Day and Night at Chautauqua: Works by Hilary Zelson
Oct 6, 2010
This past summer I spent seven weeks at the Chautauqua School of Art, in the historic community known as the Chautauqua Institution in western New York. Upon arrival, I was immersed in a completely unfamiliar environment surrounded by unfamiliar faces. It was unsettling yet inspiring, so without much hesitation I threw myself into my work.
Immediately drawn to the beautiful landscape, I found myself spending countless hours painting outside. Painting was familiar to me in this strange and wonderful place.
Along with thirty-five other students I was assigned a small studio space. Each space had three walls, a table, and a window. The studio became my home for seven weeks. I woke up and painted, took painting class, ate lunch, painted more, had dinner, and painted until bed. I have never been so happily immersed in my work. For me, it resulted in a summer of unimaginable exploration.
The work in this show reflects two major focuses: landscapes and abstractions. In Chautauqua, like most places, the day was filled with light and the night meant darkness. For this reason, I created my landscape paintings during the day, and my abstract paintings during the night. Working on both styles filled my mind with all kinds of ideas to bounce off of one another.
Although both styles are unique, I hope my flow of ideas and personality runs through all the work. I ask that as you look at each painting individually you remember the environment in which they were created. Whether a landscape painting more directly inspired by my surroundings, or an abstract painting that was indirectly inspired by environment, each piece was created as part of the whole. Everything I do and paint is reflected in my work. Without spending my summer at the Chautauqua School of Art, my journey as an artist would be different, maybe even empty. With each work I create I become more informed as an artist.
– Hilary Zelson, class of 2011
Friday, November 5th, 2010