Statement & Bio

STATEMENT:

My paintings are about tracking the days of our lives. What we did when, who we saw, wrote to, thought about. Now, more than ever, during this critical time of Covid-19 – this enormous pausein our lives, we count and consider each day.

The envelopes and letters in my recent paintings are old and worn. Some have been repeatedly folded, others stashed out of sight for years. Some offer nostalgic reminders of things that no longer exist; others are from bygone friends. 

As the truth of art allows us to take one small thing and make it stand for so much else, these images represent relationships that were maintained across distances and referential dialogues extending through many years.

An old-time box of buttons or a tattered sweater can remind us of a past time. A carefully placed pencil or feather can evoke an elusive and often ambiguous new meaning.

In old letters and old things, we find loved ones, parents, old friends, and our old selves.

As an inquiry into the complexities of our relationships and sense of place, the interplay  between what is written and what is left bare challenges us to think about what we keep and what we cast off. Here, surprisingly, abstraction and narration go together.

My paintings present life not as then versus now, but as an inescapable circle of time and memory.

These paper keepsakes are the antithesis of our digital society.  

BIO:

Fern T. Apfel has exhibited widely in the Hudson Valley & Capital Region of New York where she lives. Her work has been exhibited at the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College, Collar Works Gallery in Troy, Albany Center Gallery, The Samuel Dorsky Museum at SUNY New Paltz,  Woodstock Artist Association & Museum and in many Mohawk Hudson Regional exhibits, where she is a four-time recipient of a Mohawk Hudson Regional Purchase Award. In addition, Apfel has exhibited at the Davis Orton and Concepto Galleries in Hudson, NY,  The Ely Center for Contemporary Art in New Haven, CT,  The Laffer Gallery in Schuylerville, NY and PULP Gallery in Holyoke, MA.

Apfel’s work is in the permanent collections of The Hyde Collection, The Tang Teaching Museum, The Albany Institute of History & Art, SUNY Albany Museum, The Shaker Museum Mount Lebanon, The Columbia County Historical Society and Museum and The Art Students League of NY.

She is a two-time recipient of the Individual Artists Grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts and studied at The Art Students League of New York and SUNY New Paltz.

Apfel’s work was featured in the Sept-Oct 2019 Issue of Art New England Magazine. She is a Fall 2019 finalist for The Hopper Prize and is a 2019 grant winner from the Martha Boschen Porter Fund, a Fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.

In 2020, Apfel exhibited work at PULP Gallery in Holyoke, MA. and Paradigm Gallery in Philadelphia, PA. Her work can still be seen in Fish & Dish: A Fresh Take on Still Life curated by Jason Andrew at the Woodstock Art Association & Museum in Woodstock, NY. Presently, Apfel’s work can be seen in the First Street Gallery’s 2020 National Juried Exhibition juried by Andrew Arnot, President and Owner of Tibor de Nagy Gallery in NY City, the National Prize Show at the Cambridge, MA Art Association, juried by Sharon Butler, founder of the blogazine, Two Coats of Paint, Making a Way at the South Bend Museum of Art in South Bend, Indiana and Biblio Spectacular at Main Street Arts in Clifton Springs. 

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2020 

South Bend Museum of Art, Making a Way, South Bend, IN

2020 National Juried Exhibition, First Street Gallery, NY, NY Juried by Andrew Arnot, Tibor de Nagy Gallery

National Prize Show, Cambridge, MA Art Assoc. Juried by Sharon Butler, Two Coats of Paint

Biblio Spectacular, Main Street Arts, Clifton Springs, NY Scott McCarney, Juror

Shown from Afar: Art During the Pandemic, Womenswork.art

So Close, Side x Side Contemporary, Virtual Exhibition

Fish & Dish: A fresh take on still life, Woodstock Art Assoc. & Museum, Woodstock, NY. Curated by Jason Andrew

PULP Gallery, Two Person Exhibition, Holyoke, MA                                          

From the Pages 2, Paradigm Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

About What’s Going On, Hopkinton Center for the Arts, Hopkinton, MA

2020 Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region, Albany Institute of History & Art
Juror: Susan Cross, Head Curator, Mass MoCA, N. Adams, MA

