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On the Fringe in Keene Valley

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Lana LucasArt and innovation go hand-in-hand this summer at the Females on the Fringe show at Corscaden Barn. The show, which runs July 2nd- 25th in Keene Valley, features the work of seven cutting-edge female artists, who hail from the Adirondacks and New York City, and contains a variety of abstract and atypical works from mixed-media collages to photolithography, archetypal paintings and ceramics.

The list of accomplished ladies here is quite impressive, beginning with Russian-born painter, Lana Lucas. You may remember Lucas, as she had a show at Corscaden Barn in 2005. In fact, her desire to return to the gallery served as the catalyst for this summer’s exhibit. Lucas’s hypnotic watercolors mix a dark psychology with archetypal imagery, and her work has been called both “exhilarating…and frightening.” When she’s not showing her work in the Adirondacks, Lucas is out making headlines across New York City, her permanent residence, and adding a fresh and quirky perspective to the city’s art scene.

Stephanie DeManuelleStephanie DeManuelle is another NYC-based artist appearing, whose works as well you might recognize, as she maintains a studio in Keene Valley and lists the primeval forests of the area as a major inspiration for her work. Combining natural elements, like shapes found in roots, driftwoods and shells, DeManuelle uses layers with what she terms a continuous drawing process, alternating stroke, scale, line and mass, until what evolves is a unique, distinct abstract painting that’s turbulent yet tempered by her use of muted colors. Her collages hold a similar aesthetic, with the use of delicate and earth-toned materials combining into vivid yet feminine shapes, both abstract and reminiscent of nature. DeManuelle is also the Chair of the Fine Arts Department at FIT, where she’s taught for almost thirty years.

These are only a taste of the diverse, edgy works you’ll find incorporated here. Other exhibitors include Cynthia Gallagher, Amy Fennelly and Alice Boardman, who each present a series of mixed-media collages; Janet Millstein, who uses the Adirondacks as a backdrop for her ethereal photolithography; and Julia Gronski, whose known as well throughout the Adirondacks for her visceral use of ceramics. All of these artists deserve a good amount of attention, as all bring a unique vision to the show.

Janet MillsteinThe cutting-edge aesthetic of this exhibit, and the fact that it revolves around established, as well as up-and-coming female artists, isn’t all that surprising, when you consider the background of Corscaden Barn.

Corscaden Barn, whose mission is to provide a sanctuary where artists can just be artists, was founded in 1971 by two women, Vryling Corscaden and her painter-daughter, Vry Roussin. The gallery was originally established as a place to show the elder Corscaden’s antiques as well as Roussin’s (a beloved figure in the Adirondacks, and particularly Keene Valley) paintings. In 2004, with the death of Vry Roussin, her sister, Martha Corscaden took over the space and transformed it into an exhibiting gallery, which has over the years risen to a state of international acclaim. Corscaden credits the selection of artists to her intuition, as well as a desire to host works of both talented and educated artists, regardless of their status in the art world.

The Females on the Fringe exhibit runs through July 25th and can be viewed on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 5pm, and other hours by appointment. To find out more about the exhibit and the Corscaden Barn, visit

–Monica Sirignano is Co-Publisher of The Free George.

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