Category Archives: art education

Flowers, Tatts & China

20190422_190612.jpg

I have become a Transmedia groupie.

20190422_194755.jpg

20190422_194823.jpg

Syracuse University Associate Professor Laura Heyman, guest Visiting-Artist and Instructor Ira Lombardia, and Everson Museum of Art Curator of Art and Programs DJ Hellerman led students through a critique tonight at Apostrophe’s Art Gallery, 1104 Oak Street, Syracuse, NY 13203.

20190422_194726.jpg

20190422_190243.jpg

I was there a couple weeks ago for a similar event.  This time it was a joint showcase of work by Han Zhao and Hangyi Zhou.

20190422_190318.jpg

Han Zhao’s exhibit, Flowerbility, utilizes various media to showcase a single flower.  According to his artist statement, he creates on his I-Pad and laptop, which allows his ideas to flow freely and quickly.  There is joy to this ease.  His work ethic reminded me of artist Kiki Smith.  Last year, she visited Syracuse University and talked about coming at an idea from all angles.  I enjoyed the consistency of the image and saw how its use had implications and applications to interpreting and re-imagining business logos, taking the image to its unlimited potential.  That was exciting!

20190422_190310.jpg

20190422_190642.jpg

20190422_190646.jpg

20190422_192238.jpg

I jumped into participating in Hangyi Zhou’s critique session.  What was I thinking, lol?  I guess the teacher in me couldn’t just be a fly on the wall.  I loved being a part of this adventure.  The artist’s four-piece photography exhibit, Chinese Tattooed Women, seemed rather simplistic until she shared some back-story.

What happens in China stays in China – except when young artists relate how their view of the world is tainted by a judgmentally governed society.  In this case, the notion that tattoos suggest disreputable character, specifically in regard to women.  Finding Chinese women courageous enough to pose for these photographs was quite an accomplishment, apparently.

Each model wears black and poses to portray their emotional connection to their respective tattoos, which are similarly inked in black and were all similarly executed in China.

This series seems to be in its gestation period, and a lot of what was said in the critique was thought-provoking in a helpful way.

20190422_190235-1.jpg

20190422_190221.jpgThank you, Transmedia gang, for including me.  This SU grad loves that Syracuse University art has expanded into the off-campus community.  Utilizing this unique gallery space for student exhibitions and holding receptions on Mondays is a win-win! ❤

20190422_194846.jpg

20190422_190229.jpg

20190422_194715.jpg

20190422_194710.jpg

20190422_190411.jpg

20190422_194645.jpg

Advertisements

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

Watercolor Lesson

20190328_092643.jpg

20190328_092650.jpg

Teaching watercolor to my 8th grade accelerated Studio in Art students was probably the most significantly beautiful thing I have done at school all year.  I gave them each their own palettes and set of Koi brand watercolors.  They began by painting on small sheets, practicing four techniques:  saving the white of the paper, glazing, wet-in-wet and dry brush.

20190328_092719.jpg

20190328_092633.jpg

Then I gave them Arches 300# watercolor paper.  They drew landscapes with barns.

20190328_092711.jpg

20190328_092729.jpg

Paintings took weeks to create.  Many, many days of thin coats of glazing culminating in dry brush details.  These kids are extraordinarily talented.  I guided them, but really, they were on auto-pilot for much of the lesson.  My job was to remind them to utilize formal principles consciously – rhythm, balance, emphasis…and to insist that they trust their own hand and intuition, so that their style could emerge.  My goal and hope for them, as they mature as artists in high school and beyond, is for them to stay true to who they are and what they want to evoke in their artwork.

20190328_092736.jpg

20190328_092746.jpg

I am beyond blessed to know these talented über-amazing young people!!!!

20190328_092757.jpg

20190328_092806.jpg

Paintings are currently on display on the hallway walls at Chittenango Middle School, Chittenango, New York.

20190328_092815.jpg

20190404_093932.jpg

20190404_093925.jpg

20190404_093918.jpg

20190404_093953.jpg

20190404_094010.jpg

20190404_093959.jpg

Prints + Texture = Artsy

IMG_20190308_092009_714.jpg
Cinq a Sept top, Trina Turk pants, Calvin Klein booties
IMG_20190315_084611_268.jpg
Trina Turk dress, Marc Jacobs booties

I have been playing with mixing patterns and textures in my #ootd.  And layering.  Putting sweaters under dresses and finding unexpected matches, like my amber necklace (I actually designed it myself!) is the same color as the Marc Jacobs patent leather booties in rust (pictured above).

IMG_20190312_083901_744.jpg
Rebecca Taylor top and pants, Alice + Olivia top, Calvin Klein booties
IMG_20190321_091512_532.jpg
Theory cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria dress, Calvin Klein booties

And a new cardigan pairs nicely with a four-year-old dress (above).

