The collection of contemporary Japanese ceramics, displayed in the Everson Museum of Art (lower level) is a breathtaking representation of experimentation and whimsy in clay.
The beautiful thing about this exhibition, as with the previous one in this space, is the circle of trust – trust that visitors will not touch; trust that nothing will break. Some pieces are behind glass, like caged animals and others roam free on mirrored and lighted shelves, allowing patrons to appreciate the details up-close-and-personal-like.
It is incredibly inspiring to view the concepts unfolding within decades, the mastery of cut, shape, form and glaze application.
For many years, the Everson Museum of Art was known for its ceramics collection, the largest in the nation. Now they are going forward with American art, I think, although maybe that is just with regard to the upstairs holdings.
The Everson Museum of Art is open! I mean, it’s been open – I just didn’t know it. I was able to catch the tail end of the Lacey McKinney show, Reconfiguration. The Everson Bulletin states the show’s run ended on the 24th so…lucky me and my friend Penny.
*The show has now been extended to February 28, 2021 so…lucky you!
I love the discourse between Penny Santy and me when we see exhibitions together. We don’t always like the same pieces but we understand each other’s point of view.
McKinney’s paintings are oil and acrylic. I suspect the acrylic was either a means to create texture or the underlying Frankenthaler-esque washes in some of the female populated landscapes.
Penny loved these new-technique-for-the-artist “cyanotypes” (above) but they reminded me of a crafty high school art project – female body parts minus vagina, lol, that is too mean, sorry Lacey, but, I felt like these were a bit too safe and they read more like studies than finished pieces. I did admire the size relationships though. And in person, the blue hues are lovely and more nuanced than the photograph suggests.
The larger portrait/landscape mash-ups were far more interesting to me. They offered visual collage in a successful way – female as mountain, eyes averted so as not to become a focal point – they had an ethereal beauty to them. She is quite proficient in the rendering of the subject matter, as well as holding a cerebral allocation of the structure of her iconography.
These two (above) were my favorites. I loved the softness of the colorations and the rhythm in the compositions. They whisper emotion in a powerful feminine way with subtle colorations of glaze-infused shadow. Perfection!
This piece (above) reminded me of Marilyn Monroe, but that may be because I had just watched a documentary on Arthur Miller, ex-husband of MM, and one on the fashion designer Dries Van Noten, Belgium fashion designer who created a line of menswear with a variety of images of MM silk-screened on jackets and shirts.
The literature states that the artist selected images from magazines and reconfigured them stealing fragments of different women juxtaposed as either friend or foe. So, maybe?
This collection is on view in the Robineau gallery on the first floor of the museum. I believe there were only about five other people in the entire museum today when we visited. Plenty of social distancing room to ruminate on this new work. Call (315) 474-6064 for more information.
The Quilts = Art = Quilts exhibition at the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center is up until January 10, 2021, so you have plenty of time to see it. It is only the second installation since the mandatory Covid-19 shutdowns. The Made in New York show was their toe-in-water – they have upped their safety and security measures to include weekend visits.
Not sure if a lot of people know the museum is open. It is – and it is BEAUTIFUL. A wonderful experience, especially when you practically have the place to yourself and you can enjoy that intimate discovery of art elements – line, shape, color, texture and size, while appearing incognito.
Only some of these quilts are standard sizes – the rest are meant as wall decoration. Iconography runs the gamut from portraits and landscapes to the abstract. Traditional quilting techniques offer a stepping stone to what is and what can be.
This is a juried exhibition cultivated from a nationwide call for entries. Seventy-one quilts were selected.
Valerie S. Goodwin is a mixed media fiber artist and architect whose works of fine art are included in museum and private collections. Most of her work is inspired by a love of aerial views of landscapes and cities. Many of her quilts are based on maps.
Goodwin’s art has moved through various stages from traditional quilting to an interest in abstract expressionism and, currently it is inspired by real and imaginary landscapes and cities. In some cases, her work shows an architectural sense of space with an archaeological perspective. In others, the network of the city and its built form is more prominent. These compositions work on several levels, from close up and far away as if one was looking at it from above.
