On a cold, cloudless day in New Paltz, I took a walk with two friends to a thrift shop on Water Street housed in a giant red barn. They were new pals, some of the first real friends I had made since beginning college. While I sifted through records, mirrors, and vintage postcards, Alanna had a vision for a photograph.
“Hold still, right there,” she said.
I posed in profile with our other companion, Math, and heard the camera shutter.
The resulting image, titled “Fraternal Friends,” is one of eleven photographs in Alanna Floreck’s solo exhibit, “Congruence,” on display at consciousfork in Warwick. Floreck, who grew up and now lives in Warwick, began her relationship with the camera at fourteen. By age sixteen, she was solicited for events and portraits, and found herself inclined to collaborate with musicians. In her years at SUNY New Paltz, Floreck established a singular visual vocabulary.
“When you see a photo by Alanna, you know it’s a photo by Alanna,” is a sentiment often expressed by her friends and fellow artists.
“Congruence” is not only a collection of superlative art—the show represents Floreck’s foray into a concept-driven photography practice. The hallmarks of Floreck’s work are still present, and they culminate in a cohesive assembly of her work. Insect wings are blown up to a surreal scale and shimmer with rainbows. Somber, stately mountain ridges double themselves in the form of cloud formations. A blue bee sees its shadow, comically portending “Six More Weeks of Winter.”
A New Venue for Art in the Heart of Warwick
For consciousfork®, a vegan cafe on Railroad Avenue, this show marks the beginning of a renaissance. In anticipation of the show’s opening, owner Kim Gabelmann says, “We used to do big art shows, and it was a great venue. We are reintroducing art shows after four years of them being gone, and Alanna’s going to be part of bringing art shows back.” Gabelmann has made it her mission to “offer products and services that are good for people, the planet and our animal friends.”
Gabelmann’s appreciation for local art will hopefully set a precedent in her community. Meanwhile, Floreck is grateful to have a venue for this work.
“There are not a lot of places in [Warwick] where owners are allowing local artists to display their art—other places with stock images on their walls could easily do the same thing,” she said.
Of course, there are exceptions to this trend, such as a group art show held at Warwick’s Drowned Lands Brewery last summer, where Floreck displayed four of her photographs. Still, the fact remains that many establishments forego original art and rely on stock art. A 12x24 stock print from Home Goods runs for around $130.00. Floreck charges $120.00 for an original print of the same size.
The opening reception for “Congruence” will take place on Sunday, March 13, from 4:00 to 6:00. Complimentary refreshments will be served. Other viewing opportunities: Thursdays and Fridays from 11:00 to 6:00, and as specified by the consciousfork® social media page. Gabelmann plans to update the art on display monthly, and artists are encouraged to submit their work to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
Alanna’s photography and writing can be found at alannafloreck.com, or on her Instagram page @alannafloreck
“We used to do big art shows, and it was a great venue. We are reintroducing art shows after four years of them being gone, and Alanna’s going to be part of bringing art shows back.” - Kim Gabelmann