Gloria Betlem art exhibit opens at Livingston Arts Center
On Sept. 6, the public is invited to attend an Opening Reception in celebration of artists Gloria Betlem’s new exhibit “The Finger Lakes: Above and Below.” The group of impressive pastel paintings that Gloria submitted for exhibition is similar to her past work in that it inspires an appreciation for the fragile beauty of the world around us.
“Last fall the Apartment One selection committee met to jury applicants for the gallery and the panel of artists felt that Gloria Betlem’s work was so accomplished that it merited a solo exhibit,” shared Executive Director Chris Norton. “We are pleased to offer her latest selection of work for viewing.”
Gloria’s work is driven by her strong connection to nature and a need to help preserve its beauty and its natural value.
“Living in a unique geological region where, side by side, eleven valleys were carved to a depth capable of holding water two million years ago by a retreating glacier, inspired this body of work,” Gloria said. Running below these paintings of each aerial contour of the Finger Lakes is a representation of the region’s shale beds, which Gloria views as being under a serious threat from hydrofracking efforts. These faults, joints and fractures connect to each other, and could serve as conduits capable of carrying liquids and gases to unknown, large distances, with potentially harmful impact along the way, explained Gloria.
“The beauty, health and vitality of this region is dependent on a good understanding of this geology, as we are faced with decisions related to future energy harvest, using technologies which greatly compromise the integrity of the earth,” shared Gloria.
In 2007, when the City of Rochester announced its intent to sell the watershed for Hemlock and Canadice Lakes, Gloria and her husband, Kent Divers, a photographer, published a book, Hemlock and Canadice Lakes that included images and photos showing the beauty of the lakes. “It was very rewarding for my husband and me. It was my first foray into activism,” said Gloria, “I don’t know if it swayed the issue.” Eventually the lakes were protected from development when New York State bought the land from the City of Rochester in 2010.
In addition to Gloria’s most recent collection of geologically-inspired works, some of Gloria’s past landscapes reflecting the beauty of the Finger Lakes will also be included in the show.
Gloria earned her MFA in painting from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Her work has been in countless exhibits and she has had many solo shows. Her work also hangs in numerous private and corporate collections throughout New York state as well as Minnesota, New Zealand and China.
The exhibit will be shown in Apartment One at Livingston Arts from September 6 through October 30, with an opening reception on Sept. 6 from 5–7 p.m. This reception is free and open to the public. Please join us in welcoming Gloria and learning about her work. Regular gallery hours are Tues., Wed. and Fri. 1–4 p.m., Thurs. 1–7:30 p.m. and Sat. 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Visit livingstonarts.org for directions.
Gloria is currently teaching pastel classes at Betlem-Divers Studio, located behind their home in South Lima. They both have much of their work on exhibit there, which can be viewed by appointment. For more information about Gloria and her work, visit her website, by e-mail, or phone 585-739-2124.