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The All Weather Gang

The "All Weather Gang" had its origins in the dim past when Don Grieger and John Hodgins of Batavia, NY, used to meet at the Miss Batavia Diner each Saturday morning, drink coffee, indulge their passion for sticky cinnamon rolls, then head for some place in Genesee or Wyoming counties to paint a landscape. When they presented their first exhibition of landscape paintings, they humorously named themselves The Group of Two, hinting at the renowned Canadian artists known world-wide as "The Group of Seven." In the ensuing 15 years the group has been augmented by including Guy Leclair of Geneseo and Gil Jordan of Wyoming, David Huebsch of Corfu, and LeRoyan Don Cooney, all were members of the Batavia Society of Artists.

(Postcard for the First All Weather Gang Show )

The Saturday Morning ritual of coffee and cinnamon rolls has been preserved. As a result, there has been further 'augmentation' of the group as its find a variety of excuses to continue downing cholesterol in heroic proportions. After an hour of talk, normally concentrated on art and the problems of painting, they head out in a caravan of cars. As landscape painters they are accustomed to adverse conditions. Like postal carriers, they are undaunted by snow, rain, blistering heat, bugs, dogs and friendly onlookers, who have been known to inquire, "Do you do this to kill time?" Others may wonder why grown men look at the countryside though fingers placed in the shape of a frame, while a few have had the alarming premonition that a group of men staring intently at their property could only mean a higher assessment or the beginning of an industrial site.

Despite the appearance of an outsized appetite for sweets and coffee, the All-Weather Gang is serious about preserving the beauty prevalent in this area. Each artist has a different approach and a different style of painting, but each is attracted to the look of a corn field in the winter, the shape of a shed against a group of trees, or what Emily Dickinson described as "a certain slant of light." With an artist's curiosity and dogged persistence, they continue to range throughout the countryside in an attempt to capture and preserve, maybe only once, the essence of a scene so that some viewer may look at the painting and exclaim, "Yes, that's the way it ought to be."

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