Category Archives: art resources

Syracuse Antiques Exchange

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I drank a lot of iced coffee yesterday, well after 5:00 pm then I devoured free and salty buttered popcorn in the VIP lounge at the Mary J. Blige concert last night, which caused a totally weird all-night awake fest (thank God for old episodes of Million Dollar Listing on Bravo on-demand).  I fell asleep somewhere around 6 am and woke up around noon, thus missing my weekly Sunday trek to the flea market.

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Yes, Tuesday’s return to work after eight weeks of summer bliss will be a rude awakening for me.  I will need to start getting up at 5:30 am and if I can do that, it will be by some sort of divine miracle.

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This afternoon, in order to satisfy my craving for old stuff/junk/treasure, I decided to wander into Syracuse Antiques Exchange (1629 North Salina Street, Syracuse, New York 13208).

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The building itself is an antique.  Here are some pictures from yesteryear courtesy of their Instagram account/Facebook page.

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The place is chock full of antiques.  Four floors of vendor vignettes – clothing, jewelry, furniture, sports memorabilia, knick-knacks, collectibles even Tiffany stained-glass windows!  Very cool!  Purchases are made at the desk – on the first floor by the entrance.

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Prices are as marked but there is a little bit of wiggle-room for haggling, like maybe 10% off.  If the vendor is available via a text message, you are golden.

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They are open every day 10:30 am – 5:30 pm, although they are planning to be closed tomorrow due to the Labor Day holiday.  Call (315) 471-1841 for more information. ❤

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Clark’s

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I can barely walk right now – I hike literally everyday – at least seven miles per, but today the stairs at Clark’s Reservation kicked my butt.  They are depicted here in this scale model, located inside the Nature Center at the park.

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They were built in 1878 by James McFarlane who had purchased the property to turn it into a summer resort.  Patrons could take the stairs to catch a boat ride on the meromictic lake.  Descending them now is like living in a dream.  They are of the rustic old-timey variety – and there are a lot of them.

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And when you get to the bottom you see this sign, reminiscent of a Scooby Doo cartoon, that reads Danger Quicksand.  Is quicksand really real?  Really??!!

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Clark’s history is a fascinating one.  The land had first been divided to be allotted to Revolutionary War veterans in the 1700s.  For some unknown reason, nobody collected it and so, it was reassessed, sold and sold again until Mary Clark Thompson purchased the lot of it and donated it to the state of New York in tribute to her father.  It is a New York State park, one that is free to the public and open dawn to dusk every day.

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It is located at 6105 E. Seneca Turnpike, Jamesville, New York 13078. ((315) 492-1908)

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There is a Nature Center there.  Cameron Aloi is the resident naturalist.  He is a student at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.  He will be there to answer your questions (as he was today) on the weekends from 11 am – 4 pm.  Other volunteers, part of the network known as the Council of Park Friends (CPF), take turns manning the museum during the week.

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They are responsible for the nature center’s maintenance and also offer many programs to educate the public in regards to the flora and fauna of the park.  CPF welcomes new members with a tax deductible gift as low as $20 per year.

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Upcoming events include a photography hike on August 17, 2019 at 1 pm and the annual volunteer meeting on September 12, 2019.  See their web-site for the deets.

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My favorite part of my visit was seeing the great collection of taxidermy wildlife.  They would be ideal for my classroom.  OMG, the drawings we could do!  Pheasants and bobcats are on my dream classroom wishlist (true story, that). ❤

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Circles of Life

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I didn’t know Marlene Roeder could draw when I met her twenty-five years ago while we were both working at Franklin Magnet School, an arts magnet elementary in the Syracuse City school district in Syracuse, New York.

She was the grant writer and big into theatrical productions.  I was a daily substitute teacher.  She has since retired from that job, as well as from her position as an education curator at the Everson Museum of Art – and taken up the art of mandala making.

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Her artwork is available for sale at Eye Studio (712 W. Manlius Street, East Syracuse, New York).  Last night was the opening reception for Circle of Life, a month-long exhibition of these intricate ink and colored pencil originals and prints.

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Marlene shared her passion for creating the drawings.  She begins with a large compass then decides how many points she will create.  Pencil then pen and ink followed by color.  Some of the pieces have been published in a coloring book.  She does “coloring parties” too, in which she offers color theory tips and the therapeutic escape that coloring provides.

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There are several series within this concept.  Groupings of pieces inspired by family, landscapes, seascapes, still-lifes, time and social injustice.  They are all infused with a spiritual belief system and a desire to share visual thinking strategies as a means to understand and further enjoy art, and the art-making process.

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Marlene is an advocate for “the persecuted and oppressed”.  She gives 20% of her art sales to the A21 Campaign, an international organization that fights to end human trafficking.

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For more information, contact the artist at mroeder01@gmail.com. ❤

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Gallery and Gift Shop Hours

Monday – Tuesday   11am – 7pm.       Thursday                12pm – 7pm

​Wednesday             3pm – 7 pm         Friday – Saturday    12pm – 5pm

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Secret Chamber

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I have always been drawn to the exquisite beauty of all that is Ancient Egypt.  I took an Egyptology course at University College while teaching at Bryant & Stratton back in the ’80s to answer a student who questioned why and how Egyptian fashion was selected as the first chapter in the costume history textbook.

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The answer lies in art, because all of our history to do with ancient cultures comes not from the written word, but from pictures – in this case hieroglyphics, tomb murals and, of course jewelry, as well as the remnants of clothing made of linen fiber.

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I learned that Napoleon’s French army invaded Egypt in 1798.  They rediscovered the antiquities and were the first archeologists to investigate the area.  It wasn’t the painstaking attention to delicate detail that it is today or even remotely a respectful handling of human remains.

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Many mummies were burned as fuel for steam engines, which is just so tragic.  Later on, in the following century, Egypt became an exotic vacation spot for wealthy Americans who enjoyed purchasing the baubles, scarab beetle decor, and mummies!

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They held mummy unveiling dinner parties back in the States, stuff like that.

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Howard Carter uncovered King Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922.  This significant find catapulted Egyptian archeology in terms of the level of importance, the regard for history and the sheer magic in attaining this priceless treasure.

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Somewhere in the middle, during the Victorian age, Cazenovia Public Library benefactor Robert James Hubbard and his son accumulated a collection of Ancient Egyptian artifacts including an intricately wrapped-in-linen mummy for the purpose of creating a museum.

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And so, yes, there is a mummy in this library.

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Yesterday, Janine and I visited Cazenovia, New York; first stop, Cazenovia Artisans, second, Common Grounds and next, to the library to see this exhibit.  We ended up at Empire Farm Brewery for lunch.  Janine had never been to any of these spots nor had she an idea this breathtaking collection even existed.  So, my thought is that not many of you know about it.  You’re welcome!

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When I taught elementary art at Bridgeport Elementary School in our district, I decided to add a few lessons on Ancient Egypt culture to the third grade curriculum, because I had this knowledge I wanted to share.  I created a cat mummy sculpture lesson.  Naturally, no pets were harmed.  Students’ sculptures were made of an armature of plastic bottles and styrofoam balls.  They were void of remains, unlike the actual cat mummy at this museum.

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At Chittenango, it is the sixth graders who study the ancient civilizations in Social Studies.  They do take a field trip to Cazenovia Library, as the village is adjacent to our school district via Route 13.  I highly recommend a visit.  It is free and really quite extraordinary.

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The library is located at 100 Albany Street, Cazenovia, New York 13035.  It is open Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 9:00 pm, Saturday 10:00 – 5:00 pm.  They are closed on Sundays.  Call (315) 655-9322 for more information.

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The museum space is also home to a gallery for rotating local artist/art organization exhibitions, as well as a wonderful exhibit of birds and plumage in fashion.  They also have many interesting activities for children including puzzle clubs and such.  Yesterday they had a hot chocolate and cookie station available.  Set in a Victorian mansion, this is truly a quaint and lovely experience that really packs a secret chamber punch.  So special!  ❤

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Who’s Greek Now?

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I decided to infuse the 8th grade Medusa  drawing project with real people.  I was driving to work a few weeks ago and the idea just came to me, lol, but would the teachers at Chittenango Middle School go for it?

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On the half day, I sent out an email then I ran around taking pictures of those who were receptive to being immortalized as Medusa.  The principals were even on board, which was so, totally, awesome!

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Students selected from the faces and added the snake hair and Greek pattern border.  We watched excerpts from 1981 and 2012 Clash of the Titans while using Sharpies and colored pencils.  Here are the results.  They used 16″ x 20″ white heavyweight tagboard and Prismacolor colored pencils.

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I have two classes working on a new batch on brown Kraft paper.  It is such a fun project.  So many possibilities with regard to color schemes and composition.  So incredibly satisfying!

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This artwork is currently on display in the hallway outside of my classroom at Chittenango Middle School in Chittenango, New York.  It will be up for a while, at least until the end of the semester at the end of January.  I will display some of them at the school fair in May too.

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Mayer on Cloth

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At 6:00 p.m. tonight, Jeffrey Mayer, Associate Professor of Fashion Design at Syracuse University, will be presenting a talk on the Art for Every Home: Associated American Artists exhibition at the SU Art Gallery.  He will be focusing on the clothing and textiles that are in the back gallery.

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I took these pictures when I was at the opening reception.

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Here is more info taken from their Facebook invite page –

Join Jeffrey Mayer for a thrilling discussion focusing on the costumes and textiles featured in the current exhibition “Art for Every Home: Associated American Artists,” on dislay through March 19th in the galleries!

Post World War II fashion, with a new silhouette and a new appreciation for the designer as an artist, created the perfect opportunity for Associated American Artist to team with textile manufacturers to produce art based fabric prints. Creating series of textiles for both home decoration and clothing use these prints were marketed as being created by ‘fine artists’. The collaboration with textile manufacturers would only last for a very few years before AAA designed print fabrics would cease to exist. This lecture will include additional textile print examples from the Syracuse University Sue Ann Genet Costume Collection which document how the trend became popular and what contributed to its demise.

Jeffrey C. Mayer is Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Fashion Design in the School of Design, SU CVPA, as well as the curator of the Sue Ann Genet Costume Collection for which he has designed many historic costume exhibitions. He is also author of ‘Vintage Details; A Fashion Sourcebook’ published by Laurence King, London.

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The show continues though March 19, 2017.  The gallery is located in the Shaffer Art Building on Syacuse University campus.  Gallery hours are Tuesday – Sunday 11:00 am – 4:30 pm.  The gallery stays open until 8:00 pm on Thursdays.  They are closed during university holidays.  Call (315) 443-4097 for more information or email them at suart@syr.edu.

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Visions of Hope

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I was able to take a quick trip to New Jersey – thank you, Mother Nature, for providing magnificent weather for a safe journey in February!  Yesterday I visited the Novado Gallery in Jersey City (blog post to follow), and today I stopped at the Summit Medical Group in Berkeley Heights.

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I went to pick up the eight paintings I had on display (from April until a few days ago).  It is such a beautiful space and the people are so friendly.  I just love it there!  Now, space planner Elizabeth Wiech has installed a show of these brilliantly hued text-infused paintings by Susan Hope Shaffer.

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Shaffer, a cancer survivor, created these images to empower herself and others on their healing journey.  Through art, she has discovered a source of positive energy and this is such a beautiful and magical resource.  The exhibit is incredibly cohesive and captivating.

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Refreshments and entertainment will be provided at an opening reception on Friday, March 3, 2017 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.  The gallery space is located on the basement floor of the Lawrence Pavilion at Summit – 1 Diamond Hill Road (07922).  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the artwork will be donated to Pathways Women’s Cancer Support.

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For more information call (908) 277-8806 or visit their web-site – www.summithealthmanagement.com