Category Archives: education

The Italian Still-Life

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

20200310_121600.jpg

20200310_121616.jpg

20190407_140731

My Studio in Art students recently completed these still-life paintings based on photographs I took last year at Vince’s Gourmet Imports (440 S. Main Street, North Syracuse, New York 13212).

20200310_121623.jpg

20190407_141016

I have paired them here with the resource picture.  Contour line drawings made on white drawing paper were transferred to canvas panel via the magic of graphite paper.  Then students used acrylic paint.  They had their own palettes and mixed colors by adding white and raw sienna to every hue, which gives the paintings a sense of unity (the colors “go” together).  I encouraged them to maintain their own styles.  This included the option of outlining in black, consistent brush work, removing or adding text, and creating a different background.

20200310_121630.jpg

20190407_140959

They are 8th graders taking this high-school level course for high school credit and the opportunity to take upper level art electives next year.  We have one quarter left of the school year – I have plans for two more lessons to complete course work off-campus if necessary.  The Chittenango Central School District is temporarily closing on Tuesday with an indefinite return date at this time.

20200310_121635.jpg

20190407_140726

20200310_121641.jpg

20190407_140338

20200310_121648.jpg

20190407_140500

20200310_121703.jpg

20190407_140800

20200310_121711.jpg

20200310_121721.jpg

20190407_140712

20200310_121725.jpg

20190407_140519

20200310_121729.jpg

20190407_140939

20200310_121734.jpg

20190407_140313

20200310_121739.jpg

20190407_140441

20200310_121744.jpg

20190407_140543

20200310_121753.jpg

20190407_141123

20200310_121749.jpg

20190407_141137

Decorative Surfaces

20200123_174854.jpg

Just returned home from another wonderful art reception.  This time I was around the corner from home, at SUNY Empire State College (6333 State Route 298, Suite 300, East Syracuse, New York 13057) for the Independent Potters’ Association exhibition, Surface Decorations on Ceramics.

20200123_174841.jpg

20200123_174847.jpg

20200123_180559.jpg

I spoke with Alan Stankiewicz (above), the mastermind of this show, as he is curator and exhibitor, as well as an educator at the college.  He used horsehair as a surface decoration on his piece – the horsehair is placed on hot-from-the-raku-kiln-fired pottery.  It is allowed to burn away leaving fine lines resembling the look of a gestural charcoal drawing.  I’d never seen this technique before.

20200123_174835.jpg

This is the beauty of the exhibition.  The whole thing is a teachable moment.  This group of potters share their expertise with each other and now, here, with the students of this college and you, the public.  There is such a sense of positivity in their camaraderie.

The exhibit is nicely linked via tiles with explanations of individual techniques and literature that tells the story of this vernacular.  It is really so amazing how many ways pottery can be decorated and, of course, multiply that times the combined techniques variations and you have madness!  I honestly don’t know how the artists settle on a particular style.  It has to be inspired action.

20200123_174923.jpg

Many SUNY Empire employees joined the artists for the reception in the Central Arts Gallery.  They had a marvelous spread of munchies.  It is on the third floor of the building on the left after entering the college facility.  I was here once before for Maria Rizzo’s thesis exhibition.

20200123_174858.jpg

20200123_174932.jpg

20200123_174947.jpg

Surface Decoration on Ceramics will remain on display through February 28, 2020.  Gallery hours are Monday-Friday 9 AM-5 PM.  I highly recommend this to any high school ceramics art teachers in the area who are contemplating a field trip.  It is a really informative show.  So many cool ideas! Thank you, IPA. <3

20200123_174955.jpg

20200123_175501.jpg

20200123_175455.jpg

20200123_175002.jpg

20200123_175013.jpg

20200123_175039.jpg

20200123_180757.jpg

20200123_175121.jpg

20200123_175152.jpg

20200123_175228.jpg

20200123_180402.jpg

20200123_175429.jpg

20200123_175234.jpg

20200123_175306.jpg

 

Woolly Winter

20200122_185323.jpg

Today, after work and a five-mile Green Lakes hike, I headed over to the Sue & Leon Genet Galley at The Nancy Cantor Warehouse (350 W. Fayette Street, Syracuse, New York 13202) for the Sue Ann Genet Costume Collection exhibit, Let It Snow!  Keeping Warm at Syracuse University, 1870-2020.

