All posts by Karen Tashkovski

Karen Tashkovski is an artist and teacher from Syracuse, NY. She is a graduate of Syracuse University (BFA-Fashion Design & Studio Arts, MS-Art Education)

Mourning

#kesnyc #tashkovski #faithfullthebrand #laurenralphlauren #bcbgeneration
#kesnyc #warnerbros #ragandbone

I’m in mourning for my summer vacation. I will be wearing black for a while. I could potentially do this all year, lol. I love wearing black, especially with blonde hair.

#kesnyc #michelledarinjewelry #trinaturk #bcbgmaxazria
#kesnyc #milly #allsaints #bcbgeneration

It’s All Free

#kesnyc #tashkovski #freepeople #bcbgeneration

When I am in my classroom, I feel a bit like a caged animal. I can’t go to the bathroom whenever I want to – I have a two minute window here and there, which takes adjusting to after having so much freedom over the summer.

I have two bathrooms in my house now and central air – no air condish at school.

And so, those two things are the only cons to my job. Not the students or the curriculum, or the amazing community of Chittenango, New York.

It is so fun to create new lessons, to introduce new art concepts and to just spend time with my students again in my own classroom.

I’m starting with some drawing and graphic design projects. I’m sharing information about Keith Haring and his art retrospective at The Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York. I just found out it isn’t over until October 11th – which means maybe the students can convince their families to take a trip out there? That would be incredible!

I started the school year in this Free People cotton dress. It is so comfortable and colorful! I just love it! Thank you, Bloomingdales! <3

Covid After Party

This is the state of my classroom. Last year, the teachers traveled from room to room instead of the students moving about the building. We are somewhat back to normal this year. It’s good to be back.

So far, I checked in some supplies and pulled a bunch of posters out of the back room. I’m in the process of creating new lessons and deciding which classes will do which lessons.

School starts for students on September 7th.

I have a lot of work to do and there is no air conditioning in the classroom. Other challenges will include the social distancing stuff and the masks. I’ll try to find a way to make it fun.

Owego!

Owego is amazing! Quaint nineteenth century store fronts house restaurants, art galleries, jewelry stores and antique shoppes (including a visitor’s center) that border the Susquehanna River in Owego, New York.

It is a beautiful place to spend a sunny summer afternoon, browsing, having smoothies and exploring, which is exactly what we did on Wednesday.

My friend Joyce and I stopped in to the Early Owego Antique Center. It is the old J.J. Newberry Co. building – two floors filled with vignettes decorated by more than ninety individual dealers. I have been a huge fan for a while now – loving everything they post on social media. I think I may have one of those top fan badges.

It was pretty much sensory overload. I was overwhelmed. I mean, so much to discover! So fun! Loved it! I really need to get back there again because now that I have had a chance to look at the pictures, I see things in the background that I didn’t notice when I was there, you know? Antique hunting is all about that thrill of finding something from your past, finding something you didn’t know you needed. Or maybe it is about manifesting something that is in your vortex – something you put there a long time ago and voila! There it is right in front of you!

I found a Wheaton glass bottle on the second floor in a back corner of the store. It is something I had been Google-ing for a while- it was like – what the heck was it doing there? So cool! And when I brought it to the register, I even got a discount on the price!

I highly recommend you take a trip out there. Owego, NY is west of Binghamton. It is a ninety minute drive from Syracuse.

Early Owego Antique Center is located at 43-45 Lake Street (P.O. Box 8) Owego, New York 13827. They are open 10:00 am – 5:00 pm daily (closed on Tuesdays though). Call (607) 223-4723 for more information.

Terry & Harriet’s Legacy

Terry Plater, “Spaces Akin to Freedom”, 2021, oil, 12″ x 16″ $800

On Sunday, I was inspired to go the the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center. I planned to meet up with my friend about forty minutes before I actually arrived, and luckily, that bit of procrastination created an unexpected rendezvous.

Terry Plater, the featured artist in the Gallery Julius, happened to be in attendance and was gracious enough to meet with me and that was AMAZING!

Plater’s exhibit is titled Harriet’s Legacy. It is a series of watercolored landscapes (along with a few oil paintings). They are abstracted with muted tones and sweeping brushstrokes creating a harmonious horizontal solitude. The paintings demonstrate a tranquility, as though the historical voices yearning for freedom that infuse these landscapes are finally at peace.

An historian from the Cayuga Museum of History & Art directed Plater to the actual places that Harriet Tubman walked to include the probable paths of the Underground Railroad. The artist imagined these places as they may have been, sort of remembering the past in a vision and injecting it with the love of four hundred years, the strength of character through tears of both sorrow and joy, and the quiet confidence and intelligence she exudes as the beautiful soul, artist, and teacher she is today.

It is a marriage between past and present with the focus on positive outcomes, as well as the deep respect for Tubman and people like her who had the courage to make the future brighter.

