Category Archives: landscapes

Tiny Voice

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I ran into a friend who told me about an amazing restaurant in downtown Syracuse, New York called The Fish Friar.  She planted that seed of desire in me and within days I was seated in the outdoor dining space enjoying a fish sandwich (sans bread) and two sides.

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It was a perfect summer night, the fresh breeze in the air turned a gorgeous sunset into a Prussian blue sky.  The food was soooo good, the chef created a work of art on my plate, and so, we are talking phenomenological encounter here, which to be honest, is the only way I can possibly live my life.  The present moment is exquisite.

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Everyone there seemed to know everyone else and we delighted in sharing Gia DeLaurentis style verbal soliloquies of how the food tasted.  So fun, and yet, I became distracted by a message thing-a-ma-bob on my pages manager app, which kept directing me to my like page on Facebook, Karen Tashkovski-Visual Artist.  I couldn’t figure it out.  I clicked on everything and still the 1 was left staring at me.  I scrolled the messages for the umpteenth time, all read, and came to the bottom of the queue.  Yes, I had read this last message when it was sent in 2014.  But when I read it again – aloud – it was as if the late Michael Moody was speaking to me now.

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Hi Karen

Like all artists, your art is evolving. I can appreciate your art because I know you personally and because you’ve been painting for a long time which shows your drive, desire and dedication.

I don’t attend all of the art openings but I do go to some to show support for other artists. I never see you anymore. I know that you work, so you’re busy and might not attend openings because of this. But this makes you invisible to much of the local art scene. Perhaps our paths just haven’t crossed but if not, then it’s time for you to leave your little bubble and rather cloistered life (If that’s the case) and mingle with other artists!

Some of your narration sounds like you’re still looking for approval and acceptance from those hoards of non artists that you’d like to buy your product. In your mind, body and spirit this attitude must cease to exist!

I’ve been in some shows simply because other artists have recommended me or just dropped my name. Think about it! There are also many new artists that would see you as a mentor or master simply because of the years in your craft.

Enough said! Come out, come out, from wherever you are! Show more zest for your craft by being there among your peers. No one else counts (give or take).

…and don’t publish this! lol
Michael Moody
…and thanks for mentioning my name in your narration!
07/29/2014 11:22PM

Karen Tashkovski – Visual Artist
You’re right that I don’t want to mix and mingle. Absolutely right, lol.

Ya gotta change that babe! u can do it put ur back in to it!!! How else can your artistic peers get to know you and remember you!

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Back then I was kinda-sorta still in a funk about direction in my life. I had started my blog and was slowly re-emerging into the local art scene.  Fast-forward to now, and last night, where I was greeted by so many artists at John Dowling’s gallery on Hawley Avenue – everyone so wonderfully complimentary, telling me that they love my posts on Facebook and love reading my blog; that I am always smiling and positive, and all these nice things.  I was told I am beautiful too.

Crazy, right?  How time can change one’s perspective.  How it only takes baby steps to get us back on track heading in the right direction in life and that those steps can lead us to such amazing things.  It is such a gift to be a part of a group of like-minded souls who feel compelled to practice the art of making, sharing and selling art in such a cohesive way.  I am incredibly grateful for my journey and where it leads and where life will continue to take me.

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I was talking to John Dowling about the possibility of exhibiting my angel and heart paintings, if that theme works.  He said he hadn’t thought of a themed show and so, I reminded him that his show dedicated to Cuba was one and this current show is as well.

In this case, the theme is size related. The pieces are 6″ x 6″ or 8″ x 8″.  I LOVE a square canvas.  And these pieces are deliciously inviting.  Mini canvases in the artist’s styles, many you can recognize without needing their identification monikers – Hon Go’s modeling paste built geometric textured works, Diana Godfrey’s hauntingly rich abstract landscapes, John Fitzsimmons’ tiny-version portrait studies, Judi Witkin’s wearable art/steam punk jewelry turned collage art….

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Kristina Starowitz told me that she has only just entered the sharing-her-art-mode and this show enabled her to experiment with ideas without committing to larger canvases.  Her passion is evident in a tribute to the time-lapse of nature and its infinite beauty.

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Tiny voices from big hearts.  They are all priced to sell and offer this wonderful way to begin an art collection.  You will be able to find space in your home or office for these pieces.  It would be so cool if someone stopped in and said, “I’ll take one of each, please!”

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Thank you, Michael, for reminding me of what is truly important.  For knowing me better than I thought I knew myself, and for forcing that app to malfunction (which has now mysteriously fixed itself) in order for me to hear you again.  You are da bomb.

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P.S.  You really did want me to share this message, after all. ❤

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Educational Camaraderie

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The gist of the art exhibition currently residing on the walls of the SU Art Gallery at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York is the sense that art matters.  It was a factor in business in the 1930s, as artists worked in tandem with corporations to promote products and lifestyles.  A mutual admiration society of people helping people.

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Thomas Hart Benton is at the core of this show, an artist a bit more well-known than others (with the exception of Grant Wood; he is now a household name to most of my students). They used Benton’s clout to generate sales for all the artists in the stable of a company called Associated American Artists.  Prints were sold to customers to bring art to every wall in American homes with lesser known artists being carried along for the ride of capital gain.  The company closed shop in 2000.

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The conscious acknowledgement of and respect for artists is what I walked away with from this exhibit, a system that worked and should continue to work. I would love to see artists promoted by local businesses in this way – perhaps a group showing of work based on local and regional products that would catapult said products into the national spotlight.  It’s a  mutual win-win.  Artists would maintain their stye and sense of freedom in the creation of the art and still create work that represents a company’s point of view.

