Artist deals with loss by 're-assembling' family life in exhibition

Cynthia Clabough will take on the pain of loss by reconvening family and environment, giving new life to those in her past in a free mixed-media exhibition to open Friday, Oct. 19, at SUNY Oswego’s Tyler Art Gallery.

Origins of Play painting by Cynthia ClaboughClabough will give an artist’s talk at a gallery reception from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, for the exhibition, “My Name Is Cynthia, My Mother’s Name Is Anna, My Family Is of Many, My Memory Is Evolving.” The exhibition will run through Nov. 20.

“What no one prepares you for as you get older is the fact that you will most likely spend a great deal of time watching and experiencing people and places fade into ‘no more,’” Clabough, professor and chair of the college’s art department, said in an artist’s statement. “For me, it has been a motivating drive to keep moving. It has also at times been so overwhelming that I’ve gotten stuck. The pieces seen in this exhibition are my attempts to turn my feeling of loss from ‘empty’ to ‘bountiful.’”

The latest works continue the stories Clabough explored in earlier exhibitions, “My Mother’s Name Is Anna, Her Family’s Name Is Lanzo” (2002), “Visual Journals” (2008) and “My Mother Is ...” (2011).

Clabough’s work for this exhibition combines family photographs with painting and drawing, transferred onto fiber-based substrates to be assembled as shallow reliefs. Trained as a painter with expertise in graphic design, she describes her technique as “the building up of a surface through layering. Working with digital technology allows those layers to encompass materials that are difficult to meld physically.”

The artist said, “I feel that if I can ‘re-assemble’ and create environments that are just so, everyone will spring to life like a special effect in a Hollywood movie. Voila, here we are surrounded by ‘La Familia’—breathing, chattering, arguing, laughing, posing, loving and living.”

Tyler Art Gallery is open 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

PHOTO CAPTION: Springing to life—SUNY Oswego art department chair Cynthia Clabough will present mixed-media works such as “The Origins of Play” in an exhibition titled “My Name Is Cynthia, My Mother’s Name Is Anna, My Family Is of Many, My Memory Is Evolving” to open Friday, Oct. 19, at the college’s Tyler Art Gallery.

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(Posted: Oct 02, 2012)

Tags: tyler art gallery, cynthia clabough, art