We are so lucky to have some of the most beautiful New York State parks in our area. The meromictic lake trails and glacier produced hills of Green Lakes State Park and Clark Reservation are among my favorites.
But today I decided to traipse around the Stone Quarry Hill Art Park (3883 Stone Quarry Road, Cazenovia, New York 13035) – investigating paths I had never ventured on and, really, exploring the entire park. Dorothy Riester’s legacy to Cazenovia, New York is a great gift to the public. The park is open and currently free. Everyone is on their honor to come in small family groups or alone and to steer clear of the other patrons.
There were, maybe, six other people there today. The forecast said rain but it was all bright sunshine when I arrived. It was as if someone lead me there, truly. I was inspired to go after meditating and when I arrived it was just incredibly magical.
My motto is to meditate every day, then spend time outside every day and to be grateful – to keep a gratitude journal and write down the positive aspects in my life every day. The gratitude today was pretty much over-the-top. Exploring these trails was fun in and of itself, but then there was this added bonus of stumbling upon works of art. Sculptures scattered around, both new and old familiar friends. Some meant to be temporary and others standing the test of time.
Escaping into this reality for a couple hours is the stuff of legend. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Dorothy, for building this world. <3
The Erie Canal Museum (318 Erie Blvd. East, Syracuse, New York 13202) is host to a ceramics exhibition, one installed in February 2020. The museum is currently closed due to the world-wide health crisis – that makes interacting with the clay vessels (created as site-specific art) nearly impossible.
This is an irony because the idea behind the work envelopes the scope of human life, as it interacts with the forces of nature, the forces of water and the history of the man-made canal. The humans in question are every socio-economic level of local and regional society. All races of people who, in some way, have interacted with, associated with or had some understanding of what the Erie Canal has meant in our history, as well as those who have no idea but in fact, have been, inadvertently, affected by the legendary waterway.
Artist Linda Zhang was the 2017-2018 Boghosian Fellow in the School of Architecture at Syracuse University. She came to Syracuse from Europe and knowing no one, she spent time meditating (think deep thought) on designing the curriculum for this relatively new fellowship. She proceeded to think about and create strategies for the design of her position, ideas that would ultimately catapult her educational journey to include making art and teaching electives at the college, which led to philosophical-infused artwork and the idea of making meaning in terms of one’s personal vortex. This path included an interdisciplinary union with Errol Willet, Associate Professor of Art (ceramics) and Biko Mandela Gray, Assistant Professor of American Religion.
Although Zhang is currently a professor at Ryerson University in Toronto, The Story of Water pairs the artist with her SU educational cohorts. The clay vessels in this exhibition were slip cast and formatted utilizing water from the canal. There is a transformation – water crafts and the art is manipulated to create a phenomenological transcendence – art as symbolism.
Taking an idea and moving it through time, so that the result is present while encompassing a larger whole – this is incredibly interesting on so many levels. Fortunately for all, nothing is truly impossible. This exhibition can be viewed remotely. Zhang will be offering a lecture on her process via an on-line Zoom meeting. This event takes place on Saturday, April 18, 2020 at 1:00 PM. Click on the link above to join the party or check out the same link by way of the event’s Facebook page.
The event is free, however; donations to the museum are welcome. <3
*from the Erie Canal Museum web-site
February 3-April 16, 2020:The Story of Water: The Erie Canal as a Site of Untold Stories
“The Story of Water” is a collaborative project between Linda Zhang, Assistant Professor of Architecture at Ryerson University, and Biko Gray, Assistant Professor of Religion at Syracuse University. This exhibit features clay vessels based on 3-D drone scans of Erie Canal structures, transformed by the introduction of Canal water before the firing process. The resulting clay models symbolize the transformative effects, positive and negative, that the Erie Canal had on the lives of those who built it, used it, and lived near it.
Zhang will discuss the artwork, her creative process, and what inspired her and collaborator Biko Gray to develop this exhibit. “The Story of Water” features clay vessels based on 3-D drone scans of Erie Canal structures in Central New York. The artist introduced Canal water to the pieces before the firing process, creating models that symbolize the transformative character of water and the Erie Canal.
The Museum is currently closed to the public to protect visitors, volunteers, and staff from Covid-19. We’re working diligently to serve you by offering programs by alternative means, and greatly appreciate your help. You can make a donation to the Museum through the link in the “Get Tickets” box below,
We look forward to seeing you on April 18 for this thought-provoking talk!
It started out as an experiment. How could Michael John Heagerty create an homage to artist Ji Lee, as well as manufacture a happening that transcends art and becomes a part of the bigger picture?
Answer: plant umbrellas.
Last summer, as co-owner of Wildflowers Armory (217 S. Salina Street, Syracuse, New York 13202), Heagerty collaborated to install a series of umbrellas in the nook next to the gallery’s former location. The event, called #colorfulcanopysyr invited patrons to visit and share their photographs on social networks, which led to a “Best Selfie Spot” award from local media.
