Dec 20, 2018
BATAVIA — Just like the famous Irving Berlin song, the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council is “having a ‘Heat Wave.’”
The Batavia Club gallery, 201 East Main St., stands awash is bright reds, oranges and yellows, as if the sun itself has taken up residence. It’s all part of the new member’s challenge exhibit, “Heat Wave,” that features 17 artists’ interpretation of the theme.
GO-Art’s Membership and Volunteer Coordinator Carol Hertel is the one who came up with the theme name, but it was Executive Director Gregory Hallock who decided to use it for the winter challenge. He liked the idea of juxtaposing the bright, warm colors inside against the cold, drab, gray winter outside.
“(Tuesday), when the chill was just going to my bone, I was thinking we picked the perfect theme,” Hallock said. “When I walked in here, it was like a heat wave. It wasn’t really, because this is an old, drafty building, but it felt like it for a second.”
Many of the paintings follow expected subjects with summery images of flowers and the sun blazing in the sky above. But others took otherworldly shapes. Lydia Zwierczynski’s “Radiant Being” goes almost cosmic, while David Burke’s “Firebird” has a mythical feel to it.
Hallock singled out Hallock’s piece as one that he would like to have hanging in his house.
“It’s not something he typically does,” Hallock said. “He usually does more nature scenes, animals or human faces. I liked it. All of his brush strokes were intentional and it spoke to me.”
Judy Wenrich’s interpretation balanced cartoonish with solemn as four chickens stand outside an oven, watching a fifth get cooked in “Heat Wave, a different point of view.”
“Her pieces are always about animals and generally about animal rights,” Hallock said. “This time, it’s kind of funny.”
The exhibit opened last week and will remain on display through March 9. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.
An artist reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight in the gallery.
While the rest of the building is done up in holiday cheer, the Batavia Club Gallery remains free of ornaments and wreaths.
“I had some Christmas decorations in here that I had to take down because they didn’t go with the room,” Hallock said. “It felt contradicting.”