Sacred Ground: Paintings by Marlene Wiedenbaum, Thomas Locker, and Jeff Briggs

April 2, 2009 through May 10, 2009

Sacred Ground at Carrie Haddad Gallery

SACRED GROUND, an exhibit of paintings by Marlene Wiedenbaum, Thomas Locker and Jeff Briggs will run from April 2nd to May 10th, 2009

at Carrie Haddad Gallery in Hudson, NY. A reception for the artists will take place on Saturday, April 4th, from 6-8 pm. All are welcome to attend.

A panel discussions will take place at 6pm on Saturday, April 18th.

THOMAS LOCKER was born in 1937. He has spent his entire life in service to his two great passions: painting and nature. Through widespread exhibition of his artwork and publication of his illustrated children’s books, Mr. Locker has touched the hearts and minds of countless people.

Since the opening of his first one-man show in 1964, at the Banfer Gallery in New York City, Thomas Locker has held more than 50 such exhibitions, in galleries throughout the United States and abroad. These include two at the Hammer Gallery in New York City, plus a major show at the Alan Jacobs Gallery in London, and the Remington Museum in Ogdensburg, New York.

Mr. Locker’s early paintings were poetic landscapes, which Stuart Preston of the New York Times said, "manage to create the proper impression of dreamy reverie." Edward Barry of the Chicago Tribune noted, "… a viewer looking at his pictures senses the breathless excitement with which he tries to capture the spun-gold effect of the early morning." William Wilson of the Los Angeles Times saw the paintings as "magical" and slightly "hallucinatory." He felt that Locker’s work was "a totally sophisticated experience in which our sense of wonder remains untarnished." In an art catalogue introduction, Dr. Joshua C. Taylor, former director of the National Collection of Fine Arts for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., wrote, "Although Locker’s landscapes are not glimpses of a new Arcadia, the quotation from the past reemphasizes their cerebral play. They call attention less to Nature than to the complex intermingling of perception and thought in the mind of man. Suddenly, seeing becomes thinking, and thinking a delight to the age."

In 1982, Thomas Locker’s career took on a new and even broader dimension. In an effort to connect with a wider audience and educate younger minds, he began work on his first children’s picture book. Today, Mr. Locker’s exceptional paintings and illustrations grace the pages of some 30 different books, several of which he also wrote. Many serve as an expression of Mr. Locker’s profound love of and respect for the natural world. These unique books have been honored with numerous awards, including the prestigious Christopher Award, the John Burroughs Award, and the New York Times Award for best illustration.

Thomas Locker’s most recent landscapes have a quality all their own. His years of experimentation and research into the glazing techniques and paint chemistry of traditional European painting have enabled him to achieve a new vision. The radiant colors and unique textures of Mr. Locker’s recent paintings are inspiring, and it is our hope that this exhibit will succeed in bringing you closer to his amazing body of work.

At the artist’s request, a portion of the proceeds from sales during this exhibit will be donated to Columbia Memorial Hospital.

Pastel artist Marlene Wiedenbaum is also inspired by nature and, particularly, the landscape of the Hudson River Valley.

Sacred Ground, for Ms. Wiedenbaum, is an on-going exhibition of plein-air paintings of preserved lands throughout the Hudson Valley. In collaboration with the preservation organizations of The Olana Partnership, Scenic Hudson, and Columbia County Land Conservancy, Wiedenbaum’s project pays tribute to and supports land preservation and planned development and aims to increase the public's understanding of our responsibility of land stewardship.

“During the past twenty five years of painting in the Hudson Valley”, says Wiedenbaum, “I have become keenly aware of the loss of nature and the diminishing American landscape. However, as I have witnessed damaging changes over the years, I have also discovered hallowed grounds, those sacred areas respected and protected from population growth and the resulting developmental ruin. I am incredibly grateful to the many organizations and very dedicated and insightful people involved in preserving our landscape, particularly in the Hudson Valley”. The works presented in this exhibit were each painted at various sites that are now preserved as open spaces thanks to the efforts of the above mentioned organizations.

As a tribute to them and the incredible beauty of our region, Ms. Wiedenbaum invites the public to experience these sites through her paintings and encourages us all to visit them in person, as well. Some of the locations you will see in the exhibit are Poet’s Walk, Burger Hill, Sam’s Point, and Louisa Pond.

A portion of the proceeds from Ms. Wiedenbaum’s work will be donated to the Olana Partnership, Scenic Hudson, and The Columbia County Land Conservancy.

In addition, a panel discussion will take place at the gallery on Saturday, April 18th at 6pm. The panel will consist of Seth McKee from Scenic Hudson, Peter Paden from Columbia County Land Conservancy, and Sara Griffin from The Olana Partnership.

Please call the gallery to reserve a seat.

The third artist in this series of landscape painters is Jeff Briggs, an abstract painter currently living near Boston, MA. Briggs has had numerous exhibits over the past ten years in New York and Massachussetts, while finishing his BFA at Purchase College, SUNY, Purchase NY and his MFA at MassArt, Boston, MA.

Briggs’ approach to the landscape is markedly different from most contemporary landscape painters and one that intrigued gallery owner Carrie Haddad. “At first, Jeff’s paintings seem like a series of colorfields”, explains Haddad, “but then, one begins to feel grounded on the land, bathed in the magical light and color of its terrain.”

In these recent works, Briggs has been increasingly interested in the idea of painting representing sound. “Through color and rhythm,” says Briggs, “I paint what can be described as a resonant hum. From Newton’s arbitrary division of the spectrum into seven parts to match a diatonic scale, to everyday descriptions of colors being described as loud or soft, synaesthetic language surrounds us. My paintings explore the idea of a sound/image. Notions of landscape simultaneously coalesce and dissolve. The accreted marks turn into something like background radiation in the galaxy. I think of them sometimes as soundscapes.”

Carrie Haddad Gallery is located at 622 Warren Street, in Hudson, NY. Gallery hours are 11 – 5pm (closed Tuesday and Wednesday). You can call the gallery at (518) 828 1915 for directions or more information. The website is

Jeff Briggs

Marlene Wiedenbaum

Thomas Locker