20200122_185256.jpg

I love the irony of this whole premise that it is cold in Syracuse in winter and I’m all hiking my head off for two hours a day thinking it’s totally warm – what’s wrong with you people?  Naturally, I am also all about cashmere, fur, leather and down parkas, so this little exhibit was right up my alley.  Keeping warm is my schtick.  Really, it’s fashion.  Fashion’s my schtick.

20200122_184736.jpg

I frequented this gallery when it was housed in Slocum Hall back in the ’80s, so actually visiting it again, it’s kinda/sorta my old stomping grounds.  I am a graduate of the Fashion Design program at Syracuse University and a really cold (minus 4 degrees) day in 1982 is referenced in the literature, which was probably a day I was walking around campus with my gigantic portfolio and paint case or a huge bag of fabric and a sewing kit (dual degree Fashion and Studio Arts) blowing around all over the place.  Could this be anymore about me? LOL, sorry….

20200122_184525.jpg

This is obviously an exhibition of outerwear spanning a century and a half.  Everything on the mannequins looks stunning – well preserved and for the most part, timeless.

20200122_184711.jpg

20200122_184632.jpg

20200122_184453.jpg

20200122_184559.jpg

The show was curated by Professor Jeffrey Mayer.  Kirsten Schoonmaker gave a slide presentation during the event tonight sharing her expertise on textiles, specifically a history of the fashion/costume use of wool and fur through the ages.  Students in attendance were clearly enthralled by her dynamic presence.  She is an Associate Professor of Fashion Design at Syracuse University, as well as the exhibit designer and collection manager.

Let It Snow! will be up through February 28, 2020.  You will love it. <3

20200122_184643.jpg

***from the Syracuse University website

On Dec. 2, 2019, Syracuse University canceled a full day of classes for the fourth time in its 150-year history. This means that generations of students have trudged through snow, sleet, ice, and wind in order to get to class. How did they keep themselves from shivering as the daytime temperatures plunged as low as -4°F in January of 1982? Students on campus have proved that staying warm doesn’t have to mean sacrificing style. Thick fulled wool in fashionable hues has been cut and shaped to follow the silhouettes of the moment, whether it be the 1880s, the 1980s, or today. Collars and cuffs have been trimmed with insulating materials from soft fur to plushy polyester, trapping warm air around exposed skin as icy winds blow. Belts and buttons not only keep coats from flapping, but also add a touch of shape, sparkle, or contrast. Selections from the Sue Ann Genet Costume Collection reveal that while faces may change, outerwear has always been a style statement on campus.

20200122_184503.jpg

About the Sue and Leon Genet Gallery:

Based in the School of Design at the Nancy Cantor Warehouse, the Sue & Leon Genet Gallery is a student-managed space hosting exhibitions from the school’s students, faculty, and alumni. Programing seeks to engage the University and downtown Syracuse community with exhibitions inspired by and related to the field of design. Public gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, noon to 5:00 pm., or by appointment.  Call (315) 443-2455.

Journey

20191107_120921.jpg

20191107_120931.jpg

This year there are fifteen 8th graders in my Studio in Art accelerated high school course at Chittenango Middle School.  They finished the Lions Club Peace Poster project just in time for the end of the first marking period and for the judging last Wednesday.  This is an international competition where the big winner gets $5,000.  At the local level, the Chittenango Lions awarded monetary prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

20191107_120938.jpg

20191107_121006.jpg

This year’s theme is Journey of Peace.

