Thursday, October 27, 2011

'It's Only a Medium' opens Friday at Phelps Arts Center

Liz Brownell with work titled "Free"

"ReBirth" sculpture by Barron Naegel

“It’s Only a Medium,” an exhibit by Barron Naegel and Liz Brownell, professors at Finger Lakes Community College, opens at the Phelps Arts Center Friday, Oct. 28.
An opening reception will be held Saturday, Nov. 5, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Phelps Arts Center, 15 Church St., Phelps. The event is free and open to the public.
“It’s Only a Medium” is composed of work in different mediums: clay, representing the ancient and digital art, the modern. The artists have found parallels in visual communication between former and current times. The exhibit is intended to illuminate the relationship between the earth element of clay and the digital realm.
“We are so grateful to have this opportunity to share with the community the art and ideology of the past and present, making connections where people might otherwise not find them,” says Brownell, an associate professor of graphic design. 
Barron Naegel is an assistant professor of art at FLCC and director of the college’s Williams-Insalaco Gallery 34. He says being an artist and sculptor in today’s world can sometimes be a dilemma. “I find myself as an artist often poised between what I discover through the manipulation of clay and a concerted, sometimes meditative, effort to create what is new to my experience,” he says. 
“The sculptor in me is drawn to what is technically resolved, overshadowing anything too new or daring. Sculpture in the 21st century can demand being attentive to technology and constant change. Thankfully, my hands come to the rescue.
“In the collaborative work undertaken for this exhibit, I came to the realization that technology can sometimes be more than just an effective tool,” he concludes.
Naegel and his wife, Amy Warcup, an assistant professor of massage therapy at FLCC, live in Rochester. When not in the classroom or his studio, Naegel enjoys yoga, kayaking and hiking.
Liz Brownell has taught at FLCC for 11 years. Also a freelance designer, she says, “I have embraced the path I have chosen with a passion.”
Brownell is continuing to build her body of work for this show. “Working on the show allows me to further my exploration into cross media art, combining the digital and the sculptural,” she says. “I’d like it to allow the viewer to forget the technology and embrace the art itself.” 

Brownell resides in Victor with her husband, Kurt, and their children, Chloe and Luke. During her down moments, she enjoys snuggling with her kids, yoga, gardening and spending time on the beach in Maine with her extended family.
“It’s Only a Medium” will be on display from Oct. 28, 2011, to Jan. 7, 2012. The Phelps Arts Center hours are Thursday through Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m.
For more information about the exhibit, contact Barron Naegel at (585) 785-1369, and Liz Brownell at (585) 785-1359,  To learn more about the Phelps Arts Center visit

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