Artists and visitors enjoyed the recent artist’s reception at the Firehouse Plaza Art Gallery at Nassau Community College (NCC). While Jon Weiss played his electric piano, everyone enjoyed the beautiful artwork and refreshments.
The artwork displayed by the art faculty at the current Firehouse Plaza Art Gallery show demonstrates the wide range of interpretations of the theme, “Borders: Visible/Invisible.” The show highlights the photographs of photography professor Robert Toedter and Maureen Palmeri, professor of 2-D and 3-D design, printmaking and painting.
Toedter’s border theme has a unique slant. People who walk through the areas he photographs aren’t always aware of borders. Not all realize they are walking into a Superfund location. As beautifully photographed locations as they are, they are some of the worst EPA Superfund sites in the country. Toedter’s American dream of finding a place to raise a family away from these environmental dangers seems next to impossible.
An EPA geologist at the reception observed “Paintball Battlefield, Love Canal, Niagara Falls, New York” and commented, “I worked at Love Canal. The peaceful look of this photo doesn’t reveal the original dangers that existed from contamination underground … I was impressed by the photography and Toedter’s perspective from sites that I am very familiar with.”
While Toedter’s photos have invisible borders, Palmeri’s “Part of the Cycle: Evolutions” is a constantly changing one. She said, “We evolve as artists and this could be an ongoing piece with more ideas.”
The enthusiastic Palmeri described her “serendipitous moment” visiting a junk store in Ithaca where she found old metal label holders. They provided the impetus for her installation of found objects, transforming the holders into works of art and “transferring its past history into the present moment.”
The materials range from an insect wing mounted on a sheet of mica in one of the holders to a weed pressed into wax dripped on top of a piece of corrugated cardboard, to lithographs and drawings on various materials that all work together cohesively.
Computer graphics professor Jason Gorman was on the gallery committee. He stated, “This show is fantastic. I like that it has a variety of sculpture this year.”
Also of note are many other thought-provoking artistic statements, such as the sculptural diptych “Ripe-Full” by Mena Romano, the photograph, “We Are the 99%- Voices From Zuccotti Park” by Vanessa Bahmani, Robert Carter’s mixed media painting “Angel” and Debra Puzzo’s “Censored in Boston: 1929.”
The show runs through Dec. 22. For more information about the Firehouse Plaza Art Gallery, visit www.ncc.edu/firehousegallery or call 516-572-0619.