Category Archives: Karen Tashkovski

AM-Jam Tattoo Expo

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There is a tattoo convention happening now through Sunday, January 26, 2020 at the Ramada on Carrier Circle (6555 Old Collamer Road S., East Syracuse, New York 13057).  It is the 34th annual AM-JAM Tattoo Expo 2020.

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I get a lot of my information about events through social media, but for this one, I saw the advertisement in the Eagle Bulletin!  I decided to check it out since it is a hop, skip and a jump from home – just got back.

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I had to park at another hotel – this is a happening!  There are vendors selling jewelry, clothing, tattoo ink and even honey in addition to the many tattoo artists represented from all across New York State.

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I saw A LOT of people getting tattooed!  Clients can book appointments in advance, but walk-ins are certainly welcome.  This is an epic phenomenological encounter-style experience:  the smell of cigarettes in the air outside the hotel, the incessant buzzing of the needles as they drive ink into human flesh, the visual stimulation of the macabre juxtaposed with cartoon imagery as you weave a path that takes you through several banquet rooms on your quest for all things inked.  It’s pretty amazing!

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Other events scheduled include tattoo contests and costume contests.  They will be open until midnight tonight then back at it tomorrow from noon to 6 PM.  Admission is $10.  Call (518) 893-2273 for more information.

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Imagined Word

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Be prepared for an all consuming journey of the mind, if you plan to visit Syracuse University’s Point of Contact Gallery (350 W. Fayette Street, Syracuse, New York 13202) in the next two months.  Puerto Rican artist Rafael Trelles has reinterpreted visions, dreams and literature to create a compelling dialogue between artists while exposing his queries regarding the human condition in his art exhibition titled The Imagined Word.

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Twenty-two painted drawings are presented here.  They are figurative – faces painted with etching inks, an oil-based ink that dries relatively quickly (as opposed to using oil paint, which would bleed on this particular paper, as he explained to me at tonight’s reception).

Some faces came first until a literary resource matched the artist’s hand then others selected first and the process reversed. Gestural lines and acrylic paint in sweeping brushstroke join these brilliantly rendered portraits to create compositions of depth and allegory, allowing the viewer to attach meaning in terms of their own identity to the stories with respect to personal fears and the beauty of their individual subconscious realms.

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There is magic here.  These recent pieces reflect two years of work.  Next up for the Trelles, large-scale paintings on canvas and an exhibition in London!

The Imagined Word continues through March 13, 2020.

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Point of Contact Gallery |350 W. Fayette St. Syracuse, NY 13202 | Open Monday – Friday: 12PM – 5PM or by appointment. Call (315) 443-2169 for more information.

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Decorative Surfaces

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Woolly Winter

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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.

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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.

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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….

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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.

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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

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***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.

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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.

In the Absence of Presence

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The last time I went to the Noreen Reale Falcone Library (1419 Salt Springs Road, Syracuse, New York 13214), the LeMoyne College campus looked a lot different.  They’ve since uprooted a nearby parking lot in favor of more grassy knolls (which are currently snow-covered).  I had to ask several people to direct me to it once I found visitor parking across the street.  It was, like, in the Hunger Games when they discombobulated the players by topsy-turvy-ing the playing field computer simulation.  The building didn’t even look the same to me as I came upon it from a different angle.  I mean, where was I?

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Eventually, I found my friend Penny and together we chatted with Gina Occhiogrosso, who is currently showing oil paintings and mixed-media fabrications at the Wilson Art Gallery located inside the library.

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Occhiogrosso graciously shared information with us regarding her artist inner-voice.  Her mother (now retired) was an artist and shoe designer with a penchant for “junking” (as my sister calls it), filling her home with flea market finds in various states of patina-ed wear.  Decades of layers that make up a life of surroundings.  As the artist pondered this home landscape, she created paper cut-outs from photographs she’d taken then abstracted them via paper collages.  Intrigued by the void, the absence of the material, she set upon painting large scale versions of these pieces.

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The result becomes its own presence, its own entity put into the world without the necessity of the language of its origin.

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It is beautiful to witness these things and know their secrets, though, because I, personally, just love knowing.

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There is artwork in this show that spans approximately three years of work.  More paper collages are meant to represent the anxiety of environmental disaster, in this case, the tsunami disaster of 2011.  Occhiogrosso creates that absence of presence once again, cutting images, rearranging them and turning them into solid-colored shapes that intertwine to create something vaguely familiar but completely void of the emotion that inspired them.

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In addition, there are fabric collages that are stitched, painted and inked.  Here the work becomes layered, as though there is more to discover, as if she’s hiding a legend inside.  I am intrigued by this body of work.  Occhiogrosso’s talent lies in the bridge between fear and the journey to a calmer, gentler space via the shapes of the present.  She seems to be on a discovery to something more.  I stumbled into something wonderfully puzzling and I am very interested to see what happens next.

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***from the artist’s web-site

I am a painter whose work is composed not only through the application of wet color on a surface, but through processes of disassembly and realignment, and the incorporation of common, everyday materials like thread and yarn. These activities and elements allow me to explore anxiety, loss, humor and heroic femininity.

