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Conditional Change: The Janus Show at C. G. Jung Center

Filed under: Art

“Huge turnout”—that’s what every gallery director wants to hear towards the end of an art opening, and those were the words on the lips of so very many people at the C. G. Jung Center Gallery, a Victorian era town house behind the massive plaque-commemorated Sycamore jutting into Franklin street. On the monthly First Fridays, Allentown’s gallery walkabout, Jennifer Fendya, the Jung Center’s director of programs and exhibitions, hosts an intriguing, thoughtful display of art as part of the regularly scheduled series of events offered by the Western New York Analytic Psychology Society.

Arguably one of the most engaging art venues in town, the Jung Center offers the reassuring surrounds of academic rectitude as well as the opportunity for conversation with a diverse range of art-going and buying patrons. Currently the exhibition features the work of 14 artists whom, as the title indicates, are showing work changed in some manner of media from that which they are known as artists to present, thus a challenge to work in an alternative medium, style, or scale. The Janus Show, an innovative, concept-oriented event, encouraged artists to stretch their imagination into areas or disciplines they might at first feel less certain about but always wanted to present. This not to say the work is any the less ready to exhibit publically—in fact the energy and enthusiasm of both the artists and viewing patrons gave every indication that changing face at the first of the year is a healthy investment in protean creativity.

Three weeks following, the artists talk was held. As well attended as the opening, this was the occasion for artists to explain in response to questions and comments, the motivation for their work and art process. The evenings proceedings went a long way to “break down artificial barriers,” as Fendya put it, to gentle the intimidation many people feel about fine art—keeping them reluctant to visiting art galleries or talking to artists about their work, which is the whole idea behind First Fridays.
The Janus Show runs through February 27.
j. tim raymond