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Saturday, August 23, 2008

GANNETT NEWS - Global gallery - Painters worldwide promote sustainability through online art -- "A PAINTING A DAY FINE ART MOVEMENT"

Global gallery

Painters worldwide promote sustainability through online art

Nearly 140 artists from 10 countries -- Canada, Chile, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, United Kingdom and the United States -- are posting their tributes to the planet at the Web site. Each artist strives to produce one small painting every day and exhibit it online to foster global discussion about sustainability.

But the only similarity is the theme. Or as Micah Condon,'s gallery director, predicted when the online exhibition opened Aug. 1: "I think we'll see quite a variety of thought-provoking subjects in this innovative exhibition."

Many of the participating artists have exhibited internationally and have works included in significant public and private collections.

Case in point: Hall Groat II of Endwell, an art professor at Broome Community College, who first was drawn to the online art movement in 2006. A graduate school classmate of his, Duane Keiser, had become disenchanted dealing with New York art brokers. Not wanting to conform any longer, Keiser became, according to Groat, the father of this movement.

"I got inspired by what he had done," Groat said, who was dealing with New York brokers of his own.

Soon after, Groat was voted onto the site (artists are chosen democratically) and began producing one painting a day.

Visitors are able to communicate directly with the artists and learn about the thinking behind the work. Viewers also can subscribe to daily e-mail updates to get the most recent art in their inbox every morning.

According to Groat, this is one of the site's first curated exhibits centering on a social theme.

"Our artists are committed to conserving our planet's resources, so members will be painting and discussing conservation-related issues," Condon said.

To spread the message of the site and of sustainability, Groat will be working the concept into his BCC classes this fall.

"This year, all of the projects that I put together are going to be rooted in the sustainable ideal," Groat said.

The environmental theme will be interwoven throughout the projects his students produce and the blogs they will be required to keep on the subject. Groat is determined to have his students "speak about ideas involving content."

Groat has found that the online gallery allows him to connect with other artists and expand his classroom abroad. This year, he will have his students connect with other artists' classrooms in an effort to expand discussion and critiques internationally.

"A lot of the artists who are involved with this movement look at art in term of economics," Groat said. "To me, the movement has to do with the process of globalization and using both the art and the Internet to inspire dialogue on a global scale."

For more information, visit or e-mail

Bumblebee with Melting Ice 14"x11" Oil on canvas
by Hall Groat II, American Artist

Combustion Engine 20"x16" Oil on canvas
by Hall Groat II, American Artist

SHRINE | Oil on canvas | overall 41"x41", panels 8"x8" | 2008

by Hall Groat II, American Artist

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