each work features expressive lines that swirl and loop into one another that creates the bare outline of each horse. In Horse and Net, the artist uses strong dark lines that outline the contours of the horse’s body. White pigment, contained by the lines, is used to further strengthen the authority of the figure. Horse and Gemstones features at least two horses that emerge from a field of deep earth tones. The bottom right half of the composition is heavily painted, leaving the top left half devoid of color, offering an interesting juxtaposition between color, form, and space.

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Debra Rodman-Peck, Horse & Net (2015), Courtesy of Islip Art Museum

The largest work in the exhibition, I Am Not Your King, is also the most captivating. The majority of the composition features swirling dark lines that intersect sections of yellow, red, and white paint. Colors blend together to create sections of green and purple overtones with the borders of the composition consisting of a pale, white-blue acrylic paint. Peck strikes a balance in the work, juxtaposing the gestural motions in the center with relative calmness among the edges. It is entirely feasible to find hidden representational figures that are buried deep within the forms of the painting, whether intentionally created by the artist or created by the viewer’s eye.

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Debra Rodman-Peck, I Am Not Your King (2016), Courtesy of Islip Art Museum

Debra Rodman-Peck is a founding trustee of the Patchogue Arts Council, Inc., and is a co-founder of the artist cooperative and collective River Studios. Over the span of twenty-plus years, Peck has created art, exhibiting her works in various group and solo exhibitions across Long Island.

Caché: Mixed Media Works by Debra Rodman-Peck, curated by Beth Giacummo, runs in conjunction with the museum’s main exhibition Transformations of a Visionary: Paul Mommer, curated by Loeretta Corbisiero, which features the artwork of forgotten 20th century artists Paul Mommer. Both exhibitions are on display at the Islip Art Museum from January 17 – March 13, 2016 with a reception on Sunday, February 7, from 1 – 4pm.

Jay Schuck