SOAG in December Online and in Gallery


Diana Ozolins. Black and White Shape Explorations 11 x 14 acrylic on canvas, in the gallery

December at the State of the Art Online: 62 Artists, 95 works nationwide. For links to State of the Art Gallery’s First National Virtual Juried Art Exhibition go to

Also the Gallery will be open for in person viewing of member work. It is my custom to alternate landscape and abstract paintings, and this month I have the opportunity for the first time,   to show the entire Black and White Shape Explorations Series. It is comprised of 6 individual acrylic paintings on canvas, that just happen to look pretty darn good all together. (Installation views above and below are all in gallery – masks required, hand sanitizer provided.)

Jane Dennis, sculpture
Frances Fawcett, mixed media digital/acrylic painting


Sixteen members of the State of the Art are showing work in a variety of media that include paintings in oil, acrylic and watercolor, digital images, sculpture, photography and artists’ books. It includes abstraction, realism and witty social commentary. 

Both shows run from December 3-27, 2020. Gallery hours are Thursday,  Friday noon – 6:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday noon – 5:00 pm.

The Gallery is located at 120 Martin Luther King St. / State St., Ithaca, NY. for links to National Virtual Juried Show 

Margy Nelson, Watercolor
David Watkins, Photo

Margy Nelson, Artist Book

Eva Capobianco, sculpture
Christine Chin, sculpture
Don Ellis, acrylic painting    

Patty Porter landscape painting, oil on canvas








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Textures in Stitch and Stroke October 2020

Up and running now at State of the Art Gallery: Textures in Stitch and Stroke

Sapsucker Pond in September
18 x14 oil on canvas
framed $500 w/o frame $450

Saundra Goodman and Diana Ozolins are the two featured artists at State of the Art Gallery during October, starting October 1 and running through November 1, 2020. Goodman uses colorful crochet as her artistic medium, and Ozolins is showing the oil paintings of landscapes done during the past two years.  The Gallery is open  Thursday and Friday noon – 6:00pm and weekends noon -5:00pm. It is located at 120 W Martin Luther King Jr./  W State St. in Ithaca.

We are practicing social distancing in accord with NYS safety measures to guard against the spread of Covid-19. Please visit the gallery only if you are healthy, no more than 8 people will be allowed in at a time.  You are required to wear a mask properly at all times, use hand sanitizer, and sign a visitor log when you come in. more info at 

Smaller paintings such as the one on the left, Sapsucker Pond in September,  were all started on location during the summer of 2019, with palette knife, and are highly textured. Most were also brought into the studio to continue the process of becoming fully resolved paintings. The larger paintings were painted in the studio using photos and sketches as reference material.

As summer waned, and the days grew shorter and colder, I had to stop my outdoor painting practice and move into the studio. I found myself doing a completely different kind of painting, surreal images that came out of my head in response to emotional states, and the strange way covid was making us live. The muse is an unpredictable companion to creation, and I wondered if I would ever return to landscape

Foggy Morning, May 14, 1
20 x 20 oil on canvas
framed $775, w/o frame $700

The first of these larger landscape paintings was prompted by early spring fog on the morning of May 14. It was so beautiful,  It was as if my heart had suddenly burst open to nature again, and I knew I had to paint it. I also knew that the fog was going to quickly change. The sun would burn it off, so I didn’t have time to do a painting right then and there. I grabbed my camera and a sketch book, took some photos, and made a pencil sketch to capture the essence of the scene. After breakfast I started the painting. I used the brush to catch the softness of the morning, and found, to my surprise, that it felt comfortable and familiar, and had a pleasing tactile feeling as the paint was being applied. Almost all of those larger paintings, except for Von Engeln Nature Preserve, were done with brush, and have a smoother texture. Returning to using the brush was a surprise from my muse. 

Von Engeln, Malloryville, NY
20 x 22 oil on canvas
framed $725, unframed $650

You can see more of this show online at

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May 2020 – Metaphors for Loss

cataclysm, 16 x 20, oil on canvas








The State of the Art Gallery, like most businesses in New York and surrounding states, has closed to halt the spread of Covid-19.  In response, the show that we planned for May, Emergence,  has been uploaded to an online gallery that you can access at It won’t be quite as much fun as a trip to the gallery to stand in front of the paintings in person and mingle with like minded art lovers, but it will enable you to see what we have been up to these many months. We have also put one piece of art from each artist in the gallery window, so you can get a taste of what the show might have looked like up close in person.  Emergence contains the work of eight of the gallery’s members, each showing a substantial body of work completed during this past year that reflects their understanding of emergence.