The hallowed and often masculinized tradition of painting is subverted in my work through a repeated process of cutting and then sewing painted surfaces together to develop new forms, dynamic connections and illusions of depth. Where these freshly stitched edges join, there is a seam, which has both linear and sculptural qualities. The seam acts as a geometric disrupter of curvy ellipses and other organic forms that are carefully rendered and then carved up with alternating precision and chance. The ghost of those cut edges has its own subtle presence. Where the fabric overlaps in the reverse of the painting, a slightly more opaque path is traced, issuing a new element whose origin is not at first apparent to the viewer.

I am interested in developing a surface that’s full of the suggestive qualities that abstraction can create. The stitched paintings supply this through the deliberate recalibration of shapes and their relationships to one another. In parallel to these, and often in service to them, collage becomes an important method for revealing new, unexpected interpretations of form. The sources of the collaged materials are often photographs of real things and places that hold meaning for me. As in the paintings, that information is disrupted and reinterpreted in compositions that suggest the fleeting nature of forces, figures and time.

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Gina Occhiogrosso is an Associate Professor and Foundations Coordinator at The College of St. Rose in Albany, New York.  She is represented by several galleries and has been in numerous group shows.  She is a MacDowell Colony Fellow.  This exhibition will remain on view at Wilson Art Gallery during regular library hours through February 21, 2020.  For more information call (315) 445-4330.

 

Let It Go

The person I am becoming worries less to never and struggles far less with outside influences, and I can safely say is 10,000 x infinity happier – this post though from my former self; it is still relevant in that I can see growth and see potential, once again, as inspiration from the person I was and the person I will be.

Front & Center

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My recent outfits of the day are heavy on the Theory cashmere sweaters and leather skirts, and jeans by French Connection, Free People and Joe’s Jeans.  My newest acquisition, the Rag & Bone wine-colored patent booties, will be in heaviest rotation in 2020 until I get them in multiple colors (no doubt).  They are fashion perfection in a decorative sense and also function – they’re spot on for walking around in Syracuse, New York in winter.

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Tashkovski bracelets, Theory cashmere cardigan and sweater, Rebecca Taylor silk velvet pants, Marc Jacobs booties
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Lord & Taylor cashmere cardigan, Joe’s Jeans leather jeans, Marc Jacobs booties
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Tashkovski bracelet, Trina Turk stretch silk top, French Connection leather skirt, Marc Jacobs booties

In about eight hours, I will be getting up early for the last time this year.  After tomorrow,  we will be on a two-week hiatus from school.  I will spend time assessing my bracelet project.  Sales went well at the Sip & Sparkle at The Chop House.  Another event is planned for late January.  I’m contemplating on-line sales too.  Not sure what to do quite yet – I’m waiting for inspiration to guide me.

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Theory cashmere cardigan and sweater, BCBGMaxAzria pants, Calvin Klein booties
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Tashkovski bracelet, Theory cashmere cardigan, 7 For All Mankind jeans, Nine West booties
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Theory cashmere cardigan, Bailey 44 silk top, Joe’s Jeans leather jeans, Nine West booties

I’ve had so many wonderful things happen to me this year despite it also being one of the most tragic years of my life with the loss of my dad.  It is like a jumble of confusion and clarity.  The last few days have been sort of massively cloudy, kind of like when you ask the Magic Eight Ball a question and you get the murky liquid instead of words spelled out on a triangle.

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Honora jewelry, C by Bloomingdales cashmere cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria leather skirt, Nine West boots
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BCBGMaxAzria sweater, Free People leather skirt, Nine West boots

I don’t know what’s next, but If 2020 isn’t the year of clarity then that will be the biggest joke of life.  It kind of has to be, right?

Thank you for your support this year and always – of me, my art career and the bracelet thing, and for being one of many international readers of this blog.  I renewed the website.  I am actually on my way to making my first $100 with the monetization of the site – it is very exciting, so, thank you for that too.

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BCBGMaxAzria sweater, dress and pants, Rag & Bone booties
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Free People cardigan, Theory cashmere sweater, BCBGMaxAzria velvet leggings, Rag & Bone booties

I am grateful for you. <3

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Rebecca Taylor top, Joe’s Jeans leather jeans, Rag & Bone booties
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Theory sweater, Trina Turk skirt, Karl Lagerfeld boots
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Tashkovski bracelet, Rebecca Taylor silk velvet dress, Sorel booties

Norma

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The Tashkovski Collection is officially launching on Tuesday, December 10, 2019 from 5 – 8 pm at The Chop House on Waring  (200 Waring Road, Syracuse, New York 13224 – (315) 445-1976). The event is called Sip & Sparkle and will include twelve local vendors. They will also have a Wild Turkey bourbon tasting and some appetizers.  It is going to be a lot of fun!

I had a poster made and some postcards.  The bracelets are photographed, catalogued and tagged.  I have a Square reader to process debit/charges.  I am ready to be ready (which means ready, I think).

Here are the latest pieces.  These leather bracelets feature vintage pins manufactured in Estonia circa the 1970s by a tin toy company called NORMA.  I scoured the world looking for them.  I’m in love with them!  The are handmade, one-of-a-kinders.  I know you will fall in love with them too. <3

Cindy Lewis

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Cindy Lewis is exhibiting abstract acrylic paintings in the art gallery at the Community Library of Dewiit and Jamesville.  The paintings will be on display through December 2019 with an artist meet and greet scheduled for December 1, 2019 from 2 – 4 PM.

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The artist uses instinct to cultivate her paintings, which are color driven.

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