Though galleries remain closed due to the COVID-19 shutdown, Kristen Lynn Clancy, a young Beacon artist who recently completed her master of fine arts degree, has been able to show her collages through the initiative of a Cold Spring retailer.
Ethan Timm, who owns 44MAIN, which usually is a rental space for weekend pop-up shops, put out a call on Instagram for artists who might like to transform his display windows into an art gallery for passersby. He says he was pleased to be able to showcase Clancy’s collages, many of which incorporate elements from the natural world. The show continues through Sunday (May 24).
Clancy, who grew up Kent Cliffs, near what she describes as marshland, chooses those elements in her collages deliberately. “I’m extremely careful,” she says. “I always choose fallen, dead things because it’s critical for natural things to continue growing and not be sabotaged.”
She says she was thrilled at the unexpected opportunity to display her work, especially because it was difficult to do over the past two years while she studied at the New York State School of Ceramics and Art and Design at Alfred University.
“The workload made it difficult to get my personal artwork moving,” says Clancy, who teaches art at Goshen High School, covering for a teacher on leave.
Besides collage, Clancy works in assemblage, drawing and ceramics, although her Beacon apartment is too small for the latter. Her collages “started from a combination of things in my life, especially card-making. My parents encouraged us to make cards sending out gratitude and love, things which I found it difficult to express in words.
“The card itself would express it as intricately as my 8-year-old hand could create. At a certain point, I realized they were art and began framing them, using velvet and Florentine paper. I started with a rectangle, then cut and soldered it into more organic shapes. My mom is a glass artist and helped me figure out how to make these beautiful. I have a passion for paper because of the cards.”
During college, she spent a semester in Florence and happened to live near “a beautiful stationery store.” She returned home with her suitcase half full of paper.
Her collage work comes intuitively, Clancy says. “My favorite part is telling a story of space, of moments in time.” She was inspired by a vintage illustration book to cut apart its images of furniture, utensils and hats, and combine them with elements from the natural world, with furniture nestled into sylvan realms. Right now, the works are small, but Clancy is interested “in working bigger, having them float across walls, anywhere.”
Ethan Timm, who owns 44MAIN, envisions his window gallery, which he dubbed A Gift to Main Street, as “a positive space of solace, support and creativity” during the pandemic. He prefers to showcase artists and conservationists who use non-toxic materials and salvaged and vintage artifacts to tell “stories of connection and restorative power of nature.” Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details, or see instagram.com/44main.