Sarah McCoubrey’s “Earthbound” paintings featured at Bannister Gallery Oct. 7-28

From Oct. 7-28 visitors to Bannister Gallery will gain some interesting perspectives on what it means to be “earthbound” when an exhibition of that name will showcase the work of Sarah McCoubrey.

Sarah McCoubrey. "Christmas Tree."
McCoubrey’s landscapes depict backyards and vacant lots luminously rendered in oil on panel. By using the representational techniques more associated with the monumental or romantic in the American tradition, she brings pathos and majesty to these seemingly ordinary scenes.

Each image, empty of people, bears the signs of their presence – their tools, their playthings, their refuse. Each image evokes both the rituals of human existence and a fundamental connection to the planet.

Although written back in 1996 for a catalog accompanying a show of McCoubrey’s work at Syracuse University, writer Brian Kiteley’s comments still provide some valuable inroads to the painter’s work.

For instance, he remarks on some of its ethical and more ominous moments, “The earth in these paintings has almost always been transformed by human activity, rumpled and wrinkled, overturned and grooved by careless machinery, but humans themselves and any structures humans might occupy are missing.”

In his closing, he summarizes the work’s general tone and construction, “Sarah McCoubrey builds a complexly moral world out of the shards of landscape paintings, still lifes, and dreamscapes.”

McCoubrey is an associate professor of art at Syracuse University and is the recipient of several grants from organizations such as the Milton Avery Foundation, the MacDowell Colony and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Sarah McCoubrey. "Building Lot."
Her work was included in the 2008 and 2002 Everson Museum of Art Biennial and in recent exhibits at Munson Williams Proctor Institute, Utica, N.Y., and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University.

McCoubrey is working on the creation of an “archive,” Hannah Morse: Landscape Painter, a fictional 19th-century landscape painter and inventor.

An opening reception for “Earthbound” will take place at Bannister Gallery on Oct. 7 from 5-8 p.m. The exhibition is curated by RIC faculty member Natasha Seaman.

Gallery hours during exhibits are Tuesday through Friday, noon to 8 p.m., or by appointment with the gallery director. Exhibits and events are free and open to the public. Accessible to persons with disabilities. For information on event dates and exhibit opening receptions, check the website at or call (401) 456-9765.