I see the power in that beauty – it isn’t the angst of social injustice. Each painting was inspired by text – by quotes from books, letters penned by “fugitive” slaves, and notes from recorded journals – all found in a library where Plater researched the Underground Railroad activities specific to the Auburn, New York area. The paintings echo the manifestations of desires, wishes, hopes and dreams that came true in spite of doubts, fears and sacrifice.

Each painting in this eleven-piece collection is for sale. They will be on display until August 7, 2021.

In addition, Plater is simultaneously showing paintings at the Cayuga Museum of History & Art. These are figurative paintings.

She has channeled a voice to the local African American past through a connection with her own family members. There is an ethereal flavor to these paintings as well, the same muted tones, albeit in oils. That museum was closed on Sunday, so I could not view the shows in tandem, but perhaps you still can!

So beautiful, uplifting and inspirational.

Terry Plater told me that her deepest wish is to share this journey with students, so, I want to relay that message to families who are looking to do a day trip. The museums are adjacent to one another and – you’re welcome.

Thank you, Terry Plater – you are a beautiful person inside and out, and it was a sincere pleasure to have met you. Continued success to you in your career as an artist and in all that you choose to do! <3

(from the SMAC website)

Artist Statement:
The idea for this exhibit came together for me in an iterative fashion as I contemplated three things: the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans in the now United States (in 2019); the release of the film “Harriet,” which so richly conveyed the life, struggles and triumphs of Harriet Tubman; and an ongoing project I have been undertaking: painting from old family photos to better come to know and honor the history of my own family in Maryland and Virginia.

The proposal links these discreet endeavors in a single narrative, one that imagines, represents, and celebrates family history and 19th-20th century public life — specifically here in upstate NY — as emblematic. The title is meant to convey several things: the intergenerational history, value, and ownership of our collective American story as embodied in slavery and emancipation, the acknowledgement of Harriet Tubman as a local figure and national treasure.

Terry Plater wishes to thank all those who made this exhibition possible: The Schweinfurth Art Center and the Cayuga Museum of History and Art in Auburn; and the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County.

The Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center is located at 205 Genesee Street, Auburn, New York 13021. For more information, including hours of operation, call (315) 255-1553 or visit their website here.

The Cayuga Museum of History & Art is located at 203 Genesee Street, Auburn, New York 13021. For more information, including hours of operation, call (315) 253-8051 or visit their website here.

Artsy In New York

Lee Hoag, Rochester, NY
Mary Begley, Buffalo, NY

Every year the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center does a Made in New York (MINY) juried exhibition. This year’s show – what can I say? A lot of eggs and phallic symbols, am I right? OMG – round circular objects with the center piece sculpture filled with actual eggs. And every other sculpture is sporting the dildo-esqueness of a you-know-what.

LOL, so great! I wonder if this was the intent, or am I being fresh?

Sixty-nine artists were selected….

Shari Werner, New York, NY
Christina Bang, Pittsford, NY

Actually, the great thing about this exhibition is that artists must produce new work for it and everything looks very fresh in that sense of the word. It is all so colorful and curvy, clean, linear, firm and innocently provocative.

It’s a great show!

Jean K. Stephens, Honeoye, NY

MINY will be on display through August 7, 2021. Check out videos of the artists sharing their respective visions here.

Jurors for this year’s exhibition:

(from the Schweinfurth website)

Sharon Louden is an artist, educator, advocate for artists, editor of the Living and Sustaining a Creative Life series of books, and the Artistic Director of the Chautauqua Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution. Louden’s work has been exhibited in numerous venues including the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, the Drawing Center, Carnegie Mellon University, Weisman Art Museum, National Gallery of Art and held in major public and private collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, National Gallery of Art, Neuberger Museum of Art, Arkansas Arts Center, Yale University Art Gallery, Weatherspoon Art Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, among others.

George Afedzi Hughes is originally from Ghana and studied painting at The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, College of Art, Kumasi, Ghana, where he earned a BA in Art: Painting and Drawing (1989) and an MA in Art Education (1991).  He later received an MFA in Painting and Drawing (2001) from Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, U.S.A. His paintings, performances, and installations have been featured in several museum exhibitions: Perez Museum, Royal Ontario Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, National Football Museum, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and Museum voor Zuid-en Noord-Beveland. The following museums have collections of his work: Royal Museum of Ontario, Harn Museum of Art, Iwalewahaus and the Ghana National Museum.

Hannah Frieser is the Executive Director for the Center for Photography at Woodstock, an arts organization that features exhibitions, residencies and other artist-oriented programming. With over twenty years of leadership experience in the visual arts, she has curated countless solo and group exhibitions with contemporary photographers, including Suzanne Opton, Adam Magyar and Barry Anderson. Her essays have been featured in monographs and publications, such as Contact Sheet, Exposure, and Nueva Luz. Prior to joining CPW, she was Director of Light Work in Syracuse, NY. 

