The Fair

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I went to the New York State Fair on Friday night.  It was one of those perfect evenings where everything just fell into place.  The traffic was reasonable – relatively light for the amount of people at the event.  My cousin Jackie and I found a great parking spot within minutes of driving down State Fair Blvd in Syracuse, New York.

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We were there for the Toto concert.  They played in Chevy Court at 8:00 pm.

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We had enough time to hit the bathroom before finding a seat.  I suggested my favorite one in the whole place, the lavatory on the second floor of the Art & Home Center.

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It isn’t a heavily trafficked area, hence super clean and no queue for a stall.  I’m actually not sure if there is an elevator to get up there – I mean, there must be, although it is one of the oldest buildings at the fairgrounds.  The Art & Home Center is home to Arts and Crafts competitions with Fine Art upstairs.

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Here are some pictures of the art on display.  Photography, drawing, painting, sculpture with different divisions based on age.  It is sort of a hodge-podge of work.  The giant ribbons indicate the winners, but you kind of need your readers to decipher the category and age brackets of said winners.

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They make the most of the display area with art hanging in close proximity covering all the walls and doors plus work on stands resting on several tables scattered around.

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For those of you who have attended The Fair and never knew this existed, you’re welcome.

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Competition is inspiring for the winners, especially for school-aged children, because it offers validation and perhaps a nudge in the direction of the arts career-wise.  For adults, it is a chance to add to one’s resume, another award/group exhibition, which could lead to more of the same, as well as future gallery representation.  Hey, you never know.

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Here is the link to the web-page where you can download entry forms for New York State Fair competitions.

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The Fair continues through Labor Day, Monday, September 5, 2016.  For more information, visit their website here.  Last year, I actually went to it twice after a decades long hiatus.  I have plans to go at least twice more this year!

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As for the concert, Jackie and I scored 5th row center seats about one minute before the concert began.  It was the craziest thing!  Later, we walked around with friends who’d messaged me after seeing my face on the giant screens then established a rendezvous point at the wine pavilion, lol.  (“Was that you?” “OMG, yes!”) Perfect night.  So fun!

 

Gallery Hopping

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Yes – Joyce, Penny and I were gallery hopping Friday night.  Here we are at the Edgewood Gallery for the Mixed Media show! (216 Tecumseh Road, Syracuse, NY 13224)

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This show is comprised of Clare Willson’s whimsical mixed-media pieces combining metal found objects with a painted under-structure, Arlene Abend’s metal sculptures and copper jewelry, Talking Trickster Studio’s pottery by Amy Komar and Sheila Roock and Terry McMaster’s abstract art.

Clare sold four small pieces before she even arrived for the opening, which is so great and worth the wait.  Cheryl Chappell, gallery owner, curator and framer extraordinaire, books her artists well in advance, sometimes as much as five years in advance!

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It is really very impressive how each exhibition is so different from one another, and each pairing of artists works so well together.  That, combined with the punch Cheryl packs in terms of breadth of works fitting so nicely in the space, the great spread of wine, grapes, hummus, crackers and Brie, and the always amazing conversations with all my cool artsy friends, made for a great time!

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Clare’s boyfriend bought her one of Arlene’s fabulous necklaces.  Arlene Abend always surprises me with something new.  Although she prefers to work in steel (“I hate copper – it doesn’t fight back” was what she said with a smile on her face), the copper jewelry appears simultaneously delicate and strong (or feisty more-like, lol).  Arlene is such a spit-fire.  I just love her to death.  I am always telling my students the story of how she was in art school, took a metal-smithing course on a whim and fell in love with it.  You never know where art will take you is the point of that story, and a result of Arlene’s journey are these wonderful reasonably-priced pendants and pins.

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Amy Komar is another one of my Facebook friends who until last night, I hadn’t actually met.  As with social media though, we seemed to know a lot about each other and ended our conversation by hugging it out.  I loved her positive energy!  She glazes the collection of pottery while her Talking Trickster Studio partner Sheila Roock is the wheel-throwing expert.  Many of the pieces are created in porcelain with a fun-loving cat-(dog? no whiskers so…)man and other whimsical imagery decorating the surface.  I believe these pieces may be cash and carry while the wall art will remain on display until the take-down date of September 23, 2016.

