Category Archives: Arts & Crafts

quilts x infinity

Kerri Green, Dallas, TX, Eyes On You, 2020, Cotton fabric hand-dyed by the artist, and cotton batting, $2,500
Diana Fox, Ellen Blalock, Judy Kirpich

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.

Margaret Abramshe, Shinhee Chin
Victoria Findlay Wolfe, New York, NY, A Year of Moments, 2018, Fiber, quilt, $15,000

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.

#coach #marcjacobs #kesnyc #theory #joesjeans #calvinklein
Debbie Grifka, Ann Arbor, MI, Notre Dame, 2019, Textile, $8,500
Jeanne Hewell-Chambers, Cashiers, NC, Playground of Her Soul, 2018, Fabric, batting, embroidery floss, and discarded dress, $3,800

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.

Susan Lapham, Vienna, VA, Playland #2, 2020, Pieced, hand-dyed cotton, and machine quilted, $8,000

*from the SMAC website

Jurors

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.

Carolyn Skei, Karen Schulz

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

Candace Hackett Shively, Libby Cerullo

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 mail@schweinfurthartcenter.org.

Ann Clarke @ smac

Ann Clarke, Syracuse, NY, Self Portrait 2020, wool yarn

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.

Ann Clarke, Syracuse, NY, Insomnia, 2020, knitted and fulled wool
Ann Clarke, Syracuse, NY, Noah, 2018, wool yarn

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

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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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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