River Muse Art Gallery Hosts “Roots” Exhibition | Arts and entertainment



CLAYTON – The “Return to Roots” exhibition opens at the River Muse Art Gallery & Studio with a reception at 3 pm Saturday.

“Return to Roots” is a posthumous retrospective of John Elwood Cook’s Various watercolors, mixed media assemblages, collages and works of art in pen and ink.

The joint feature will also spotlight modernist clay master Kari Robert Zelson.

Mr. Cook’s son, Jesse, along with his friends and family will perform the songs of the deceased artists at the opening reception.

Refreshments will be served.

As a fourth generation resident of the Thousand Islands, Mr. Cook captured the essence of the river through his artwork and music. He found a niche by combining his visual art with music. Many songs created and inspired by his art can be found on his YouTube channel jjcook72.

Mr. Cook’s artistic career has been recognized locally and nationally. His award-winning works range from non-traditional watercolors to abstract relief assemblages with raised canvases. He has served on the jury for more than 30 national exhibitions, including Art of the Northeast, Watercolor USA, Cambridge National, Chautauqua National Exhibition, Adirondack American Watercolors and the Frederic Remington Art Museum, where he has received several times the “Best in Show ”.

Mr. Cook died on March 20, 2019 at the Smilow Cancer Center in New Haven, Connecticut, at the age of 72. He was the husband of Judith (White) Cook.

Kari zelson robertson is a ceramist who lives and works in her home studio / gallery in Ithaca, County Tompkins. The work of the former Watertown area resident is on display at the Handwork on The Commons Artist Co-op in Ithaca and at the Potters’ Gallery in Penn Yan.

A former Kindergarten to Grade 12 art educator, Ms. Robertson enjoyed teaching at Clay School, a community ceramic teaching studio in Ithaca. The studio is temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

She started working with clay at university while continuing her studies in arts education. She continued her training in clay with graduate studies in ceramics with John Gill and Wayne Higby at Alfred University. In 2014, she was a partial scholarship student at the Penland School of Craft in Penland, North Carolina, where she studied with David Eichelberger.

Ms. Robertson’s shapes are inspired by aquatic environments and abstract geometric minimalist design. These vessels are to be enjoyed as sculpture and functionally used in the home. They function as serving bowls, platters, mugs, appetizer platters, and planters.

“Return to Roots” will be on display at River Muse, 229 John St., until August 31st.

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