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I met Terry McMaster for the first time Friday night. Lol, I didn’t get a selfie with him – oh well, next time! He is known for his photography – I purchased a print from a basket of cards he was also selling.  These new paintings are somewhat of a departure for him.  He agreed to a future exhibition in the library gallery at Chittenango Middle School.  I am looking forward to working with him in the future!  Exciting.

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Call Cheryl Chappell at (315) 445-8111 for more information including the contemporary art and frame shop’s hours.  Check out the web-site too!

 

Alert the Media

Boundless Brooklyn is a company that sells 100% recycled cardboard model kits – crafted billboards, lighthouses, mailboxes, halfpipes, lifeguard stations and water towers that can be turned into amazing works of art.

You can also purchase the water tower kit at Target!

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Art Above All is the brainchild of tattoo artist Jamie Santos, who paired these kits with local artists to create this amazing exhibition.  She is a dynamic force in the Syracuse art scene!  I connected with her via Facebook after attending and later writing the blog post about that pop-up pizza-themed art show.  My blog went viral for several days with that one, with the most views in a day in the history of my blogging “career”!  Jamie was responsible for that show as well.

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I love her spirit and energy.  And while I have never considered getting a tattoo, I know I would be in good hands should I ever change my mind.  She works out of Tymeless Tattoo in Baldwinsville, New York (and also curates their gallery space).  Jamie curated this unique art show of billboards and water tower models at SALT Quarters gallery (115 Otisco Street, Syracuse, New York), which is within walking distance from her art studio at the Delavan Center on West Fayette Street.  SALT Quarters will be open again today and tomorrow from noon to 5:00 pm.  Contact jamiesantosartworks@gmail.com for more information.

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The opening reception took place last night.  Upon arrival, we were greeted by three artists painting murals.  Penny, Joyce and I chatted with them about the creation of art and the process of mark-making while they set about creating these large-scale pieces.  I loved hearing their philosophies.  It doesn’t seem to matter how people arrived at the idea/conclusion of becoming an artist, I mean in terms of their backgrounds or the age at which their idea manifested into their reality – the truth is the language of art is the same.  It is the language of the journey, of self-discovery, of the role emotion plays in creation and the joy of living a dream-life through art.

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Inside – we viewed these whimsical three-dimensional creations while listening to the sounds of Backpacker’s Field Manual (two Chittenango grads!)

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I am so inspired by this show.  The artists really seemed to transcend their materials.  They don’t look like cardboard cut-outs at all.  Their ideas range from humor to social injustice and are created with paint and mixed-media in graffiti, Pop Art, Impressionist and traditional styles.  The models are essentially advertising media and so, the message seems to be the message, lol – to alert the media through media, so to speak.  To give voice to the artist within, whatever that statement may be.

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I just love the camaraderie of this exhibition/event.  Artists joining forces in the spirit of fun and love.  It is truly a magnificent use of this tiny gem of a gallery.  I would love to gather a bunch of these models and see what my students at Chittenango Middle School can do with them!

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The artists in this exhibition include Aaron Z. Lee, Andrew Peters, Brandon Lazore, Casey Landerkin, Cayetano Valenzuela, Charlie Sam, Chris Sosa, Dan Styles, Doug Aldrich, E.L. Downey, Jacob Alan Roberts, Jamie Santos, Jemola Addley, Jesse Gabriel, Jesse Ryan, Josh Montgomery, Marcus Osmun, Michael Giannattasio, Michael John Heagerty, Monty Ses Esposito, Paul Ulrich, Steve Sie, Tommy Lincoln, and Tony Tompson.  Some of the art is priced to sell – not sure about all of it, but the artists have supplied contact information via email in order to connect.

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Loved it! ❤  You will, too!

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Flower Power

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Achieving harmony happens when you are living a life of happiness and joy, a life of positive energy and good vibrations.  If you are searching for a short cut to this harmonious vibrational alignment, you might want to visit (get lost in) the sunflower maze in Camillus, New York.

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It is located in the backyard of The Inn Between Restaurant at 2290 West Genessee Turnpike, also know as Route 5.

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My friend Lisa suggested an outing via a Facebook all-call and a bunch of us headed out there to frolic among acres and acres of sunflowers.  It is Syracuse’s version of a Christo and Jeanne-Claude happening, something fun for the whole family, and cheap – $5 admission for families, $2 for individuals and a senior citizen’s discount.

