The Sherburne Arts Festival (SAF) is pleased to announce that the 2024 featured artist is
Sherburne-Earlville Central School and SUNY New Paltz graduate Riley Webster.
Riley has trained primarily as a painter, printmaker, and draftsman and began practicing art
through the encouragement of the SECS art department. Prior to attending college, Riley worked with
local Sherburne artist Julian Button, who served as a mentor as Riley continued to improve with practice
and style exploration. “Learning from Julian about art as well as the local history of the Chenango Valley
influenced both my work and how I observed the world,” Riley says. “I’m fascinated by the way plants
and animals reclaimed the spaces where industry and agriculture once flourished, though not in my
lifetime. Watching the recovery and evolution of ecosystems that were once nearly pushed to the brink by
human activity left a deep impression on me at a young age and continues to influence my work and practice.”
During his study of painting at SUNY New Paltz, Riley discovered printmaking and earned a
BFA in printmaking in the fall of 2023. “I have found that the medium allows me to explore a concept in
greater detail. The understanding that we were once collectively an integral piece of the natural world,
and could be once again, is something that I continually examine through printmaking. At the moment,
my work explores trees, both as medium and subject matter, focusing on textures from materials I
gathered from the woods and my father’s cabinetmaking shop. Growing up near vast timberlands created
a lifelong love of the diverse forests that supplied my family’s shop. The relationship of growth and decay
of this familiar material showcases the complexities of nature we experience daily, often without even
realizing it.”
Riley is the son of Jeff and Sue Webster of North Norwich and the grandson of Bruce and Kathie
Webster of Sherburne. SAF welcomes Riley to the show this year! Mark your calendars for June 8, 2024,
in Gaines Park, Sherburne. Visit our website at for more information or to sign
up as an artist/crafter. SAF’s platinum sponsor in 2024 is the Herbert H. and Mariea Brown Charitable
Trust Foundation.