Dolce Vita World Bistro is across the street from Syracuse Stage – at 907 E. Genesee Street, Syracuse, New York. The restaurant serves international cuisine, hosts musical and theatrical events in collaboration with Syracuse University and promotes local visual artists via monthly art exhibitions on the walls of its dining room.
Friday night I attended the opening reception for What’s Left, an art show combining the talents of Le Moyne College colleagues Erin Davies and Penny Santy. The title is derived from a Robin Williams quote –
What’s right is what’s left if you do everything else wrong.
The show features wood collage pieces by Erin and oil paintings by Penny.
Meredith Cuddihy on violin provided the musical entertainment. There was wine and cake, and other yummy fare, as well as friendship, camaraderie, and lots of fun! It is always very special to support my friends in all of their endeavors and of course, any excuse for a party is a good one, especially now – we are weathering a severe cold spell in Syracuse, New York and no one really wants to hunker down in their respective shelters to wait it out.
According to their web-site, Dolce Vita is open Monday – Thursday 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Wednesday – Friday 11:00 am – midnight, and Saturday 4:00 pm – 11:00 pm. They schedule private events on Sundays. If you are interested in scheduling one, making a reservation or checking out the wonderful art, call (315) 475-4700 for the deets.
By day, Penny Santy is a graphic artist. By night and weekends, she becomes a powerhouse superhero – an oil painting phenomenon who captures the essence and beauty of (as well as the struggle to find) the perfect relationship in a work of art.
I love having conversations about art with Penny. She was recently in Baltimore for the Diebenkorn and Matisse show and spoke passionately about the brush strokes and the artists’ implied intention resulting in their ultimate successful choices on canvas. It is this attention to things that Penny brings to her own work, a constant questioning of what instinctively works at any given time.
This is reflected in her literature.
My motivation for creating art is a search for what makes humans tick, and for finding emotion in the painted image. My work is derived from an exploration of human strengths, struggles, accomplishments or destruction. What is great about making art is that it goes much deeper than the outward appearance of things. I’m always searching through the process of painting for what is below the surface. The process allows me to discover, and I am excited by what I find. My paintings aren’t trying to present answers, but to ask questions.
Penny reworks paintings until they are to her satisfaction, whether it is the better choice of blue for a sky or the slightest value change in a complementary color scheme to tweak the flow of rhythm that is constantly in her vortex. Her presence as an artist is truly captivating.
I am really impressed with this new body of work, how it defines her vision, a place hovering between reality and abstract, which generates considerable movement with breathtaking perfection.
She sold several of these paintings at the opening last night at the Wilson Art Gallery in the Noreen Reale Falcone library at Le Moyne College (1419 Salt Springs Road, Syracuse, New York 13214). I observed patrons fighting over pieces (“okay, I’ll get that one and you can have that one” type stuff). It was really magnificent to witness her success. She is the real deal and I encourage anyone who wants to acquire her work to do so now before she skyrockets to the fame she deserves.
The show is titled Between Us. In addition to the butterfly series, Penny is sharing works she’d made for juried exhibitions including the winning entry from that Adirondack show and the Bowie-inspired one from the Tech Garden show last year. Her hen and sunflower paintings work as well here, as they reflect her proficient technical skills while fulfilling her criteria to share rhythm with respect to relationships between objects, nature and people.
The exhibition continues through February 24, 2017 and can be viewed during library hours. Call (315) 445-4153 for more information.
Make it a Penny Santy day today! Head over to see this show then take a drive out to Earlville, New York. You can meet Penny at the Earlville Opera House Art Gallery (18 East Main Street, Earlville, New York 13332) where she is exhibiting her series of bull paintings. There is an art reception from noon to 3:00 pm today!