She received degrees in architecture from Washington University and Yale University. Her award-winning work has been widely published and exhibited. She also lectures and gives workshops nationally and internationally. Currently she teaches architectural design at Florida A&M University.
Fiber artist Mary Lou Alexander’s two great passions are art and nature. She grew up in Northeast Ohio playing along the streams and paths of a nearby forest, drawing, and stitching together fabric scraps in her Godmother’s sewing room. She studied art and art history in college, but spent much of her adult life as a biologist, examining the ecology and reproductive behavior of small South American monkeys. She earned a PhD from Kent State University in Biological Anthropology, and holds an international Diploma from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London. She taught at Northeastern Ohio College of Medicine and in the Department of Biological Sciences at Kent State University.
In mid-career she resigned her tenured professorship to return to art and stitching full time. Over the year she had mounted 5 solo exhibitions in museums and galleries, and she has been represented in many juried exhibitions in the US and Europe including Artist as Quiltmaker, Quilt National, Quilts=Art=Quilts, Best of Ohio, Form Not Function, Focus Fiber, and others. Her work was invited to be included in Color Improvisations, which toured Europe in 2010 through 2013 in the Inaugural Exhibition at Edison Price Gallery in New York City and Material Pulses, which is touring the Us through 2023. Her quilts are part of many private and public collections including Marbaum Collection at the San Joe Museum of Quilts and Textiles. She has curated several exhibitions for the Butler Institute of American Art and written reviews for Fiber Arts Magazine. Natural phenomena remain a major inspiration for her work.
The exhibiting artists are as follows:
Margaret Abramshe, Geneviève Attinger, Bobbi Baugh, Deb Berkebile, Margaret Black, Ellen Blalock, Holly Brackmann, Peggy Brown, Betty Busby, Libby Cerullo, Shinhee Chin, Gregory Climer, Tyrus Clutter, Holly Cole, Shannon Conley, Petra Fallaux, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, Diana Fox, Kerri Green, Debbie Grifka, Carol Grotrian, Betty Hahn, Barbara Oliver Hartman, Jeanne Hewell-Chambers, Virginia Holloway, Judy Hooworth, Beth Porter Johnson, Noel Keith, Natalya Khorover, Judy Kirpich, Elke Klein, Karen Krieger, Denise Labadie, Judy Langille, Susan Lapham, Niraja Lorenz, Valerie Maser-Flanagan, Alicia Merrett, Kestrel Michaud, Susie Monday, Kathy Nida, Frauke Palmer, Julia Pfaff, Heather Pregger, Wen Redmond, Denise Roberts, Irene Roderick, Barbara Schulman, Karen Schulz, Candace Hackett Shively, Carolyn Skei, Brenda Gael Smith, Gerri Spilka, Lee Sproul, Victoria van der Laan, Cynthia Vogt
The Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center is located at 205 Genesee Street, Auburn, New York 13021. They are open Tuesdays-Saturdays from 10AM – 5PM and Sundays from 1PM – 5PM. Call (315) 255-1553 for more information or email at email@example.com.
I drove to the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center in Auburn, New York (205 Genesee Street) to view the Quilt=Art=Quilts show (blog post to follow). This fabulous show of textiles (or as she calls them – rugs) is by Ann Clarke and is located in the upstairs gallery through January 19, 2021.
It was only my second time up there due to the fact that previously, I did not know there was more than met the eye to the museum – there is a second floor accessed via stairs or elevator hidden behind the gallery shoppe and a basement room as well, where the museum hosts art classes and activities.
Clarke’s show is more than meets the eye too. It is full of eyes – the hooked wool rug variety. Although this technique was introduced to me in the 1970s as craft, Clarke’s deft handling of the media allows for nuances of color that create a feeling of light flickering throughout, which reminds one of time passing. She has elevated this former stitch-by-numbers-style craft into legitimate art.
