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Oakroom Artists showcase local works

The artwork of four artists familiar from local schools and galleries will be included for display through November as part of the Oakroom Artists' monthly exhibitions.

Paintings by Mary Ellen Riell of Schenectady, Trudi Smith and Chloe Kettlewell of Saratoga Springs and sculpture by Phyllis Kulmatiski of Scotia will be featured Nov. 5 through 30 at the First Unitarian Society of Schenectady not far from Union College.

A reception for the show will take place from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Nov. 7 at the church, located at 1221 Wendell Ave., Schenectady.

Mary Ellen Riell will be showing strongly colored pastels of familiar locales, such as Esperance's Landis Arboretum and the Mohawk River as seen from Lions Park in Niskayuna. She states: I push color and emphasize any curves to be found in the tilt and sway of plants on the shore or in the landscape in order to capture the visual and emotional character of the scene.

Phyllis Kulmatiski's sculptures, which parody gentle Medieval and Renaissance saints and Madonnas comment on contemporary political, environmental and feminist issues. Built from the bottom up with coils of clay, the artist scratches words into the figures and sometimes adds slips of colored clay and oxides before firing.

Trudi Smith will be showing large black-and-white charcoal portraits with subjects that confront the viewer with their own gaze. "My main area of interest has always been portraiture and the figure, and I choose to paint subjects with whom I feel a personal connection and find visually and emotionally appealing," she said.

The interior domestic scenes of Chloe Kettlewell explore the effects of natural and artificial light within tightly framed spaces. Most recently Kettlewell's work was chosen by the Albany Institute of History and Art for its "Tomorrow's Masters Today" exhibition and auction, which featured 50 of the region's "most promising new artists."

The Oakroom Artists is the only membership-by-invitation artists association in the Albany/Schenectady area. Solo, two-person and group shows are held at its home gallery at the First Unitarian Society of Schenectady. Group shows are also organized at area colleges and museums.

Gallery hours after the opening reception are: Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

For information, visit www.OakroomArtists.com, or contact Mary Ellen Riell at meriell@nycap.rr.com or call 355-2182.""

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