Category Archives: abstract

The Elephant in the Room

Elephants are taking over Central New York.

download-1

There is a new restaurant in Skaneateles called the Elephant and the Dove.

56879399_281146196130630_4545782399560056832_n

The brainchild of proprietor Adam Weitsman of the Krebs, this new endeavor serves up Mexican fare.  The name alludes to Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo’s partnership, a marriage of contrasts.  It is meant to be a casual destination – no reservations required.

20190420_112036.jpg

20190420_114207.jpg

images-5

We have seven Asian “pachyderm residents” at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo – Doc, Siri, Romani, Kirina, Targa, Mali and Batu.

images-2

20190420_112347.jpg

20190420_112357.jpg

download-2

20190420_114122.jpg

And, currently, the Petit Branch Library , 105 Victoria Place, Syracuse, New York, is host to original paintings of elephants by Rebecca Stella.  The artist reception is today from 2:00 – 4:00 pm. The exhibition continues through April 30, 2019.

20190420_112108.jpg

Here is the press release –

Artist Rebecca Alexander (Rebecca Stella Art) will be exhibiting her work throughout the month of April. Her work is primarily mixed media, many pieces of which are elephant and music themed. She donates 10% of all elephant art sales to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya, an organization that provides support to end the ivory trade and promote elephant conservation via an orphan rescue and rehabilitation program. Rebecca believes that art and painting are channels for emotion, dreams, and fantasy. In addition to being an artist and animal activist, Rebecca is a yoga instructor and a physical therapist. She shares, “All of these roles shape my creations and the way in which I choose to interact with the world. 

20190420_112115.jpg

Rebecca sells her work on Etsy . You can also find her on Facebook.

20190420_112418.jpg

32584760_1691932190855034_2571485916132540416_n

Oh, and lest I forget, my favorite of all elephant sites – Bistro Elephant, which is what they call the bar area/bistro of the Lemon Grass restaurant in Armory Square.  It offers the best Thai cuisine.  My favorite place to go on a Friday night to hear my friend John Spillet on sax. ❤

Advertisements

Peek-A-Boo

20190416_131725.jpg

20190416_131710.jpg

2017_contact

20190416_131741.jpg

In the 1950s, the artist Dorothy Reister and her husband purchased land for a summer home in Cazenovia, New York.  They added acres when land became available then turned the place into a sculpture garden, creating hiking trails, as well a sculpture studio attached to their mid-century modern A-frame home.

20190416_134240.jpg

The property transformed into the incorporated non-profit Stone Quarry Hill Art Park, recognized by National Geographic magazine as one of the top sculpture gardens in the nation, and home to permanent and temporary sculptures by such renowned sculptors as Rodger Mack and Emilie Brzezinski.  Now the home and art studio on the property are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  It is open to the public to enjoy.  Today was the perfect day to hike the trails and fall in love with the hidden sculpture gems playing peek-a-boo around every corner.

20190416_131749.jpg

20190416_132009.jpg

20190416_131954.jpg

I am on vacation this week, Spring Break.  I spent a few hours investigating several trails and breathing the fresh air of this space with my high school pal Suzy, who is a fellow teacher.  There was really no one else around – it was a serene and wonderful experience.

20190416_132027.jpg

20190416_132058.jpg

20190416_132134.jpg

I highly recommend coming here, especially if you have kids at home this week and are looking for something to do.  I brought students to Stone Quarry Hill on a school field trip a few years ago and they loved it.  There truly is a surprise around every corner!

20190416_132227.jpg

20190416_132245.jpg

Suggested donation is $5 at the front entrance.  If you wish to donate to the upkeep of the park or volunteer, there is more information on their website – here  

20190416_132345.jpg

20190416_132717.jpg

Several events are upcoming – kite flying, an art exhibition in the indoor space, and a YMCA summer camp experience.  All information is on their website – here.