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Syracuse University does an outstanding job curating this gallery.  It is remarkable how different it looks from the last show they had and how well more than one hundred thirty objects of art fit into the space.  I like to think I am well-versed in art history but … I learned so much tonight.  A truly educational experience.  I would expect no less from my alma mater!  Loved it!

This show, titled Art For Every Home (Associated American Artists, 1934-2000) came from Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.  It will continue through March 19, 2017 with a gallery talk by one of the curators, Elizabeth G. Seaton. Ph.D, curator of the  Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art at Kansas State University, scheduled for Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 6:00 pm.

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Sascha Scott, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Art and Music Histories at Syracuse University, will give a presentation on Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 6:00 pm.

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The gallery is located in the Shaffer Art Building on SU campus.  Gallery hours are Tuesday – Sunday 11:00 am – 4:30 pm.  The gallery stays open until 8:00 pm on Thursdays.  They are closed during university holidays.  Call (315) 443-4097 for more information or email them at suart@syr.edu.

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White Out

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Last week it snowed.  I know!  Too soon.  It is pretty much gone now.  It was basically a non-stop blizzard that shut Syracuse down for, like, a day, lol.

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I walked around Green Lakes for the first time under these circumstances.  Still beautiful, but so different wrapped in this white blanket.

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Santa, please bring me hiking boots for Christmas….

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Ilene’s Eye

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Before the weather took a nose-dive into Snowmegeddon, I visited Ilene Layow’s Eye Studio open house.  It is currently located at 126 Doll Parkway, Syracuse, New York (13214), but it will soon find a three times bigger home in East Syracuse (at 712 W. Manlius Street).  The open house took place this weekend.

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There is a kiln room and studio space, a three-bedroom home having been transformed by art and art-making.  Even the bathroom has a magnificent hand-made glass sink and tiles.

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Ilene is a teaching artist.  I blogged about her last year when she had a Green Lakes-themed art show at the Manlius Historical Association.  It was there that I fell in love with her glass pieces.  I was finally able to purchase one today!

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I bought the above piece – it is glass made with frit, tiny-colored glass bits that allow for dimension.  The glass is fused in the kiln.  This piece has a little shelf in back for a candle.  I love it!

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She was selling her wares along with Jackee Johnson and Marcus Acevedo.  Jackee sells artsy fashion including tops and scarves and Marcus, who works out of studio space at Onondaga Community College, displayed ceramic goods.

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Eye Studio teaches classes in acrylic painting, drawing, wheel throwing, watercolor, hand building clay, glass fusing and stained glass.  These classes are available to all skill levels and all ages.  Classes take place week day afternoons and evenings, and on Saturdays.  This is such an incredible resource in our community.  Ilene is teaching home-schoolers as well!

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Then there is the option of a fun party – like a birthday party or a ladies night/family night where you gather with your favorite people and produce art – glass pieces, clay, paintings…you name it!  Call (315) 345-4576 to schedule yours!

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The gallery is open by appointment as well.  For more information, check out the website – www.iteacharts.com.

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Event Horizon

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The great thing about having an art exhibition and art reception at a restaurant is you forego the traditional crudities in favor of sampling the cuisine.  And in the case of Maxwell’s, this involves a gourmet spinach salad, brick oven pizza and hot wings.

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Toss in a performance by a band starring a whiz kid on drums and you have one amazing evening with artists and friends!

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Artwork by Kara D. Cook is on display and for sale at Maxwell’s for only one week, but I am certain she will sell everything in that short time.  Like me, she has her BFA and MS from Syracuse University, and she is a local art teacher.  She is also a fan of Jasper Johns and Alice Neel, but her fanaticism does not spill into her canvases.  Her work is original, fresh and captivating.

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The show is titled Bricks & Bones.  Kara preps some of her canvases with paper collage of sheet music or maps then creates landscapes of local haunts, places she sees as she drives to work, places from her childhood in Chittenango, New York…places that have been discarded and left to rot in a way.

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But there is so much beauty to see in these images, I think, like the beauty of everlasting love explored in The Velveteen Rabbit.  Memories of the past that make you say – I remember that place and I will try to not forget that past.  She attacks the canvases with a combination of materials beginning with acrylic then adding charcoal, colored pencil, marker and whatever else works.  I actually thought they were digital photographs when I first walked in.  I was delighted to see all of the nuances of the mixed-media upon further inspection.

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I purchased a print of the Cinema North, the old free-standing movie theatre in Mattydale, New York.  I was trying to remember what movie I went to see there, something with my cousins who lived out that way.  So, yeah, it’s like that – a faded memory that had to be a good one but now it is sort of missing its pieces too.

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According to Wikipedia, In general relativity, an event horizon is a boundary in spacetime beyond which events cannot affect an outside observer. In layman’s terms, it is defined as “the point of no return”, i.e., the point at which the gravitational pull becomes so great as to make escape impossible, even for light. An event horizon is most commonly associated with black holes. Light emitted from inside the event horizon can never reach the outside observer. Likewise, any object approaching the horizon from the observer’s side appears to slow down and never quite pass through the horizon,[1] with its image becoming more and more redshifted as time elapses.

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This provocative timey-wimey feeling is what I get from Kara’s work.  You are most definitely pulled in, and the effects are impossible to escape.  They linger, like that reoccurring dream you keep having or like that math problem that seems easy yet you cannot solve.  According to her literature, “[the work] retain[s] memories of the past. Bricks and Bones is meant to appreciate their narrative.”  I am so impressed with the depth to which Kara reveals emotion in her work.

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Oh, and she makes jewelry too!

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Maxwell’s is located at 122 E. Genesee Street, Syracuse, New York 13202.  Call (315) 299-6633 for information or visit their web-site here.  Kara D. Cook can be located on all the usual social media locations.  You can start by liking her on Facebook here.

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