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.
This year’s theme is Journey of Peace.
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.
Today our winning poster competes for the regional title. If it wins, it continues its journey at the state level then internationally.
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
We all trudged through an unbelievable (unreal/unimaginable, etc., lol) thunderstorm to flood the Edgewood Gallery (216 Tecumseh Road, Syracuse, New York 13224) tonight for the opening reception of a new exhibition called Worlds Real and Imagined.
Cheryl Chappell has gathered three etching artists – James Skvarch, John Fitzsimmons and Grant Silverstein and paired them with “architectural and organic” jewelry designer Sylvia Hayes-McKean, and “sculptural and functional” ceramist David MacDonald to create this incredible show, which will be up through September 27, 2019.
Grant Silverstein‘s smaller pieces are perfect for the beginner art collector. They are diminutive, yet intricately detailed and framed so beautifully. Some are as low as $75! <3
I did not know that John Fitzsimmons was into etchings. He is known for his award winning oil paintings – mainly portraits and landscapes. So cool! His response – “I’ve been busy!” (working in his studio at the Delavan Center, 501 West Fayette Street, Syracuse, New York 13204). <3
James Skvarch is sporting a sling because of a left shoulder injury. Good to know he is on the mend and that he is right handed! He is such an incredibly proficient artist. The depth and detail in his landscapes is really out of this world! Love! <3
Sylvia Hayes-McKean is at it again, after a brief hiatus, a sculptor turned silversmith with modernly feminine earrings and necklaces that she creates at her studio in the Delavan Center. Her grandson was a wonderful supporter/salesperson/helper tonight! So adorable. <3
David MacDonald – he is the best! I can’t say enough about how much I love his ceramics. He told me that when he was in college, he was a painter and someone suggested he switch majors to art education, which instigated the left hand turn into taking necessary ceramics classes! And the rest is history, lol. Such an amazing person! His positivity is infused in every single one of his pieces, whether decorative or functional. <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.
Once again, my 8th grade Studio in Art students created illustrations for the Oz-stravaganza coloring contest! Eight drawings were selected for 2019. They are available on-line and at various stores on Route 5 in the village of Chittenango, New York.
Students used Sharpie marker to outline their pencil drawings. This was one of the six sketchbook homework projects I assigned last quarter. I have eighteen students in my class – eight of the drawings were printed to be used in the contest. Organizer Judy Waite told me it was very difficult to narrow it down to just eight. They were all wonderful! Coloring contest drawings from previous years have been bound into a coloring book for sale at the event. Win-win!
It is truly an honor for all of us to participate in this community event. Several of these artists won the coloring contest when they were elementary students! My 5th graders are coloring the illustrations now. Entries were sent to all eligible students at Chittenango Middle School and the two elementary schools in the district. Entries are due on May 8th, 2019. They will be judged by members of the Oz-stravaganza committee and winners will be awarded at a ceremony on Sunday, June 2nd, 2019 at 11:00 am in Oak Park in the village.
Chittenango, New York is the birthplace of L. Frank Baum, the author of the Wizard of Oz. Each year there is a festival to honor him. This year’s theme is “The Magic of Oz”. There will be all sorts of events including a parade. For more information go to the committee’s web page – here. <3
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
***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
These are some of my Art-8 and 8th grade accelerated Studio in Art student entries. My 5th graders also took part in the contest. The deadline is March 16th so there is still time to mail in the stragglers’ art after winter break, thank goodness.
Among the recurring themes – ending world hunger, space exploration, and fun with animals. Other ideas included fashion, graduating from high school/college and cheating death.
One of my favorites was this one above – solving mysteries with the Scooby Doo gang. Who doesn’t dream about this from time-to-time? Really, I know you do!
The prize is $30,000 for the individual student, $50,000 in technology for their school and their google doodle will be on a T-shirt. It will also grace the web-site for twenty-four hours (and proclaim the winner the title of Chief Doodler for the day). So cool.
What a huge and most amazing thing it would be if one of my students wins the whole shebang?! It will be the greatest thing that would and could ever happen in my career, lol, except…this was the assignment I gave as lesson plans for the substitute when I was absent on family leave the week of my father’s passing. So, technically, I guess … no – oh, come on now, this is crazy talk…I will still take pride in a win. Making art that helps a student visualize their dreams? – now that is a win-win! <3
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?
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!
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.
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!
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.
Kindness Matters was the subject of this year’s Lions Club sponsored Peace Poster contest. My Studio in Art class students spent about six weeks working on their illustrations.
Emily’s poster won the local and regional competition. It is on its way to the state competition next and if she wins at the international level – well, that would be a huge win for all of us: $5,000 for her and twelve years of poster-making and working closely with the beautiful people/lions who make up the committee that will culminate in an enormous sense of pride and victory for our small community in Chittenango, New York.
The Chittenango Lions threw us a classroom pizza party and awarded monetary gifts and plaques for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place picks. The rest of the students were all unanimously honored with honorable mentions. Their work was spectacular.
These peace posters will be on display during December 2018 in the Community Room at the Sullivan Library, 101 Falls Blvd., Chittenango, New York 13037. Visit their website for hours of operation.
After the Happy Little Tree House art reception on Tuesday, Brandon Hall took Karmin and me to see his other hospital exhibition. It is in the cancer center wing of Upstate Medical Center and will be up for a couple months, I think, or at least until the end of May.
Brandon is an art teacher at Fayetteville-Manlius High School. He scours flea markets and garage sales to find discarded photograph albums and situates these unknown strangers into wallpapered assemblage landscapes peppered with texture and color. They are mounted on wood and double-lacquered to prevent fading. They are really exquisite and priced at only $250!
Also in this show are Heidi VanTassel’s photography and paintings by Kate Renetta.
My friends and I had a lot of fun in the journey of traveling through the labyrinth that is the Delavan Center. It is a building west of Armory Square that houses artist studios. There was open house last night. The party continues today until 4:00 pm. The Delavan is located at 509 W. Fayette Street in Syracuse, New York, 13204. (315) 476-9001
You will find lots of treasures! Artists are selling paintings, ceramics, sculpture, clothing and jewelry – buy something for yourself or to give as gifts this holiday season.