The umbrellas lend color to otherwise dreary spaces, according to the artist, as follows:
Red is a very emotionally intense color. It enhances human metabolism, increases respiration rate, and raises blood pressure & appetite. Red represents COURAGE.
Pink is intuitive and insightful, showing tenderness and kindness with its empathy and sensitivity. Pink represents HOPE.
Yellow is the most luminous of all the colors of the spectrum. It’s the color that captures our attention more than any other color. It’s the color of happiness, and optimism, of enlightenment and creativity, sunshine and spring. Yellow represents HAPPINESS.
Burgundy, named for the French region of wine-making, shows unconventional thinking, a desire for being unique and self expression. It can increase your energy, like red. Burgundy represents COMFORT.
The umbrella configurations have visited several locations in the past few days. They have spent twenty-four hours each at Onondaga Park, Woodland Reservoir, Onondaga Creekwalk, Thornden Park and their present location, Willow Bay at Onondaga Lake Parkway (3858 Long Branch Road, Liverpool, New York 13090).
They are planted in the ground (curved handles removed), and to honor our current life circumstances, they are pointing towards hospitals or engaging in the six-feet-apart modality.
For the next phase, the future installments will last forty-eight hours in duration. This for those who adhere to an every-other-day walk-about, as we further distance ourselves while allowing the medical epidemic to dissipate. The installations will continue as phantom pop-ups to sustain the idea’s magic.
Heagerty is a fan of the artist Christo who, along with his wife Jeanne-Claude, created large-scale temporary installations for the purpose of fulfilling a happiness and joy credo or art for art’s sake, in addition to making the invisibility of common-place landscapes visible via “immediate aesthetic impact”.
It is this purpose Michael John Heagerty aligns with most. This is his love-letter to Syracuse, New York, suggesting that we WILL get through this mayhem with courage, hope, happiness and comfort, and above all, a caring, creative-arts zest for life. <3
***all other photographs not tagged are used with permission courtesy of the artist
In 1971, Syracuse Folklorist Dan Ward met someone (okay, it was a hitchhiker), which led to his first trip to Syracuse, New York to see James Taylor in concert at the War Memorial. Instead of acquiring tickets to that sold-out concert, he ventured across the street and was pulled through the door of the museum. Somehow he randomly became part of an elite group allowed to tour the Yoko Ono exhibition at the Everson Museum of Art, along with the artist and her husband John Lennon.
The whole thing was documented on film and in the media. Dan Ward was a teenager living a serendipitous existence. There was a waterbed on the floor that evening, positioned to offer a unique view of the spiral staircase. He thought it was unusual but gave it a try – his first time on a waterbed and with a bed-bug (a Beatle). There were other interactive ingredients as well, some have been replicated for the retrospective/new exhibition, Yoko Ono: Remembering the Future, which opened last night. Every piece cultivated to reside harmoniously within the walls of I.M. Pei’s modern architecture. This show was meant to create a dialogue between viewer and artist with the viewer creating the closure.
Yes, a stunningly beautiful Ono (according to Ward’s recollection – photographs never did her justice) and Lennon, and Ringo Starr were all there that night, as well as several of their close friends from Manhattan. It was a media circus focused on celebrity in a time when art was misunderstood and maligned.
I wish I could have been there back then, too, wish I could have been that fly on the wall – to bear witness to perceptions of the past while remembering the future….
Imagine a museum filled with objects – hammers, nails, string, ladders, piles of dirt, blue paint. Imagine a world where the viewer participates and the result is a collaboration between artist and you. Artist as conceptualist. You as executioner. You as artist too.
It is what I do as a teacher. Okay, students – here’s the lesson, here are the supplies…. It is always so gratifying and almost strange in a way. Like – do this, and they say okay.
This is the genius of Yoko Ono. It is a presence, a facilitator who loves her audience, who gives them an experience, a happening, a memory. Something to do. Museums are always a DO-NOT-TOUCH place, but here you can add string to the wall, hammer in a nail onto a piece of wood, paint part of a mural, be a part of something bigger than yourself that has no other meaning than what it is. Collective mark making. A chance to interact in a museum in a child-like manner and by that, I mean being totally present. Not thinking about anything else but the art – and not even thinking too hard about the how or the what, or the why.
Because you are a part of the experience and your existence is relevant, necessary and needed. You matter. You are loved. You are welcome. You belong.
