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Showing Cheryl Agulnick Hochberg's Elusive Desires
Buffalos with wings, ostriches with human appendages, and a flamingo – these are a small part of the magical world of Cheryl Agulnick Hochberg. She brings the strange and exotic to life in her paintings and mixed media pieces on panel or paper in an exhibition at the Radford University Art Museum in the Covington Center.
“My subject matter is mostly combinations of animals and landscape,” she said. “My images tend toward the magical and peculiar, and the settings for my subjects are both beautiful and exotic.”
Hochberg is an award-winning artist who has exhibited throughout the United States. Federal Reserve Bank in Philadelphia, the Westinghouse Corporation and the Lehigh Valley Hospital include her work in their art collections. She is the chairperson of the Department of Art and Art History at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania, and holds an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and BFA from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia.
In describing her artistic process, she starts with photography, taking several pictures and works with them to decide which are the most useful to impart what she is feeling or thinking.
“I do mockups of an idea by making photo collages, and when I get something I like, it becomes the ‘drawing’ or plan for the larger piece,” she said. “Pieces take me a long time – weeks or months – so I need to know I have an idea with a lot of opportunity to work in ways that will interest me.”
Roann Barris, chairperson of Radford University Department of Art, recommended Hochberg for an exhibition at the university’s museum. The chairs were once co-workers.
“The unity of a compelling naturalism with flights of fancy and unreality – it is not surrealism because it is so believable,” Barris said about Hochberg’s work. “I also knew that she is a daring artist who works in a variety of media and often collaborates with others in her work. Her work brings another point of view and style to our museum.”
At the April 3 reception for the exhibition, Hochberg will present a performance piece involving one of her creative partnerships. Inspired by the Ballet Russe, the Russian ballet in Paris in the early 1900s and its artists-designed costumes, she worked with a sculptor and a musician to fulfill a creative idea. A Kutztown University Foundation Grant helped fund this endeavor.
“I wanted to have musicians perform in costumes that related to my paintings,” she said. “This performance will be a version of that experiment.”
The museum exhibition “Cheryl Agulnick Hochberg: Elusive Desires,” reception and performance are free to the public. The show is at the Radford University Art Museum in the Covington Center and runs from March 23 to May 3. The reception is at 5 p.m., April 3; and the performance is at 6 p.m. that evening.
Museum hours are weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4 p.m. Please call 540-831-5754 for more information.