Go ‘Behind the Scenes’ at Fuller Lodge Art Center

Kim Aeby’s scale model of a stage set for a production of ‘It Is So If You Think It Is So’ by Luigi Pirandello. Courtesy/Fuller Lodge Art Center

By Bonnie J. Gordon

We’ve all wondered what inspired a particular work of art. Or maybe we’re curious about the process that an artist used to create a particular piece.

The new show at the Fuller Lodge Art Center will take us “Behind the Scenes.” The show opens with an artists’ reception from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1 and will be up through March 9.

Knitted hat by Melissa Alexander. Courtesy photo

Many of the artists will be on hand Feb. 1 to talk about their work. This is a big show spanning mediums from fabric art, to stained glass, to sculpture, to ceramics, to jewelry, to set and costume design. You name it, this show probably has it.

One of Kim Aeby’s pieces literally takes us behind the scenes. The piece is a half-scale scenic model of the set for the production mounted at Bard College in Annandale, NY in 1984 of “It Is So If You Think It Is So” by Luigi Pirandello. 

The piece is backed by preliminary and final sketches of the set, props, costumes, masks and lighting design that Aeby created for the production.

Melissa Alexander’s pieces are a knitted hat and photographs of the process that went into making the wool. 

In 2011, Alexandra traveled to Peru. She discovered what she calls, “a fiber paradise.” She was inspired by Peruvian spinners, knitters and weavers.

The wool that would be used to create her hat was hand spun and died with natural Andean plants.

The Fifth Street Group is a collection of artist who gathered weekly with learning and camaraderie as the focus of their meetings. Jim Tape, the sole photographer in the FSC brings images that often excite the others to want to render them into paintings.

So, when one group member suggested that they do just that, using two images, everyone jumped at the chance, the group said in their artist’s statement.

The result was five entirely different paintings, each inspired by the same images. Other artists chose to document their process.

Painter Ann Nichols photographed each step, from taking photographs of her subject through preliminary sketches, through the stages of painting and finally to the finished work, her painting “Deep in the Garden.” It’s fascinating to watch the painting take shape.

“Deep in the Garden” by Ann Nichols. Courtesy photo

Sculptor Zena Thomas is displaying “Kisses,” her very first sculpture. Not only do we see the process of creation, we watch someone become an artist in her backstory.

When Thomas heard that Roxanne Swentzell, one of her favorite artists was teaching a sculpture workshop, Thomas nervously decided to “go for it.”

As she documents in photographs, the class started with a 25 pound block of clay. We follow Thomas as she decides what her sculpture will be like, makes and corrects mistakes and in the end, creates a piece she loves and is proud of.

In her artist’s statement, Thomas writes, “Kisses is truly a reflection of me. She is out there … not hiding anything. No deep layers to dig through, no onion to peel. She is what you see and she loves life. She is blowing kisses to everyone around her and I am very proud of us both.”

“Kissing” by Zena Thomas. Courtesy photo

These are only a few of the pieces you’ll see in “Behind the Scenes.”

Learn more about the creative process and experience both art, and art in the making at this show.

Also opening Feb. 1 in the Portal Gallery, is an exhibit by collage artist Susanna Friedel.

Each of Friedel’s pieces comes with a backstory, making the exhibit a great accompaniment to “Behind the Scenes.” Friedel lives in Vienna, Austria.


Moonshine’ by Patricia Baldwin of the Fifth Street Group. Courtesy photo 
‘Moon Evening Sky’ by Elena Yang of the Fifth Street Group. Courtesy photo



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