Local artists inspired by MAG's collection

05:00 AM, Mar 24, 2013

Fairfield Porter/


Sculptors are inspired by paintings, and painters are inspired by sculptures.

That’s one of the ideas behind “Art Reflected: The Inspiration of 100 Years,” which features more than 40 creations by local artists inspired by pieces in the MAG’s collection.

The old and the new stand side-by-side as familiar works of art in the museum are seen through fresh eyes.

MAG recently extended the exhibit, which works as a retrospective on the gallery and the last 100 years. It’s now on display until April 21. Talented artists from today underscore and illuminate the big and little wonders found in the MAG.

Among the other artists, Rochester’s Shawn Dunwoody responses to an altarpiece; Anne Kress, the president of Monroe Community College, offers a fabric collage in the manner of Matisse, and Nancy Gong of Rochester uses paint on laminated glass in “War Bride” to illuminate Jaune Quick-to-See Smith’s “Famous Names.”

Jennifer Hecker

Jennifer Hecker, a sculptor and art professor at The College of Brockport, reflects on “Peeling Onions,” a mid-19th century painting by Lilly Martin Spencer that shows a woman wiping her eyes as she peels onions.

Since the woman depicted is working in a kitchen and not wearing an apron, I thought I’d make one for her,” Hecker wrote in an email. “One apron pocket holds the knife; the other, her tears.”

John Dodd

John Dodd, a furniture maker whose studio is in South Bristol, Ontario County, does his own turn on The Printseller’s Window by Walter Goodman, a large 1883 work that’s one of the MAG’s most popular pieces.

Dodd echoes the painting with a tall, narrow wood cabinet that he calls Window. His window holds a copy of a page from the notebook of Eastman Kodak Co. research scientist Bryce Bayer on which he describes the filter he designed to make digital color photography possible.

Mr. Bayer’s contributions to imaging led me to think about Rochester’s reputation as the Imaging Capital of the World,” Dodd writes. “I decided to recognize and celebrate the ingenuity, imagination and creativity of these contributions.”

The notebook page, he stresses, was Xeroxed; there’s a Bausch & Lomb magnifying glass on hand to make the viewing easier.

Kathryn Bevier

Pittsford artist Kathryn Bevier gives gentle homage to a 1973 Fairfield Porter painting she fell in love with on her first visit to the museum.

I literally stopped in my tracks,” she says. “I could see some other great paintings from where I was standing, but to see that piece in person was a gift.”

— Jim Memmott