Sacred and Spiritual: A Visit with Artist Randy Stoltzfus

This account of a visit to the studio written by Linda Clarke appeared in a monthly newsletter published by the Brooklyn Monthly Meeting in October of 2016.

Lucy Sikes and I visited the Studio of Randall Stoltzfus one hot and humid afternoon in August. We are the perfect pair for this as Lucy is a professional artist with a career spanning more than fifty years and I am, um, intuitive. (Lucy kindly refers to this as “the poetic view.”) Together we embody both ends of the spectrum of viewer sophistication.

Randy Stoltzfus stands with one of his paintings in his Brooklyn studio For the few who haven’t met him, Randy is the spouse of Friend Callie Janoff and is a frequent attender at Brooklyn Monthly Meeting. Having seen some of his artwork on his website, I knew that it was highly creative and skillful. And very original! I also had seen some of his paintings in reality, and was impressed with the way the light and the physical depth of the work spoke to my feelings. Nonetheless, I found myself ill-prepared for the visual cornucopia we encountered in his studio. The two dimensional view on the website (www.sloweye.net) conveys quite a bit about the quality and creativity but, naturally, fails to deliver the effect that accompanies the depth and light of the originals. In addition to the abundance of human feelings raised by his works (such as tenderness, playfulness, joy and serenity), there exists a richness of quality I think of as pertaining to the sacred (or, in a word, spiritual). The light presented in some paintings vaguely recalled in me some mostly forgotten place, while evoking memories of a rare silence.

"Sidereal" by Randall Stoltzfus. 2014, Acrylic dispersion with gold leaf on recycled polymer, 48 by 60 inches.The two artists talked about skills and technique and I was very interested to learn about some of them. It takes a lot of layers to create the complexity of Stoltzfus’ work and this translates into a lot of time and effort. One painting of a night sky, which is unique for its faithful depiction of the actual light of the stars, was accomplished via the incorporation of gold leaf. (There was some other talk about the use of red pigment which I couldn’t follow because I was still employed in walking back and forth to test the effect at different distances.) And though they may have explained some things to me about another work in shades of black and silver, I don’t expect to ever understand how it was able to evoke feelings of tenderness.

Stoltzfus embodies his awe and wonder of our universe in his work and invites us to explore visual experiences in a completely new way. I would not be surprised to see him recognized as a paradigm changer among artists characterized as sacred or spiritual painters.

— Linda Clarke, Brooklyn Meeting News

painting titled 'PArapet' by Randall Stoltzfus

Open Studios 2012: The Brooklyn Museum Go Project

Go_Scarab

I’ll have the studio doors open this Saturday and Sunday, September 8th-9th from 11AM to 7PM.

September is here with it’s promise of fall- and this year the month is starting with what might be the largest open studio event everThe Brooklyn Museum’s Go Project. I’m participating, and I could use your help!

Here’s why: The museum has turned the tables and made it so that you, the visitor, have the most important role in this event. You can vote- and your votes help  artists win a visit with curators or even a show at the Brooklyn Museum. It’s irresitable catnip for us artists. That’s why over 1,758 of us are participating in this event! Hopefully it will be as enticing to you. I’m sure it will be fun.

If you make my studio your first stop on your tour, I’m happy to help you get set up so you can vote. I’ll have a wireless network you can use to download the app. You can check in at six studios right in my building. Even if you have only a hour of time for this event, that is enough to make a difference.

The studio is at:
89 Bridge Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

phone: 917.957.7576

Complete details and a map are on my page on the Go website.

See you there!

Migration, an exhibit at Proteus Gowanus

Three of the Wanderer Prints are part of the fall 2011 exhibit at Proteus Gowanus here in Brooklyn. The title of the exhibition year at the gallery is Migration, and this first show of the season will run from September 17th through early January. If you are in Brooklyn on the evening of the 17th, please join us for what will be a warm and lively reception:

Proteus Gowanus
Wine Reception for Migration

Saturday, September 17, 7-9pm
543 Union Street (at Nevins)
Brooklyn, NY 11215
718.243.1572
Directions for getting there

Proteus Gowanus bills itself as an interdisciplinary gallery and a reading room. I would add that it is an example of genius in the fully unpacked meaning of the word: brilliant and complete unto itself, the project is also very much of its place and generous of spirit. It is worth the trip. Go visit and be nudged, inspired, and informed.

There will be fifteen artists participating in this exhibit, along with an artist-in-residence, several correspondents, and a new blog called Proteoscope. Take a look around the Proteus Gowanus website for more information about the many avenues by which the Migration theme will be traveled.