Abstract Adirondack: New Geurtze exhibit opens Sept. 24 | News, Sports, Jobs – The Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Sep 15, 2022
Printmaker Deborah Geurtze demonstrates the mat cutter in her studio’s framing shop. (Provided photo — Abstract ADK)
SARANAC LAKE — The Abstract Adirondack gallery will display a retrospective exhibition and sale of artwork by Saranac Lake painter and printmaker Deborah Geurtze over the next few weekends.
Her works will be on display in the gardens and on the porches of the Historic McClellan Cure Cottage, 391 Park Avenue in Saranac Lake, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 24-25, Oct. 1-2 and Oct. 8-9. This retrospective exhibition features paintings and etchings produced over her 40-year career and includes recent works. Three areas of imagery will be featured: the Adirondacks and North Country region, Gloucester and the northeastern seacoast and Cooperstown and central New York.
Of Hudson River Dutch ancestry, Geurtze is descended from a long line of draftsmen, engravers and painters who immigrated to Albany in the mid-19th century. Geurtze, whose intricate etchings reflect a deep connection with nature, got her start in high school, preparing printing plates for her uncle, a newspaper publisher in Canajoharie. That experience led Deb to the Rhode Island School of Design. An internship at the museum in Blue Mountain Lake the following summer rekindled her love of the Adirondacks.
“I was the assistant to the curator and lived in a lean-to down by the lake,” Geurtze said.
That fall, she stayed behind, hiked the High Peaks and enrolled as a painting and printmaking student at SUNY Potsdam under Robert Bero. Another summer was spent in central Arizona helping build Arcosanti, an early experiment in sustainable architecture and urban planning.
After graduating, Geurtze attended the Lake Placid Workshop program, refining her printing skills, and worked for the Adirondack Park Agency, identifying and mapping vistas as well as rare wetland and alpine plants for the Master Plan.
She then spent a year teaching at the American School of Tangier, in Morocco. Deb’s studio, on the roof of her house in the Casbah, overlooked the harbor and, in the distance, Gibraltar. That was followed by a stint teaching at the Vail Mountain School in Colorado, living on the edge of the National Forest amid the Rocky Mountains. Returning east, she settled in Cooperstown and began her printing career in earnest.
“I bought a 1,500 pound printing press and hauled it up to a little cabin in the woods overlooking Otsego Lake,” Geurtze said.
Along the way, she started a gourmet market near the Baseball Hall of Fame, was president of the Cooperstown Art Association and restored several historic buildings, including two behind the center field fence at Doubleday Field. Much of her early artwork reflects the village, the Susquehanna and Mohawk River valleys, the Catskills and Adirondacks. Geurtze’s love for the sea also led her to Gloucester, a fishing town in northeastern Massachusetts which had attracted generations of artists to its rocky shores and vibrant harbor. Over an eight-year stint, she explored the area’s trails and vistas while living in and restoring an early 19th-century house on a high-tide island in the historic harbor.
However, her deep love for the Tri-Lakes area and long-time Adirondack Park Agency friends drew Geurtze back to the North Country. Four years ago, she moved to Saranac Lake where she now produces hand-colored and multi-plate etchings, monotypes and paintings in a studio overlooking the McKenzie Range.
Geurtze’s work has been shown throughout the northeast and across the country. She has received numerous honors and awards and is represented in many personal, corporate, university and museum collections. Geurtze’s recent exhibitions include a 2019 solo show at the Arkell Museum at Canajoharie. She received the Blue Ribbon at the 2020 Tupper Lake Plein Air Festival. Her painting “Tumble Down” recently won two awards at the 87th Annual National Juried Art Exhibition in Cooperstown. Also, two of her prints have been selected for exhibit in New York City this fall.
Abstract Adirondack is an art gallery in Saranac Lake which features exhibitions in the gardens and on the porches of the Historic McClellan Cure Cottage as well as other locations in the area.
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