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The Crary Art Gallery holds reception

Crossfire by Ben Gibson

The Crary Art Gallery will hold a reception of its newest exhibit from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday.

Artists Rosemary Lyons and Ben Gibson will open Rosemary Lyons: Alter Pieces, and Ben Gibson: Recent Paintings and Drawings. Both artists will present short talks for guests starting at 2 p.m.

Rosemary Lyons presents a series of 23 carat gold-leafed egg tempera paintings of single flowers on board, inspired by early Medieval altarpieces.

“Flowers are one of the magnificent expressions of nature and seem to me to be joyous to the point of being transcendental,” she said.

Lyons said she drew inspiration from collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in its Renaissance Room and The Cloisters medieval museum, where she was struck by the composition and art forms used. Some of the contrasts of her work include Renaissance book borders coupled with modern day text messages, and she uses actual flowers from her garden as inspiration for the egg tempera paintings she creates on altar shaped backgrounds.

Some of Lyons’ works are constructed with gypsum board, and most are on the backs of cigar boxes, and have evocative words embossed onto their surfaces.

Lyons, who holds an M.F.A. degree from the University at Buffalo, knew from about the age of ten that she was going to be an artist, and says she was very driven and learned much of what she knows by her own investigation, curiosity, and lots of hard work. She says the “why” of what she does is more important than the “what,” and she uses obstacles as inspiration to create.

Of her current exhibit, Lyons says “The words are from an internal dialogue about my existence as an artist. They are an invitation to ponder.”

Gibson uses botanical forms as his subject matter, exploring color and form of flowers, with an awareness of their symbolism of love, devotion, passion, happiness, and envy, as well as their use in messages of consolation, congratulations and well-being.

“A flower’s symbolism is of interest to me only as something to re-interpret while drawing or painting its visual form. I am trying to invent visual metaphorical meanings in contrast with the subject’s traditional symbolism.,” Gibson said.

Originally from Grand Rapids, Mich., Gibson graduated from Kendall School of Design and Aquinas College, with degrees in fine arts illustration, painting and printmaking. He also earned an M.F.A. degree from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He began teaching at Daemen College in Buffalo, N.Y., teaching painting and drawing, and offering design courses at the Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, N.Y. Gibson then went on to teach drawing and painting at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, retiring in 2012. His large paintings and drawings have been shown nationally and internationally and reside in collections including The Albright-Knox Gallery, Rochester Memorial Art Gallery and University of Pittsburgh. Gibson will present a short talk at 3 p.m. at the opening, to discuss his work and share his artistic experience.

Both exhibitions will run through October 31, 2021. The opening day activities include Tabouli Middle Eastern food truck on site, as well as artist talks by Lyons at 2 p.m. and Gibson at 3 p.m.

The Crary Art Gallery is a private non-profit art museum, located on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Market Street in Warren. Exhibition hours, after the opening, are Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit craryartgallery.com.

Based on the latest CDC recommendations regarding indoor activities and the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the area, the Crary Art Gallery Board of Directors requests that all visitors, proctors and artists wear a mask while on premises. Free disposable masks are available at the front desk.

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