20190416_132806.jpg

20190416_132825.jpg

20190416_132833.jpg

20190416_133229.jpg

20190416_133350.jpg

20190416_133256.jpg

20190416_133424.jpg

20190416_134031.jpg

20190416_134209.jpg

20190416_133755.jpg

20190416_134314.jpg

20190416_134331.jpg

20190416_134352.jpg

20190416_134415.jpg

20190416_134434-1.jpg

20190416_134443.jpg

20190416_134457.jpg

20190416_134548.jpg

20190416_134557.jpg

20190416_134602.jpg

20190416_134609.jpg

20190416_134646.jpg

20190416_134755.jpg

20190416_134805.jpg

20190416_134831.jpg

20190416_134858.jpg

20190416_134937.jpg

20190416_134959.jpg

20190416_135042.jpg

20190416_135136.jpg

20190416_135244.jpg

20190416_135255.jpg

IMG_20190416_195718_279.jpg

20190416_135427.jpg

20190416_135454.jpg

20190416_135518.jpg

20190416_135548.jpg

20190416_135601.jpg

20190416_135637.jpg

20190416_142052.jpg

315-655-3196

office@stonequarryhillartpark.org

3883 Stone Quarry Rd., P.O. Box 251, Cazenovia, NY 13035

Cancel That

Currently, three venues are hosts to the twenty-four Syracuse University MFA candidates: Point of Contact Gallery, Community Folk Art Center and the SU Art Galleries. The art reception at POC was last Friday (that show continues through May 10, 2019), the one at CFA will be Thursday, April 18, 2019 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm (show continues through May 11, 2019). Last night at the Shaffer Hall venue, I attended the art reception for eleven of these students.

20190411_185049.jpg

What I love about Thursday evening art openings on campus – you can drive right up to the gate and park for free in the Q-4 lot – easy-peasy! It was such a beautiful evening. The university is a reoccurring landscape in my life. I really love being there. I received my BFA and MS degrees from Syracuse. I did not get an MFA, which I guess I would need if I am ever to be considered for a job as an Art Professor at SU (the Art Education masters is a Masters of Science for whatever reason, which is weird). A series of questions answered in essay format served as my thesis and not a gallery showcase of artwork, as is the case in these recent exhibitions.

20190411_183834.jpg

20190411_185215.jpg

20190411_185103.jpg

The students have varied focuses – illustration, painting and digital art, for example. Apparently, the cohesive thread of this work, according to the curator’s statement, is to do with the artist’s responses to their current realities and the angst that resides there be it via monstrous nightmare, political climate, gender issues, or social injustices, or some combination of junk that creates a response to conditions. The artists in this particular show seem to be attempting to express views, beliefs, fears and perceived truths in a sort of thinking man’s artist thing-a-ma-gig.

20190411_185005.jpg

Nothing tickled me here – true story – and that could just be because I am so not their generation, (kids these days, am I right? lol) and because I am a happiness-and-joy girl. I am perplexed by the need to be conditional about anything. I trust that everything unfolds when you are true to yourself, creating a vision that exposes yourself in a vulnerable way, perhaps, allowing your inner being to guide you towards the inspiration that will captivate. You feel it in your soul and that beauty that is within becomes your art and it subsequently resonates with the world. You will know it, your friends will know it, your professors will know it and you will see how incredibly it will take you where you want to go, easily and effortlessly.

So where do these kids see themselves? A conversation with some professors indicated that student art direction these days is focused on thinking about rather than the executing of ideas. This is not something I really understand. Are they not happy?

Are they hoping to open a dialogue about negative stuff? I don’t know. Some of this work is on the rather provocative side in the way that I cannot bring my thirteen-year-old students to this gallery on a field trip. There is some adult content of a sexual nature, as well as pieces that draw attention to violence and horror.

20190411_185408.jpg

Let’s cancel all that.

I guess I don’t agree with the blurb sentiment “sober examination of the facts”. We create our own realities based on dreams and desires. Choosing to get caught up in something you don’t want or don’t like just does not make sense to me. If I create a reality I don’t want, I don’t choose to stay there and dwell in it, complain about it and get stuck there. And I don’t really think it is the blanket statement under which all of these artists sleep, is it? Or is Plans are Cancelled a reference to a positive re-boot?

20190411_185347.jpg

20190411_192128.jpg

The fun for me are these questions, not in the answers because the questions alone allowed me to ponder solutions of my own with regard to my own life. I am grateful for this show because I had really satisfying conversations with my friends Penny and Davana about this show and about how it can help us define/re-define ourselves as artists and teachers.

And it was also so helpful to share what I saw here with my Studio in Art students. It is so important to me as a teacher that I offer guidance in the form of training my students to trust and believe in themselves, to know that they will be able to navigate their path to whatever they care to do artistically in the future with or without me.

