Lavatelli's "Pine" Wins Gold Medal from Buffalo Society of Artists

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Medaille Faculty Mary Louise Hill
December 5, 2011

Mark Lavatelli, professor in the Department of Humanities, received the Gold Medal award at the Buffalo Society of Artists' 115th Catalogue Exhibition at the UB Anderson Gallery on Saturday, November 12.  

This year's version of the BSA show for the first time requested members to submit examples of installation art. Former Hallwalls visual arts curator Sara Kellner juried the exhibit and selected Lavatelli's installation, entitled "Pine," from among the 11 works at the Anderson. The Paul H. Taylor Memorial Award, sponsored by Richard Hill of Taylor Devices, Inc. of North Tonawanda, included a cash stipend of $1,000. 

Read "The Art of Installation" at

Lavatelli's work included an 8 by 18 foot black and white painting of pine trees that formed a backdrop for 16 suspended painted-lumber abstract trees that rotated slowly in space.

Pine, 2011, oil on canvas, encaustic on wood.

In the corner installation entitled Pine, slender sculptural objects consisting of pine lumber painting with encaustic and collaged with fragments of encaustic monotypes form geometric elements. They are suspended in a cluster before a large, un-stretched grisaille oil painting of pine trees. This juxtaposition points out the transformation of nature into manmade objects and materials, which metaphorically suck the color out of the natural forms and animates the abstracted trees through color, pattern and movement. Underscoring the theme are words that identify landscape elements and weather phenomena or allude to various forms of environmental degradation, such as global warming.

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