The Ceres Gallery in the great Metropolis is a not-for-profit cultural center that is “dedicated to the promotion of contemporary women in the arts and the remediation of women’s under-representation in the larger art world.” And the Tivoli Artists Gallery, also a nonprofit organization, has a very special mission: to offer space in the Hudson Valley for “over 250 artists to engage their creativity and learn new skills in an all-artist volunteer run gallery.”
This September, the Ceres Gallery is presenting an exhibition of recent paintings and sculptures by Elizabeth Downer Riker, marking this artist’s third solo show with the gallery (Elizabeth Downer Riker, Rights of Nature, September 5-30 2023). A couple years ago, we posted a review of Riker’s earlier solo exhibition at the Ceres Gallery, Re-Enchanting the City: Greening New York City.
For the upcoming solo exhibition, Riker’s oil paintings that offer an “ironic critique of the devastating effects of climate change” will be featured. In addition, according to the gallery, Riker’s sculptures will “highlight the ubiquitous presence of plastics in our lives and our oceans,” and “her video work offers hope for a way forward by looking to the past.”
Riker supports the Rights of Nature movement whose goal is to protect nature – rivers, mountains and entire ecosystems by enshrining that respect for nature into law, recognizing their inherent legal rights. The artist has emphasized that she has drawn inspiration “from the indigenous resistance to deforestation and extraction as well as the climate activism of Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion.” Riker seeks to use her art to call attention to “the ways in which burning fossil fuels, cutting down forests, industrial farming of livestock and agriculture are damaging our planet.”
And this September, at the Tivoli Artists Gallery (following its wonderful group show, Farms & Field, which is on display until Sunday, September 10, 2023), will be presenting the solo exhibition, Marie Cole: Weather or Not! (Friday, September 15 to Sunday, October 8, 2023). This exhibit of paintings, pastels and prints by Marie Cole will “focus on Weather related phenomenon-such as impending storms, rain, or snow, as well as the time of day and the four seasons.”
Marie Cole’s masterful paintings of rural scenes are powerful images that remind us all, who care deeply about the environment, of what will be lost by excessive consumerism that externalizes costs to the environment and disregards the effects of industrialization on climate change and global warming.
[Elizabeth Downer Riker, Rights of Nature, September 5 – 30, 2023 (Tues-Sat 12:00PM-6:00PM) at the Ceres Gallery, 547 West 27th St, Suite 201, New York City, 212-947-6100; Marie Cole: Weather or Not!, September 15-October 8, 2023,(Fri 5:00-8:30PM, Sat 12:00-8:00, Sun 1:00-5:00PM and by appointment) at the Tivoli Artists Gallery, 60 Broadway, Tivoli, NY, 845-757-2667]
(Frank W. Barrie, 9/1/23)