I wish these MFA candidates the best of luck and love in their creative journeys. I sincerely thank you all for your perspectives. ❤

Plans are Cancelled will remain on display until May 12, 2019.

20190411_183830.jpg

20190411_184526.jpg

20190411_184604.jpg

20190411_184556.jpg

20190411_184708.jpg

20190411_184703-1.jpg

20190411_184639.jpg

20190411_184634.jpg

20190411_184620.jpg

***Artists represented at Syracuse University Art Galleries

Hollie Lyko, E. Garrett Bryant, Perry Burlingame, Jestina Sutherland, Rebecca Forstater, Sylvie Prendergast-Corvo, Samantha Corbett, Louise Thompson, Jason Cheney, Mark Zbikowski, Jiallin Deng

Politics As Art

20180602_194847

Discord is a necessary factor in conscious creation because when you know what you don’t want, you can know what you do want.  So it can be a good thing even while it is causing the upset.  In its acknowledgement, the theory is that change can happen.  And there’s magic in that.

20180602_195029

20180602_194234

Art Rage is the gallery in Syracuse, New York that specializes in social injustice and political satire.  It’s not typically my thing.  I am so la-la-la lately, living life in a sort of happiness bubble of gratitude and appreciation, and not giving much attention to the national headlines that seem to keep others in a constant state of pissed-off-ness.  I don’t often agree with the arguments.  But I attended this art reception anyway – I do love when an artist translates their angst into something tangible that transcends its origins and hands the world something beautiful.  And I loved every minute I spent viewing this incredible new work and talking to artist Jim Ridlon.

20180602_200223

Discord & Dissent:  Commentary on Contemporary Politics by Jim Ridlon is the final show this season at Art Rage, 505 Hawley Ave., Syracuse, New York, 13203.  And it is truly genius!

Ridlon was not a fan of the political shenanigans, as witnessed on the morning news during the 2016 presidential campaigns.  What followed was a bit of scribbling – sentences, words that he desired to expand upon via this new series of assemblages.  Each one in this series is equipped with its own statement to guide the viewer to their own conclusions.

20180602_195044

20180602_195049

They are visual puns meant to take the sting out, to replace the discord with fun, humor and the strange machinations of this Renaissance man’s mind.  They are outfitted in sports gear to possibly refer to the political arena as a game, as well as referencing his own history – football hero turned Syracuse University professor.  There are clipped feathers found on meditative hikes taken with his son that speak of the illusion of the sanctity of government positions; rusty found objects from various trips to flea markets – hunting the perfect pair of old scissors or wood turnings, ropes/chains to bind the opponent in an intricate power trip.  Well-worn accessories complete these framed boxes of objects, the human element that sets the viewer on this quest to create meaning.

20180602_195110

Jim Ridlon is a true artist in every sense of the word and does justice to this art form by allowing us a glimpse into his vortex.  I asked him if his studio was neatly organized – were all the scissors in a bin, leather bits together, et cetera?  Answer – chaos! Lol, I love him!

20180602_200752

Ridlon sets up his studio space so that he can concoct several pieces at once.  They are on tables laid out in their frames, items amassed in nearby boxes first that speak to his mini manifestos.  He builds, builds up then knocks everything down.  Sometimes it takes over thirty tries to make one good product and once that solution arrives, it is like a game key that solves the puzzle and everything else just falls into place.

20180602_195120

20180602_195132

It is music to my ears when I hear an artist speak about their process.  It is poetry.  It is radiant and beautiful, and everything I love about creation.  The work becomes the thing – important, all encompassing and his passion was just so present as he shared it with me.  He told me that this process took months to complete.  He spent days and days working on them and many, many nights dreaming about them.  He was a man consumed by this work.  His eyes sparkled as he spoke of getting just the right element to fit the case then finalizing and gluing it all into place – a culmination that is weirdly spiritual.  Like, it was not about politics anymore.  That was just the spark to the flame.  An idea that took thoughts to these wonderful things.

20180602_195159

Were they for sale?  Yes, but he quipped that he did not expect to sell them, as they have an ugly side to them.  I didn’t agree.  But I guess this is the case with artists of all skill level and experience.  The force that reckons with the making and manipulation of art flickers out once the discord that brought it about dissipates.

20180602_195227

Thank you, Jim Ridlon, for inspiring me as my aesthetics professor in 1981 and continuing to inspire me to desire to grow as an artist.  To want to take a dream and make it real, and laugh in the face of current realities that are undesirable.  Outrage can and does make a difference when one is aligned with their ultimate source.  And then we watch as everything changes for the better.