20191107_121014.jpg

Posters will be on display in the guidance office where we have recently created a little gallery space.  They will be moved to the Sullivan Library’s Community Room for the month of December 2019.

20191107_121221.jpg

Today our winning poster competes for the regional title.  If it wins, it continues its journey at the state level then internationally.

20191107_121024.jpg

20191107_121032.jpg

The Lions Club is providing us with a luncheon on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 in our classroom.  I am so incredibly blessed to have these wonderful people in my life.  They are so supportive of my program and each year for the past thirteen years they have turned three of my students into professional artists.  That’s a lot of pros!  Win-win! <3

20191107_121039.jpg

20191107_121048.jpg

20191107_121056.jpg

20191107_121105.jpg

20191107_121119.jpg

20191107_121127.jpg

20191107_121213.jpg

20191107_121140.jpg

20191107_121157.jpg

20191107_121205.jpg

20191107_121235.jpg

Measuring Up

20190901_151714.jpg

20190901_155135.jpg

20190901_151910.jpg

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.

20190901_151821.jpg

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.

20190901_151835.jpg

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.

20190901_151851.jpg

20190901_151844.jpg

20190901_152730-1.jpg

20190901_152756.jpg

20190901_152744.jpg

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.

20190901_152823.jpg

20190901_152500.jpg

20190901_152352.jpg

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.

20190901_152430.jpg

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.

20190901_152420.jpg

20190901_152639.jpg

20190901_152333.jpg

20190901_152536-1.jpg

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.

20190901_152549.jpg

20190901_153638-1.jpg

20190901_153632.jpg

20190901_152639.jpg

20190901_152707.jpg

20190901_153638-1.jpg

20190901_153632.jpg

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.

20190901_153827.jpg

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!

20190901_153653.jpg

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.

20190901_153820.jpg

They were and are true working artists, not just people showing up to collect a paycheck.

20190901_153737.jpg

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

20190901_153721.jpg

20190901_153756.jpg

Clark’s

20190810_143446.jpg

20190810_143816.jpg

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.

23559881_1964708196889480_1177250497781173668_n

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.

17626213_1705413949485574_280561975567647286_n

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??!!

20190810_144922.jpg

20190810_143600.jpg

20190810_143611.jpg

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.

20190810_143620.jpg

20190810_143628.jpg

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

20190810_143633.jpg

20190810_143647-1.jpg

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.

20190810_143640.jpg

20190810_143651-1.jpg

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.

20190810_143704.jpg

20190810_143708.jpg

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.

20190810_143725.jpg

20190810_143729.jpg

20190810_143742.jpg

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). <3

20190810_143753.jpg

20190810_143735.jpg

20190418_174311.jpg

The Thaw Legacy

20190713_170518.jpg

20190713_165243.jpg

Eugene and Clare Thaw began collecting Native American art in 1987 when they lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  They donated the collection to the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York where it currently resides in the downstairs gallery across from the Herb Ritts exhibition.

20190713_165658.jpg

20190713_165646.jpg

The life of Eugene V. Thaw is eloquently reviewed in an obituary written by Holland Carter for the New York Times, which I have included in this post.  It documents a man’s life-long passion for the arts.  His dedication to collecting, amassing more like, and also preserving and selling art is a gift to the world.

20190713_165617.jpg

In this case, American Indian clothing, jewelry, pottery, and both decorative and functional objects depict the powerfully dignified beauty of a culture/civilization.  Although the collection began in the Southwest, the Thaws expanded it to include every region of the US.  The pieces are exquisitely displayed via region.

I am especially drawn to the costume, the leather hides, the intricate beadwork and the colors.  Just fabulous!

Thank you, Mr. & Mrs. Thaw, for your life’s work and vision – preserving American history through the beauty of its art. <3

The Fenimore Art Museum is open today 10am – 5pm.

