A time of transition

Hudson Valley artist and independent curator Carla Goldberg is in the midst of transitions – a new home, a new studio and a new exhibition that recaps her past 10 years of work.

For all she has going on, Carla Goldberg is surprisingly calm, not to mention decidedly upbeat.

WAG is catching up with the Hudson Valley mixed-media artist and independent curator on a recent afternoon as she is putting the finishing touches on her latest exhibition at BAU (Beacon Artist Union).

She pauses from hanging the last works at the gallery — and sweeping the floor — to chat with us about “Ten Years Gone,” which will open the following day to continue through July 7.

It’s a solo exhibition that offers a glimpse into her work at BAU, specifically celebrating her decade of experimentation.

It’s a bit of a career milestone, a stopping point to both look back and look ahead. And it also coincides with a time of transition for the artist first profiled here in June of 2015.

Goldberg, a Palm Springs, California, native who has made the Hudson Valley home since the early 1990s, is also finalizing the relocation of her home — and studio.

With the younger of two daughters graduating high school, Goldberg and her husband’s empty-nester move takes them from Putnam County’s Nelsonville to Beacon, just a short jaunt up the Hudson River into Dutchess County.

The change, though, is not simply a matter of a few miles; it will challenge Goldberg’s longtime way of working.

“I miss having the whole third floor of the Victorian,” Goldberg says of early days in her new 11-by-11 foot studio. “It’s getting used to a new space.”

But, those who know Goldberg know she is all about mixing things up — evidenced in her unique sculptural paintings and drawings on Plexiglas.

As a member artist of BAU, she has mixed things up every year. Like all BAU members, Goldberg has the opportunity to present an annual exhibition both of her own work and of her own choosing, a broad freedom that has allowed her to experiment.

As she says in the advance materials for “Ten Years Gone,” that freedom has found her “chasing ideas that culminate into one whole new series per year.”

And, she adds, “It’s the process that is important to my constant need to reinvent.”

As she tells us, the gallery supports the idea of “every year being able to experiment with no other restrictions.”

It can result in singular efforts or signature series such as her “sea foam” sculptural drawings; her designer-friendly “ripple effect” panels, a popular commission (“That series, it pays for all of my other work,” she notes); and “aqua marine.”

“I always present new work here,” she says of BAU.

As she walks WAG through this latest show, she traces her own development touching on themes, methods and materials while sharing behind-the-scenes stories of the works. She sees both an evolution — and a common thread in the theme of water, an enduring inspiration.

In fact, our first feature on Goldberg explored her series directly inspired by visits to the Connecticut coast, work completed through a Connecticut Sea Grant awarded as a way to encourage healthy coast and marine ecosystems.

Even the way Goldberg has written of her signature ink-and-resin method acknowledges the influence: “The fluidity of line meandering through deep layers of watery, pooling resin is my visual language.”

Looking again over her collection on this day in Beacon, she observes the way that has played out over the years.

“It just keeps getting more and more in light and shadow. …Water holds it all together.”

How people react to — and interact with — her art is important.

“While I’m gallery-sitting for my shows, I tend to not tell the people right away it’s my work,” she says with a sly smile. That’s the best way, she says, to really gauge what is connecting with people.

While the region clearly means home to Goldberg, she exhibits internationally with works in permanent collections in museums and public, corporate and private spaces across the globe.

Travel, nature — and even studio “accidents” — continually inspire her.

“You never know where a kernel of a new idea is going to happen.”

Goldberg seems to be savoring this chance to look back — but also constantly looks ahead, supporting the next generation of creativity. She shares that she is mentoring a young Beacon-based artist, Lukas Milanak, whose “The Institute of Paraphysics” is on view in The Beacon Room at BAU.

Goldberg also speaks warmly of her two daughters, both creative young women — the older is studying special effects makeup, while the younger will soon pursue her writing career at college. Though addressing their career paths, Goldberg’s words seem to reflect her own life and art, as well.

“It’s really important to support your passion. If you really do what you love, you will find a way to live.”

“Ten Years Gone” continues through July 7 in the Main Gallery at BAU (Beacon Artist Union), a gallery at 506 Main St. in Beacon. The schedule continues with Elizabeth Arnold’s “Plant Spirit Medicine” and Sam Beste’s “Aeromantic,” which open July 13 with a 6 to 9 p.m. reception and continue through Aug. 3. For more, visit carlagoldberg.com or baugallery.org.

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