Category Archives: photography

Tenting It

The AmeriCu Arts & Crafts Festival is celebrating its 50th year in downtown Syracuse, New York. Located on the streets surrounding Columbus Circle, there are about 150 artisans and crafters represented in this three-day event. It ends around 4pm today, July 25, 2021, so there is still time to check it out!

There’s food trucks, drinks and music too. My sister and I were there for two hours yesterday. So fun!

This is a juried exhibition. Lula Castillo’s booth at the festival won an honorable mention award. Her work is incredible. She uses plants, nuts, seeds and organic dyes to create exquisite pieces of jewelry. I’ve never seen anything like this!

The colors are so vibrant and fun. I loved everything about her sustainable materials collection.

She comes to us from Long Island, New York (formerly Columbia!)

www.natural-sur.com

Booth A17

I thought Erin Primerano’s presentation of her handwoven fine art clothing was wonderful. Her tent looked like a real store! The pieces are one-of-a-kind looks, using a mix of fibers from silk to cotton, to wool and can be hand-washed.

Her company is called Haute Made and you can find her on Etsy! She lives in Syracuse, New York.

Booth A4

I met Ted Greenfield from Chittenango, New York, last week at his City Market booth. These wood charcuterie boards are gorgeous! His company is called Bayside Wood Products.

www.baysidewoodproducts.com

Booth E15

It’s always a pleasure to see the effervescent Barbara Conte-Gaugel (Syracuse, New York) and her mixed-media handbags and satchels. Everything is handmade from recycled fabrics (including leather and old flour sacks). The larger bags are among my favorites with whimsical patterns that inspire positivity. She is selling these bags at the festival but she is also a fine artist – paintings and assemblages.

www.barbaraconte-gaugel.com/

Devin Mack from Baltimore, Maryland, creates these fun wire sculptures of animals. He was in the process as I photographed him, said he does not use photographs, just whimsy, and the results are stunning!

www.drawnmetalstudios.com

Booth F13

Kathleen Scranton from Coventry, Connecticut, creates vintage book purses under the logo BeeZ. She comes to us from the business and marketing world. A chance rendezvous with a library eliminating old books sparked this plan to turn their covers into handbags. Purses come with a paperback version of the book.

www.beeZbyScranton.com

Booth C12

Michelle DaRin, Pompey, New York, is a rock star around here. Her face is on billboards, as she is currently represented by Cazenovia Jewelry! I noticed that everyone who walked by Montgomery Street was a customer, including me (I was wearing three of her bracelets!).

Michelle DaRin Jewelry is a one person operation – she is the face of the brand. She selects the stones, cuts the metal, does all the metal-smithing and strings the leather.

The look is upscale Bohemian-chic/’70s vibe meets the new millennium.

www.michelledarinjewelry.com

Wildflowers Armory is a co-op – artisans who share in the responsibility of selling their wares in their store in downtown Syracuse (217 S. Salina Street). Co-owner Michael Heagerty posed for a few pictures with Kathy and me. He is an amazing person who has single-handedly changed the view of the local art scene in Syracuse – a beautiful person inside and out! <3

They have a double tent set-up on Montgomery Street at the festival with an eclectic mix of items for sale.

Merchandise includes clothing (like the awesome Everson is for Lovers shirt!), soaps, notecards, crafts, and artwork.

They also have an online presence – https://wildflowersarmory.com/

Finally, I want my Superintendent to buy these metal bear sculptures for our school (We are the Chittenango Bears!). And I want the cardinal sculpture for my back yard.

OMG, Dale Rogers! His work is exceptional. The sculptures are crafted from stainless steel in his studio in Massachusetts.

Booth C1-2

https://dalerogersstudio.com/

On the Fringe

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

Soflea Sophie

My sister owns two businesses: Syracuse Yoga (6181 Thompson Road, Suite 803, Syracuse, New York 13206) and Soflea, a small store operating in the basement of Wildflowers (217 S. Salina Street, Syracuse, New York 13203).

Sophia Tashkovski is part of the McCarthy Mercantile. Her collection of flea-market finds and antiques includes her signature horseshoes, brass trays, statuettes and wicker baskets, as well as furniture and rugs.

Items are one-of-a-kind gems and so, there are always new finds to covet, which always makes the shopping experience a fun adventure.

Hours of operation: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm Tuesday through Sunday. It’s open today!!! (you’re welcome <3) Enter Wildflowers then head to the basement where the collective of shoppes is housed.

Measuring Up

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The Art Galleries at Syracuse University are designed to facilitate education.  In other words, it’s a teaching museum.  Professors require students to go to there – to critique the art/learn how to judge a work of art.  Students journal about experiences for classes, attend the receptions and lectures, and even work there (which has to be the greatest work-study gig).

Last year, former Director Domenic Iocono mentioned it was the reason artists like Jasper Johns, James Rosenquist and Kiki Smith wanted to collaborate by sharing their work with our community, enhancing the walls of the spaces with their respective visions.

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In this season’s first exhibition, Not a Metric Matters, the university galleries led by new Director and Chief Curator Vanja Malloy, Ph.D. hosts its own – the School of Visual & Performing Arts faculty.  It is an opportunity to showcase their talent, yes, and also turn the tables on the critiquing process allowing the professors to show students how it’s really done.

Margie Hughto has been affiliated with the university for many, many years.  When I spoke to her last month, she said teaching is still fun and so, she will continue to share her expertise with students for many years to come.

Her ceramic and found object work is exquisite.  It is perfection in editing – selecting just the right found object pieces to coordinate with the ceramic pieces.  The work alludes to the recent discarded and forgotten in terms of technology.

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The thought provoking concepts aside, Hughto’s artwork screams of her strength of character.  She finds beauty in every angle, in each piece fused as one.  They are signatures of her style while continuing to surprise and delight us, continuing a growth trajectory as an artist and that in itself is the lesson.

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Holly Greenberg has isolated grief in this productive series of drawings.  These pieces resonated with me – as you know my father recently passed away and his belongings are still in the closets, his car in the driveway at Mom’s house.  Using these ordinary objects as memento gives them a lovingly somber power and isolating them in their compositions drives the message home.

It is curious how objects can retain the emotion of the spirit and Greenberg’s proficiency in rendering provides the elevation of their status.

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Ann Clarke‘s fiber artwork is marvelously original.  Texture is my thing and seeing monumental work on the walls creates a bold statement about time.  The fabrics are traditional, but the techniques are fresh and alive.  The hooked rug eye is really incredible in-person.  I love the idea of taking a method we all used in the past and formulating this new pattern, which seems to denote to me that someone is watching over me, loving me.

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Clarke’s statement does imply that she is the watchful eye for her ailing mother and that is a beautiful thing.  That the old becomes new again, and time is cyclical.

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Other teaching artists in this show –

Yasser Aggour, Cooper Battersby, Emily Vey Duke, Don Carr, Deborah Dohne, Heath Hanlin, Seyeon Lee, Sarah McCoubrey, Su Hyun Nam, Vasilios Papajoannu, James Ransome, Tom Sherman and Chris Wildrick

Their work takes dimension as paintings, drawings, photo-collage, video and installation – and all have something important to say within the context of their visualizations.

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There are more exhibits in the space, all curated by different people.  DJ Hellerman is the curator of this show.  He is the Art and Program Curator at the Everson Museum of Art and collaborates with SU’s Department of Transmedia.  I met him while stumbling into a critique of university students’ final exhibitions at Apostrophe’s.

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David Prince curated the display of former VPA faculty members.  As you know, I am an SU grad (B.F.A. ’85, M.S. ’93).  These professors are my people.  I absolutely loved Rodger Mack.  He was so devoted to building the sculpture department and his bronze sculptures are THE BEST!

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Seeing his hands portrayed by Jerome Witkin brought a tear to my eye.  There is so much love here, people.  Going to Syracuse University was a dream come true for me – I feel incredibly blessed to have been the first person in my family to ever go to a university –  and to see the professors being honored is such a gift.  They deserve every accolade.

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They were and are true working artists, not just people showing up to collect a paycheck.

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There’s lots more to see of these exhibits and the vast permanent collections.  It will all be on display until November 24, 2019.  There will be an art reception on Thursday, September 12, 2019 from 5 – 7 pm.  And Holly Greenberg will be giving a presentation in the adjacent Shemin Auditorium on Thursday, November 7, 2019 at 6:30 pm.

Syracuse University Art Galleries is located in the Shaffer Art Building on Syracuse University campus.  Free parking is available on Sundays and on Thursday evenings in the Q lot – or at least it was when I was there yesterday.  Call (315) 443-4097 for more information including hours of operation.  <3

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Cool August Moonies

 

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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!

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The exhibit will be on display until September 20, 2019.  For more information contact Steve Nyland at gallery.ttg@gmail.com.  To purchase artwork, contact the artists directly.  They have left business cards and also have contact information on their respective art tags.

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City Market

 

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When I met Jason Alexander, I did that goofy Cinderella’s step-sister thing and asked him how he liked our Syracuse, New York weather.

He replied, “It sucks!”  This was after a performance of the play he’d directed at Syracuse Stage.  My friend and I looked at each other in an are-you-kidding-me glance because we both love it here, both love to hike whether in rain, snow, sleet or hail.  And our weather had been particularly great in June.

So funny – and that is why I don’t have a selfie with the Seinfeld alum.

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Today’s weather is sheer perfection – a magnificent sunny and breezy day to explore the offerings at City Market.  Sponsored by the Everson Museum of Art (401 Harrison Street, Syracuse, NY 13202), the market is housed on the museum grounds around the fountains.

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It takes place on the second Sunday of the month from 10 am – 4 pm.  There are two dates left before the season ends – Sunday, September 8, 2019 and Sunday, October 13, 2019.

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There is a lot to peruse – jewelry, trinkets, clothing, food, furniture and flea market-y miscellaneousness.  And art, of course.

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Ken Nichols is there selling the mugs and rice bowls created in his studio at Clayscapes Pottery.

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Tyler Cagwin created Nostalgia Chocolate.  He manufactures the product here in Syracuse with international cocoa beans.  The flavors are rich and satisfying!  Gourmet chocolate with health benefits! (That’s a win-win).

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I loved these ceramic pins and magnets created by Beckie Bortel of Beckie’s Pottery.  They have a substantial feel to them and they look like ginger snap cookies.  Great patina!

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Terry Lynn Cameron is selling originals and prints of her colorful paintings. The prints are done on canvas, which is very cool.  I am really impressed with how she markets her product!  Some of the art has been adhered to sketchbooks and daily planners.  Love!

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Lori Lizzio‘s work can be found as originals, prints and notecards.  They are ink and wash pieces of animals and figures.

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Syracuse does have beautiful weather, Jason Alexander, and beautiful people – and art.  It is satisfying and fun.  Really fun.  It doesn’t suck. <3

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Rock & Roll Authenticity

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Herbert Ritts was a California boy.  Growing up, he lived in Steve McQueen’s neighborhood in Brentwood, which, according to many biographies I have read recently, was an instrumental synergy that launched his comfort level with celebrity.

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The quotes from his high profile portrait subjects include statements about how using daylight was his strength and that they felt at ease in front of his lens:

“Herb made me look how I wish I looked when I woke up in the morning.” – Cindy Crawford

“In his sweet disarming way he suggested that we work together again and I agreed to it. And that was the beginning of an incredibly long and fruitful working relationship, but it was also the beginning of a great friendship.” – Madonna

“Working with Herb was more like just hanging out with a friend. We’d joke, chatter and gossip and at the end of the day he would have captured the whole thing in the lens. He was a great guy.” – David Bowie

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Herb Ritts – The Rock Portraits is on display at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York (5798 State Highway 80, Cooperstown, NY 13326).  The photographs are on loan from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio until September 2, 2019.

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The show is a mirror of my youth.  So many images that I have seen on album covers, in music videos, in fashion magazines – Herb Ritts is like an old friend.  It is as if you know him.  Knew him.  You can envision him working because it is evident that it was not work.  It was more like a relationship, the way he presented people at ease in the present moment, not thinking about what they must do later in the week or later that day, but being in the now.  You can see this in the eye contact, in the way the light shines on their faces and in the crispness of the images.

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Ritts captures the essence of his subjects.  What I see in the photographs is the “authentic self”, the real person behind the fame.  The Bob Dylan pictures are gritty, as though the man cannot hide a lifetime of struggling with inner demons.  The Bruce Springsteen images reflect a certain shyness beneath the success.  And the Madonna images are, to me, the most iconic, spanning the ’80s and ’90s and showing us a vulnerable, little Italian girl who grows in confidence and artistic resonance with every click.  We get to witness that evolution, that living history, and that is a beautiful thing. <3

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It is this contrast between the legend and the human spirit that gives credence to Ritts as artist rather than commercial photographer for hire, and is the reason why these photographs and videos belong in a museum.  They are evidence of the art of living, the art of performing, the art of communicating a visual language of persona, and the art of documenting artistic merit as an art.  It is all about authenticity.

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The photographs are accessorized with costumes and musical instruments, also on loan from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  This is Madonna’s.  I could totally rock this – OMG, I know it would fit me.  Unfortunately, it was on a mannequin and encased in lucite or else it would have been my #ootd.

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Trina Turk top and skirt, BCBGMaxAzria belt and sandals, Coach bag, Fossil bracelets, Marc Jacobs sunglasses

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I took these pictures yesterday, took a day trip to Cooperstown, which I highly recommend!  You must go to there!  The drive was spectacular – from Syracuse, New York, it is an hour by New York State Thruway then an additional forty minutes down Route 28.  Cooperstown is truly a magical place.  Home to so many attractions – the Glimmerglass Opera House, the Baseball Hall Of Fame, the legendary