The Art Garage Winter Show embeds a “Winter Wall” section that features a different artist every three weeks. The latest Winter Wall artist, self-taught painter Lucia Phillips of Hartwick, will attend the opening from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 9.
Phillips has exhibited regionally in a handful of nontraditional venues: Sweet Sue’s in Phoenicia, Cooperstown Liquor Store and Autumn Café in Oneonta. A private collector in Fort Worth, Texas, is her consistent patron, according to a media release, and every few years purchases “a truckload of art,” per Phillips, that keeps together a large body of her work. The Art Garage show, her first in an art gallery, will present a selection of her smaller paintings. They often focus on a single subject with emotional resonance for the artist, the release said.
A seventh-generation Texan by heritage, Phillips spent her early childhood in Fort Worth, then moved to various New York towns with her family every few years, making them permanent “outsiders,” she said in the release. Phillips grew up surrounded by art. Her mother took them to museums and plays whenever she could, and at age 13 sent Phillips, the youngest of five, to rural central France to summer with her painter uncle, who introduced her to abstract art. Her favorite artists are Cezanne and Van Gogh, according to the release She spent time in New Orleans, Vermont and Hawaii before marrying an artist and moving upstate in 1987. She spent the next decade “in the shadows” of artists, working as an assistant or posing for classes or individual artists, which she’d done since she was little.
It was when posing for Otego artist Elizabeth Nields that she had her epiphany, according to the release: she too wanted to step up and create art. Rather than be the object in art, she would take charge. Philips took one art class from portrait artist Susan Goetz, and Oneonta artist Betty Fraley gave her some paints. She was hooked. She made 100 paintings that first year. “I had found a way to process the emotions and memories of my life,” Phillips said in the release. “I derive a huge amount of pleasure from … creating new images that brings me joy.”
Phillips lives in a farmhouse on a hill outside Hartwick with her husband, forester and lumberman Bruce Phillips. Her son, self-taught artist Sam Markman, lives nearby.
The five Winter Show artists on view until the April closing include Alice Hudson of Norwich; Lavern Kelley of Oneonta, whose estates the Art Garage represents; Louis Sherry, a self-taught artist from near Ithaca; South Worcester’s Gail Peachin, and Robert Ginder of California and Nevada.
Following the reception, the Winter Wall and the Winter Show can be seen daily by appointment, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., weather-permitting. Call 607-547-5327, text 315-941-9607 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment. The last day to see Phillips’ art will be Friday, March 30.
The Art Garage is at 689 Beaver Meadow Road outside of Cooperstown.