Gaia Nurtures, 16 x 20″, oil on canvas

The paintings I have in this show are metaphors for loss, painted to externalize tumultuous and overwhelming feelings in order to make them manageable and restore equanimity. I started this series in response to my personal circumstances, but as I went on I realized how overwhelmingly universal it is. Everyone experiences loss at some point in their lives. People walk around with invisible holes in their hearts from the loss of loved ones or lose their homes suddenly in the cataclysm of floods, tornados, and hurricanes. Refugees leave their homes and wonder if they will ever navigate through the rocky path to the light beyond. This is particularly timely now, as we engage in social distancing. We have lost the company and touch of those we love, and the sense of agency that we get from gathering together, shopping, going to work or school. We can feel very small in the face of big events that we can’t control and to which we can’t see an end. Regardless of the cause, people can find themselves staring down a vortex of despair. My hope is that these paintings resonate with you for a moment of quiet reflection on your personal life and the universality of loss in our lives, our community and beyond.

Little Boat, 16 x 20″, oil on canvas

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April 2019 Lots of Paintings Out in Ithaca

Falls, Eddies, and Riffles on Cascadilla Creek, oil on canvas, 25″ x 30″, $2000

There is a huge flurry of activity to report this month in several locations. This year the State of the Art Gallery is celebrating their 30th anniversary. One of a series of major events will be an exhibit of the members’ art hosted at the Community School of Music and Art. I will show a large landscape from last summer’s series of Cascadilla Creek paintings, entitled Falls, Eddies, and Riffles on Cascadilla Creek. (left)

Black and White Shape Exploration #1 Two Semi-Circles and a Diagonal, acrylic on canvas, 11″x14″, $350

Black and White Shape Exploration #5 – Two Triangles Playing Figure Ground Games, acrylic on canvas, 11″x14″, $350

Meanwhile, back at the gallery, Connie Zehr will create an installation of her sand and glass in the Salon, and the members will have the opportunity to show work in the front room. I will have three new abstract paintings from a recently completed series: Black and White Explorations of Shape.

Precocious Poplar at Chateau Lafeyette Reyneau, Overlooking Seneca Lake, oil on canvas. 14 x 18″, $450

At the same time, I will have a new landscape painting included  in the Art of Friends at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Ithaca. This painting was started on site the summer before last and finished up in studio  this winter. It features  poplar trees on the grounds of Chateau Lafeyette Reneau which overlooks Seneca Lake.  (left)

Last and certainly not least, at the Moosewood restaurant, I will have the largest collection ever of my landscapes, almost thirty paintings on display.   I chose these from work produced mostly during the last three years.  Come and eat delicious food surrounded by the warm tones of summer and fall. You will find familiar scenes from Ithaca’s park and wild lands, and a few from my travels.  (below)

Pooling Light on Cascadilla Creek, 20 X 26″, oil on canvas, $1500


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New at State of Art Gallery January 2019


Beech Walk, Cape Cod Nat’l Seashore, 18″x18″, oil on canvas

I have eight new paintings at the State of the Art Gallery for the month of January.  Ten members of the gallery are exhibiting in TAKE TEN, which kicks off a full year of the gallery celebrating the anniversary of its 30th year. The show will run January 2-27, with an opening reception Friday, January 4, 5:00-8:00 pm. 

Common Mugwort in a South Wind, 16″x20″, oil on canvas,

Sand Dunes, Cape Cod Nat’l Seashore, 14″x18″, oil on canvas

“The rare moment is not the moment when there is something worth looking at, but the moment when we are capable of seeing.” Joseph Wood Krutch.*

This series of paintings celebrates the ordinary as extraordinary. After a summer of traveling to exquisitely beautiful destinations, coming home with a gazillion great photos, I thought I was all set to create a series of oil paintings referencing my recent vistas. However, nothing struck me as immediately paintable, neither distant mountain views, nor roaring surf, rushing gorges, peaceful farms sloping down along the river. All the places that I recently found so enchanting left me uninspired. I resumed my familiar daily walks close to home through Cass Park and beyond the marina into the wild wetlands and along the many local trails – places I thought were drained of their visual potential. One day, in one moment that was somehow different from the ten thousand moments before that, I finally became capable of seeing. The same old weeds and trees, goldenrod, common mugwort, wetland grasses, box elder and cottonwoods were new again in sun and cloud and the tossing of the wind. I also began to see my travel photos as dynamic compositions; and included some landscapes from Cape Cod here as well. 

* Joseph Wood Krutch (November 25, 18

Box Elders in the Wetlands, 20″x30″, oil on canvas

93 – May 22, 1970) was an American writer, critic, and naturalist, 

Three Cottonwoods in Goldenrod (The Wetlands). 16″X20″, oil on canvas

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