Lauren Bristol, Syracuse, NY
John Fitzsimmons, Syracuse, NY
Charles Compo, New York, NY
Emily Kenas, Geneva, NY

MINY Artists

Carolyn Abrams
Liz Alderman
Robin Arnold
Patricia Bacon
Christina Bang
Howard Bartle
Madeline Bartley
Mary Begley
Marna Bell
Tammy Renée Brackett
Paul Brandwein
Lauren Bristol
Andrea Buckvold
Susan Byrnes
Carlos Caballero-Perez
Nancy Callahan
Eva Capobianco
Stephen Carlson
Kevin Carr
Tara Charles
Sage Churchill-Foster
Fernando Colón-González
Charles Compo
Cynthia Cratsley
Carole D’Inverno
Lisa DeLoria Weinblatt
KP Devlin
Lisa Donneson
Audrey Dowling
Robert Doyle
Sharon Draghi
Leonard Eichler
John Fitzsimmons
Faithanne Flesher
John Galt
Jacq Germanow
Cora Jane Glasser
Julia Graziano
Raechelle Hajduk
Barbara Hart
Laural Hartman
David Higgins
Lee Hoag
George Hrycun
Bob Ievers
Emily Kenas
Dale Klein
Tom Kredo
Timothy Massey
Becky McNeill
Valerie Patterson
Beth Pedersen
Judith Plotner
Rose Popper
Jim Quinn
Steve Rossi
Amy Schnitzer
Catherine Shuman Miller
James Skvarch
Jason Smith
Jean K. Stephens
Susan Stuart
Jane Verostek
Kim Waale
Mary Pat Wager
Shari Werner
Katharine Wood
Hope Zaccagni
Leah Zinder

Julia Graziano, Manlius, NY
Jim Quinn, Williamson, NY
Kim Waale, Manlius, NY/Nancy Callahan, Gilbertsville, NY

The Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center is located at 205 Genesee Street, Auburn, New York 13021. For more information, including hours of operation, call (315) 255-1553 or visit their website here.

Paul Brandwein, Rochester, NY
Robin Arnold, New Paltz, NY/Timothy Massey, Spencerport, NY
Charles Compo, New York, NY
Catherine Shuman Miller, Williamsville, NY
Andrea Buckvold, Syracuse, NY/Patricia Bacon, Lyons, NY
Mary Pat Wager, East Greenbush, NY
Cora Jane Glasser, Brooklyn, NY,
#coach #tashkovski #rebeccataylor #ragandbone

Tenting It

The AmeriCu Arts & Crafts Festival is celebrating its 50th year in downtown Syracuse, New York. Located on the streets surrounding Columbus Circle, there are about 150 artisans and crafters represented in this three-day event. It ends around 4pm today, July 25, 2021, so there is still time to check it out!

There’s food trucks, drinks and music too. My sister and I were there for two hours yesterday. So fun!

This is a juried exhibition. Lula Castillo’s booth at the festival won an honorable mention award. Her work is incredible. She uses plants, nuts, seeds and organic dyes to create exquisite pieces of jewelry. I’ve never seen anything like this!

The colors are so vibrant and fun. I loved everything about her sustainable materials collection.

She comes to us from Long Island, New York (formerly Columbia!)

www.natural-sur.com

Booth A17

I thought Erin Primerano’s presentation of her handwoven fine art clothing was wonderful. Her tent looked like a real store! The pieces are one-of-a-kind looks, using a mix of fibers from silk to cotton, to wool and can be hand-washed.

Her company is called Haute Made and you can find her on Etsy! She lives in Syracuse, New York.

Booth A4

I met Ted Greenfield from Chittenango, New York, last week at his City Market booth. These wood charcuterie boards are gorgeous! His company is called Bayside Wood Products.

www.baysidewoodproducts.com

Booth E15

It’s always a pleasure to see the effervescent Barbara Conte-Gaugel (Syracuse, New York) and her mixed-media handbags and satchels. Everything is handmade from recycled fabrics (including leather and old flour sacks). The larger bags are among my favorites with whimsical patterns that inspire positivity. She is selling these bags at the festival but she is also a fine artist – paintings and assemblages.

www.barbaraconte-gaugel.com/

Devin Mack from Baltimore, Maryland, creates these fun wire sculptures of animals. He was in the process as I photographed him, said he does not use photographs, just whimsy, and the results are stunning!

www.drawnmetalstudios.com

Booth F13

Kathleen Scranton from Coventry, Connecticut, creates vintage book purses under the logo BeeZ. She comes to us from the business and marketing world. A chance rendezvous with a library eliminating old books sparked this plan to turn their covers into handbags. Purses come with a paperback version of the book.

www.beeZbyScranton.com

Booth C12

Michelle DaRin, Pompey, New York, is a rock star around here. Her face is on billboards, as she is currently represented by Cazenovia Jewelry! I noticed that everyone who walked by Montgomery Street was a customer, including me (I was wearing three of her bracelets!).

