24/06/2024 6:23 AM


Adorn your Feelings

Stories of the everyday transformed into art at Newburgh’s Holland Tunnel Gallery

3 min read


"Traveling Landscape, Reliquary" by Kathleen Vance. Antique case, hand-sculpted landscape, resin, paint, artificial foliage and trees, light bulb.

“Traveling Landscape, Reliquary” by Kathleen Vance. Antique case, hand-sculpted landscape, resin, paint, artificial foliage and trees, light bulb.

Have you ever seen an object left somewhere, whether it be an article of clothing on a park bench or a child’s stuffed animal, and associate a story behind how it got there?

This type of relationship, between objects and the stories we assign to them, is the subject of the latest exhibit at The Holland Tunnel Gallery in Newburgh.

“The Narrative of Things” showcases four artists: Kathleen Vance, Norm Magnusson, Shari Diamond and Tamara Rafkin, each working with their own perspectives of symbolic moments in the past or stories of the future.

Kathleen Vance showcases some of her “Traveling Landscapes.” With these intriguing pieces, Vance takes cases or containers that have had some sort of previous life and builds landscapes within their interior. The result is a new narrative.

“I am always on the lookout for cases that have some indication of travel, with notes and markers which give a feeling that they have really been used for transportation of someone’s special or personal items,” Vance says. “The landscapes created for each and contained within are inspired by these impressions.”

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"All Life is Suffering Harmonica" by Norm Magnusson

“All Life is Suffering Harmonica” by Norm Magnusson

“Norm’s Memory Sale” consists of objects that Norm Magnusson found in his home. Although this might sound ordinary, what Magnusson has created is quite extraordinary. Along with each piece, he has written a “fictional-ish” story about how they came into possession.

As you look at each piece, you can scan the QR Code beside it and dive into its world. “All of Life is a Suffering Harmonica” reads like a sitcom or a situation we all know a little too well. Not to give anything away, but the feeling of “insert foot in mouth” came to mind, along with “oh no!” If you don’t have time to read all the stories while you are visiting the gallery, they are also available on the website.

"The 60 Year Project, #20" by Shari Diamond. Metal print edition.

“The 60 Year Project, #20” by Shari Diamond. Metal print edition.

Shari Diamond’s “The 60 Year Project” represents 60 moments throughout 60 years of their life. The images used have gone through a process that strips away the details of the original photo and results in almost a silhouette captured in time. The figures do not have faces, which allows the viewer to create their own narrative of the situation.

In “The 60 Year Project, #20” metal print edition, two young people are standing together with their arms proudly leaning on classic cars that flank either side of them. Are they siblings posing for their parents? Are they a young couple who just bought cars for the first time? The possibilities are endless.

"Lost&Found no 156." by Tamara Rafkin. Archival Ink Photography

“Lost&Found no 156.” by Tamara Rafkin. Archival Ink Photography

Tamara Rafkin finds hope in humanity through found objects.

Since 2013, Rafkin has been photographing lost items found by passersby. The objects have been put somewhere to hopefully be found by their owner. She gives herself rules, explaining “I never move an object and I never photograph an object that I have found lost and that I place.” The human attachment to items transcends culture and language. Rafkin says, “It’s one of the small ways we are all looking out for each other in the midst of life’s chaos.”

If you go

What: The Narrative of Things

Where: Holland Tunnel Gallery, 46 Chambers Street, Newburgh

Dates: March 5 to April 10

Norm’s Memory Sale Performances: March 19 & April 2 from 6 to 7 p.m.

Hours: Saturday & Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. and by appointment

Contact: 917-520-8971; [email protected]; hollandtunnelgallery.com

The gallery follows New York state guidelines for COVID protocol.

Melissa Dvozenja-Thomas is the director of development and marketing for Arts Mid-Hudson. Art From Here appears every other week Sunday. Contact her at 845-454-3222 or [email protected].

This article originally appeared on Poughkeepsie Journal: Newburgh art exhibit The Narrative of Things inspired by lost objects


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