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What enlivens the eye at RE

Art exhibit
by Kevin T. McEneaney
Sun Apr 29th, 2018

Joel Foster at RE Institute

The RE Institute in Boston Corners has its first show of the year. Set amid rolling farms, the art gallery a few miles north of Millerton is in a long re-converted two-story red barn. The featured artists whose showing will run through May 26 are:  Joel Foster, Sandy Moore, Sara Nesbitt, Moira Kelly, and Serge Madikians.  Saturday afternoon’s weather offered the first sunny spring excitement.

There were also some exciting sights going on inside, also. Joel Foster often works with a series, exploring visual themes. In this series at the exhibit, squares predominate: from the shape of the paper to the elements within. He riffs off patterns of squares, like a chessboard gone wild, yet circles offer contrast and competition endowing even staid, solid squares with movement. The squares are aligned and misaligned, loosely arranged in a checkerboard pattern. There is no mechanical alignment. Foster enjoys the effort it takes to make the squares imprecise rather than strictly aligned—this, after all, is painting not design. Varied colors are lively and sedate by turns. One color is placed above the other like different plates in a multi-colored block print. Effort is made to find balance, giving the look of a spontaneous image with a few seeds of discord thrown in. Isn’t that the texture of life? Joel's work can be seen here:


Sara Nesbitt’s work tells stories both in the present and imbedded in history. The characters in these tales are human, animal, and architectural. Figures run, dance, and chase each other across her landscapes. Her work usually tells a story that the viewer must wrestle with. Echoes from the story (tragedy, comedy, mythology) begin to exfoliate if different directions: a history of a place half imagined, half experienced, always influenced by the cities and landscape she has lived in.   I was especially taken by her painting of a red bull—Europa—that offered both historical and mythological perspective.

Moira Kelly’s work is on 5/8's plywood panels with 6 coats of a plaster mixture developed over the years. Usually this ground is white but in some cases the plaster is marbled. A scheme or pattern is incised into the ground using a stylus and then painted freehand with a mixture of acrylic and egg white. Finally the paintings are coated in beeswax and buffed. Most of her work is miniature with patterns from Native American Indians or Russian folk culture. Her use of red and brown is particularly enticing.

For Sandy Moore the gulf between what we actually see and the images we are able to make is terrifyingly vast, but this gulf is a source of inspiration. Her watercolors are vortices of images entangled in personal conflicts, balls of snakes, loves, and deep questions about relationships.  You may view more of her work at her website: 

Serge Madikians is an iPhone photographer. In his travels he captures the ephemeral, elusive qualities of light cast on a landscape, a barn situated in the valley, or the undulating lightness of air and mist while flying, the hovering angle of a cow nearly in flight.

Henry Klimowicz works in odd shapes with cardboard and glue. I discovered a large wall wheel and a bouquet of mushrooms that I fancied. He appears to have a fertile imagination in the manifold shapes he conjures, a sample appears in the teaser to this article. Klimowicz exhibits as afar away as Finland. His next exhibits are Wassaic Project, May 12th and June 7th at Hancock Shaker Museum.

The next exhibit at RE Institute will be at the beginning of June. For more information about hours or location visit their website.