Alumni treated to studio art tour in NYC

April 15, 2013

Four New York City artists and AAP graduates opened up their studios to a group of 14 Cornell alumni who trekked through snow squalls on a tour that started in the South Bronx and ended on the Lower East Side.

The 4th Annual AAP Distinguished Artist Alumni Studio Tour, held on March 16, showcased the work of sculptor John Ahearn (B.F.A. ’73), collage artist Joel Carreiro (B.F.A. ’71), painter and photographer Allison Wade-Wermager (M.F.A. ’06), and painter Elizabeth Dworkin (B.F.A. ’65).

In their studios, the artists described how their work was influenced by attending Cornell. Ahearn, who uses fiberglass to create life-casts of working-class people in his South Bronx neighborhood, said his art is informed by two formative events at Cornell in 1969: the takeover of Willard Straight Hall by protesting African-American students; and the Spring Earth Art exhibition, a show of experimental art held at Cornell's White Museum of Art (now the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art).

“My experience of living in Ithaca as a student at Cornell was crucial to my art and self identity,” Ahearn said.

Carreiro, who studied collage at Cornell, creates tapestries using images from classical Western Art, particularly from the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods. Recalling his undergraduate years at Cornell, Carreiro said, “Ithaca is a seductive in a good way. It is a great place to waste your time creatively.”

The alumni attending the tour included current AAP students, graduates working in art galleries or architectural firms, and other Cornellians involved in the New York City art world. Heather Zises ’98, a contemporary art critic and writer, said the tour was a refreshing break from a chaotic week of art fair activities. “For me, the AAP tour served as a welcome reminder of the legacy of Cornell artists,” she said.

The tour was led and organized by two New York City artists who are members of the AAP Alumni Advisory Council: Mark Gibian (B.F.A. ’77), a visual artist who makes metal sculptures and works on paper; and Peter D. Gerakaris (B.F.A. ’03), a visual artist who exhibits paintings, works on paper, and accordion books.

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