Here are some of the celebrity portraits my 8th grade Studio in Art students (from Chittenango Middle School) finished back in March. I didn’t display them because I was saving them for the school fair, which never happened.
I allow students to pick almost anyone – meaning anyone “appropriate”, and this year you will see a variety from sports, performing arts, the art world and social media (and one grand-dad). Two Steve Harveys, lol. He wins as most popular this time.
I seem to get more work done if I am dressed – that is, out of pajamas and into real clothes, as though I am actually going somewhere. Today after an amazing hike at Green Lakes and some sunbathing on my deck (what a beautiful day!), I bathed and donned my Equipment leather dress then set out to organize paperwork for my Schoology platform.
I also scheduled some Zoom meetings and emailed students about them and about other stuff. It wasn’t technically supposed to be a workday, but I like to have things ready – email on Sunday nights so that students can work on their artwork on Wednesdays and Fridays.
The Erie Canal Museum (318 Erie Blvd. East, Syracuse, New York 13202) is host to a ceramics exhibition, one installed in February 2020. The museum is currently closed due to the world-wide health crisis – that makes interacting with the clay vessels (created as site-specific art) nearly impossible.
This is an irony because the idea behind the work envelopes the scope of human life, as it interacts with the forces of nature, the forces of water and the history of the man-made canal. The humans in question are every socio-economic level of local and regional society. All races of people who, in some way, have interacted with, associated with or had some understanding of what the Erie Canal has meant in our history, as well as those who have no idea but in fact, have been, inadvertently, affected by the legendary waterway.
Artist Linda Zhang was the 2017-2018 Boghosian Fellow in the School of Architecture at Syracuse University. She came to Syracuse from Europe and knowing no one, she spent time meditating (think deep thought) on designing the curriculum for this relatively new fellowship. She proceeded to think about and create strategies for the design of her position, ideas that would ultimately catapult her educational journey to include making art and teaching electives at the college, which led to philosophical-infused artwork and the idea of making meaning in terms of one’s personal vortex. This path included an interdisciplinary union with Errol Willet, Associate Professor of Art (ceramics) and Biko Mandela Gray, Assistant Professor of American Religion.
Although Zhang is currently a professor at Ryerson University in Toronto, The Story of Water pairs the artist with her SU educational cohorts. The clay vessels in this exhibition were slip cast and formatted utilizing water from the canal. There is a transformation – water crafts and the art is manipulated to create a phenomenological transcendence – art as symbolism.
Taking an idea and moving it through time, so that the result is present while encompassing a larger whole – this is incredibly interesting on so many levels. Fortunately for all, nothing is truly impossible. This exhibition can be viewed remotely. Zhang will be offering a lecture on her process via an on-line Zoom meeting. This event takes place on Saturday, April 18, 2020 at 1:00 PM. Click on the link above to join the party or check out the same link by way of the event’s Facebook page.
The event is free, however; donations to the museum are welcome. <3
*from the Erie Canal Museum web-site
February 3-April 16, 2020:The Story of Water: The Erie Canal as a Site of Untold Stories
“The Story of Water” is a collaborative project between Linda Zhang, Assistant Professor of Architecture at Ryerson University, and Biko Gray, Assistant Professor of Religion at Syracuse University. This exhibit features clay vessels based on 3-D drone scans of Erie Canal structures, transformed by the introduction of Canal water before the firing process. The resulting clay models symbolize the transformative effects, positive and negative, that the Erie Canal had on the lives of those who built it, used it, and lived near it.
Zhang will discuss the artwork, her creative process, and what inspired her and collaborator Biko Gray to develop this exhibit. “The Story of Water” features clay vessels based on 3-D drone scans of Erie Canal structures in Central New York. The artist introduced Canal water to the pieces before the firing process, creating models that symbolize the transformative character of water and the Erie Canal.
The Museum is currently closed to the public to protect visitors, volunteers, and staff from Covid-19. We’re working diligently to serve you by offering programs by alternative means, and greatly appreciate your help. You can make a donation to the Museum through the link in the “Get Tickets” box below,
We look forward to seeing you on April 18 for this thought-provoking talk!
I am loving this project. Here is another amazing art activity that brings a community together. We are Chittenango! We are Bears. #BearCountryStrong
I would love to see these saturating social media. Show me your paw. Make it using this template with markers, crayons, colored pencil or make it sculptural, with rocks, sea shells, buttons, or create a multi-media collage using magazine images, ink stamps or even thread.
