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Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Audrey Francis: Bird Brain, May 6-June 25, 2023

Audrey Francis, Shh, 2022, oil on canvas, 22 x 30 inches. On view in Bird Brain, May 6-June 25. Exhibition preview coming soon. Inquiries:

Audrey Francis:

Bird Brain

Saturday + Sunday


Through June 25

Hello friends!

We are thrilled to present Rhinebeck NY artist Audrey Francis’ first solo exhibition with LABspace

Please join us in welcoming art historian, curator, and writer Jennifer Samet for an in-person Beer with a Painter conversation with Audrey Francis on Sunday June 4th at 2pm

A selection of locally brewed craft beer will be provided for the occasion by Rare Form of Troy NY, and soft pretzels from Hillsdale’s Cook & Larder

Please bring a chair or blanket and meet us in the LABspace courtyard for this fun afternoon of art, beer and conversation 🌱

Huge thanks to Jennifer, Audrey, Rare Form, and Cook & Larder!

See you here soon,

xo Ellen + Julie

Audrey Francis, Collateral, 2023, pastel on paper, 45.5 x 36 inches. On view in Bird Brain, May 6-June 25. Inquiries:

Audrey Francis: Bird Brain

May 6-June 25, 2023

Beer with a Painter conversation:

Jennifer Samet speaks with Audrey Francis about her work on Sunday June 4th at 2pm in the LABspace courtyard

On view Saturdays + Sundays 1-5pm and by appointment through June 25

Audrey Francis, Look out, 2022, oil on canvas, 48 x 35 inches. On view in Bird Brain, May 6-June 25. Inquiries:

Audrey Francis writes about her work in Bird Brain:

My recent oil paintings and pastels depict a range of avian themes. Although I am not a birder, my son is, and that familial connection to nature engendered, in part, my obsession with birds and their attendant metaphors and symbolisms. I often place birds as significant figures in various social, political, and feminist narratives within my work. The roles they play include silent witnesses, surrogates embodying my views on global issues, and incarnations of my desire to physically and mentally free myself from world affairs. My process, especially with oil paint, is slow and painstaking and my thoughts can often outpace the speed of my brush. Sometimes narratives can spontaneously change course in a work in progress, and I see this as an opportunity to embrace unexpected transformations and connections between themes. My work can also be observational, providing pictorial space for detailed depictions of birds and other figures, as well as investigations into color, line, form, and movement. Whether my work leans toward narrative or observation, I always incorporate fashion, pattern, and the natural world as complementary grounding elements. Throughout my career as an artist, I have endeavored to paint what I know and what moves me. My recent work about birds conveys an authentic and personal experience of contemporary life through the mediation of one of the most expressive and symbolic members of the animal world.

Audrey Francis’ diverse practice includes painting, works on paper, collage, sculpture, and textile art. Thematically her work explores a range of social factors including gender, politics of the body, sexuality, ideas of beauty, and her Latina heritage. Narrative—combined with fashion, pattern, and nature—often drives her painterly, chromatically-rich works. Francis cites outsider/folk art, modern narrative figural work, and baroque portraiture as influences.

Francis’ work has been featured in over fifty exhibitions nationally, and may be found in private and corporate collections worldwide including the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in New York. Recent exhibitions include Mountain High, Valley Low and The Magic Garden, both at LABspace; Infinite Uncertainty at Opalka Gallery in Albany NY; LatinX at The Howland Cultural Center in Beacon NY; Showcase at The Moviehouse in Millerton NY; and Vista Panoramico at Ann Street Gallery in Newburgh NY, where Ellen Letcher and Julie Torres were first introduced to Audrey Francis and her work by director and exhibition curator Virginia Walsh.

Francis holds an MFA in Painting from SUNY New Paltz, and a BFA in Illustration from Syracuse University. She has taught painting at SUNY New Paltz and design at Dutchess Community College. She is the recipient of various awards and honors, most recently the Research and Creative Projects Award, SUNY; The Joan Mitchell Award Nomination; and the Barrett Art Center Award. Francis has been an artist in residence at the Nantucket Island School of Design & The Arts. She is based in New York’s Hudson Valley.

Jennifer Samet is a New York City-based art historian, curator, and writer who specializes in contemporary and post-war painting. She is a Director of Eric Firestone Gallery and a member of the faculty at the New York Studio School. She is the author of the column Beer with a Painter in Hyperallergic Weekend Edition.

Thank you to Taliesin Thomas for this review of Audrey Francis: Bird Brain on Chronogram. Exhibition checklist here. Inquiries:

LABspace is located below Hillsdale General Store and Cook & Larder

Down the road from Sylvan Motor Lodge and The Alander

17 miles east of Hudson NY • 17 miles north of Millerton NY • 11 miles west of Great Barrington MA

LABspace was founded and directed by artist Susan Jennings 2014-2018, and has been the curatorial project of artists Ellen Letcher and Julie Torres since April 2018.