‘Symphony of Color’ blooms in Schuylerville

As the Philadelphia Orchestra begins its summer season in Saratoga Springs, there's a “Symphony of C
John Van Orsouw's 'Mickey Mania' is on exhibit at the Laffer Gallery in Schuylerville.
John Van Orsouw's 'Mickey Mania' is on exhibit at the Laffer Gallery in Schuylerville.

As the Philadelphia Orchestra begins its summer season in Saratoga Springs, there’s a “Symphony of Color” a short drive away at The Laffer Gallery in Schuylerville.

While the exhibits here are always worth the trip, this show is especially stimulating as the featured artists are a mystic expressionist from Spain and a Dutchman with a playful, childlike spirit.

Peris Carbonell, born in Valencia, Spain, has shown his paintings and sculpture in more than 60 solo exhibits in Europe. In Palma de Mallorca, one can visit the 4-year-old Peris Carbonell Museum, which houses 100 of his works. When John Paul II was the pope, Carbonell presented the pontiff with the oil painting, “The Face of Christ During His Passion,” which was created without a model and based on Carbonell’s inner feelings.

The Spanish art historian Antonio Gasco describes Carbonell’s paintings as “a sea of colors, always changing and full of movement … the expressionism is mystic, warm and agitated.”

John Van Orsouw, a native of the southern Netherlands, is a self-taught painter and lifelong doodler whose work is influenced by toys, folk art and indigenous art.

Van Orsouw currently sells his work in New York City, where he has exhibited at the 2011 New York Outsider Art Fair, the 6th annual Outsider Art Exhibition at Galerie Belage in West Hampton Beach and Van der Plas Gallery.

In his paintings, Van Orsouw is “the ringmaster for clowns, cartoons, the blues, jazz and colorful men and women,” says Phil Demise Smith, a New York City writer and artist.

“Wild-eyed dogs, cats and birds roam freely through his field of vision … he snaps his whip and whips his performers into recognizable shapes but in the end they all have a life of their own.”

“Symphony of Color” runs through Sunday, Aug. 28. The Laffer Gallery is open 12 to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday and by appointment. For more info, go to thelaffergallery.com or Facebook or call 695-3181.

Circus talk

Award-winning author Karal Ann Marling will present an illustrated talk, “Canajoharie Moderne: The Puzzle of the Circus,” at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Arkell Museum at Canajoharie.

Marling, an art historian from Rochester, will discuss the Beech-Nut miniature circus and American artists’ interest in circuses.

The talk is free with museum admission, and a reception will follow.

Lincoln readings

“Lincoln Speaks,” a program of dramatic readings, is scheduled at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Chesterwood, the home of sculptor Daniel Chester French in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

The program features readings of Lincoln speeches and private letters by noted actors and political and cultural leaders, including two-time Tony Award nominee Jayne Atkinson (“House of Cards”, “Criminal Minds” and “24”) that are held in French’s studio next to his 6-foot-tall plaster model for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Distinguished Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer, who wrote the program’s script, will serve as moderator.

Tickets are $35. The program will be followed by a wine and cheese reception on the studio piazza. Seating is limited. For reservations, contact Lisa Reynolds at [email protected] or 413-298-2034.

Reach Gazette reporter Karen Bjornland at 395-3197, [email protected] or on Twitter @bjorngazette.

Categories: Entertainment

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