Michelle DaRin Jewelry is a one person operation – she is the face of the brand. She selects the stones, cuts the metal, does all the metal-smithing and strings the leather.

The look is upscale Bohemian-chic/’70s vibe meets the new millennium.

www.michelledarinjewelry.com

Wildflowers Armory is a co-op – artisans who share in the responsibility of selling their wares in their store in downtown Syracuse (217 S. Salina Street). Co-owner Michael Heagerty posed for a few pictures with Kathy and me. He is an amazing person who has single-handedly changed the view of the local art scene in Syracuse – a beautiful person inside and out! <3

They have a double tent set-up on Montgomery Street at the festival with an eclectic mix of items for sale.

Merchandise includes clothing (like the awesome Everson is for Lovers shirt!), soaps, notecards, crafts, and artwork.

They also have an online presence – https://wildflowersarmory.com/

Finally, I want my Superintendent to buy these metal bear sculptures for our school (We are the Chittenango Bears!). And I want the cardinal sculpture for my back yard.

OMG, Dale Rogers! His work is exceptional. The sculptures are crafted from stainless steel in his studio in Massachusetts.

Booth C1-2

https://dalerogersstudio.com/

ISO Fish Fry – The Retreat

The search for the best fish fry in town may be over – OMG – last night at The Retreat!

Presentation: I ordered the fried haddock with sweet potato fries and coleslaw and my friend ordered the same but with regular french fries. Love!

Taste: The coleslaw had celery in it. It is probably the best mayo-style slaw I have ever had! The sweet potato fries came with maple butter, which was insanely good. And the fish was soooo fresh!

The only negative is that it was so good that I ate everything. As you know from my last blog entry, I don’t eat like this every day – and so, later I couldn’t sleep because it was all so salty – not for other people, I am sure, but for me. I was ridiculously thirsty and I ended up with a headache this morning, lol, like waking up from a food coma. Why does it have to taste so good??? I ended up getting a late start to my day this morning because of it. I’m going to admit here that it was worth it. <3

Restaurant Experience: We didn’t have a reservation so they put us on a list – said it would be a half hour wait for inside and an hour wait for outside (it was 6:30pm when we arrived). We went to the outdoor bar for a drink and within five minutes the call came through that our table was ready.

The waiter promptly took our order and within about ten or fifteen minutes we were eating! The waiter was a wonderfully cheerful person and, truly, I felt like I was in a scene from a movie.

Our conversation turned to manifesting dreams and I thought that was incredibly apropos, as I felt I had manifested the entire experience in a dream.

Location: The Retreat is located at 302 Vine Street, Liverpool, NY 13088

Parking: There is a huge paved parking lot marked specifically for guests of The Retreat. There is also street parking around the building.

ISO Fish Fry – Kiki’s

Kiki’s Authentic Greek Cuisine is located in the heart of Camillus, New York. They offer a daily fish fry (no coleslaw, but they do have spanikopita, which is amazing). It is a beautiful little restaurant with outdoor seating.

I was there last Friday. I am in search of the best fish fry in the area. The criteria will be as follows:

*Presentation

*Taste

*Restaurant Experience

*Location/Parking

I am no foodie/food critic, lol. Everyone who knows me knows that I don’t cook, preferring microwaved oatmeal with blueberries and a banana for breakfast, peanut butter out of a jar and a yogurt for lunch, and a handful of deli turkey for dinner – so , naturally, I will not be scoring these categories.

Presentation: I love their use of the color blue throughout the restaurant, as a nod to the Greek flag. They use a blue checked waxed paper on the plates – very cute!

Taste: The fish was fresh – very good. I didn’t eat the bread and all the fries and I wished they had coleslaw. They did have tartar sauce and lemon, which was nice.

Restaurant Experience: An overall fun restaurant experience!

Location: 64 West Genesee Street, Camillus, NY 13031 – It was a great day for lunching outside at one of their umbrella-ed tables.

Parking: They have ample street parking, as well as a small parking lot. It doesn’t seem to be a heavily trafficked place – only a couple storefronts were open when we were there around 3pm – some, like the antique store across the street, are only open on weekends. We got a space right in front of the place. <3

#tashkovski #coach #faithfullthebrand #allsaints #ragandbone

(Here is the link to another fish fry article.)

Homecoming

Jaleel Campbell’s solo exhibition in the Robineau Gallery at The Everson Museum of Art is scheduled to end on August 1, 2021. It’s not too late to see it! The museum is open noon-5pm Tuesday-Sundays with extended hours on Thursday. Call (315) 474-6064 for more information.