Second Street Studios, Troy, NY Juried by Thomas Lail & Tara Fracalossi

Made w/ Paper (Not officially titled) Pine Bush Library, Curated by Opalka Gallery, Albany, NY. (Forthcoming)

Paper, The Bowery Gallery, NY, NY (Forthcoming, Sept. 2020)

2019 

En Masse, Thompson Giroux Gallery, Chatham, NY                                          

Upstate Invitational, Laffer Gallery, Schuylerville, NY                                                                            

Artists of the Mohawk Hudson Region, The Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, NY, Valerie Palermo, Curator          

Albany Center Gallery, 3-Person, Albany, NY                                                                                                                      

Nine by Nine, PULP Gallery, Holyoke, MA

Ear to the ground: Ely Center for Contemporary Art, New Haven, CT, Julie Torres, Curator                                  

2018 

Upstate Artists Juried Show, Laffer Gallery, Schuylerville, NY. Winner: Best in Show

Home: Collar Works Gallery, Troy, NY Cara Manes, MOMA, Curator                                  

Artists of the Mohawk Hudson Region, Suny Albany, Jean Shin, Curator. SUNY Albany Alumni Jurors Award                                                            

Golden Age of New Paltz Part 3, Wired Gallery, High Falls, NY                      

Narrative, Concepto Gallery, Hudson, NY

River Flows Both Ways, Hastings-on-Hudson,NY                        

2017   

Collar Works Gallery, Troy, NY Alexandra Foradas, Mass MOCA, Curator                                                                                                          

Undercurrents: The river as metaphor, Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, SUNY New Paltz, Livia Straus, Hudson Valley MOCA                               

Fence Select Michael Oatman, Juror, The Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy, NY

2016   

Artists of the Mohawk Hudson Region, Hyde Collection Michael Oatman, RPI, Juror                                       

Spencertown Academy Regional, Spencertown, NY  Nicole Hayes, Art Omi Juror

Reclamation, Collar Works Gallery, Troy, NY Ian Berry, The Tang, Curator

Recent Acquisitions:The Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, NY                                                                            

Davis Orton Gallery: Word and Image Solo Exhibition Hudson, NY                                                                                                                       

Albany Center Gallery Mohawk Hudson Regional Invitational 2016, Albany, NY                                

2015   

The Arkell Museum Juried Art Show, Canajoharie, NY   Jeane Flanagan, Juror                       

Artists of the Mohawk Hudson Region 2015, University Art Museum Rachel Uffner, Juror. The Hyde Collection Purchase Prize                                                                                                  

Fence Selec, Art Center of the Capital Region Julie Lohnes, Juror

Give & Take: Decentralization Individual Artists Grant Recipients, Catskill, NY

2014   

Artists of the Mohawk Hudson Region 2014, Albany Institute, Stephen Westfall, Juror. Albany Center Gallery Award in Honor of Les Orbach               

Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, NY

Rock, Paper, Scissors: Contemporary NY State Collage & Assemblage. Greene County Council on the Arts, Catskill, NY

Worlds of Wonder: Hudson Valley Artists 2014, Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, SUNY New Paltz, Ian Berry, The Tang, Curator             

Small and Seductive: Contemporary Art from the Institute’s Collection. Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, NY

2013   

Out of Print: Winter Art Exhibition Judie Gilmore, Curator. Albany Public Library & Dwight Marvin Library, Hudson Valley Com College, Troy, NY

Artists of the Mohawk Hudson Region, The Hyde Collection Dan Cameron, Juror                                                       

2012   

TYPO: Artists Using the Alphabet as Visual Language. Greene County Council on the Art, Catskill, NY

76th National Midyear, Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH

2011   

Studio Wall: Solo exhibition. The Art Center for the Capital Region, Troy, NY

75th Annual Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region, Albany Institute Holly Hughes, Juror

Hudson River Contemporary: Works on Paper, Boscobel House, Garrison, NY

2010   

Eye Rhymes, The Tang Teaching Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY                                         