We may be social distancing, isolating, but we can stand together artistically. How totally cool!!!!! <3
Two of my classes used hand-building skills to create these adorable clay lizards. We used the Sax Colorburst glazes. I love the colors, especially the Firecracker!!! The projects remain in the glass case in the Chittenango Middle School atrium.
We looked at the work of the Aboriginals of Australia for inspiration. Different patterns were added to the body, head, limbs and tail using a variety of techniques.
My B-day Art-8 students (Chittenango Middle School) created these clay masks. We used Sax Colorburst glazes. They have silica flakes that pop in the kiln creating confetti-like effects.
I offered students thirteen different colors and asked that they use at least six, making sure to place three coats of glaze on the mask for each color. It was tricky because the glazes transform in the kiln – there is that allowance for serendipity that doesn’t work if you are a control freak, but totally does if you are experimental.
I added a wire to the back so they can hang on the wall. Students took them home today. I miss them already!
My Studio in Art students recently completed these still-life paintings based on photographs I took last year at Vince’s Gourmet Imports (440 S. Main Street, North Syracuse, New York 13212).
I have paired them here with the resource picture. Contour line drawings made on white drawing paper were transferred to canvas panel via the magic of graphite paper. Then students used acrylic paint. They had their own palettes and mixed colors by adding white and raw sienna to every hue, which gives the paintings a sense of unity (the colors “go” together). I encouraged them to maintain their own styles. This included the option of outlining in black, consistent brush work, removing or adding text, and creating a different background.
They are 8th graders taking this high-school level course for high school credit and the opportunity to take upper level art electives next year. We have one quarter left of the school year – I have plans for two more lessons to complete course work off-campus if necessary. The Chittenango Central School District is temporarily closing on Tuesday with an indefinite return date at this time.
Kindness is a behavior marked by ethical characteristics, a pleasant disposition, and concern and consideration for others. It is considered a virtue, and is recognized as a value in many cultures and religions. Wikipedia
National day: Observed on February 17th, National Random Acts of Kindness Day has grown in popularity each year.
Learn to pronounce
the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.
This year’s Doodle for Google competition has now closed. All entries had to be postmarked yesterday. These images are among the many I submitted – 8th graders from Chittenango Middle School. The winner receives $30,000, and $50,000 in technology for their school.
The theme of this year’s contest is “I show kindness by….”
Welcome to my world. Here are my 2020 #ootd school pictures thus far. My Studio in Art students have been painting with acrylics – these paintings are going to blow your mind. They are sooooo good!!!!! I think they only need a couple more weeks to complete them. I have been wearing stuff that wouldn’t freak me out if it got paint on it. I guess I am saying that fashion is taking a backseat at the moment. I’m a control freak about the brushes – I tell them to use however many they want and need, and I will wash them, so, I spend about twenty minutes washing brushes on my lunch period every day.
Today was the first day of the 2nd semester, believe it or not, which means we are already half-way through the year. I am giving pre-tests and prepping lessons – lots of cool things to come: oil pastels, collage, more paintings and clay!!! I’ll be switching up the artwork on the cabinets soon, as well as eventually organizing the excessive amount of white paint on that back counter, lol, for those of you who scoff at the mess. (It is an art room, after all – that’s what makes it fun and funny). Special thanks to Katy C., my colleague and photographer, who laughs with me every day. <3
I spoke with Alan Stankiewicz (above), the mastermind of this show, as he is curator and exhibitor, as well as an educator at the college. He used horsehair as a surface decoration on his piece – the horsehair is placed on hot-from-the-raku-kiln-fired pottery. It is allowed to burn away leaving fine lines resembling the look of a gestural charcoal drawing. I’d never seen this technique before.
This is the beauty of the exhibition. The whole thing is a teachable moment. This group of potters share their expertise with each other and now, here, with the students of this college and you, the public. There is such a sense of positivity in their camaraderie.
The exhibit is nicely linked via tiles with explanations of individual techniques and literature that tells the story of this vernacular. It is really so amazing how many ways pottery can be decorated and, of course, multiply that times the combined techniques variations and you have madness! I honestly don’t know how the artists settle on a particular style. It has to be inspired action.
Many SUNY Empire employees joined the artists for the reception in the Central Arts Gallery. They had a marvelous spread of munchies. It is on the third floor of the building on the left after entering the college facility. I was here once before for Maria Rizzo’s thesis exhibition.
Surface Decoration on Ceramics will remain on display through February 28, 2020. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday 9 AM-5 PM. I highly recommend this to any high school ceramics art teachers in the area who are contemplating a field trip. It is a really informative show. So many cool ideas! Thank you, IPA. <3