IMG_20190227_084439_273.jpg
Theory cashmere cardigan, Rachel Zoe dress, Via Spiga tights, Calvin Klein booties
IMG_20190314_084520_491.jpg
Trina Turk top and pants, Calvin Klein belt, BCBGMaxAzria sandals
IMG_20190318_093410_620.jpg
BCBGMaxAzria sweater, Rachel Zoe dress, Sorel boots
IMG_20190226_100902_143.jpg
C by Bloomingdales cardigan, Banana Republic leather top, Free People leather skirt, Nine West boots
IMG_20190319_094604_946.jpg
Kobi Halperin top, BCBGMaxAzria jacket and pants, BCBGeneration sandals
IMG_20190320_083314_501.jpg
BCBGMaxAzria dress, Marc Jacobs sandals

It is now spring.  I have started to slowly reintroduce sandals.  The weather in Syracuse/Chittenango will just have to catch up.

IMG_20190311_084348_979.jpg
BCBGMaxAzria tops and pants, BCBGeneration booties

In other news, students are glazing textured clay projects, finishing up patterned paintings and some fashion drawings.  The quarter ends on April 5th, I believe.  Then we will be gearing into the homestretch with sculptures, more paintings and artsy mayhem (the good kind – there is no fartsy in the art room).

IMG_20190322_185935_183.jpg
Michelle DaRin jewelry ring, Coach crossbody bag, BCBGMaxAzria sweater and dress, Ralph Lauren boots

The Art of Fluidity

20190304_190458.jpg

20190304_190509.jpg

Penny, Janine and I attended the Pop-up Video Installation and Performing Art exhibition at Apostrophe’s this evening.  (1100 Oak Street, Syracuse, New York)  It was a three-hour event.  Artist Yilu Yang from Shanghai, China is currently a graduate student in the Department of Transmedia at Syracuse University.

20190304_184753.jpg

20190304_190449.jpg

Her show was titled Subconsciously Flowing Water.  Yilu’s interest in nature stems from a yearning to seek its innate tranquility, a sanctuary from the contemporary man-made life-in-the-fast-lane that has been her experience growing up in a big city.  Her films are self-portraits, depicting herself creating narratives that represent an intimacy with water, sand and the landscape of Earth while also acknowledging the customs, poetry and history of her heritage.

20190304_185926.jpg

20190304_184627.jpg

Her colleagues, fellow students and friends gathered for a critique led by Laura Heyman, Associate Professor in the Department of Transmedia and D.J. Hellerman, Curator of Art & Programs at the Everson Museum of Art.  The Everson has one of the largest collections of Video Art in the nation (who knew?) and so, the museum works closely with the university to promote and guide students in their respective artistic journeys.

20190304_184634.jpg

20190304_190600.jpg

20190304_190437.jpg

Heyman asked what direction she felt her art was going, other than to be viewed in this gallery space?  Yilu Yang remained poised as she answered.  Her audience ventured closer to hear her soft spoken response.  She was clear in her vision, that her work is both personal and universal in that it allows the viewer to ponder the peaceful inner being while questioning their place in society.  It may become more political or not, depending on where it takes her – back to China or on an extended path around the world.

20190304_190513.jpg

I see it as the beauty in escape – that we can all benefit from unplugging from society and focusing on creating our own imaged histories, rewriting our realities and then revisiting ourselves in the physical.  In this way, we seek and find our true happiness.

20190304_184421.jpg

I see a lot of wonderful things in Yilu’s future.  She found a fit with Syracuse and with the United States – mainly, the freedom to express her vision with determined fluidity. ❤

20190304_190425.jpg

20190304_192611.jpg

20190304_192607.jpg

20190304_192542.jpg

Secret Chamber

20190220_125733.jpg

I have always been drawn to the exquisite beauty of all that is Ancient Egypt.  I took an Egyptology course at University College while teaching at Bryant & Stratton back in the ’80s to answer a student who questioned why and how Egyptian fashion was selected as the first chapter in the costume history textbook.

20190220_125648.jpg

The answer lies in art, because all of our history to do with ancient cultures comes not from the written word, but from pictures – in this case hieroglyphics, tomb murals and, of course jewelry, as well as the remnants of clothing made of linen fiber.

20190220_125615.jpg

I learned that Napoleon’s French army invaded Egypt in 1798.  They rediscovered the antiquities and were the first archeologists to investigate the area.  It wasn’t the painstaking attention to delicate detail that it is today or even remotely a respectful handling of human remains.

