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Meet the Artists of Holmes

By Donald Partelow
The Pawling Library hosted a special event entitled Meet the Artists of Holmes: an open discussion of their creative process that took place on Saturday, September 26, from 3:00-4:30 pm. This panel discussion featured artists Amy Barry, Carol-Lee Kantor, Joe Kantor, Lulu Meng, and Jeremy Wolff. Participants, and including their fellow artists, came to discover the variety of unique ways in which each artist creates works of art; what inspires and drives them to express their talent. This online open forum gave people the opportunity to safely connect with artists, to offer and receive insightful perspectives. Throughout the program artwork was displayed as artists and audience members interacted.
Artist Carol-Lee Kantor was the first to speak. “Most of my paintings are from life experience,” she said. A wide selection of her beautiful paintings were on view as she spoke.  “I like how you capture a lot of the family and the family moments. I like how that’s important to you,” said one person. Another person added, “There is a quality of light and warmth that comes out of them.”
Lulu Meng began her artistic career in photography and then later shifted to art installations. She told us what interests her the most about her art is the connection it makes between people. “The connection to the human part of your artwork is amazing,” said one person. Another person from the audience said, “What I really love about your work is how each piece, each image that you showed us was different, but you were bringing people into everything. You were assembling a community, getting people to participate in your artwork, I think is wonderful.”
Widely imaginative birdhouses and fairy houses are the creation of artist Amy Barry.  Amy explained that the wood she uses for her art is only taken from fallen trees.  She also uses many found objects, some of which she finds at estate sales. Amy’s art is mostly made from found objects in nature. Birds are losing their habitat at an alarming rate.   “Why not buy a piece of art for mother earth. She is the most deserving of anyone,” said Amy, “It’s supposed to come from the earth, help the earth and be the earth.” She showed us many pieces of her work including a Harry Potter themed birdhouse that included some incantations.  “What a wonderful display,” someone commented.
“I always took pictures,” said Jeremy Wolff. Jeremy started out as a writer and became a professional photographer. His first love of photography was travel photography. As a writer he used photography as a kind of a visual note book of his travels, and he has traveled all over the world. Jeremy showed us an impressive collection of his work, ranging from images of people to nature photography. As a boy in Indiana he grew up close to nature which years later he would rediscover in Holmes. “That was phenomenal,” said one person from the audience after Jeremy concluded. “I love your progression, how you’ve changed and evolved, it’s one of the great parts about being an artist.” She expressed what she saw in Jeremy’s art, “This is the journey of my life, and here it is in my art and it was really nice to see.”
Joe Kantor is a sculptor. He told us that he didn’t start off as an artist but was fascinated with materials. He’s explored many mediums to create his work from wood, steel, plastic and cement. Joe found his way into the art world later in life that has enriched his life and the lives of others as well as inspire other artists to experiment with different mediums.  “You can be creative at any age,” Joe said. He told us that it never goes away, that creative spark, that longing to make art. This is a component within each artist that drives them, and they must create to feel whole. One person from the audience commented on Joe’s work, “I feel like you’re surrendering to the material and just let it be, and eventually you’re not controlling them, you collaborate, you have something unexpected that impresses so it’s much fun.” And Joe ended by telling us, “It is fun, it’s like getting back into your child, it really is.”
Most of the artists on our panel, and in the audience, are participating in the ArtEast Studio tour that begins on October 17th.  Some artists will have their studios open for the tour while other artists’ work can be viewed only online. Visit the ArtEast website at arteastdutchess.com to view the artists’ work and for up to date information. And be sure to stop by at the Live 4 Art Gallery in the village of Pawling for the ArtEast Group Show featuring the work of Amy Barry, Carol-Lee Kantor, Lulu Meng, Lonna Kelly, Jeanette Rodrigues and many other artists. Jeremy Wolff’s photography is on view at Pawling Bread Company in the village of Pawling. We thank all the many talented people in our community for making this program possible. Please support our local arts. Thank you.
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