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Everson digs into vault

Living masters discuss modern art from the museum's collection at Th3:

Thinking art here. Everson Museum Director Steven Kern hosted two upstate New York based art treasures -- the artists Susan Roth and Darryl Hughto. The three discussed 20th century paintings from the museum's collection.

Specifically eight paintings hanging together in a gallery up the Everson's curved staircase on level two. Hughto and Roth each had a painting in this collection and actually knew the other artists whose work was on display.

Kern told the audience of more than 50 that he had the best job in that he came to the museum each day and worked among its 11,000 pieces of art. He was not an artist but rather an appreciator, a fan. His "aha" moment with art came during a night flight on a Japanese airline when suddenly the aurora borealis appeared and the jet flew right through it. The colorful modern art in the room was the perfect backdrop for this anecdote.

Roth and Hughto, who are also husband and wife, stood before the audience not as a duet instead with a palpable intellectual tension in regard to their drive for making fine art. These are smart, sensual people, who think in color and texture. It was obvious they continue to challenge each other as well as their own individual natures. Occasionally Kern would step in to help interpret a point, ask for more information.

When the artists spoke in regard to a commonality of the paintings on the white walls surrounding the gathering, Hughto explained how the dimension of this work and the techniques were very revolutionary for its time, post World War II. The represented painters had all worked in New York City at one time. This is found throughout history -- the artist and the group process -- not necessarily working together, but working at the same time, elevating, sometimes even echoing or interpreting or challenging each other's art.

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