Be prepared for an all consuming journey of the mind, if you plan to visit Syracuse University’s Point of Contact Gallery (350 W. Fayette Street, Syracuse, New York 13202) in the next two months. Puerto Rican artist Rafael Trelles has reinterpreted visions, dreams and literature to create a compelling dialogue between artists while exposing his queries regarding the human condition in his art exhibition titled The Imagined Word.
Twenty-two painted drawings are presented here. They are figurative – faces painted with etching inks, an oil-based ink that dries relatively quickly (as opposed to using oil paint, which would bleed on this particular paper, as he explained to me at tonight’s reception).
Some faces came first until a literary resource matched the artist’s hand then others selected first and the process reversed. Gestural lines and acrylic paint in sweeping brushstroke join these brilliantly rendered portraits to create compositions of depth and allegory, allowing the viewer to attach meaning in terms of their own identity to the stories with respect to personal fears and the beauty of their individual subconscious realms.
There is magic here. These recent pieces reflect two years of work. Next up for the Trelles, large-scale paintings on canvas and an exhibition in London!
The Imagined Word continues through March 13, 2020.
Point of Contact Gallery |350 W. Fayette St. Syracuse, NY 13202 | Open Monday – Friday: 12PM – 5PM or by appointment. Call (315) 443-2169 for more information.
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
Today, after work and a five-mile Green Lakes hike, I headed over to the Sue & Leon Genet Galley at The Nancy Cantor Warehouse (350 W. Fayette Street, Syracuse, New York 13202) for the Sue Ann Genet Costume Collection exhibit, Let It Snow! Keeping Warm at Syracuse University, 1870-2020.
I love the irony of this whole premise that it is cold in Syracuse in winter and I’m all hiking my head off for two hours a day thinking it’s totally warm – what’s wrong with you people? Naturally, I am also all about cashmere, fur, leather and down parkas, so this little exhibit was right up my alley. Keeping warm is my schtick. Really, it’s fashion. Fashion’s my schtick.
I frequented this gallery when it was housed in Slocum Hall back in the ’80s, so actually visiting it again, it’s kinda/sorta my old stomping grounds. I am a graduate of the Fashion Design program at Syracuse University and a really cold (minus 4 degrees) day in 1982 is referenced in the literature, which was probably a day I was walking around campus with my gigantic portfolio and paint case or a huge bag of fabric and a sewing kit (dual degree Fashion and Studio Arts) blowing around all over the place. Could this be anymore about me? LOL, sorry….
This is obviously an exhibition of outerwear spanning a century and a half. Everything on the mannequins looks stunning – well preserved and for the most part, timeless.
The show was curated by Professor Jeffrey Mayer. Kirsten Schoonmaker gave a slide presentation during the event tonight sharing her expertise on textiles, specifically a history of the fashion/costume use of wool and fur through the ages. Students in attendance were clearly enthralled by her dynamic presence. She is an Associate Professor of Fashion Design at Syracuse University, as well as the exhibit designer and collection manager.
Let It Snow! will be up through February 28, 2020. You will love it. <3
On Dec. 2, 2019, Syracuse University canceled a full day of classes for the fourth time in its 150-year history. This means that generations of students have trudged through snow, sleet, ice, and wind in order to get to class. How did they keep themselves from shivering as the daytime temperatures plunged as low as -4°F in January of 1982? Students on campus have proved that staying warm doesn’t have to mean sacrificing style. Thick fulled wool in fashionable hues has been cut and shaped to follow the silhouettes of the moment, whether it be the 1880s, the 1980s, or today. Collars and cuffs have been trimmed with insulating materials from soft fur to plushy polyester, trapping warm air around exposed skin as icy winds blow. Belts and buttons not only keep coats from flapping, but also add a touch of shape, sparkle, or contrast. Selections from the Sue Ann Genet Costume Collection reveal that while faces may change, outerwear has always been a style statement on campus.
About the Sue and Leon Genet Gallery:
Based in the School of Design at the Nancy Cantor Warehouse, the Sue & Leon Genet Gallery is a student-managed space hosting exhibitions from the school’s students, faculty, and alumni. Programing seeks to engage the University and downtown Syracuse community with exhibitions inspired by and related to the field of design. Public gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, noon to 5:00 pm., or by appointment. Call (315) 443-2455.
The last time I went to the Noreen Reale Falcone Library (1419 Salt Springs Road, Syracuse, New York 13214), the LeMoyne College campus looked a lot different. They’ve since uprooted a nearby parking lot in favor of more grassy knolls (which are currently snow-covered). I had to ask several people to direct me to it once I found visitor parking across the street. It was, like, in the Hunger Games when they discombobulated the players by topsy-turvy-ing the playing field computer simulation. The building didn’t even look the same to me as I came upon it from a different angle. I mean, where was I?
Eventually, I found my friend Penny and together we chatted with Gina Occhiogrosso, who is currently showing oil paintings and mixed-media fabrications at the Wilson Art Gallery located inside the library.
Occhiogrosso graciously shared information with us regarding her artist inner-voice. Her mother (now retired) was an artist and shoe designer with a penchant for “junking” (as my sister calls it), filling her home with flea market finds in various states of patina-ed wear. Decades of layers that make up a life of surroundings. As the artist pondered this home landscape, she created paper cut-outs from photographs she’d taken then abstracted them via paper collages. Intrigued by the void, the absence of the material, she set upon painting large scale versions of these pieces.
The result becomes its own presence, its own entity put into the world without the necessity of the language of its origin.
It is beautiful to witness these things and know their secrets, though, because I, personally, just love knowing.
There is artwork in this show that spans approximately three years of work. More paper collages are meant to represent the anxiety of environmental disaster, in this case, the tsunami disaster of 2011. Occhiogrosso creates that absence of presence once again, cutting images, rearranging them and turning them into solid-colored shapes that intertwine to create something vaguely familiar but completely void of the emotion that inspired them.
In addition, there are fabric collages that are stitched, painted and inked. Here the work becomes layered, as though there is more to discover, as if she’s hiding a legend inside. I am intrigued by this body of work. Occhiogrosso’s talent lies in the bridge between fear and the journey to a calmer, gentler space via the shapes of the present. She seems to be on a discovery to something more. I stumbled into something wonderfully puzzling and I am very interested to see what happens next.
***from the artist’s web-site
I am a painter whose work is composed not only through the application of wet color on a surface, but through processes of disassembly and realignment, and the incorporation of common, everyday materials like thread and yarn. These activities and elements allow me to explore anxiety, loss, humor and heroic femininity.
The hallowed and often masculinized tradition of painting is subverted in my work through a repeated process of cutting and then sewing painted surfaces together to develop new forms, dynamic connections and illusions of depth. Where these freshly stitched edges join, there is a seam, which has both linear and sculptural qualities. The seam acts as a geometric disrupter of curvy ellipses and other organic forms that are carefully rendered and then carved up with alternating precision and chance. The ghost of those cut edges has its own subtle presence. Where the fabric overlaps in the reverse of the painting, a slightly more opaque path is traced, issuing a new element whose origin is not at first apparent to the viewer.
I am interested in developing a surface that’s full of the suggestive qualities that abstraction can create. The stitched paintings supply this through the deliberate recalibration of shapes and their relationships to one another. In parallel to these, and often in service to them, collage becomes an important method for revealing new, unexpected interpretations of form. The sources of the collaged materials are often photographs of real things and places that hold meaning for me. As in the paintings, that information is disrupted and reinterpreted in compositions that suggest the fleeting nature of forces, figures and time.
Gina Occhiogrosso is an Associate Professor and Foundations Coordinator at The College of St. Rose in Albany, New York. She is represented by several galleries and has been in numerous group shows. She is a MacDowell Colony Fellow. This exhibition will remain on view at Wilson Art Gallery during regular library hours through February 21, 2020. For more information call (315) 445-4330.
This year there are fifteen 8th graders in my Studio in Art accelerated high school course at Chittenango Middle School. They finished the Lions Club Peace Poster project just in time for the end of the first marking period and for the judging last Wednesday. This is an international competition where the big winner gets $5,000. At the local level, the Chittenango Lions awarded monetary prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.
This year’s theme is Journey of Peace.
Posters will be on display in the guidance office where we have recently created a little gallery space. They will be moved to the Sullivan Library’s Community Room for the month of December 2019.
Today our winning poster competes for the regional title. If it wins, it continues its journey at the state level then internationally.
The Lions Club is providing us with a luncheon on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 in our classroom. I am so incredibly blessed to have these wonderful people in my life. They are so supportive of my program and each year for the past thirteen years they have turned three of my students into professional artists. That’s a lot of pros! Win-win! <3
I don’t give credence to evil. I believe there is goodness and lack of goodness. We create our own realities and so, perhaps unwittingly, we create sadness, doom, mayhem and what have you. The Universe/God gives you EVERYTHING you ask for without the emotion associated with positive or negative vibes.
That’s the gist of it. In this way, no outside entity or force is inserting itself into your experience. You and you alone create the life you have.
The good news is that you can control your life experience by thinking positively, by working to create a sense of goodness via happiness, joy and love. You can have a beautiful life if you choose to look at the good, that is to say to create rather than face reality.
People who argue for their limitations, who need to revisit shit-storms don’t get this. People who use the devil as a temptation scapegoat instead of taking responsibility for their actions – well, that seems a fearful way to live.
I accept that I will not be loved unconditionally by this man, because it is apparent our beliefs have divided us, and so, this so-called devil has seemingly wedged itself in the cracks of my relationship after all.
Isn’t that ironic? You get what you think about – perfectly illustrated. Imagined evil wins this round (for the sake of this article). And the moral is that you just can’t take yourself too seriously. Allow everyone to live their own truth even if it perpetuates pain rather than alleviating it. And don’t judge. Yes, that’s the trick – to love anyway, even if you don’t always agree…and to trust, trust, trust that goodness will inevitably/eventually prevail. There are always positive outcomes available to you. <3
Jerome Witkin has made a career of facing harsh realities via his large-scale figurative paintings. Art must show our times, without any holding back, showing how we are living in this time – this world . His quote operates on the assumption that everyone in this time is living crummy lives. He uses Katrin Naumann, my friend and yogini as a primary model to illustrate the dastardly manifestations of society, which is such an irony in itself. Katrin is an ethereal soul, an absolutely beautiful human person.
Witkin is proficient in rendering and paint applications. His compositions are modern visual collages shaped like temples for his angst-infused pulpit. The devil is in the details, lol.
Jerome Witkin: This Time, This World is currently on exhibit at ArtRage Gallery (505 Hawley Avenue, Syracuse, New York 13203). The art reception is tonight from 6-8 pm. The show runs through January 11, 2020 with an artist talk planned for Wednesday, January 8, 2020 at 7 pm.
Syracuse artists Jacqueline Adamo, Lauren Bristol, Dana Stenson and Tom Huff have joined forces to produce a contemporary spin on texture for the new art exhibit at Edgewood Art Gallery and Custom Frame Shop (216 Tecumseh Road, Syracuse, New York 13224).
These four talented people – I am always running into them in town – I saw Jackie at the Yoko Ono exhibit at the Everson Museum of Art; I see Lauren every now and then while hiking at Green Lakes; ran into Dana last week at Target and Tom at the Regional Flea Market. But, weirdly enough, I missed the opportunity to see them all in one place at the same time at the art reception for their show, which was Friday night.
The exhibit is called Creative Thread. I popped in on Saturday to check it out. Edgewood is a small gallery, about the size of my living room, but owner Cheryl Chappell has a great eye and a way with space. Each show brings a fresh perspective and Cheryl does a magnificent job curating – pairing larger pieces with smaller ones and allowing all to shine. She is also a preeminent framer.
Jackie Adamo has created all new pieces incorporating fabric and sewing techniques into her oil paintings. Lauren designs her own patterns in these wonderful crochet wall hangings in addition to displaying several diminutive fiber art narratives. Dana is a metalsmith and has produced some mixed-media art pieces, as well as jewelry for this show. And Tom has chipped in with his reductive soapstone sculptures.
David MacDonald’s ceramics are still for sale too!
This exhibit continues through November 15, 2019.
The shop is open Tuesday-Friday 9:30-6:00 PM and Saturday 10:00 AM-2:00 PM. For more information call (3150 445-8111).
Where am I? I am back at work at Chittenango Middle School, teaching 8th grade Studio in Art, Art-8, and helping fifty kids a day with homework in two study halls. My outfit of the day (#ootd) pictures have been hit or miss. Not sure whether or not to resume taking them. Katy C. and I have been so busy prepping lessons and organizing stuff – I only have a few pictures to share (even though we’ve been back at it for two weeks now).
Meanwhile, my artwork is going places. I am exhibiting encaustic baseball paintings and horseshoe paintings during the month of September 2019 at Half Moon Bakery & Bistro (6500 East Seneca Turnpike, Jamesville, NY 13078).
And last night I delivered six encaustic angel paintings from the Futura series to a new restaurant called 317 (317 Montgomery Street, Syracuse, New York) before heading to the Italian Festival, which is taking place in front of City Hall this weekend. These paintings will be up in a group pairing along with other artists’ work (indefinitely, as of now). 317 provides an incredibly intimate dining experience right in the heart of downtown Syracuse adjacent to the Onondaga Historical Association.
Finally, my twelve Japanese-inspired fan encaustic paintings are still available for sale at Kasai Ramen (218 Walton Street, Syracuse, NY 13202) until September 16, 2019.
P.S. I started designing bracelets! I’ll be ready to launch that experience very soon – stay tuned! The jewelry thing is my current passion and focus artistically. The universe has been doing a great job of taking care of everything else. Thank you, universe! Life is good! <3