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Columbia-Greene Media

Stephanie Revennaugh at the Artists’ Reception for her work at the Equis Art Gallery.

Harnessing connections dating back more than a decade, Harrison has been able to draw some of the finest equine artists from around the world to her gallery, and in doing so hopes to elevate both the artists and the town itself. there has to be a symbiotic relationship between the gallery and the artists. Everything that she does to promote the artists helps raise their profile; at the same time, every accomplishment in a represented artist’s career helps to elevate the gallery and the town it is situated in. One such example is an announcement made by Susan Leyland, a sculptor based in Italy. Leyland recently announced that she has been commissioned by the Ascot Lawyers Foundation and the Royal Borough in England, to create a larger than life memorial to the horses killed in the first World War. Previously, in the United States, Leyland’s work could only be found at the Cambridge Art Gallery in Santa Monica. Being represented by Equis Art Gallery makes her work accessible to a new audience, while also lending substantial credibility to the young gallery venture. At the other end of the spectrum, Harrison is keenly interested in supporting emerging and mid-career artists as well. “I’m proud and honored that people allow me to represent them,” she said. “Art isn’t just a commodity. It’s about history, ideology, comfort, home and how we want to live all wrapped up into one.” Besides having long-standing relationships with these artists, Harrison’s choice to represent their work goes to the heart of how each artist chooses to represent their subject matter. In many cases, the artist’s work does not fit comfortably into the niche market of equine art. Many of the artists’ works celebrate form and gesture, while defying the strict norms of traditional equine representation. Because her own photography is a prime example of equine art outside of the norm, Harrison understands that many of the artists that she currently represents have had trouble finding galleries that know how to represent them, and understand how to communicate their value to potential collectors. “Many traditional galleries might label this work as ‘animal art’,” said Harrison. Conversely, galleries that specialize in equine art would see much of the work that Harrison represents as too abstract. Yet that is exactly what Harrison was seeking when she decided to open up her gallery. “I wanted sophisticated, non-traditional art,” she said. “I want collectors to see the work as a story, and not just a horse.” As a collector herself, she added that each piece would have to be something

Polo Charge by Susan Leyland.

that she would want to hang on her own walls. “I’ve been buying work from these artists for years,” she said. “I began thinking, ‘Other people need to see this too.’” Even though the gallery is a business, at the heart of Harrison’s mission is to support the two communities that she feels most connected to: the artists and Red Hook. “I’m thrilled to help artists,” she said. “It’s amazing and gratifying. And if I can bring people to Red Hook who would have never otherwise come, even if they don’t buy anything at the gallery, I’ve succeeded in my mission. Creating a business that helps support Red Hook is important to me.” With that in mind, Harrison recently hosted Equis Art Gallery’s first artist’s reception with Montana-based sculptor Stephanie Revennaugh, whose work has taken off in the three years she has been producing her bronze equine sculptures. Bringing the artists in to talk about their work and meet with the community creates a personal connection with the art that adds an invaluable depth to one’s experience with the work. “When someone has come in to see the work or meet an artist, and they say, ‘We’ve had the best day wandering around town. We’re definitely coming back,’ that is the real success story,” said Harrison. Equis Art Gallery is located at 7516 North Broadway in the Red Hook CAN/Artists Collective, Studio 5. Gallery Hours are Friday and Saturday, Noon to 7 p.m., Sunday, Noon to 4 p.m., or by appointment. For more information, or to see represented work visit http://www.equisart.com/ Jen Kiaba is a photographer and writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. Her photography has been published internationally in magazines and on book covers. To see more of her work, visit http://www.jenkiabaphotography.com

Hudson Valley Mercantile September 2014  

Check out September events throughout the region. Enjoy a profile of Equis Art Gallery in Red Hook, and a preview of Basilica Soundscape in...

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