Oil paintings inspired by the biblical creation story are the subject of “Genesis: Creation and Flood”, an exhibit of works by Cynthia Harris-Pagano to be shown at the Palmer Gallery from February 19 to March 12, 2013

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY -- A series of Cynthia Harris-Pagano’s abstract oil paintings that were inspired by the biblical creation story will be featured in the exhibit “Genesis: Creation and Flood”, from Tuesday, February 19, to Tuesday, March 12 in the college’s James W. Palmer Gallery. The exhibit also includes recent etchings by Harris-Pagano. An opening reception with the artist, a 1958 Vassar graduate, will be held in the gallery free and open to the public on Sunday, February 24, 1:00-4:00pm (snow date: Sunday, March 3, 1:00-4:00pm). For exhibition hours and information call (845) 437-5370.

Harris-Pagano conceived and painted her series of fourteen large works between 1970 and 1971, a time when she and a group of other young mothers joined together for child care and bible study. The paintings were first exhibited in 1971 as “Genesis Observed” at the Terpsichore Galleries in Sugar Loaf, New York. Joan Michel wrote then in the Times Herald-Record (of Middletown, NY), “These highly abstract works, seemingly so simple and with a minimum of form, are steeped in the symbolism of ancient mythology, biology and embryology. One does not need to be aware of the sources utilized by the artist but can draw upon one’s own private imagery.” The paintings were shown again in 1996 at the Something Like Soho Gallery in Port Jervis, New York.


Cynthia Harris-Pagano specializes in portraits, still-lifes, and landscapes in oil and pastel, working from her studio in Otisville, New York. Her paintings appear in public and private collections throughout the United States, Europe, and Canada. She has received awards in many regional art exhibits, including “Best in Show” at the Middletown Art Group, Orange County Community College, in 2011; the Connecticut Pastel Society Award at the Pastel Society of America in 2006; and the American Artists Professional League Award at the Ridgewood Art Institute in 2005. Her portrait “Young Women in a Brown Dress” was reproduced in Pastel Highlights, 1997, and she has been a featured artist in Hudson Valley Magazine. After Vassar she went on to earn her M.A. from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.


Situated between the North Atrium and the Retreat cafeteria, the James W. Palmer III Gallery is at the heart of the College Center addition to Vassar’s historic Main Building. Constructed in 1996, the gallery was named and endowed by the Palmer family in 2000 in memory of their son James, a member of the class of 1990. Serving as an exhibition space for artwork created within and beyond the Vassar community, the gallery displays art of diverse mediums, themes, and origins. 

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Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Tuesday, February 5, 2013