Nemett, Hatke paintings on view at KAC

Publication Date

Nemett, Hatke paintings on view at KAC

For the last nine years, Laini Nemett and Walter Hatke, current and emeritus visual arts faculty members, respectively, have exchanged images of their recent paintings via email.

Through their ongoing correspondence, both noticed their newfound exploration of natural landscapes following an earlier focus on interior geometries.

The poster for the event: Two Painters: Laini Nemett & Walter Hatke.

They are sharing their mutual artistic focus in the exhibition, “Two Painters: Laini Nemett & Walter Hatke,” at Union’s Kelly Adirondack Center. The show opens Wednesday, April 24, with a reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Nemett joined Union as professor of visual arts in painting and drawing in 2015 after Hatke’s 30-year tenure. During the pandemic, she spent time at home painting scenes of her neighbors’ houses and the changing light around them. A selection of this series is shown at KAC for the first time. After moving to a house in a wooded area several years ago, she began absorbing the changes of hours, seasons and weather through plein air paintings.

Hatke’s artistic career began with landscapes, primarily in watercolor, and evolved to interiors and still lifes. Several years ago, he started a series of small oil paintings that featured sites along the Mohawk/Hudson Bikeway.

Four years ago, while contributing to a book authored Peter Tobiessen, professor of biological sciences emeritus, titled “Natural Areas & Other Attractions of Schoharie County, New York,” Hatke was introduced to the noted Blenheim Covered Bridge, which inspired a new ongoing series of paintings, also being publicly shown at the KAC for the first time.

Nemett holds a B.A. from Brown University and an M.F.A. from the Hoffberger School of Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her work has appeared in exhibitions in the U.S., Europe, China and Africa, including in solo shows at the Paul Mahder Gallery in Healdsburg, Calif., the Guilin Art Museum in Southwest China and the Institute for Contemporary Art at Platform Gallery, Baltimore.

She has received grants from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Queens Council on the Arts and Fulbright Foundation, and has attended residencies in the U.S. and abroad, including Yaddo, UCross, Joan Mitchell Center, Hambidge, Jentel, VCCA, Cill Rialaig in Ireland, and the Klots Residency in France.

Hatke holds a B.A. from DePauw University and advanced art degrees from the University of Iowa. Early in his career, he was an assistant to the acclaimed 20th century American sculptor Alexander Calder. At Union, he taught painting, drawing and biological illustration as the Walter C. & May I. Baker Professor of Visual Arts. Over the years, he has served as visiting artist, critic and lecturer at Dartmouth College, the Kansas City Art Institute, and Yale University.

His work is included in public, private, and corporate collections throughout the U.S. and abroad, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, Smith College Museum of Art, Tucson Museum of Art, Kansai Gaidai University in Japan, Nanjing University in China and JP Morgan Chase.

He has received awards and honors from the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Ingram Merrill Foundation, and he has participated in the U.S. State Department’s Art in Embassies Program for many years. Since 1975, he has been represented by art galleries in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco and Santa Fe. He currently is represented through Gallery Henoch in New York.

An interdisciplinary research facility, the Kelly Adirondack Center is open to the public Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

“Two Painters” runs through Sept. 30. A full color catalog accompanies the exhibition. For more information, contact Margaret Amodeo at (518) 388-7000 or