Season of the Witch: Exploring Modern Mysticism at the Seligmann Center
Tonight, at the magically-charged Seligmann Center in Sugar Loaf, NY, opens a new art exhibit titled “Season of the Witch”. The show, curated by “The Good Witch of the Art World”, Sarah Potter, explores ritual, magick, and modern day mysticism. The show presents the artist-as-witch; powerful creators with the ability to transform their thoughts and inspiration into tangible artwork. They draw from within, engaging in ritual to express their beliefs through their art. As stated in the press release, “Working intuitively while referencing the powerful language of symbols, all the artists in this exhibition turn art making into a modern day magical practice.”
“I embarked on this curatorial project after the presidential election when I felt as a woman in this country, I was alone and forgotten. I thought about the archetype of the witch, how she is often an ‘other’ in society, but most importantly, how her power comes from within. If all of ‘the others’ come together, then we are no longer alone. One of the reasons I created this exhibition was to bring us all together to be stronger and to heal through art.”
“Season of the Witch” features art from a variety of artists working across several mediums. Evie Falci, Lala Abaddon, Heather Gabel, Astral Eyes, Hilary White, Lucien Shapiro, Hunter Stabler, and Robert Ryan have all contributed works. Hilary White’s vibrant, sculptural wall pieces act as portals to another world. Lucien Shapiro transforms found materials into self-protective masks; a type of “ritualistic escape from reality”. Hunter Stabler cuts and layers paper to create patterns that reference mythology and magic. Robert Ryan imbues his traditional tattoo-style paintings with occult symbolism.
Dear Darkling had the privilege of speaking with Sarah Potter herself about a few of her favorite works in the exhibit. It would come as no surprise that she is especially drawn to works that exude feminine power and energy, an ever-present and important force in the world of witches. When speaking of Heather Gabel‘s work she says, “(Her) collages feel transported from the Surrealist heyday of the 1920’s but with a feminine energy that is fiercely in-your-face as well as softly vulnerable. Potter is also drawn to the way in which Evie Falci references esoteric symbols and the Divine Feminine through her mandalas, transforming mundane materials like denim, pleather, studs, and rhinestones. “I am transfixed by her lushly tactile and balanced compositions,”she says.
“The work in this show is process-based, as the creation of art takes on meditative approach for most of the artists. Lala Abaddon enters an almost trance-like state as she weaves together her photographs for hours at a time. (She) celebrates the inherent strength and vulnerability of being a woman in her work. I specifically chose ‘The Blood Red Moon as a Crown Upon Her’ for her larger-than-life scale and confrontational gaze directly at the viewer. The potent energy behind her eyes is confident and seductive, daring you to break eye contact first.”
The decision to hold this exhibit at the Seligmann Center was very intentional, and adds an additional layer of magic and mysticism to the art held within. The location is the former estate of Kurt and Arlette Seligmann, central figures in the Surrealist movement and occult community in the 1930’s and 40’s.. Kurt’s vast knowledge of esoterica and the occult was published in his book, The Mirror of Magic. His art — as well as letters, photographs, and personal effects from the couple — are on display in the restored farm houses-turned-galleries and performance spaces at the Seligmann Center. The history and significance in both the art and magic world are still palpable in the space, marrying perfectly with the theme of “Season of the Witch”.
This exhibit will be on display at the Seligmann Center from July 22 to September 4, 2017. An opening ceremony will be held tonight, July 22, from 6-9 pm. Events and performances will take place throughout the length of the exhibit.
Featured image: “Wandering Nocturnals”, Heather Gabel. This piece will be available as a print at the exhibit.