5798 STATE HIGHWAY 80 (P.O.BOX 800)
COOPERSTOWN, NY 13326
607-547-1400
INFO@FENIMOREART.ORG

20190713_165717.jpg

20190713_165342.jpg

20190713_165338.jpg

20190713_165249.jpg

20190713_165709.jpg

****From the New York Times website

Eugene V. Thaw, Influential Art Collector and Dealer, Is Dead at 90

By Holland Cotter

January 5, 2018

He was born on Oct. 27, 1927, in Washington Heights in Manhattan. His father was a heating contractor, his mother a schoolteacher. They named him for the socialist leader Eugene Victor Debs, who had died the previous year.

As a young teenager, Mr. Thaw took drawing classes at the Art Students League on West 57th Street in Manhattan. But he did not pursue the hands-on practice of art.

“I can’t create the objects I crave to look at,” he later said, “so I collect them.”

After graduating from DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx at 15, he entered St. John’s College in Annapolis, Md., and began making day trips to art museums in nearby Washington.

Returning to New York in 1947, he took graduate classes in art history at Columbia University with Millard Meiss and Meyer Schapiro. He also followed the city’s contemporary-art scene, getting an early immersion in Pollock’s work at the Betty Parsons Gallery.

His closest institutional tie was to what is now the Morgan Libraryand Museum, which in the 1950s was one of the few New York museums to have a curator of drawings. In 1975, after the museum had expanded its acquisition parameters to include 19th-century work, the Thaws decided that the Morgan would be the recipient, in incremental allotments, of their ever-growing holdings. The Morgan exhibition “Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings From the Thaw Collection,” which opened in September and closes on Sunday, marked the completion of the gift, encompassing more than 400 sheets.

 

Among them were works by modern and contemporary artists in whom Mr. Thaw took particular interest. In the 1950s, on summer vacations in East Hampton, N.Y., Clare Thaw had struck up a friendship with the painter Lee Krasner, Jackson Pollock’s widow. With Ms. Krasner’s cooperation, Mr. Thaw began preparing the multivolume Pollock catalogue raisonné, an annotated listing of all the artist’s known works, in the 1970s, hiring the art historian Francis V. O’Connor as co-author.

20190713_165313.jpg

20190713_165507.jpg

20190713_165540.jpg

20190713_165421.jpg

20190713_165418.jpg

***From the Fenimore website

EUGENE AND CLARE THAW: A MEMORIAL TRIBUTE

April 2 – December 31, 2019

Discover the most outstanding items from the Thaw Collection American Indian Art. Objects of transcendent beauty that span the continent—from the Arctic to the Southwest, and from the Eastern Woodlands to the Pacific West–encompassing close to 2,000 years of artistic tradition and innovation in North America.  

 

20190713_165301.jpg

20190713_165650.jpg

 

New Library Landscapes

20190504_162438.jpg

20190504_162330.jpg

After two hours of hiking around Clark’s Reservation in Jamesville, New York, I was inspired, finally, to stop in to see the new library at 5110 Jamesville Road (DeWitt, New York 13078).  It’s called the Community Library of DeWitt & Jamesville.

24174234_10155338647988155_5963840057385845041_n

20190504_162603.jpg

20190504_162540.jpg

Stephen Alexander Clark is an Assistant Professor of Painting at SUNY Cortland.  His work here depicts abstracted landscapes.  His interest lies in the topography of farmland, the configuration of stacks of firewood and the seeming randomness of camouflage patterns.

20190504_162529.jpg

20190504_162519.jpg

This artwork will be on display through June 2019.  It is located in a hallway that leads to the main library space on the first floor.

20190504_162404.jpg

20190504_162508.jpg

20190504_162458.jpg

20190504_162449.jpg

20190504_162353.jpg

20190504_162418.jpg

A piece by Pam Steele, who will exhibit in September, occupies the space as well. And an installation by Margie Hughto greets visitors at the entrance.  Both pieces belong to the library.