20180602_195253

Jim Ridlon will give a presentation about his work on June 11, 2018 at 7pm in the gallery.  Visit the website or call (315) 218-5711 for more information including gallery hours.

20180602_200123

20180602_200130

 

 

 

Art in Hospital

After the Happy Little Tree House art reception on Tuesday, Brandon Hall took Karmin and me to see his other hospital exhibition.  It is in the cancer center wing of Upstate Medical Center and will be up for a couple months, I think, or at least until the end of May.

20180424_181752

20180424_181741

20180424_181808

Brandon is an art teacher at Fayetteville-Manlius High School.  He scours flea markets and garage sales to find discarded photograph albums and situates these unknown strangers into wallpapered assemblage landscapes peppered with texture and color.  They are mounted on wood and double-lacquered to prevent fading.  They are really exquisite and priced at only $250!

20180424_181800

Also in this show are Heidi VanTassel’s photography and paintings by Kate Renetta.

20180424_171047

20180424_171055

20180424_171104

20180424_181704

20180424_171127

20180424_181715

The Spirit Beckons

30742978_10216508201603265_8853873168966286209_n

Sandra Sabene and Laura Stisser have united in art for an exhibition at the Roji Tea Lounge in Syracuse, New York.  The artwork will be on display through May 2018.  Tonight was the reception, which included a demonstration of meditative painting by Sabene and a musical performance by Zoe Mullan-Stout and Blake Propst.

30728263_10216508201323258_6801551406569001382_n

Sabene spins her canvas on a mobile contraption-style easel her husband had built for her.  It was pretty cool and reminded me of a similar process I am using with my 5th graders – their paper canvas-based sculptures are propped on banding wheels in order to look at and paint them from all sides.

During her presentation, the artist’s hand, holding a two-inch flat brush, danced across the canvas to the beat of music, dipping that paintbrush in a succession of primary colors, working intuitively and discarding brushes along the way.  She would grab another and another in an attempt to prevent the inevitable muddiness that can occur using this process, as she had mentioned prior to her start.  She lets go of pain, hurt, and the past and focuses on the now.  In the present moment, her hand guides her emotional healing sparking the flow of spirituality and inner peace.

Sabene teaches this method in her studio gallery, the Liverpool Art Center, located near Onondaga Lake Parkway in Liverpool, New York.  For more information on Sandra Sabene and her style visit www.artbysandra.com.

20180416_202652

20180416_202112

30710844_10212065095123452_1210740414475141120_n

Both artists create non-representational work.  Both connect to their inner spirit as they work.  Laura Stisser’s work looks to use a marbleizing technique.  She is evolving as an artist (she is a Sabene disciple) while also selling Young Essential Oils in her spare time, as well as making a living as a professional actor!  Connect with Laura Stisser at www.laurastisserart.com.

20180416_202220

20180416_204954

20180416_202100

20180416_202130

20180416_204852

20180416_202448

20180416_202540

20180416_202137

20180416_202841

The show is titled “A Soul on Fire…is the most powerful force on earth”.  The Roji Tea Lounge is located at 108 East Washington Street #2, Syracuse, New York.  Visit www.rojitealounge.com for information such as their latest menu and hours of operation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqJesktztEE

 

111

IMG_2657

IMG_2658

Thirteen paintings from my angel series “Futura” are currently on display at the Half Moon Bakery & Bistro in Jamesville, New York!  Bobbi Petrocci and I pulled the switch-a-roo – she took down the CBA Hope for the Bereaved exhibit and installed my show by lining up these encaustics to look like ethereal soldiers hovering from above to love and protect the foodie patrons at this wonderful café.

20171130_163044

20171130_163048

The paintings are $111 each.  If you want one, just let proprietor Debbe Titus know.  She can contact me and I will meet you there.  You will get to take one (or more) home for Christmas!  They really do work best in multiples!  They are small:  8″ x 10″ paintings on masonite mounted on 11″ x 14″ chalkboard.

20171130_163136

20171130_163054

It is always such a thrill to exhibit here.  I have a fondness for a captive audience – people who do not ordinarily go to art shows, so we bring the art to them.  Making the invisible visible is what it’s about.  The show will be up during the month of December 2017.

20171130_163100