For six decades, Yoko Ono has maintained an unwavering belief in art’s ability to transform, uplift, and inspire. Her work, typically ephemeral or participatory, occupies the porous boundaries between artistic disciplines, from music and film to sculpture, poetry, and performance art. Ono’s approach to art making is generous, and since emerging in New York’s downtown art scene in the 1950s, she has privileged collaboration over solitary authorship, inclusivity over isolation, and transience over permanence. These underlying precepts, which simultaneously undermine the capitalist structure of the art market and criticize the institutional model of the museum, also unified a postwar artistic movement known as Fluxus, of which Ono was an important contributor. For Ono, as well as later generations of artists and those currently engaged in social practice, art belongs to everyone, can be created by anyone, and has the potential to change the world.
Yoko Ono was born in Tokyo in 1933. A survivor of the trauma inflicted on Japan during World War II, she moved to the United States in 1953 during a period of surging nationalism, consumerism, and anti-Japanese sentiment. During this time, Ono became a central figure within New York’s downtown scene and became close collaborators with artist George Maciunas, the founder of Fluxus. Many avant-garde intellectuals, artists, composers, and writers gathered regularly at Ono’s Chambers Street loft for experimental performances by groundbreaking artists like La Monte Young, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Terry Jennings, Jackson Mac Low, Richard Maxfield, Henry Flynt, Joseph Byrd, Simone Forti, and Robert Morris. Here, Ono realized some of her earliest conceptual works that would greatly influence the trajectory of art, film, and music.
Ineffable, intangible, impermanent, Ono’s art, as a body of work, defies categorization. The term Wakon yosai (“Japanese spirit, Western technology”), the national slogan of modernization in Japan during the Meji era, might best describe Ono’s approach to life and art. Her works, conceptually linked to the form of musical scores, draw on sources as diverse as the history of classical and modern Japanese art and Zen Buddhism to early black-and-white cinema and classical music. Ono’s signature text-based scores date back to the early 1950s. In 1964, she published the scores in Grapefruit, her definitive text. The scores, as Ono explained in 2016, “are a bit like music scores which exist so anyone can play the composition. What I’ve imagined are art scores. Each visitor can take them up so that their own ‘music’ can be heard in my creations.”
Throughout the 1960s, Ono had significant solo exhibitions in the United States, Japan, and in England—including the AG Gallery in New York City and the Sogetsu Art Center in Tokyo. She performed at the 83rd Fluxus Concert: Fluxorchestra at Carnegie Hall, In 1966, Ono performed Cut Piece in Kyoto and Tokyo, exhibited her work at the Judson Church, and participated in the first Destruction In Art Symposium organized by Gustav Metzger in London. Ono met John Lennon when he visited her exhibition Yoko at Indica, at the Indica Gallery in London.
Following her marriage to Lennon in 1968, Ono was catapulted onto the world’s stage of fame and wide public visibility, a position she has brilliantly coopted to further her long-standing interest in the power of the imagination, human rights, and world peace.
Forty-eight years after the Everson hosted This is Not Here, Ono’s first museum retrospective, YOKO ONO: REMEMBERING THE FUTURE presents her enduring artistic work devoted to healing human connections and exposing social and political injustices. Spanning more than six decades from germinal early instruction pieces to recent, large-scale architectural installations, YOKO ONO: REMEMBERING THE FUTURE traces Ono’s experimental approach to language, art, and participation as a means of contributing to a more accepting and peaceful world.
YOKO ONO: REMEMBERING THE FUTURE is curated by DJ Hellerman, the Everson’s Curator of Art & Programs and Jon Hendricks, Ono’s long-time friend and curator in partnership with Yoko Ono, Studio One, and Susie Lim.
The operation of the Everson Museum of Art is made possible with funding from the Dorothy and Marshall M. Reisman Foundation, the County of Onondaga administered by CNY Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, the Richard Mather Fund, the Everson Board of Trustees and Everson Museum of Art Members’ Council.
YOKO ONO: REMEMBERING THE FUTURE is made possible, in part, through support from Bonnie and Gary Grossman, and Sollecito Landscaping Nursery.
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.
The five pieces that make up this whimsical installation by Abraham Ferraro of Albany, New York, are the reason children grow up to be artists. (What kid didn’t have a sticker collection in the ’80s – am I right, people?) Arrows wrapped in brightly colored postal tape direct viewers towards this behemoth labyrinth of recycled cardboard and stickers. You can’t take a bad picture – every angle is perfection. It is just so incredibly fun! There is this feeling of discovery, the idea of packages – think Willie Wonka meets Amazon Prime via the U.S. postal service.
Apparently, Ferraro mailed the boxes and arrow-shaped sculptures to the Schweinfurth then added more tape and arranged them to create the eye-popping playground-like display.
Tonight was the gallery’s First Friday event. In addition to viewing the artwork, browsing the gift shop and enjoying delicious snacks, there was a free re-purposed art project (creating a self-watering planter from a wine bottle) set up in the basement – led by my friend Davana Robedee, Program Coordinator.
The next First Friday will be August 2, 2019. Edgy Folk will perform.