The Imaged Word, Albany International Airport

14th Annual Juried Show, Columbia County Council on the Arts, Hudson, NY. Winner: Best in Show; Janet Riker, Juror

2009   

The Collage Show (group exhibition with Ellsworth Kelly & John Ashbery) Spencertown Academy, Spencertown, NY

2008    

12th Annual Juried Exhibition, Columbia County Council on the Arts, Hudson, NY. First Prize                                            

2007   

The Book Pictures: Solo Exhibiti, The Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, CT

Fern Apfel Inks and Collages: Solo Exhibition. Café Gallery, Old Chatham, NY

2005   

Midyear Exhibition: Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH. Clement Greenberg Award

2002   

Museum Peace: Reflections on a Collections Solo exhibition. Columbia County Museum, Kinderhook, NY & Hudson Opera House, Hudson, NY

2001   

Work: Shaker Design & Recent Art. The Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Saratoga Springs, NY

Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region, Schenectady Museum, Schenectady, NY

Recent Acquisitions: Schenectady Museum

2000   

Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region University Art Museum, SUNY Albany. Winner: Juror’s Award; Xu Bing, Juror

Purchase Prize: University Art Museum, SUNY Albany

Purchase Prize: Schenectady Museum, Schenectady, NY 

Daily Grace: Solo exhibition. The Shaker Museum and Library, Old Chatham, NY

1999   

Daily Grace: Solo Exhibition, Berkshire Community College, Pittsfield, MA

Westfield State College, Westfield, MA

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS + PRESS

Fish & Dish: A Fresh Take on Still Life, Art Valley, Art & Culture in the Hudson Valley, April 10, 2020

Fish & Dish: Woodstock Times, Paul Smart, March 5, 2020

Ken Ragsdale at LGAP and Upstate Invitational at Laffer Gallery, dbgetvisual.blogspot.com, November 23, 2019

Dispatches: Stories from Four Gallery Destinations: Art on the Outskirts: Western Mass’s Edgy Scene, Art New England Magazine, September – October 2019: The Gallery Issue, page 42-44

CREATE Magazine, Spring, 2019

Glue Sticks and Growth: Artist and Alumna Fern T. Apfel reflects on inspiration and taking one’s time, TheLittleRebellion.com by Joshua Goberdhan, December 6, 2018

On Exhibit: Artists of the Mohawk Region set at University Art Museum by Indiana Nash, The Daily Gazette, Schenectady, NY December 5, 2018

Invitational Show features often challenging work of four gifted artists by William Jaeger, Times Union, Albany, NY, June 2016

Fern Apfel: Painting, type and ambiguity by Jesse DeGroodt, The Chatham Press, September 2013

Hudson River Contemporary: Works on paper. Catalogue. 2011

Objects of Inspiration by David Brickman, Metroland, September 5-11, 2002

Berry, Ian. Work: Shaker Design & Recent Art. Published by The Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Saratoga Springs, NY. 2001

Apfel opens windows of the mind, by Maxine Brinkley, The Chatham Courier, May 6, 1993

GRANTS & AWARDS

2019 

Awarded The Martha Boschen Porter Fund, A Fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation                                                         

2019 

Finalist, The Hopper Prize  (Fall, 2019)                                                                                                    

2002 & 1998 

Individual Artists Grant. New York Foundation for the Arts and Twin Counties Cultural Fund Decentralization Program

1998,1996,1993,1992   

SOS Grant. New York Foundation for the Arts and Rensselaer County Council on the Arts

                                                                 PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

The Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, NY

The Tang Teaching Museum & Art Gallery, Saratoga Springs, NY

The Albany Institute of History & Art, Albany, NY

University Art Museum, SUNY at Albany, Albany, NY

The Shaker Museum & Library, Old Chatham, NY

The Columbia County Historical Society & Museum, Kinderhook, NY

The Art Students League of New York, New York, NY

Kidder Peabody & Co., New York, NY

                                                                                                                                                                                          EDUCATION

The Art Students League of New York, New York, NY 

State University of New York at New Paltz