20190220_125604.jpg

20190220_125840.jpg

Many mummies were burned as fuel for steam engines, which is just so tragic.  Later on, in the following century, Egypt became an exotic vacation spot for wealthy Americans who enjoyed purchasing the baubles, scarab beetle decor, and mummies!

20190220_125837.jpg

They held mummy unveiling dinner parties back in the States, stuff like that.

20190220_130435.jpg

20190220_125618.jpg

Howard Carter uncovered King Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922.  This significant find catapulted Egyptian archeology in terms of the level of importance, the regard for history and the sheer magic in attaining this priceless treasure.

20190221_113345.jpg

20190220_125629.jpg

Somewhere in the middle, during the Victorian age, Cazenovia Public Library benefactor Robert James Hubbard and his son accumulated a collection of Ancient Egyptian artifacts including an intricately wrapped-in-linen mummy for the purpose of creating a museum.

20190220_125744.jpg

20190220_125303.jpg

And so, yes, there is a mummy in this library.

20190220_125808.jpg

20190220_125309.jpg

Yesterday, Janine and I visited Cazenovia, New York; first stop, Cazenovia Artisans, second, Common Grounds and next, to the library to see this exhibit.  We ended up at Empire Farm Brewery for lunch.  Janine had never been to any of these spots nor had she an idea this breathtaking collection even existed.  So, my thought is that not many of you know about it.  You’re welcome!

20190220_125737.jpg

20190220_125723.jpg

When I taught elementary art at Bridgeport Elementary School in our district, I decided to add a few lessons on Ancient Egypt culture to the third grade curriculum, because I had this knowledge I wanted to share.  I created a cat mummy sculpture lesson.  Naturally, no pets were harmed.  Students’ sculptures were made of an armature of plastic bottles and styrofoam balls.  They were void of remains, unlike the actual cat mummy at this museum.

20190221_091117.jpg

20190221_091135.jpg

20190220_125713.jpg

At Chittenango, it is the sixth graders who study the ancient civilizations in Social Studies.  They do take a field trip to Cazenovia Library, as the village is adjacent to our school district via Route 13.  I highly recommend a visit.  It is free and really quite extraordinary.

20190220_125832.jpg

20190220_125704.jpg

The library is located at 100 Albany Street, Cazenovia, New York 13035.  It is open Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 9:00 pm, Saturday 10:00 – 5:00 pm.  They are closed on Sundays.  Call (315) 655-9322 for more information.

20190220_125658.jpg

20190220_125755.jpg

The museum space is also home to a gallery for rotating local artist/art organization exhibitions, as well as a wonderful exhibit of birds and plumage in fashion.  They also have many interesting activities for children including puzzle clubs and such.  Yesterday they had a hot chocolate and cookie station available.  Set in a Victorian mansion, this is truly a quaint and lovely experience that really packs a secret chamber punch.  So special!  ❤

20190220_125824.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

In the Flesh and Flora

20190217_154403.jpg

20190217_153044.jpg

20190217_154352.jpg

It was only my second time at LeMoyne College.  I remembered which street to turn into to get to the parking lot that leads to the Noreen Reale Falcone Library on the campus in DeWitt, New York, but once inside, the Wilson Art Gallery was not where it used to be.  I guess they renovated since I was last there, lol.  It was sort of strange, coupled with the fact that I got the time wrong and missed the entire two hour party by fifteen minutes.  The art is currently gracing the walls directly opposite the front door, which allows it to greet all visitors in the captive-audience style.  It also appears as a larger space than the previous venue, which, I admit,  is a win-win.

20190217_154419.jpg

20190217_153000.jpg

The new show is titled Spring is on the Way.  It offers lovely floral incarnations by Judith Hand.  She is a retired art teacher who has worked at Westhill, as well as schools in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Massachusetts.  She is also a member of the Cazenovia Watercolor Society and a signature member of the Central New York Watercolor Society.

20190217_153122.jpg

20190217_154410.jpg

I found out about this show via Facebook.  Judy is a FB friend I hadn’t actually met until this day.  I told her I was a blogger and she said she knew; she’d just read about my student’s Google doodles that morning!

20190217_153026.jpg

20190217_154338.jpg

I shared that my Studio in Art students are working on landscapes in watercolor, so we talked shop for a bit.  And took a selfie, of course.  The art reception was yesterday (she’s sold five pieces!).  I  love the positive flavor of these pieces, the richness of color and, you know, the subject matter.  Who doesn’t love flowers?

20190217_154322.jpg

There is plenty of time to view this show.  Judith Hand’s paintings will be on exhibit through March 2019.

20190217_153532.jpg

20190217_154316.jpg

20190217_154305.jpg

20190217_153201.jpg

20190217_153208.jpg

20190217_153257.jpg

20190217_153331.jpg