20190504_162318.jpg

Click here for a complete list of future exhibitors.

The library is open Monday – Thursday 10 am – 9 pm, Friday 10 am – 5 pm. Saturday and Sunday hours will change come summer – they are currently Saturday 10 am – 5 pm and Sunday 1 pm – 5 pm.

36199876_10155872864408155_7983509970291261440_n

This little trip inspired me to get to work on a new series of encaustic paintings.  Details to follow, hopefully, soon. <3

Peek-A-Boo

20190416_131725.jpg

20190416_131710.jpg

2017_contact

20190416_131741.jpg

In the 1950s, the artist Dorothy Reister and her husband purchased land for a summer home in Cazenovia, New York.  They added acres when land became available then turned the place into a sculpture garden, creating hiking trails, as well a sculpture studio attached to their mid-century modern A-frame home.

20190416_134240.jpg

The property transformed into the incorporated non-profit Stone Quarry Hill Art Park, recognized by National Geographic magazine as one of the top sculpture gardens in the nation, and home to permanent and temporary sculptures by such renowned sculptors as Rodger Mack and Emilie Brzezinski.  Now the home and art studio on the property are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  It is open to the public to enjoy.  Today was the perfect day to hike the trails and fall in love with the hidden sculpture gems playing peek-a-boo around every corner.

20190416_131749.jpg

20190416_132009.jpg

20190416_131954.jpg

I am on vacation this week, Spring Break.  I spent a few hours investigating several trails and breathing the fresh air of this space with my high school pal Suzy, who is a fellow teacher.  There was really no one else around – it was a serene and wonderful experience.

20190416_132027.jpg

20190416_132058.jpg

20190416_132134.jpg

I highly recommend coming here, especially if you have kids at home this week and are looking for something to do.  I brought students to Stone Quarry Hill on a school field trip a few years ago and they loved it.  There truly is a surprise around every corner!

20190416_132227.jpg

20190416_132245.jpg

Suggested donation is $5 at the front entrance.  If you wish to donate to the upkeep of the park or volunteer, there is more information on their website – here  

20190416_132345.jpg

20190416_132717.jpg

Several events are upcoming – kite flying, an art exhibition in the indoor space, and a YMCA summer camp experience.  All information is on their website – here.

20190416_132806.jpg

20190416_132825.jpg

20190416_132833.jpg

20190416_133229.jpg

20190416_133350.jpg

20190416_133256.jpg

20190416_133424.jpg

20190416_134031.jpg

20190416_134209.jpg

20190416_133755.jpg

20190416_134314.jpg

20190416_134331.jpg

20190416_134352.jpg

20190416_134415.jpg

20190416_134434-1.jpg

20190416_134443.jpg

20190416_134457.jpg

20190416_134548.jpg

20190416_134557.jpg

20190416_134602.jpg

20190416_134609.jpg

20190416_134646.jpg

20190416_134755.jpg

20190416_134805.jpg

20190416_134831.jpg

20190416_134858.jpg

20190416_134937.jpg

20190416_134959.jpg

20190416_135042.jpg

20190416_135136.jpg

20190416_135244.jpg

20190416_135255.jpg

IMG_20190416_195718_279.jpg

20190416_135427.jpg

20190416_135454.jpg

20190416_135518.jpg

20190416_135548.jpg

20190416_135601.jpg

20190416_135637.jpg

20190416_142052.jpg

315-655-3196

office@stonequarryhillartpark.org

3883 Stone Quarry Rd., P.O. Box 251, Cazenovia, NY 13035

Cancel That

Currently, three venues are hosts to the twenty-four Syracuse University MFA candidates: Point of Contact Gallery, Community Folk Art Center and the SU Art Galleries. The art reception at POC was last Friday (that show continues through May 10, 2019), the one at CFA will be Thursday, April 18, 2019 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm (show continues through May 11, 2019). Last night at the Shaffer Hall venue, I attended the art reception for eleven of these students.