The show is titled Lessons of Empathy in Wonderland. Clarke shares a journey of self as artist, and care-giver to her elderly mother. It reads as catharsis. She is literally and figuratively weaving the fragility of life and its complex relationships with love-infused yarn. This journey into an alternate universe (where the family narratives have changed) seems to have inspired empathy for her relationship with family in addition to finding personal solace, strength and depth of character within each intricately detailed piece in this collection.
It is a breathtaking exhibition. All of this large-scale work has been completed in the last two years. It is all so uniquely personal and yet, so compelling as one feels the resonance.
I love how life shows you what to do, what to create based on where you are on the emotional scale. And wherever you are, there will be others who totally see you. <3
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!
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.
The Richell Castellon art exhibit at Wilson Art Gallery in the Noreen Falcone Library on LeMoyne College campus is a must-see. (1419 Salt Springs Road, Syracuse, New York 13214).
Castellon gives us his impressions of homeland Cuba vs. Syracuse, New York. The landscapes of Cuba appear as an anachronism – like a sunny Miami circa the 1950s – the cars are vintage, the streets are clean and the people appear content. The Syracuse paintings are a bit more gritty, There’s a painting representing the underside of a rusty Route 81 bridge and another depicting a homeless panhandler holding a sign reading, in part, “the best is yet to come”. I am assuming this is a metaphor for the artist’s life?
Because he does live here now. According to the literature, the artist is interested in the similarities and differences between Cuba and Syracuse – the paintings are all street views, painted in the same style, yet these places are distinctly different with regard to the way he captures the light.
Castellon offers both city views in color and in value studies using an impressionistic brushstroke with acrylic paint. The paintings seem to glow from within. The Syracuse paintings radiate heat, especially in the way he handles the traffic lights in the night-time street scenes. They appear to have a sort of uncanny incandescence, which is quite impressive. How does he get acrylic to do that?
I met him at the Syracuse Tech Garden a while back – he told me then that he paints from photographs and from memory. There is a sense that the images have emerged from dreams. They portray a sequence of moments in time, as if they are somehow actually moving. I think it is the combination of loose brushstroke and just enough sharp edges that creates this phasing in-and-out of reality magic.
Yeah, I think Castellon is some sort of artist wizard. The larger originals are only $850 and the two smaller framed paintings on paper are around $300. Very collectible!
From Cuba to Syracuse continues through March 30, 2020. See the library website for hours of operation. For more information, call (315) 445-4330.
Terry Askey-Cole was in charge today at Gallery 54 (54 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles, New York 13152). She is one of the artists represented by the gallery. Fifteen years ago, Askey-Cole took courses in ceramics. Now she has her own home studio complete with kiln where she creates decorative pieces, like these whimsical floral garden sculptures (below), as well as slab and wheel thrown pottery and mosaics.
According to the gallery’s website:
Opened July 2009, Gallery 54 is an artist owned and operated gallery located in the scenic Finger Lakes village of Skaneateles. Most of our artists are local to the Finger Lakes/Central NY area and offer our customers a wide variety of high-quality and unique fine art and fine craft, including paintings, mosaics, pottery, art quilts, jewelry, photography, stained glass, handbags, scarves, and more.
In addition to the artwork our owners have on display, we also represent many additional local artists, whose mediums include paintings, jewelry, metal, glass, wood boxes, sculpture, tiles, silk wearables, ceramic clocks, illustrations and more. Be sure to visit our artist’s pages for more information about our artists and to see photographs of their work.
Askey-Cole said there are eight artist owners. Other artists may submit their work for jury – they can sell it on commission or sometimes items are purchased wholesale, so working the cash register is optional. It is an interesting model for business – and quite successful. Askey-Cole has played a part here for the past eleven years (since its inception)!
