The featured artist this month at Gallery on the Green in the Village of Pawling is talented Carol Heft, whose fabulous sketches on display are infused with amazing energy and movement.
All composed during her classroom time as examples of gesture drawings for her students at Cedar Crest and Muhlenberg Colleges in Allentown, Pennsylvania, these particular samples of her work make for exciting viewing, as one feels compelled to follow the line drawings from piece to piece, half expecting these dynamic figures to dance and spin off the page.
The starkness of the gallery space beautifully sets the stage for the starkness of the drawings. It was, to say the least, an exhilarating experience that is often not encountered while gazing at a work of art. Instead of passively moving through the gallery viewing each piece individually and slowly, giving careful thought to each in turn, I found myself swiftly walking through the exhibit, but compelled to return again and again to each sketch, finding more and more to see with each pass by.
It was a pleasure meeting Ms. Heft, a thoughtful person, serious about her work, and happy to speak freely with me about her years as an artist and teacher. She maintains a studio in Manhattan and her paintings can often be seen in galleries there. However, it was the enthusiasm with which she spoke of her students that animated her. Here is the small world story part: she has been teaching drawing, painting and art history as an adjunct professor at Cedar Crest College for the past seven years. Cedar Crest is my alma mater, a small and beautiful college that has and continues to be a bastion of all female education, and a place that almost no one has heard of! So you can imagine my delight when I found out through Michelle Farnum, co-owner of the gallery, along with husband Jay Morales, that they would be displaying works by this artist at their beautifully appointed space.
There was no question that I would be there at the opening last Saturday afternoon, to meet Ms. Heft, view her work and talk about the lovely little college that played such a integral role in my journey into young adulthood. We spoke about the women who attend this school today and people her classes. Her love of teaching them was apparent. She delighted in their youth and growing maturity, and I was personally transported back to a time of innocence and tremendous social upheaval.
She talked earnestly about how teaching women artists changed the way in which she perceived herself as an artist and a woman. We shared a moment of connection as we both realized that her lectures have taken place in the same space in which, as a student, I started an experimental theatre on campus. I left the gallery and my interview happy to have shared this moment in time with her in one of the loveliest amenities that our town has to offer.
The works of Carol Heft will be on display until August 20. For further information about upcoming events at Gallery on the Green, or to find out more about the artistry of Carol Heft, log on to the gallery’s web site at www.gotgpawling.com. You will also find a direct link to Gallery on the Green on the Pawling Public Radio home page under direct links of local interest.