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Art, to me, is a physical manifestation of an internal visual language. Throughout my life, I have been interested in building things: planning, constructing, layering. This applies not only to my art but also to other things I have enjoyed doing, such as writing and research, where facts and ideas can be layered and overlapped, creating connections not before realized. When making my artwork, what interests me most are materials, especially their textural qualities. When I find a material that interests me, I am most curious about how it will work when combined with other materials, how I can manipulate it and change it to create effects not originally intended or expected of it at its original form. After a period of experimentation, I enjoy working in stages, piecing together and layering materials until they take on a quality that is unique only to the artwork. I like for an artwork to appear as a living, breathing organism of unknown origin. People often say that my artwork resembles sea-life or fungi, and these are interpretations that I embrace. Nature and biology have always been extremely important to me, so it does not surprise me that what I create resembles something natural.

Nature and biology may not seem as apparent in the pieces that depict objects like telephone poles or electrical towers, but there is definitely a reference to nature in these images; they depict the relationship humans have cultivated with the natural world. In these works I combine the visceral, textural qualities of the natural world with the imposing presence of the structures created to allow humans to live outside of it. This is our present landscape—it is not easy today to find a place where the natural land is free of something man-made, whether that man-made object is beautiful or imposing. I choose to focus on those structures that represent the human disconnect with the very energy that truly sustains all living things, including us.

Artist's Bio

Catherine Gelchinsky is an artist and teacher living in Nyack, NY. After graduating with a major in studio art and a minor in environmental science from Drew University in 2000, she spent some time working as a personal trainer before enrolling in the Art Education program at Teacher’s College, Columbia University. It was through learning to teach art that Catherine discovered an artistic voice that had gone dormant for several years, and where she acquired a deep respect for the beauty and power of good art teaching.

After graduating with a MA from Teacher’s College in 2005, Catherine began teaching at Cresskill High School in Cresskill, NJ, and still teaches there today. Teaching has become an important inspiration for her, in that being able to share her knowledge and experience as a working artist has given her a great deal of determination. She is, by no means, an artist first, teacher second. Rather, both art forms feed the other. Being able to support students through their artistic discovery has only helped her in supporting her own—without one, the other would not be nearly as lively or satisfying.

Today, Catherine teaches in Cresskill and lives in Nyack, NY, where she keeps her studio.