I am currently in a post St. Valentine’s Day love affair with the home goods/home decorating/interior design firm and store Fringed Benefits. It is a manifestation of clever, inspirational design and good taste.
The brainchild of Interior Designer Amy Burns, who has established herself in the business locally for over twenty-years, and her partners Michelle O’Connor (business) and Kate Burns (designer), this venture is a stunning array of home decoration brilliance.
The store is located in the plaza adjacent to Wegman’s DeWitt (6825 E. Genesee Street, Fayetteville, New York 13066). It is closed on Sundays but operates every other day of the week. (Check their website for more information)
The venue is set up like a one-bedroom studio apartment with living-room, bedroom, office and dining-room decor supplemented by areas of small accessories, art, floral arrangements, gifts, candles and plenty of pillow options.
Retailer Glory took me on a tour including the back room, which is Burns’ design studio and offers personal assistance in home decorating including selecting fabrics and wallpapers. Glory’s enthusiasm for the products and budding business acumen made me want to make a purchase. It was a wooden heart ornament (pictured below) that I will cherish.
I had been a Facebook “Top Fan” of this place, but had never wandered in until today. It is an amazing store! You must go to there. Bonus if you tell them I sent you. <3
The Everson Museum of Art is open! I mean, it’s been open – I just didn’t know it. I was able to catch the tail end of the Lacey McKinney show, Reconfiguration. The Everson Bulletin states the show’s run ended on the 24th so…lucky me and my friend Penny.
*The show has now been extended to February 28, 2021 so…lucky you!
I love the discourse between Penny Santy and me when we see exhibitions together. We don’t always like the same pieces but we understand each other’s point of view.
McKinney’s paintings are oil and acrylic. I suspect the acrylic was either a means to create texture or the underlying Frankenthaler-esque washes in some of the female populated landscapes.
Penny loved these new-technique-for-the-artist “cyanotypes” (above) but they reminded me of a crafty high school art project – female body parts minus vagina, lol, that is too mean, sorry Lacey, but, I felt like these were a bit too safe and they read more like studies than finished pieces. I did admire the size relationships though. And in person, the blue hues are lovely and more nuanced than the photograph suggests.
The larger portrait/landscape mash-ups were far more interesting to me. They offered visual collage in a successful way – female as mountain, eyes averted so as not to become a focal point – they had an ethereal beauty to them. She is quite proficient in the rendering of the subject matter, as well as holding a cerebral allocation of the structure of her iconography.
These two (above) were my favorites. I loved the softness of the colorations and the rhythm in the compositions. They whisper emotion in a powerful feminine way with subtle colorations of glaze-infused shadow. Perfection!
This piece (above) reminded me of Marilyn Monroe, but that may be because I had just watched a documentary on Arthur Miller, ex-husband of MM, and one on the fashion designer Dries Van Noten, Belgium fashion designer who created a line of menswear with a variety of images of MM silk-screened on jackets and shirts.
The literature states that the artist selected images from magazines and reconfigured them stealing fragments of different women juxtaposed as either friend or foe. So, maybe?
This collection is on view in the Robineau gallery on the first floor of the museum. I believe there were only about five other people in the entire museum today when we visited. Plenty of social distancing room to ruminate on this new work. Call (315) 474-6064 for more information.
Although I was in all black yesterday (above), I’m making a conscious decision to add color to my wardrobe. Color looks better in #ootd pictures. Color is just fun. I color coordinate my walk-in closet – this makes it easier to notice items bought separately and even years apart that end up looking amazing together.
This Black Brown 1826 cashmere sweater (above) is something I often wear around the house over my pajamas. It is a thick 4-ply cashmere – very cozy and soft. The sleeves had frayed but I loved it so much, I didn’t want to get rid of it. I brought it to DeWitt Cleaners, recently, because I spilled yogurt on it and when I picked it up, it was not only pristine, but someone had magically mended it as well! The yarns of the sleeves were somehow stitched together (crochet hook?) and now it looks great with the most expensive skirt in my wardrobe!
This outfit (above) was inspired by one of my encaustic angel paintings, currently located on my bedroom dresser. I have had these silk velvet pants for a while. Paired with Marc Jacobs combat-style boots and the double sweater look, it felt super comfy on that cold day. We are in school on Wednesdays while the students are at home. #officehours
I rarely wear red – then this Coach leather skirt came along and now I’m singing red’s praises! Absolutely in love with the length. I paired it with an old Ann Taylor cashmere sweater from when the Ann Taylor store was on the second floor of the mall. (Does that store still exist? – IDK)
The monochromatic look was the rage at the 2021 Inauguration. It looked a bit like a circa 1980s rainbow wedding to me but fashion instagrammers didn’t agree. They loved that parade. I am not a purple head-to-toe fan either, lol. But blue? Yes!
One color works best when it is a blend of textures while allowing the hues to vary. Here (above) a new cashmere sweater with my tissue thin Rebecca Taylor summer denim dress, a navy silk mask and Frame cropped jeans. Boots, kind of, match my hair.
Sometimes I throw on my hat or earmuffs for the #ootd picture and sometimes I wear them most of the day when I am not in the classrooms. There is a lot less moving around these days due to all the Covid restrictions and such, and it just feels a lot colder at work. Hence the double sweater business too.
The fist time I wore this silk Talitha Collection top (above), I was at the Doobie Brothers/Steely Dan concert at the Ampitheater. It was something like ninety degrees in the shade that July day! For a January school day, I threw it on over a thick cashmere turtleneck.
And, P.S., every color in the rainbow looks great paired with these lambskin leather jeans (Joe’s Jeans!)