Traffic consists mainly of day trippers, like me. People from outside the Skaneateles area who venture in exploration and leave with a wooden bowl, jewelry, painted glass, knitwear and/or artwork. Gallery 54 makes use of every available space and when there are several people inside, it’s tight. There were a bunch of excuse-mes and sorrys today as I guided my way around every nook and cranny.
My friend Nella Joseph does well here. She hand-paints glassware. I am in love with the cardinal pieces (below).
Richell Castellon is the featured artist. His original paintings are cityscapes with one of the groupings done in black and white on burlap. Castellon is also currently exhibiting (until March 30, 2020) in a solo show (From Cuba to Syracuse) at the Wilson Art Gallery in the library at LeMoyne College.
Eventually I will purchase one of these amazing ceramic slab wall hangings by Peter Valenti. His work is so incredibly well-crafted. I love the Arts & Crafts feel with the ginkgo leaf and dragonfly motifs and the copper finishes. They are so distinctive in style! They are raku-fired, which is the method where the ceramics are removed from the hot kiln and placed in sawdust, salt or another smothering effect to starve the artworks of oxygen thereby affecting the glazing process. Valenti’s pieces offer rich texture and color.
Other artists represented by Gallery 54 include Lisa Maffiore, Liz and Rich Micho, Donna Smith, Sallie Thompson, Fred Weisskopf, and Judi Witkin. The gallery is open 10 AM – 5 PM daily.
Former Syracuse University Art Professor Michael Sickler knows how to put on a show. I stopped into the Community Library of DeWitt and Jamesville again (5110 Jamesville Road, DeWitt, New York 13078), and this time the tiny gallery space looked vastly different. Sickler’s collage pieces are pure harmony. From the process and the materials to the size relationships and the framing, this presentation is truly exceptional.
It is a series of collage pieces, rectangles adhered together with a sort of natural (read nature-based) thread. Drawings/scribbles are juxtaposed with leaves and patterns from textiles, as well as with pages from vintage wallpaper books to form an edited narrative depicting a landscape of perception.
Items are layered on balsa wood to create a variety of planes. There is precision in his process. He alludes to an interest in fragments, as in how we, as a society perceive information that seems random yet can be organized to reveal relationships.
This is recent work on a small scale, which has been captivating him lately, along with his strong interest/second career in poetry. The exhibited art is indicative of visual poetry in the way that dreams are subconscious thoughts.
Formal principles of art dominate and allow for a lovely flow from piece to piece. This library is the perfect place to showcase these beauties because they are child friendly – Sickler is planning a presentation in the library’s Community Room on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, at 7 PM. He will discuss his process in an hour-long lesson/lecture. Registration is encouraged for this free demo. I’m sure the local art crew will be there in full-force for this gem, but I would love it if there is plenty of room for kids too, as in, I hope some of my students will take advantage of the opportunity to meet and know Michael Sickler. <3
The exhibition runs through April 2020. Call (315) 446-3578 for more information.
Two of these immense acrylic and collage paintings welcome museum guests at the door. The remainder are located in the Robineau Memorial Gallery.
According to the literature, “Cazenovia-based artist Jim Ridlon creates impressionistic portraits of gardens that are poetic meditations on the passage of time and the impermanence of nature.” They are acrylic studies of gardens created on paper then cut and reassembled onto stretched canvas, the borders of which are all painted Titanium White.
They are like a Claude Monet-Jaskson Pollack mash-up, but with this amazing cohesiveness that is inherent in Ridlon’s work. The mindful decision making is what hooks me – the formal thinking solutions – harmony in the cut shapes, which leads to a rhythmic flow of color that seems to change as one travels through each trio. Subtle coloration changes happen in the light then everything transforms upon closer inspection, as the texture begins to dominate.
It is this deliberate action as an artist, used to create something that is meant to be fleeting, meant to be an essence of nature, that I whole heartedly admire in Ridlon’s creations. He knows how to be present. How to focus on the work and consciously capture the beauty of life.
These paintings are relatively new, made in the last two years and exhibited for the first time here. We are privileged to be among the first to witness this poetry.