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The photo ops are priceless!  And if you are an artist or otherwise inclined, and want to channel your inner Vincent van Gogh, you’ll have plenty of resources to keep you occupied all winter.

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You can purchase sunflowers, sunflower seeds and honey made on-site by the many bees working diligently just for the fun of it.  You can have dinner in the restaurant or just cocktails at the bar, as my friends and I did last night.  So fun!

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The maze will be available to the public until Sunday, August 21, 2016.

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Toe in Classroom

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Yesterday I decided to put my toe into the water, so to speak.  I went to work!  Yes – it’s like I forgot I had a job, and then all of a sudden I woke up out of this summer’s dream and, of course, the crummy weather kind of pushed me along to remind me that I have a place to go for ten months out of the year, a reason to get up in the morning….

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I only spent two hours there – I checked in my supplies purchased in June from School Specialty.  I bought a lot of cool things!  Canvas panels, watercolor pads, and tagboard.  Glazes, glue sticks and new pencil sharpener inserts!  I am excited to start the new year.  It is going to be soooo fun!

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Wow, I am so fortunate to have this job and this beautiful, huge classroom!  The maintenance folks painted the walls and waxed the floor.  They put all the furniture back exactly as I had it before, as per my hand-drawn map.

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There is a lot to do still – like putting the new supplies away, adding posters and prepping materials for the first lessons.  Can’t go today because I think they are waxing the hallway floor.  But, soon!  School starts September 7th.

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The Tactile Artist

Auburn, New York has a First Friday thing.

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Seventeen venues were open last Friday evening with special happy hour deals and art exhibits (including the Cayuga Museum, Seymour Public Library, Seward House Museum, The Copper Pig, Moondog’s Lounge, Finger Lakes Artist Co-op, and the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center to name a few).

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It was another gorgeous summer night in Central New York.  Joyce, Janine and I met at the Schweinfurth.  Edgy Folk played outside to the crowd of people who enjoyed a free mini-painting workshop.

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Inside, we viewed the exhibit – Transgressing Traditions: Contemporary Textiles from the Surface Design Association.

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This is an international exhibition of textile work from sixty-five artists.  People from all over the nation, as well as from Canada, Hungary, Korea, France, Germany, and the UK! The Schweinfurth is such a beautiful space and this work looks AMAZING in it!

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So modern!  It is just so incredible what artists are doing with traditional sewing techniques.  These are not your grandmother’s crochet and knitted afgans – my grandmother, while being known as the best crochet-er in New York State as acknowledged at the New York State Fair for many years, never created her own patterns or took the art to another level the way these artists do.

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The show continues through August 21, 2016.

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The Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center is located at 205 Genesee Street, Auburn, New York.  Call (315) 255-1553 for more information or visit their web-site – www.myartcenter.org

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Family Affair

The Macedonian Festival is in full swing this weekend at St. George Macedonian Eastern Orthodox Church in Syracuse, New York.

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They open at noon today for hours of ethnicity – food, music, dance and church tours.

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My father is a chef – retired now, but he spent all day yesterday in the kitchen.  My mother brought in her arsenal of décor and costumes to display on the stage in the reception hall.

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Lots of red!

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The interior of the church is spectacular.  An iconographer from the monastary created breathtaking murals on canvas that were adhered to every wall.  I love the blue starry ceiling!

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I am an iconongrapher too!  OMG, I painted a picture of St. George when I was eighteen.  It was a project using only the primary colors and black and white so, keep that in mind before you judge, lol.

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My painting has actually been blessed and resides above the candle kiosk.  So, even though I am not technically a member of the church anymore (I haven’t paid my dues since the ’80s) I still maintain a small presence there, which is very special.

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Macedonia is a country for those of you who have never heard of it.  It is one of five countries that were once part of the former Yugoslavia.  I think it goes by Former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia or something.  For more information about Macedonia, check out the latest issue of National Geographic magazine!

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Here is the link to the festival’s Facebook page.  The church has a web-site too.  Check out the festival today (noon-11:00 pm) or tomorrow (noon-7:00 pm) – or both!  5083 Onondaga Road (Route 173) Syracuse, New York 13215

Folk dancing is a guilty pleasure.  It’s so much fun and great cardio!  Especially to the sounds of Merak, a group of guys who have been playing together since they were preschoolers – they are amazing!