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AC cover art from the Gerald Mead Collection at Ashker's Juce Bar

From Cover to Cover

Since its founding in 1990, Artvoice has frequently used an artwork by a Western New York artist as the cover image for its publication. Most often, it coincides with the fact that the artwork is on view in a solo or group exhibition that week. For the artist (and venue of the exhibition), there is a special thrill associated with “getting the cover of Artvoice.” Local photographer and photo-muralist Max Collins, whose work has appeared on the cover of five issues of Artvoice in recent years, describes the experience as “high visibility acknowledgement by the press” and mentions that the status of Artvoice as a “cultural staple” of the community makes that experience even more meaningful.

For an art collector who owns (or acquires) the reproduced artwork, there is something surreal about seeing an image of an artwork that they live with everyday on street corners and newspaper racks in businesses and institutions throughout the region. The result is an odd blending of the public and private realms.

This exhibition consists of 10 original artworks in various media that have been featured on the cover of an Artvoice issue dating from 2007 to present. All of the artworks are from the collection of Gerald Mead and the artists included are: painters Philip Burke, Tom Holt, Craig LaRotonda, and James Paulsen; photographer Max Collins; collagist Dylan England; comic cartoonist/illustrator Tom Van Deusen; and ceramic artist and printmaker Ken Price. A small reproduction of the cover each appeared on is below the label and it is interesting to note that in most cases the artwork was cropped to fit the proportions of the publication. Four of the 10 artworks also happen to be self-portraits of the artists who created the artworks.

This is the latest (in the past decade there have been two or three each year at various college and university galleries in Western New York and other venues) thematic exhibition to be drawn from the collection of artist and educator Gerald Mead, who has assembled a collection of over 800 artworks by artists associated with this region by birth or residency.

The exhibition comes down on April 25, so check it out before then and see how many covers you recall seeing when they were on the stands.

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