I am currently in a post St. Valentine’s Day love affair with the home goods/home decorating/interior design firm and store Fringed Benefits. It is a manifestation of clever, inspirational design and good taste.
The brainchild of Interior Designer Amy Burns, who has established herself in the business locally for over twenty-years, and her partners Michelle O’Connor (business) and Kate Burns (designer), this venture is a stunning array of home decoration brilliance.
The store is located in the plaza adjacent to Wegman’s DeWitt (6825 E. Genesee Street, Fayetteville, New York 13066). It is closed on Sundays but operates every other day of the week. (Check their website for more information)
The venue is set up like a one-bedroom studio apartment with living-room, bedroom, office and dining-room decor supplemented by areas of small accessories, art, floral arrangements, gifts, candles and plenty of pillow options.
Retailer Glory took me on a tour including the back room, which is Burns’ design studio and offers personal assistance in home decorating including selecting fabrics and wallpapers. Glory’s enthusiasm for the products and budding business acumen made me want to make a purchase. It was a wooden heart ornament (pictured below) that I will cherish.
I had been a Facebook “Top Fan” of this place, but had never wandered in until today. It is an amazing store! You must go to there. Bonus if you tell them I sent you. <3
Although I was in all black yesterday (above), I’m making a conscious decision to add color to my wardrobe. Color looks better in #ootd pictures. Color is just fun. I color coordinate my walk-in closet – this makes it easier to notice items bought separately and even years apart that end up looking amazing together.
This Black Brown 1826 cashmere sweater (above) is something I often wear around the house over my pajamas. It is a thick 4-ply cashmere – very cozy and soft. The sleeves had frayed but I loved it so much, I didn’t want to get rid of it. I brought it to DeWitt Cleaners, recently, because I spilled yogurt on it and when I picked it up, it was not only pristine, but someone had magically mended it as well! The yarns of the sleeves were somehow stitched together (crochet hook?) and now it looks great with the most expensive skirt in my wardrobe!
This outfit (above) was inspired by one of my encaustic angel paintings, currently located on my bedroom dresser. I have had these silk velvet pants for a while. Paired with Marc Jacobs combat-style boots and the double sweater look, it felt super comfy on that cold day. We are in school on Wednesdays while the students are at home. #officehours
I rarely wear red – then this Coach leather skirt came along and now I’m singing red’s praises! Absolutely in love with the length. I paired it with an old Ann Taylor cashmere sweater from when the Ann Taylor store was on the second floor of the mall. (Does that store still exist? – IDK)
The monochromatic look was the rage at the 2021 Inauguration. It looked a bit like a circa 1980s rainbow wedding to me but fashion instagrammers didn’t agree. They loved that parade. I am not a purple head-to-toe fan either, lol. But blue? Yes!
One color works best when it is a blend of textures while allowing the hues to vary. Here (above) a new cashmere sweater with my tissue thin Rebecca Taylor summer denim dress, a navy silk mask and Frame cropped jeans. Boots, kind of, match my hair.
Sometimes I throw on my hat or earmuffs for the #ootd picture and sometimes I wear them most of the day when I am not in the classrooms. There is a lot less moving around these days due to all the Covid restrictions and such, and it just feels a lot colder at work. Hence the double sweater business too.
The fist time I wore this silk Talitha Collection top (above), I was at the Doobie Brothers/Steely Dan concert at the Ampitheater. It was something like ninety degrees in the shade that July day! For a January school day, I threw it on over a thick cashmere turtleneck.
And, P.S., every color in the rainbow looks great paired with these lambskin leather jeans (Joe’s Jeans!)
Finally and full circle, dresses over pants is a fun look – the dresses become tunics/jackets and I get to wear them through the winter and still manage to stay warm. Thank you, Joie and AllSaints, for the leathaaaaaaaa! <3
I created this series of twenty-four paintings, Talisman, in 2008. It is a love story: layered, filled with treasure, sparkle within dust, games and prizes, secrets and lies.
I experimented with varnish for the first time. Experimented with the permanence as well. The chalk was meant to fade with the years. It’s been thirteen years now and I admire the patina of these old friends. Yesterday I did an internet search for a solution to save that dust from settling further and the win-win came in the form of Pantene hair spray, believe it or not. So now, these paintings are fixed in time.
And the funny thing is, upon reflection, they bring me back to a place where I thought I had nothing, but in fact, I had it all. All the answers to all of my questions. I just did not know it then, which made life seem so confusing.
This game of life is a puzzle but if you take the time to look, listen and feel with your heart, you will resonate with all of it.
The paintings are 18″ x 24″. Oil paint and chalkboard paint. Found objects, games pieces, fabric.
They work best on a wall in multiples. That’s usually the way it goes with my artwork. If you like it, you really can’t get enough and you just want more.
They hold the narrative and that is a powerful aphrodisiac. <3
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 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?