Finally and full circle, dresses over pants is a fun look – the dresses become tunics/jackets and I get to wear them through the winter and still manage to stay warm. Thank you, Joie and AllSaints, for the leathaaaaaaaa! <3
I created this series of twenty-four paintings, Talisman, in 2008. It is a love story: layered, filled with treasure, sparkle within dust, games and prizes, secrets and lies.
I experimented with varnish for the first time. Experimented with the permanence as well. The chalk was meant to fade with the years. It’s been thirteen years now and I admire the patina of these old friends. Yesterday I did an internet search for a solution to save that dust from settling further and the win-win came in the form of Pantene hair spray, believe it or not. So now, these paintings are fixed in time.
And the funny thing is, upon reflection, they bring me back to a place where I thought I had nothing, but in fact, I had it all. All the answers to all of my questions. I just did not know it then, which made life seem so confusing.
This game of life is a puzzle but if you take the time to look, listen and feel with your heart, you will resonate with all of it.
The paintings are 18″ x 24″. Oil paint and chalkboard paint. Found objects, games pieces, fabric.
They work best on a wall in multiples. That’s usually the way it goes with my artwork. If you like it, you really can’t get enough and you just want more.
They hold the narrative and that is a powerful aphrodisiac. <3
The Richell Castellon art exhibit at Wilson Art Gallery in the Noreen Falcone Library on LeMoyne College campus is a must-see. (1419 Salt Springs Road, Syracuse, New York 13214).
Castellon gives us his impressions of homeland Cuba vs. Syracuse, New York. The landscapes of Cuba appear as an anachronism – like a sunny Miami circa the 1950s – the cars are vintage, the streets are clean and the people appear content. The Syracuse paintings are a bit more gritty, There’s a painting representing the underside of a rusty Route 81 bridge and another depicting a homeless panhandler holding a sign reading, in part, “the best is yet to come”. I am assuming this is a metaphor for the artist’s life?
Because he does live here now. According to the literature, the artist is interested in the similarities and differences between Cuba and Syracuse – the paintings are all street views, painted in the same style, yet these places are distinctly different with regard to the way he captures the light.
Castellon offers both city views in color and in value studies using an impressionistic brushstroke with acrylic paint. The paintings seem to glow from within. The Syracuse paintings radiate heat, especially in the way he handles the traffic lights in the night-time street scenes. They appear to have a sort of uncanny incandescence, which is quite impressive. How does he get acrylic to do that?
I met him at the Syracuse Tech Garden a while back – he told me then that he paints from photographs and from memory. There is a sense that the images have emerged from dreams. They portray a sequence of moments in time, as if they are somehow actually moving. I think it is the combination of loose brushstroke and just enough sharp edges that creates this phasing in-and-out of reality magic.
Yeah, I think Castellon is some sort of artist wizard. The larger originals are only $850 and the two smaller framed paintings on paper are around $300. Very collectible!
From Cuba to Syracuse continues through March 30, 2020. See the library website for hours of operation. For more information, call (315) 445-4330.
Terry Askey-Cole was in charge today at Gallery 54 (54 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles, New York 13152). She is one of the artists represented by the gallery. Fifteen years ago, Askey-Cole took courses in ceramics. Now she has her own home studio complete with kiln where she creates decorative pieces, like these whimsical floral garden sculptures (below), as well as slab and wheel thrown pottery and mosaics.
According to the gallery’s website:
Opened July 2009, Gallery 54 is an artist owned and operated gallery located in the scenic Finger Lakes village of Skaneateles. Most of our artists are local to the Finger Lakes/Central NY area and offer our customers a wide variety of high-quality and unique fine art and fine craft, including paintings, mosaics, pottery, art quilts, jewelry, photography, stained glass, handbags, scarves, and more.
In addition to the artwork our owners have on display, we also represent many additional local artists, whose mediums include paintings, jewelry, metal, glass, wood boxes, sculpture, tiles, silk wearables, ceramic clocks, illustrations and more. Be sure to visit our artist’s pages for more information about our artists and to see photographs of their work.
Askey-Cole said there are eight artist owners. Other artists may submit their work for jury – they can sell it on commission or sometimes items are purchased wholesale, so working the cash register is optional. It is an interesting model for business – and quite successful. Askey-Cole has played a part here for the past eleven years (since its inception)!
Traffic consists mainly of day trippers, like me. People from outside the Skaneateles area who venture in exploration and leave with a wooden bowl, jewelry, painted glass, knitwear and/or artwork. Gallery 54 makes use of every available space and when there are several people inside, it’s tight. There were a bunch of excuse-mes and sorrys today as I guided my way around every nook and cranny.
My friend Nella Joseph does well here. She hand-paints glassware. I am in love with the cardinal pieces (below).
Richell Castellon is the featured artist. His original paintings are cityscapes with one of the groupings done in black and white on burlap. Castellon is also currently exhibiting (until March 30, 2020) in a solo show (From Cuba to Syracuse) at the Wilson Art Gallery in the library at LeMoyne College.
Eventually I will purchase one of these amazing ceramic slab wall hangings by Peter Valenti. His work is so incredibly well-crafted. I love the Arts & Crafts feel with the ginkgo leaf and dragonfly motifs and the copper finishes. They are so distinctive in style! They are raku-fired, which is the method where the ceramics are removed from the hot kiln and placed in sawdust, salt or another smothering effect to starve the artworks of oxygen thereby affecting the glazing process. Valenti’s pieces offer rich texture and color.
Other artists represented by Gallery 54 include Lisa Maffiore, Liz and Rich Micho, Donna Smith, Sallie Thompson, Fred Weisskopf, and Judi Witkin. The gallery is open 10 AM – 5 PM daily.