Kreisher's "Dream of Emptiness" (detail)

"Katharine Kreisher: So Far, So Good" on Display at Emma Willard School

April 20, 2012

Hartwick College Professor of Art Katharine Kreisher's exhibit of photographs and installations "Katharine Kreisher: So Far, So Good" is on display in Dietel Gallery at the Emma Willard School in Troy, NY through April 29. The gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. A closing reception is planned for Saturday, April 28 from 6-8 p.m.

Along with other work, selections from Kreisher's the "Dream Desert" and "Contemplating Peace" series will be included the exhibition. "Katharine Kreisher: So Far, So Good" is conceived as a modest mid-career retrospective with a focus on images and thoughts that sometimes directly and sometimes obliquely reference relationships begun at the Emma Willard School, where Kreisher taught from 1975 -1979.

Over the years, in many places and to varying degrees, she stayed connected to other members of the Emma Willard Arts Division faculty, whom she credits with "teaching me how to teach with an emphasis on interdisciplinary aspects of the visual and performing arts, and also insuring my life-long relationship to art-making while guiding students through the arts."

Most work in the exhibit reflects the presence and influence of dancer Patricia Peterson and her husband Sven over the years, but behind the scenes are memories of working with these other inspirational Emma Willard colleagues: Len and Elise Beecher, Carolyn Anderson, Kath Howell, Russell Locke and Chris Leith.

Kreisher, who divides her time between Schenevus, NY and Truth or Consequences, NM, is Professor of Art at Hartwick College where she has been teaching photography and printmaking since 1982. She completed her education at Skidmore College and the University at Albany. During a recent sabbatical, her artist residency at RioBravoFineArt in Truth or Consequences, NM culminated in a solo exhibit called "Dream Desert" which ran from June 8-July 10, 2011.

A portfolio of images from Kreisher's "Contemplating Peace" series is published in The Elements of Photography, a Focal Press textbook by Denver artist-educator Angela Faris-Belt, now in its second edition. Other publications in which Katharine's work appears include BOMB magazine, the Center for Photography at Woodstock Quarterly, and Phoebe, a women's studies journal published at SUNY-Oneonta. Kreisher has exhibited nationally and internationally, and her work is included in the permanent collections of several regional museums including the Albany Institute of History and Art and the Center for Photography at Woodstock (collection housed at SUNY-New Paltz.)

Artist-educator Kreisher also created two new installations for "So Far, So Good." The colorful and chaotic "Dream Studio Above the Library" began as a recurring dream that she has experienced for years in which secret, fascinating studio spaces reveal themselves above and below the library in Dietel. Filled with personal, family and institutional memories and the psychological "junk" that feeds much art production, the installation is very "full." By contrast, "Dream of Emptiness" located at the other end of the long hallway is quiet, meditative and abstract, though similarly surreal.

The photographs for "So Far, So Good" are selected from several projects, the most recent being "Dream Desert," produced in New Mexico during 2011. Much of "Dream Desert" was influenced by learning about New Mexcio's complex cultural historywhich included the Joronado del Muerte (Journey of Death). Also significantly influencing Katharine's new work are the two celebrations, Day of the Dead and Fiesta that are still part of the culture today with yearly events in October and May. Katharine uses these images and themes metaphorically to explore fears and joys in the dance of life.

Says the artist whose studios in both New York and New Mexico are named "Vita Brevis," I'm still alive and I'm still an artist ... so far, so good."

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030