The Gold Coast Arts Center (GCAC) will unveil a new exhibit called Chapter Two on Sunday, Sept. 24, featuring the creative works of nine older-adult artists, all of whom are either septuagenarians, octogenarians or nonagenarians. The opening reception, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 4 to 7 p.m.
The featured artists are master print-maker, painter, educator and author Dan Welden; painter, sculptor and photographer George Adler; potter and metalsmith Marty Fagin; painters Violet Baxter, Max Ginsburg and Elinore Schnurr; photographer Herbert Rustler; ceramic artist Stuart Rabeck; and Edith Seltzer, who creates collages. All of the artists will be in attendance at the gallery opening, and the exhibit will run through Oct. 29.
“Artists don’t lose their creativity as they get older,” noted Jude Amsel, Gold Coast Arts Center’s gallery curator. “The wisdom and maturity that comes with experience often results in the best work of their lives.”
The artists have a wide range of backgrounds and influences. Welden has been making prints and works on paper for more than 50 years. As the director of Hampton Editions, Ltd. in Sag Harbor, he has collaborated with noted artists such as Robert Dash, Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Jimmy Ernst, James Brooks, Dan Flavin, Esteban Vicente, William King, Ibram Lassaw, Kurt Vonnegut, Alfonso Ossorio, Jane Freilicher, David Salle, Eric Fischl, Linda Benglis, Jack Youngerman and others. His work has been shown in more than 80 international solo exhibitions in museums and galleries and more than 700 group exhibitions in the U.S., Europe, China, Japan, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand and Peru.
Adler began to create art in New York City in 1956, after living through fascism, the Holocaust, war, communism and the Hungarian Revolution.
“I was free for the first time in my life,” recalled Adler.
Eight years ago, Fagin restarted his artistic pursuits after a 42-year hiatus and hasn’t stopped creating since.
“To me, a piece of pottery is a canvas I formed with my hands that is waiting to be transformed into a piece of art,” said Fagin, who considers himself a potter and metalsmith not confined by the materials he uses. “Likewise, a flat piece of copper is waiting for me to transform it into a canvas full of texture and color.”
Drawing from direct observation has always been important to the work of Baxter, who tries to describe the elusive light of night and day through color.
“As the paintings evolve slowly, sometimes over many years, resolution will rely upon memory,” she said. “The memory drives the painting. Memory becomes the subject.”
Ginsburg paints realistically because he believes, “realism is truth and truth is beauty. I derive an aesthetic pleasure in skillfully done realistic drawings and paintings,” he continued. “I believe that realism can communicate ideas strongly and it is this communication that is extremely important to me.”
Schnurr focuses on paintings of people in urban spaces, especially in New York.
“I have been painting New York City since I arrived from Ohio 50 years ago,” she said. “I never run out of inspiration.”
Rustler is a photographer who fled war-torn Europe with his spouse and documented their arduous journey to America, from the Liberty Ship passage to New York to a new life in the Midwest. Today, still with a camera in hand, he continues to vividly record life’s experiences through photography.
Rabeck began working with clay in the late 1970s, but did not get serious about his work as a ceramic artist until after retiring from the plastics industry in the early 2000s. His work has been evolving in various directions and all of his pieces are truly one of a kind.
Collage creator Seltzer describes herself as “drawn and challenged by society’s discards, recycling disposable materials into works of art,” noting that corrugated cardboard and colored paper have replaced large construction of found industrial materials in her work.
Amsel added that the works in the exhibition “are a testament to the creative freedom, self-expression and artistic courage that comes with age; serving as an inspiration for visitors to the exhibition as a reminder that there is much to be learned and produced at any age.”
For more information about the artists or the exhibit, visit www.goldcoastarts.org or call 516-829-2570.