The Arts Center Yates Annual Artist of the Year Award (2023) has been awarded to Hannelore Wolcott-Bailey for her contribution to the world of fine art for over 70 years. Jay Costanza joins this annual exhibit as featured artist bringing his own mastery of plein air and landscape painting to the thrill of all.
About Jay Constanza
The changing light of day and the moods it creates are the foundations of my paintings. My pieces usually start with a fundamental sketch, an underpainting, and then the application of color with an emphasis on value, temperature, and harmony. Painting is a synthesis of my personal feelings of the subject that inspires me. My interest in art began in college when I was studying biology and I found myself sketching all the animals in my text book. Like most kids, I loved to sketch and draw, but I spent most of my time involved in sports and enjoying the outdoors. After one of my friends submitted one of my pieces to the art department at Grand Canyon University where I started college, I was shocked when I was offered a partial but significant art scholarship! I never did accept that scholarship. Instead I enlisted in the army and spent the next two and a half years in Italy. The scenery around me was beautiful and remained in my mind long after I returned home. I returned to college, this time at the State University of New York at Geneseo, where I completed my Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology. After completing my Master’s Degree in Secondary Education, I became an educator for the next 35 years, and I painted occasionally. I frequently incorporated art into my science lessons, which helped my students understand the content more easily. After I retired in 2015, my passion for art was rekindled, and I have been painting full time ever since, both in and out of my studio.
I am an active member of the following art organizations:
About Hannelore Wolcott-Bailey
Hannelore Wolcott Bailey, well known for her many paintings in public and private collections around Yates County and beyond, had a challenging journey becoming an artist.
At the opening of the 2019 Art Guild Exhibit “Memories” at the Flick Gallery of the Arts Center on Main Street in Penn Yan, she related the story behind some of her “memories” paintings. She lived outside Berlin, Germany as a young girl, in a family home which was partially destroyed during WWII.
She commuted daily into the city to attend an art school for cartooning, their version of “Disney.” Nightly bombings had begun, and often her morning train had to stop where the tracks were blown away, yet traveled over the rebuilt roadbed by evening. Members of her class had to take turns staying in the building’s attic overnight, burdened with the responsibility of tossing out any incendiary bombs which landed there before they could explode. One morning she arrived at the ashes of what had been her 7-story school and was now the grave of her classmate.
With the end of hostilities, her neighborhood fell under the Russian occupation. At great risk, her family eventually escaped into West Germany and the shelter of relatives. Hannelore found employment in a plastic fabrication company, tending beakers in the lab, doing nothing related to art. One day she took some materials home, painted scenes on them, and presented them as a suggestion of what the company might do. She became the art department, and her work was pressed into placemats and other household items.
In 1950, on a shoestring, Hannelore entered the Academy of Fine Arts in Frankfurt on the Main. A lovely picture of the city along the river is among her paintings. She cleaned houses, modeled clothing, joined a street troop of hucksters selling a miracle soap, even worked a season in a hard labor camp building a railroad in Bosnia. But she was able to pay her way to art school.
In 1952 Hannelore immigrated to the United States, bringing few possessions except her paint brushes. And the rest, as they say, is history. Over the years Hannelore’s style has become recognizable, hanging in Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital, the Yates County Office Building, Lakeside Country Club, and many homes and offices. For years she hosted an annual Art Barn show and sale over July 4th and continues to sell her paintings at the Arts Center’s Flick Gallery. She remains one of the Arts Center’s most popular and recognizable artists.
The Arts Center Board is pleased to recognize Hannelore’s talent and long-time contributions to the local art community by naming her the 2023 Artist of the Year.