NEWS

Mount presentation delves into experience, processes of two local artists

February 20, 2019
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -

Local artists Jackie Skrzynski (left) and Marieken Cochius (right) recently discussed their artistic experiences and influences at Mount Saint Mary College’s “Artist Talk” event. Works from both were recently featured in an exhibition of the college’s CMA Gallery.

Local artists Jackie Skrzynski (left) and Marieken Cochius (right) recently discussed their artistic experiences and influences at Mount Saint Mary College’s “Artist Talk” event. Works from both were recently featured in an exhibition of the college’s CMA Gallery.

Local artists Jackie Skrzynski and Marieken Cochius discussed their artistic experiences, ideas, and processes at “Artist Talk” on Tuesday, February 19 at Mount Saint Mary College.
 
The talk was spearheaded by the college’s CMA Gallery. The mission of the CMA Gallery is to exhibit professional art and media picked by Mount faculty from among the rising population of artists who live and work in Newburgh, Beacon, and throughout the Hudson Valley.
 
Works by both artists were recently featured in “Complex Ecologies,” the Fall 2018 exhibition of the CMA Gallery, located on campus. From flowers and plants to life at a cellular level, the featured works shared an ecological theme.
 
Throughout her career, Skrzynski’s art has challenged physical and psychological boundaries between humans and nature. The folds, curves, and branches in her imagery suggest similarities between anatomical and botanical forms. She gathers inspiration from her garden or walking through the woods near her home. These places provide a sense of connection with a larger natural system, she said. Observing growth, decay, and rebirth, she intends to convey her perception of nature as equally beautiful and unsettling.
 
In addition, “Beyond other artists, I think about the artistic voce of writers and musicians I admire,” she explained. “In the end, my greatest inspiration comes from being awake to the world.”
 
Skrzynski offered her advice for sustaining creative practices when life might not afford a lot of time for art:
     -  Establish “sacred” studio time and adhere to it, even if it’s only a few minutes a day.
     -  Trust what compels you. Worry more about creating your art than its meaning – this can be delved into more deeply later.
     -  Take risks.
     -  Be who you are. Understand what else is going on, but listen to your heart.
 
The second artist, Cochius, was born and raised in the Netherlands, and now lives and works in the Hudson Valley. Her art encompasses drawing, painting, sculpture, and printmaking. Her unique take on nature and her playful treatment of ecology examines life on all levels of existence.
 
Her artistic process is very spontaneous, she revealed.
 
“Other than the materials I start with, I don’t really know what I’m going to make,” said Cochius. “I focus on my hands – my hands tell me what is going to happen.”
 
Cochius’ work has been shown in places ranging from New York City and Los Angeles to Japan, Germany, and the Netherlands. Her work is in numerous private and public collections in the U.S. and Europe.
 
The CMA Gallery and recent “Artist Talk” event was made possible through the committee efforts of Christopher Neyen, assistant professor of Art and Graphic Design; Dean Goldberg, associate professor of Communication Arts and Film Studies; Maryann Pilon, executive director of Facilities and liaison for Strategic Space Planning; and Barbara Petruzzelli, director of the Kaplan Family Library and Learning Center at the college.
 
The college’s CMA Gallery will kick off its newest exhibition, “Explorations in Form,” with an artists’ reception on March 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. It is scheduled to run from March 1 to May 22 and will feature the works of local artists Sienna Martz and Erica Hauser.
 
The reception and gallery are free and open to the public. The gallery is located on the first floor of Aquinas Hall on campus, 330 Powell Ave., Newburgh, N.Y. After the opening reception, the gallery will be open Monday through Friday during normal business hours, or by appointment. For more info, email cma-gallery@msmc.edu