Saturday, February 4th will welcome two new exhibitions at the Crary Art Gallery at 511 Market Street in Warren, PA. Adam Cooley’s Boro Land collection and Carol McDonald’s Animal Exhibition will be displayed in the Main Gallery and South Gallery respectively.
Adam Cooley is from western New York state and finds his inspiration in his imagination and the world around him. Growing up poor required Adam to create his own amusement. However, finding a bit of string or rusty nails was a great start to endless entertainment, and having a pencil and a surface to draw on would keep him occupied for hours. Today, Adam likes to experiment with art mediums he has not used before. He explains that, in some cases, the material “is not used in the way it was originally intended but it ends up serving a new purpose or function in a piece.”
Adam likes to keep one foot in the imagination of his mind and one in the world around him. Sometimes inspiration comes equally from both places, sometimes not. Reading encyclopedias as a child led him to leave the United States as soon as he could to go get lost in the big wide world. “Getting lost is the best way to find things,” he states. He tries his best to capture the feeling or memory of fleeting things, which can be the most beautiful.
Carol McDonald gains her inspiration from artists like Robert Bateman and John Seerey-Lester. The photography of Joel Sartore and Tim Flach provides exciting views of their work with animals. Carol uses acrylic paint for the paper mache animals she creates. Her favorite part of creating paper mache is researching the animals she intends to replicate. Learning how they move contributes to the uniqueness of each piece.
When I asked how artists are chosen to be shown together, Crary Art Gallery Board Member Thomas Paquette said, “We’ve found it’s more interesting if they stand out in contrast to each other. Then there is something interesting for every visitor. These two exhibitions definitely have high contrast, yet contain threads that bind them.”
From what I’ve seen of their work, Adam and Carol create what I call “contemplative pieces”. They are pieces of art you can stand in front of and get lost in. New exhibitions are brought to the gallery every other month and art can be viewed Fridays and Saturdays from 12pm – 6pm and Sundays from 12pm – 4pm. The opening reception for this upcoming exhibition is Saturday, February 4th from 3pm – 6pm. Admission is always free, but donations are appreciated. So come to the Crary Art Gallery and get lost.