It’s rare to find an art exhibition that solely highlights charcoal drawings; especially a series inspired by one of the last Old Master painters, Francisco de Goya.
But you’ll get this two-for-one experience Wednesday at Briarcliffe College Art Gallery in Bethpage with the solo exhibition opening of “Fowl Follies” by Jessica McAvoy, who will also be leading an artist talk.
The show features 16 charcoal drawings that captures “my reaction to Francisco de Goya’s Black Paintings,” McAvoy says. "It almost turned into an obsession to figure out what it was about those paintings that resonated with me."
To that end, McAvoy travelled to Spain seven times in the last three years and visited the Prado Museum. There the two-dimensional forms artist and founding member of the Patchogue Arts Council was moved by de Goya’s light and use of composition.
"I wanted to try to translate that in my work to resonate into my viewer," she says of her drawings, paintings and prints.
McAvoy spent upwards of 60 hours on one drawing and as few as 10 hours on others. She tries not to overthink the process. "A lot of times people assume what you're creating means more than what it actually is," she says. “[I] let my actual drawing be the vocabulary for my emotions.”
That’s just one of the methods McAvoy revealed in her two-day workshops with Briarcliffe students – a program dubbed Living Classroom – that helps them explore ways of thinking while producing art.
So what does she hope viewers take away from the exhibition?
“I hope people have an emotional reaction as well and it may not be the same reaction that I put into the drawing, but that they feel something. That's really phenomenal."
WHEN/WHERE: Exhibition opening and artist talk by Jessica McAvoy held
6 - 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Briarcliffe College Art Gallery, Bethpage Campus, 1055 Stewart Ave., Bethpage. Exhibition on view through May 27.
Note: Display image is a photo detail of "San Isidro," charcoal on paper, by Jessica McAvoy. Photo credit: Dan Lachacz