Batavia, NY- Central New York artist Leigh Yardley doesn’t just see a landscape. Yardley immerses herself to become part of the system for an interactive, rather than passive, experience. This experience informs her artwork, which will be on exhibit at the Rosalie “Roz” Steiner Art Gallery at Genesee Community College from January 13, 2014 - February 28, 2014. An opening reception is planned Thursday, January 23, 2014 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. with an evening reception from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Friday, January 24, 2014.
The exhibit, titled “Interactions of Time and Substance,” features thirteen rectangular panels of cheesecloth suspended from the ceiling. Several represent interactions with four different ecosystems. They were placed in each specific landscape for a period of five weeks to experience many elements of the system. Others began as paintings in her studio and were then placed in the environment for a number of weeks experiencing what Yardley calls “…the instability of the familiar. The popular conceit of landscape is one of an unchanging vista. The idealized scenic view denies the examination of its transformation over time.” Hung in intersecting spaces, Yardley says “Their translucency allows for discovery from multiple directions….the viewer [can] weave in and out of the space becoming occupants of a place. With the placement of the viewer within the systems, our cultural detachment from the environment can be examined.”
Yardley began her career as a teacher, earning an associate degree from SUNY Cobleskill and then a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from SUNY Oswego in 1977. After designing and running a childcare program in Vermont, she decided to return to school for an art degree, which she earned in 1996 from Skidmore College. She received an MFA in 2013 from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University.
She has had many solo and group exhibits, most recently at the Schweinfurth Center for the Arts in Auburn, NY, the Kirkland Art Center in Clinton, NY, the Islip Art Museum in East Islip, NY, and the University Hall Gallery at the Boston Art Institute. In 2009, she was commissioned to create a mural for Colgate University. She received the 2009 Merit Award from The Upstate History Alliance for the mural “Postcards from Greene” in Greene, NY. She received a community Re/Use Re/Art grant from the New York State Council on the Arts for a sustainability project. She is also active in the New York Foundation for the Arts as a statewide Artist Consultant, a 2009 MARK artist and an SOS recipient.
An adjunct instructor at Morrisville State College, Yardley teaches an introductory art course as well as drawing and painting. In an article in Morrisville’s The Chimes she said, “You don’t become an artist; it’s a part of your being.” Through her work, Yardley promotes active engagement with the natural world. “My work builds on the observations and immersion in the systems of a place, by walking, looking and gathering up the detritus. I absorb the changes of light, smells, sounds, colors, animals, weather and seasons day after day.”
The Roz Steiner Gallery, located in the Genesee Center for the Arts at Genesee Community College, is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. or by special appointment. For more information, contact Gallery Manager Randi O’Brien (585) 343-0055 ext. 6490, or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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For photos of Leigh Yardley’s artwork go to: