Layers of Autumn

January 8 – June 4, 2023

at the Kelly Adirondack Center at Union College

painting students at their easels
Plein Air Painting students at work


The Kelly Adirondack Center and Union College Department of Visual Arts are pleased to present Layers of Autumn, an exhibition of paintings by Shriya Balaji ’23, Natalie Berg-Pappert ’23, Talia Coker ’23, Saliha Nazir ’23, Isabel Pacchiana ’24 and Emily Zucco ’23, students from Professor Laini Nemett’s Fall 2022 Plein Air Painting course at Union College. The exhibition opens on Sunday, January 8th, 2023, with a public reception from 2-4pm, and will be on view through June 4th, 2023.

painting of waterlilies at Lock 7
7 by Isabel Pacchiana

Following the storied tradition of plein air painting and its recent revitalization in the contemporary art world, Union’s Plein Air Painting course brought students outdoors almost every day to paint from life in nature. Layers of Autumn features paintings from a range of locations visited in this class, including Lock 7 Park on the Mohawk River; Jackson’s Garden and other sites on the Union College campus; and the Hudson River School favorite, Kaaterskill Falls, in Palenville, NY.  One collaborative two-panel painting in the exhibit was made collaboratively by every student in the class just outside the doors of the Kelly Adirondack Center. 

Image of a painting of trees with fall colors
Fall Foliage 3 by Shriya Balaji

The range of works in this exhibition represent the many unique ways artists can interpret a similar scene and be inspired by their relationship to the environment. Each student in this course is a major or minor in Studio Arts at Union College, some with additional concentrations. For several of them, this was their first oil painting course. Layers of Autumn was co-curated by Nemett and the six exhibiting students.

image of a painting of fall colors against a blue sky
Reflection by Emily Zucco