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
Two of these immense acrylic and collage paintings welcome museum guests at the door. The remainder are located in the Robineau Memorial Gallery.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jim Ridlon: The Garden continues through March 29, 2020. Call (315) 474-6064 for more information.
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).
The Art Galleries at Syracuse University are designed to facilitate education. In other words, it’s a teaching museum. Professors require students to go to there – to critique the art/learn how to judge a work of art. Students journal about experiences for classes, attend the receptions and lectures, and even work there (which has to be the greatest work-study gig).
Last year, former Director Domenic Iocono mentioned it was the reason artists like Jasper Johns, James Rosenquist and Kiki Smith wanted to collaborate by sharing their work with our community, enhancing the walls of the spaces with their respective visions.
In this season’s first exhibition, Not a Metric Matters, the university galleries led by new Director and Chief Curator Vanja Malloy, Ph.D. hosts its own – the School of Visual & Performing Arts faculty. It is an opportunity to showcase their talent, yes, and also turn the tables on the critiquing process allowing the professors to show students how it’s really done.
Margie Hughto has been affiliated with the university for many, many years. When I spoke to her last month, she said teaching is still fun and so, she will continue to share her expertise with students for many years to come.
Her ceramic and found object work is exquisite. It is perfection in editing – selecting just the right found object pieces to coordinate with the ceramic pieces. The work alludes to the recent discarded and forgotten in terms of technology.
The thought provoking concepts aside, Hughto’s artwork screams of her strength of character. She finds beauty in every angle, in each piece fused as one. They are signatures of her style while continuing to surprise and delight us, continuing a growth trajectory as an artist and that in itself is the lesson.
Holly Greenberg has isolated grief in this productive series of drawings. These pieces resonated with me – as you know my father recently passed away and his belongings are still in the closets, his car in the driveway at Mom’s house. Using these ordinary objects as memento gives them a lovingly somber power and isolating them in their compositions drives the message home.
It is curious how objects can retain the emotion of the spirit and Greenberg’s proficiency in rendering provides the elevation of their status.
Ann Clarke‘s fiber artwork is marvelously original. Texture is my thing and seeing monumental work on the walls creates a bold statement about time. The fabrics are traditional, but the techniques are fresh and alive. The hooked rug eye is really incredible in-person. I love the idea of taking a method we all used in the past and formulating this new pattern, which seems to denote to me that someone is watching over me, loving me.
Clarke’s statement does imply that she is the watchful eye for her ailing mother and that is a beautiful thing. That the old becomes new again, and time is cyclical.
Other teaching artists in this show –
Yasser Aggour, Cooper Battersby, Emily Vey Duke, Don Carr, Deborah Dohne, Heath Hanlin, Seyeon Lee, Sarah McCoubrey, Su Hyun Nam, Vasilios Papajoannu, James Ransome, Tom Sherman and Chris Wildrick
Their work takes dimension as paintings, drawings, photo-collage, video and installation – and all have something important to say within the context of their visualizations.
There are more exhibits in the space, all curated by different people. DJ Hellerman is the curator of this show. He is the Art and Program Curator at the Everson Museum of Art and collaborates with SU’s Department of Transmedia. I met him while stumbling into a critique of university students’ final exhibitions at Apostrophe’s.
David Prince curated the display of former VPA faculty members. As you know, I am an SU grad (B.F.A. ’85, M.S. ’93). These professors are my people. I absolutely loved Rodger Mack. He was so devoted to building the sculpture department and his bronze sculptures are THE BEST!
Seeing his hands portrayed by Jerome Witkin brought a tear to my eye. There is so much love here, people. Going to Syracuse University was a dream come true for me – I feel incredibly blessed to have been the first person in my family to ever go to a university – and to see the professors being honored is such a gift. They deserve every accolade.
They were and are true working artists, not just people showing up to collect a paycheck.
There’s lots more to see of these exhibits and the vast permanent collections. It will all be on display until November 24, 2019. There will be an art reception on Thursday, September 12, 2019 from 5 – 7 pm. And Holly Greenberg will be giving a presentation in the adjacent Shemin Auditorium on Thursday, November 7, 2019 at 6:30 pm.
Syracuse University Art Galleries is located in the Shaffer Art Building on Syracuse University campus. Free parking is available on Sundays and on Thursday evenings in the Q lot – or at least it was when I was there yesterday. Call (315) 443-4097 for more information including hours of operation. <3
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.
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.
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).
The building itself is an antique. Here are some pictures from yesteryear courtesy of their Instagram account/Facebook page.
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.
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.
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. <3
Two years ago, my colleague Katy C. and I led an in-service workshop for teachers on a Superintendent’s Conference Day at Chittenango Middle School. We shared information about Joseph Cornell and how his concepts would work with every subject matter from book reports to math lessons to foreign language family trees. His boxes pertained to celestial themes and celebrity, and animals (mainly birds), but it is not a huge stretch to see the diorama-ic-ness of it all with the addition of text where applicable.
We made samples using Mod Podge to decoupage utility boxes then filled them with curriculum. These are the samples we made. We kept making them and sharing them with each other. It was so fun the way we kept making more and laughing at their awesomeness. So fun building on what came before and getting more and more creative.
I love when everyone realizes how instrumental art is to all other subjects. It is the visual language of dreams.
P. S. The workshop was a huge success!
Can’t wait to start the new school year next week! So ready to get boxed back into my classroom and to begin making art with my new amazing thirteen-year-olds. <3
Tonight was the opening reception for the summer art exhibition at The Syracuse Tech Garden gallery (235 Harrison Street, Syracuse, New York 13202). It is titled Cool August Moon. I saw my high school friend and fellow art teacher Audrey Levinson there!
Artist Steve Nyland (another Jamesville-DeWitt alum) is the curator and a participant in the show. He told me that he signed a new contract to continue with these exhibitions for at least another year. They take place in the lobby of this building, which is across the street from the Syracuse Marriott (Hotel Syracuse).
Other local artists contributing to this show –
Laura Audrey Terry Lynn Cameron Richell Castellon Fletcher Crangle Kathy Donovan Ryan Foster Larry Hoyt Lisa Ketcham James P. McCampbell Sally Stormon Rabekah Tanner Mitzie Testani Ray Trudell Kayla Cady Vaughn Ryan Wood
Massachusetts transplant Lisa Ketcham creates these kitschy assemblages and frames. They are sort of a cross between steampunk and macabre via the use of gears, timey-wimey-ies and skeletons.
Terry-Lynn Cameron brought her originals to share. I met her on Sunday at City Market where she was selling prints of these lovely acrylic paintings.
Richell Castellon Ferreira is the real deal – a painter and woodworker by trade. He comes to us from Cuba. His paintings of the Syracuse landscape would make perfect additions to any local collector’s art stash! He paints from photographs and from memory. These originals are only $175.
Ray Trudell focuses on the invisible in his black and white photographs taken of the surrounding area. He “slows time” by defining a glimpse of a moment using sharp contrast in his compositions.
The exhibit will be on display until September 20, 2019. For more information contact Steve Nyland at firstname.lastname@example.org. To purchase artwork, contact the artists directly. They have left business cards and also have contact information on their respective art tags.
The Madison-Bouckville Antique Festival is well underway. It is not a weekend event, oh noooooooo – it’s a full week of “junk” hunting! Located on both sides of Route 20 in Bouckville, New York 13310, there are thousands of vendors under tents. Everything you could possibly want to find, collect or what have you, including several kitchen sinks.
On the way there today, I set an intention for what I wanted to see/find (mainly stuff to use in my mixed-media artwork) and yes, I stumbled into ALL of it. Some were at price points I was fine with and others not so much. It was an exercise in the zen of serendipity.
There is a nostalgic element to the flow – pictured above is the Campus Queen lunch box I carried in elementary school.
I walked around for four hours and, basically, I just scratched the surface. I think I saw about a fifth of what was there. It was such a gorgeous day – I would have continued until dusk, but the majority of vendors closed up shop at 5 pm. I may return tomorrow. I really cannot get enough of the thrill of the hunt.
Madison-Bouckville Antique Week continues through August 18, 2019. They are open 8 am – 5 pm. There are plenty of food vendors and restaurants, as well as lots of shopping. So fun! <3
His vision is one that reflects a heritage in which landscape and religion play vital roles. He is from New Mexico, although his art education took him to Ohio and New York, which is why we are able to fall under his spell here in Syracuse, New York. This show was curated by the Columbus Museum of Art and will be on exhibit until Sunday, July 28, 2019.
Dominguez combines ceramics and found objects to create his irreverent world. It is a playful, fantastical and thoroughly original body of work. <3
The youngest of eight children, Eddie Dominguez grew up in Tucumcari, New Mexico, between Albuquerque and Amarillo on historic Route 66. He came to national prominence in the mid–1980s for highly stylized dinnerware sets that also stack into sculptural forms. In his work, Dominguez frequently references his home state’s vegetation, landforms, weather, and Hispano–Catholic culture. The dual nature of Dominguez’s objects, which inhabit the gray area between utility and art for art’s sake, reflects his personal experience as a New Mexican who studied ceramics in the Anglo–dominated East: whether we see “art” or “craft,” local Hispano or melting pot American depends completely on the immediate context.
The Everson Museum of Art is located at 401 Harrison Street, Syracuse, New York, 13202. Call (315) 474-6064 for more information.
Summer is a time where time doesn’t matter to me. I get up when I want. I do what I want. It is not slow or fast motion. It is pure bliss. Today was a bit wonky in that it was cloudy-ish – it rained last night and seemed like an indoor-all-day kind of day. I worked on a fun, creative project, I practiced on piano, watched some TV (I cannot get enough of Million Dollar Listings on Bravo) then I noticed that it was actually nicer out than I thought. So, I decided to go for a hike. So satisfying! When I returned, I stumbled upon information that there was going to be an art reception and I still had time to get ready to go! Can someone hashtag #ootd fast enough? Could this day get any better? Yes and yes!
I was delighted. For some reason I thought SU’s galleries went on summer hiatus but that is not the case with POC this time.
Syracuse University’s Point of Contact gallery is located in the Warehouse Building in Armory Square (350 W. Fayette Street, Syracuse, New York 13202). It is primarily a space that features latin artists, although from time-to-time they curate other exhibitions, like the annual Sum Art show.
It is a magnificent show! It was such a thrill to meet and speak with three of the artists. I have met Margie Hughto before but this time – OMG, her new work is breathtakingly beautiful, the kind of thing that moves me to want to make art, moves me to the tears that form the essence of joy. They are ceramic assemblages that sort of bridge the space between archeology and modernism. Each piece is fired separately then the artist uses intuitive rhythm to create movement in each piece, a swirling that truly captivates. Her inclination here is to showcase climate change.
Darcy Gerbarg blends her history as an Abstract Expressionist painter with her knowledge of digital technology. She has always been on the cutting edge in her field and these pieces are digital prints created by utilizing virtual reality software. Like a conductor wielding her baton, she executes a rhythmic flow of movement that then gets translated into digitized color on a monumental scale.
Beth Bischoff spent six years living in the Yucatan. Her photographs of this landscape are taken with a unique panoramic camera then digitally printed. The imagery created transports the viewer to a jungle habitat lost in time. Again, the sweep of rhythm thrusts mightily, albeit in black and white. It appears in tree branches and tall grass, as well as in the contrast of the stone facades.
The time changing element to this show is that feeling of having been here in the present moment and everywhere simultaneously. Time doesn’t stand still. It swirls and dances upon the landscape of photograph, painting, print and bas-relief. I feel changed for the better blessed by the momentum of art.
If you would like to view this show and find out more about the 4th artist, Franco Andres, (I did not get the opportunity to meet/speak with him), the exhibition runs through August 9, 2019. Point of Contact is open Monday – Friday 12 – 5 pm. Call (315) 443-2169 for more information or visit the POC website at www.puntopoint.org <3
***From the gallery website
TIME CHANGES EVERYTHING
MARGIE HUGHTO, BETH BISHOFF, DARCY GERBARG, FRANCO ANDRES
JULY 12 – AUGUST 9
Each artist in Time Changes Everything battles the temporality of human existence and the material world constructed around it.
Bischoff’s photography expresses a harmony of the past and present depicting the ruins left in the world’s progression. Bischoff’s Ruins series functions as a reminder of the care our planet deserves.
Ceramist Margie Hughto draws inspiration from landfills and remains left by humans in the creation of her Excavation Series. Hughto’s work embodies the transience of the human experience in a world heavily structured by transitory material objects.
Bringing together numerous modes of digital art, Gerbarg forms The Syracuse Pictures. Her artwork abstracts the world into its own heterotopia, existing in both the past and present.
Andres realizes the difficulty of authenticity for artists as he utilizes an accumulation of mediums in the formation of one’s identity. The process of his artwork becomes a depiction of time and change as his work spans from ancient processes to contemporary modes of video.
These four distinct artists come together in “Time Changes Everything” to pose a larger challenge to the viewers through the ultimate tool, their artwork.
Time Changes Everything will be on view through Aug. 9th.