20190411_185049.jpg

What I love about Thursday evening art openings on campus – you can drive right up to the gate and park for free in the Q-4 lot – easy-peasy! It was such a beautiful evening. The university is a reoccurring landscape in my life. I really love being there. I received my BFA and MS degrees from Syracuse. I did not get an MFA, which I guess I would need if I am ever to be considered for a job as an Art Professor at SU (the Art Education masters is a Masters of Science for whatever reason, which is weird). A series of questions answered in essay format served as my thesis and not a gallery showcase of artwork, as is the case in these recent exhibitions.

20190411_183834.jpg

20190411_185215.jpg

20190411_185103.jpg

The students have varied focuses – illustration, painting and digital art, for example. Apparently, the cohesive thread of this work, according to the curator’s statement, is to do with the artist’s responses to their current realities and the angst that resides there be it via monstrous nightmare, political climate, gender issues, or social injustices, or some combination of junk that creates a response to conditions. The artists in this particular show seem to be attempting to express views, beliefs, fears and perceived truths in a sort of thinking man’s artist thing-a-ma-gig.

20190411_185005.jpg

Nothing tickled me here – true story – and that could just be because I am so not their generation, (kids these days, am I right? lol) and because I am a happiness-and-joy girl. I am perplexed by the need to be conditional about anything. I trust that everything unfolds when you are true to yourself, creating a vision that exposes yourself in a vulnerable way, perhaps, allowing your inner being to guide you towards the inspiration that will captivate. You feel it in your soul and that beauty that is within becomes your art and it subsequently resonates with the world. You will know it, your friends will know it, your professors will know it and you will see how incredibly it will take you where you want to go, easily and effortlessly.

So where do these kids see themselves? A conversation with some professors indicated that student art direction these days is focused on thinking about rather than the executing of ideas. This is not something I really understand. Are they not happy?

Are they hoping to open a dialogue about negative stuff? I don’t know. Some of this work is on the rather provocative side in the way that I cannot bring my thirteen-year-old students to this gallery on a field trip. There is some adult content of a sexual nature, as well as pieces that draw attention to violence and horror.

20190411_185408.jpg

Let’s cancel all that.

I guess I don’t agree with the blurb sentiment “sober examination of the facts”. We create our own realities based on dreams and desires. Choosing to get caught up in something you don’t want or don’t like just does not make sense to me. If I create a reality I don’t want, I don’t choose to stay there and dwell in it, complain about it and get stuck there. And I don’t really think it is the blanket statement under which all of these artists sleep, is it? Or is Plans are Cancelled a reference to a positive re-boot?

20190411_185347.jpg

20190411_192128.jpg

The fun for me are these questions, not in the answers because the questions alone allowed me to ponder solutions of my own with regard to my own life. I am grateful for this show because I had really satisfying conversations with my friends Penny and Davana about this show and about how it can help us define/re-define ourselves as artists and teachers.

And it was also so helpful to share what I saw here with my Studio in Art students. It is so important to me as a teacher that I offer guidance in the form of training my students to trust and believe in themselves, to know that they will be able to navigate their path to whatever they care to do artistically in the future with or without me.

I wish these MFA candidates the best of luck and love in their creative journeys. I sincerely thank you all for your perspectives. <3

Plans are Cancelled will remain on display until May 12, 2019.

20190411_183830.jpg

20190411_184526.jpg

20190411_184604.jpg

20190411_184556.jpg

20190411_184708.jpg

20190411_184703-1.jpg

20190411_184639.jpg

20190411_184634.jpg

20190411_184620.jpg

***Artists represented at Syracuse University Art Galleries

Hollie Lyko, E. Garrett Bryant, Perry Burlingame, Jestina Sutherland, Rebecca Forstater, Sylvie Prendergast-Corvo, Samantha Corbett, Louise Thompson, Jason Cheney, Mark Zbikowski, Jiallin Deng