Delavan show opens strong

Delavan's fall opening show "Visions" and "Discoveries" for September

Whether you've strolled through the Winslow Homer at SUArts, are gearing up for the Everson's world-class Turner-Cezanne, or have been encountering the omnipresent videographer Barry Anderson at every turn, the real beginning of the Syracuse fall art season happens on West Fayette Street when Bill Delavan opens his September show.

Just west of Armory Square, the sprawling Delavan Center has housed the studios of many a Central New York artist since the 1970's. When the fabled and bizarrely destructive Labor Day Storm of 1998 ripped the roof off the front corner of the four-story building, Delavan re-built the space as a 3800 square foot open gallery, hired Caroline Szozda McGowan to manage it, and in September of 2003 opened the first fall exhibition. Though there are exceptions -- as in this fall's show -- the Delavan hosts artists almost exclusively from the nine-county Central New York region. So there is some symbolism in Delavan's fall openings, where everyone feels they have come home.

Last Thursday was no different, as Delavan hosted the opening reception for an unusually congenial group exhibition. Visions comprises the work of watercolorist Barbara Stout, photographer Bill Storm and landscape painter Phil Parsons, and runs through October 24. Tucked into the shorter-term Wild Card space near the front windows is Discoveries, work by Toronto encaustic artist Tanya Kirouac. This runs through October 3, to be replaced by a retrospective of the painter George Earle.

Barbara Stout is a recent transplant who's moved to Cazenovia from Whidby Island in Puget Sound, off the coast of Seattle, Washington. "Gods, Beasts and Mortals" is her title for the collection of captivating, deceptively simple ink and watercolor drawings that are indeed reminiscent of both the dream-like, magical images of Paul Klee and Louise Bourgeous, whom she cites as influences.

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