Friday, January 30, 2015

Program Room Artist Display

Paintings by three local artists are on display in the new program room at Kent Public Library! 

Fine Art Oil Paintings by Bea Gustafson 

"There is an energy and beauty in all of nature which is a never ending source of inspiration for me. I try to translate that onto my canvas, giving homage to the bounty before me. I enjoy painting my landscapes en plein air as well as in my studio, working from photographs and sketches.

I want to tell the viewer a story, share my experience with them. In the translation from nature to canvas, I seek to discover nature’s truth and give life to a painted image by understanding the rhythms and pulses behind the appearances and the best is the feeling of being an integral part of it all. I am most successful with a painting, if I can evoke and emotional response from the viewer."
Bea Gustafson / 914-204-0846

 Doreen O'Connor 

"I have been drawing and painting as long as I can remember and got my degrees in Art Education. After teaching for two years, I went back for my Masters but found a job I loved in a historic house museum. I stayed in the museum field for twenty years while always painting on the side.

 In 1990, I started a decorative painting business, "Wildflowers" where I do murals, tromp l'oeil and faux finishes. I have enjoyed the variety and creativity of the work but am now doing more painting and exhibiting for myself. Nature has always been my main inspiration. The lower Hudson region and the farm I live on in Poughquag provide more subjects than I have time to paint."
Doreen O'Connor /

Fine Artist Oil Paintings 
Mary Elizabeth Smoot-Souter, Oil Painter 

"As I began painting form life, classical training from the model revealed complexities in drawing and form. Studying from old masters and life size casts that were seized from the basement of the Metropolitan and donated to the N.Y. Academy was an amazing access for students studying realism in the 90's. Design and compositional ideas from Maitland Graves have influenced my work and color theory elements suggested by Joseph Alber's. Turn of the century painters such as John Singer Sargent and Joaquin Sorolla's powerful use of direct painting and color is insurmountable. Commanding light and shadow patters is something I love in Rembrandt and Vermeer and the quiet sincerity of Chardin's still-life paintings. My work is traditional in technique and style but reveals a personal, contemporary realism of the 21st century!"
Mary Smoot Souter

Friday, January 16, 2015

About Jeanette Rodriguez

Art Director, Friends of the Kent Library

"Nature has always been a fascination of mine. It’s no surprise that I see reflected in my art nature’s serenity and spirit which I deeply feel from within. My Alcohol Ink paintings replicate connections and relationships that compose our world. My compositions project a surreal quality and calmness in an abstract dream-like landscape form. I find myself drawn to the blazing colors of sunsets, the tranquility of a flowing river. I want to capture that kind of beauty; like a soft summer breeze.

My journey as an artist has been one of transitions as I’ve explored and experimented with different mediums in art. I graduated with a B.F.A. degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. After spending twenty years as a Graphic Designer, I decided to return to creating in a traditional form. Working with paints, 3D collage, clay, wood, metals, jewelry and glass. I also taught jewelry design and ink painting workshops in New York City and on The Big Island of Hawaii. Over two years ago, I became the Curator at the Front Street Gallery in Patterson, New York; where I dream-up the exhibition themes including: “Windows of My Soul”, “In the Stillness of Trees”, “Flow” and “Reflection”, to name a few.

Four months ago I was asked if I would be interested in becoming the Art Director for the Friends of the Kent Library in Kent, New York. I am honored to be of service, to provide monthly displays of other local artists whom have been exhibiting their work for years and some who are sharing their creations for the first time. Being an artist can have its challenges: rejection from galleries, rejections from publications, I can relate as I’ve been there. However, my work has been exhibited around New York and published in the Society of Illustrators Annual, other publications, and I have won awards.

My art is an expression of my humanity and my spiritual growth; it helps me to live consciously and courageously with compassion; whether it's curating exhibitions, teaching workshops, painting or selecting artists to exhibit their work at the Kent Library, it's ‘all’ inspiring to me. If along the way I awaken the spirit within others; than my work is done! I am a firm believer that inspiration comes in all forms. May your journey as an artist be one of your true nature."

The Friends of the Kent Library envision the library as a cultural center of the town of Kent and have supported ongoing exhibits of local artists in the library. In the past 5 years, over 60 local artists have had one-person shows at the Kent Library. These exhibits last for a month and are seen by approximately 300 people daily. The Friends work in cooperation with Arts on the Lake, community artists and other arts organizations. The Friends are pleased to welcome Jeanette Rodriguez as the new director of the program!

Monday, January 5, 2015

January Art Exhibit

K.A. McNally-Frake

K.A. McNally-Frake is originally a native Southern Californian but has been living in New York for the last 14 years. She was always interested in drawing and has worked in oils, watercolors, and acrylics. She is mostly self-taught, taking a few classes here and there.

After raising three daughters, with time on her hands, she walked into a Reflections class at the Arts of the Lake in Kent Lakes, NY and met Alex Shudi. It was he who encouraged her to try new avenues and experimentations in painting. With his encouragement, Mrs. McNally-Frake developed a whole new approach and look to her work. There is no set design when she starts out but as the painting begins to "speak", there comes a form of communication with it. 

Mrs. McNally-Frake gets her inspirations by using bold colors and strong line movement and then goes with the flow of the painting as it evolves. This way of painting has allowed her a free form of expression, exploration and great satisfaction. Using colors and composition in such a way, she is able to fill up the canvases with fun energy and movement.

For prices and more information, contact: