Category Archives: art exhibition

Water is Art

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.

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photo cred – Jocelyn Reynolds

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.

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photo cred – Shane Lavelette

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.

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graphic design – Im Burrow

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.

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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

Weighlock Gallery

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.

*Details from Facebook event page

Join artist Linda Zhang and Syracuse University Professor Biko Gray at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 18 for a live, online talk about ‘The Story of Water,” an exhibit of abstract art that is at the Erie Canal Museum. It will be hosted on the Zoom meeting app. Click on this link to register and you will receive an email confirmation: .https://ryerson.zoom.us/meeting/register/u50vcuGsqTwsjUGXxhFl1-DgYZPFHN2lzA.

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!

Lizards!

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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.

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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.

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Following the Light

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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).

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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Day Tripping @ 54

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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.

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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.

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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.

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My friend Nella Joseph does well here.  She hand-paints glassware.  I am in love with the cardinal pieces (below).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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In the Process

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Library Hours

Monday – Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

*Summer hours:

Saturday
Sunday

Services limited 15 minutes before closing

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Garden of Ridlon

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Jim Ridlon serves us a triptych-rich medley of Spring in his new exhibition at the Everson Museum of Art (401 Harrison Street, Syracuse, New York 13202).

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Two of these immense acrylic and collage paintings welcome museum guests at the door.  The remainder are located in the Robineau Memorial Gallery.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Jim Ridlon:  The Garden continues through March 29, 2020.  Call (315) 474-6064 for more information.

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EVERSON MUSEUM OF ART HOURS:

SUNDAY 12-5
MONDAY CLOSED
TUESDAY CLOSED
WEDNESDAY 12-5
THURSDAY 12-8
FRIDAY 12-5
SATURDAY 10-5

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Judy-Judy-Judy

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I was in the neighborhood visiting a friend – before heading home, I decided to stop into the Manlius Library (1 Arkie Albanese Avenue, Manlius, New York 13082) to check out the art exhibit.

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Judith Hand has a solo exhibition.  There are forty-six paintings – some from her floral series, pieces I viewed in a show at LeMoyne College.  Others are new sketches/paintings created in and around the Syracuse area, as part of a group called “Urban Sketchers”.  I think I am in this group – I do get their emails but have not actively participated yet.  They meet at various locations (cafes, museums, parks) with their art supplies in tow.

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Artwork is for sale and can be viewed during regular library hours.  The exhibition continues through February 22, 2020.  Call (315) 682-6400 for more information.

Hours of operation:  Monday – Thursday 10 AM-9 PM, Friday and Saturday 10 AM-5 PM, Sunday 1 PM-5 PM.

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Collection Legacy

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The four upstairs galleries at the Everson Museum of Art (401 Harrison Street, Syracuse, New York 13202) are filled with treasures, some of which I have seen many times over the decades – but not like this.  Elizabeth Dunbar, director and CEO, has a way of pairing paintings and ceramics with a keen eye that makes everything come alive and feel fresh again.

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It is this new perspective that breathes love into the exhibition, A Legacy of Firsts:  The Everson Collects.  It showcases the museums over one hundred year history, presenting the cohesion via an American thread.  The exhibition honors the museum’s legacy and in turn reveres the decisions made by previous curators and directors.  I love this credence to respect.  It feels welcoming.  It feels like family.  It feels like home.  As she says in her message in the winter 2020 Everson Bulletin, [the museum is] “For artists.  For community.  For everyone.”

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This is an historical trek that begins at the top of the spiral staircase with pieces purchased around 1911 when the museum was known as the Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts – impressionistic landscapes, portraits and still-lifes displayed in ornate golden frames coupled with the ceramic pieces of the day.  Adelaide Alsop Robineau was a local potter who corresponded with and met the museum’s director at that time, Fernando Carter, as she frequented the facility back then – her intricately carved vessels were the first pieces purchased for what became a premier ceramics collection.

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There are over 11,000 items in the Everson’s collection! As the show progresses into the second chamber, you are jolted by bold colors.  This room is filled with large-scale abstractions and colorful pottery to mix and match.  Lee Krasner’s painting is displayed above her husband’s, an early Jackson Pollack.  I love the similarity in their styles.

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There is a display of transmedia here as well, but the videos don’t translate well in a photograph.

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The next gallery is familiar in that the museum purchased pieces from exhibitions from their recent past.  This (below) is a piece by Vanessa German.

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And I believe that (above) is an Angela Fraleigh 

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The fourth gallery space is heaviest on the ceramic collection.  It is such a bold move to see these pieces sans glass or other protective shielding, but that is what makes them so compelling.  Textural items created to be touched that one must not touch within reach – when I visited the museum as a child, all the ceramics were under glass in the do not touch space, as though they came to the museum to die, lol.  Now they are sooooo alive!

This show is visual candy.  I love the angles of the presentations, the way pieces connect, that flow, rhythm and the sheer beauty of the artwork.  It’s a wonderful journey through yesteryear and beyond.  <3

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A Legacy of Firsts:  The Everson Collects continues through March 22, 2020.

The Everson Museum of Art is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.  Hours of operation:  Wednesday, Friday and Sunday noon – 5 PM, Thursdays noon – 8 PM and Saturdays 10 AM – 5 PM.  There is a sliding scale admission fee (free for members).  Visit their web-site for the deets.  www.everson.org

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Arts & Crafts-gasm

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The basement of the Everson Museum of Art (401 Harrison Street, Syracuse, New York 13202) is currently an Arts & Crafts movement lover’s dream.  Renegades and Reformers:  American Art Pottery was just installed yesterday!  It is a phenomenal show.

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Adelaide Alsop Robineau was a well-known potter in Syracuse circa the early 20th century.  After the Everson purchased a collection of her work, the powers that be decided to focus on ceramics, eventually building one of the finest ceramics collections in the nation.

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This exhibition focuses on two factions of artists, in this case the idea that (according to the literature) there are “two personality types” among artists – renegades and reformers.

Renegades refer to those who created a personal identity through their art and reformers are considered to have pursued a modern approach to their work lashing out against Victorian values of the day.

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The exhibition will be on view through July 5, 2020.  A docent-led tour is scheduled for March 19, 2020 at 6 PM.  This is part of the Third Thursday event (many galleries and museums schedule art receptions and events simultaneously on the third Thursday of the month here in Syracuse).

The Everson Museum of Art is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.  Hours of operation:  Wednesday, Friday and Sunday noon – 5 PM, Thursdays noon – 8 PM and Saturdays 10 AM – 5 PM.  There is a sliding scale admission fee (free for members).  Visit their web-site for the deets.  www.everson.org

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Imagined Word

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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