Category Archives: sculpture

Lighting The Way

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I managed to convince a dozen friends to meet me at the Chinese Lantern Festival last week.  It was my birthday, a week night, and it was sunny here for the first time in over a week.  Perfect conditions to enjoy this exquisite happening at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, New York.

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You enter at Gate 6 and follow the signs to the parking lot inside the fairgrounds.  The event is open every night (except Mondays) from 5:30 – 10:00 pm until June 24, 2017.  It is $15 per person but they have daily specials; there was a $2 discount last Thursday for “best friends day” in addition to it being my special day!  Check their Facebook posts here.  I think there is another deal coming up for Father’s Day this weekend.

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We arrived at around 7:00 pm.  There are a few food vendors and an ice cream truck, and a bunch of crafts to purchase from booths at the far end of the festival enclosure.  At 8:30 pm, performers take the stage – acrobat and rhythmic gymnastic style stuff with Asian melodies and lavish costumes.

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By 9:00 pm the sky becomes that beautiful Prussian blue before turning dark then the statues transition into glowing visions of beauty.  What an incredible light show and photo opportunity.  It is truly a magnificent experience!  Once you witness it, well…I think it is unforgettable.  So worth the admission price.  I am so grateful that my friends indulged this whim of mine.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I love you all sooooo muchy-much. ❤

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Fishing Derby

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Ashlee – winner in 1st period A day
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Owen – winner in 8th period A day (the 5th grade class)

My clay lesson this semester was the fish sculpture.  I decided to do it with every class.  My 5th grade, the 8th grade art students and the 8th grade Studio in Art students.  It is such a great lesson because everyone starts with the same amount of clay creating a slab first that rolls up then adding the hand built elements.

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Paige – winner in 9th period A day
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Nathan – winner in 6th period Studio in Art
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Lauren – winner in 5th period B day

They are all so beautifully unique!  I decided to have a fishing derby.  I weighed and measured every fish.  Each class had a winner.  The prize was a small bag of Swedish Fish, lol.  Abraham’s was the biggest fish.  He won a giant bag of Swedish Fish!  So fun!

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Abraham – winner in 5th period A day and overall winner!
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Julia – winner in 1st period B day
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Anthony – winner in 9th period B day

#fashionintherealworld

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Banana Republic cardigan, Free People top, BCBGMaxAzria leggings, BCBGeneration sandals
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Banana Republic cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria top, Trina Turk pants, BCBGeneration sandals

If you search Instagram for the hashtag #fashionintherealworld, you will find all of my posts.  I invented it and #fashioninrealtime, and #fashioninreallife.  I just checked them; I think there are only two or three posts on them from random fashionistas.  The rest is all me.

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Coach hat and jacket, Bailey 44 top, BCBGMaxAzria leggings, Karl Lagerfeld Paris boots
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Free People cardigan and top, Calvin Klein jeans, Karl Lagerfeld Paris boots
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Free People cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria top, Banana Republic skirt, Ralph Lauren boots

Here are my outfits of the day from the last two weeks.  The landscape of my background keeps changing as I shift student work around the room.  All of my clay projects are complete.  The last batch went into the kiln today.  The 5th graders are currently working on a three-dimensional wood sculpture, my Studio in Art students are learning watercolor techniques and the rest of the 8th graders are immersed in the various SLO test projects:  Statue of Liberty paintings, “under the sea” landscapes with fish (mixed-media lesson), Japanese fan project (also mixed-media) and abstract paintings with realistic horses thrown in.  So four additional different lessons for the six classes.

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Banana Republic suit and leather shell, BCBGeneration sandals
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Free People cardigan, BCBGeneration dress, Nine West booties

There is a lot going on, which will culminate in the School Fair set for May 12, 2017.  I will have my hands full preparing for that exhibition and hopefully even with the upcoming state math tests looming, we will get everything accomplished.

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Jcrew cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria dress, Nine West boots

But first – Spring Break!!!  I will be working on the business of making art as soon as tomorrow.  Can’t wait.  Watching students make art is clearly a fun job, but nothing beats the guilty pleasure of creating my own artwork – even though it is super messy and therefore cannot be done in designer clothes.  So…I will be sacrificing fashion for my art.  I did buy a new dress for Easter though.  It is Halston Heritage. ❤ OMG, I love it!

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Michelle DaRin Jewelry ring, Banana Republic top and Free People top, BCBGMaxAzria pants, Guess sandals

 

Visions of Hope

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I was able to take a quick trip to New Jersey – thank you, Mother Nature, for providing magnificent weather for a safe journey in February!  Yesterday I visited the Novado Gallery in Jersey City (blog post to follow), and today I stopped at the Summit Medical Group in Berkeley Heights.

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I went to pick up the eight paintings I had on display (from April until a few days ago).  It is such a beautiful space and the people are so friendly.  I just love it there!  Now, space planner Elizabeth Wiech has installed a show of these brilliantly hued text-infused paintings by Susan Hope Shaffer.

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Shaffer, a cancer survivor, created these images to empower herself and others on their healing journey.  Through art, she has discovered a source of positive energy and this is such a beautiful and magical resource.  The exhibit is incredibly cohesive and captivating.

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Refreshments and entertainment will be provided at an opening reception on Friday, March 3, 2017 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.  The gallery space is located on the basement floor of the Lawrence Pavilion at Summit – 1 Diamond Hill Road (07922).  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the artwork will be donated to Pathways Women’s Cancer Support.

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For more information call (908) 277-8806 or visit their web-site – www.summithealthmanagement.com

 

Army of Thieves

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According to the literature for this exhibit of sculptures by Vanessa German, “when assembled together, these power figures resemble an army of women on the march”.  German creates them from a plethora of found objects.  The mannequin parts are plastered and tarred then assembled and dressed via wiring, sewing and gluing the objects in place, adding jewelry and dress that evokes some form of armor.

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They become modern soldiers lined up in effect, like those terra-cotta figurines found at the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang in China.  It is incredibly breathtaking and powerful to witness.  The work is in the Sculpture Court and in the Wampler and Robineau Galleries on the first floor of the Everson Museum of Art (400 Harrison Street, Syracuse, New York).

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Tonight was the art reception for this exhibit titled de.structive dis.tillation (a nod to the chemical construction of tar), as well as for the Bradley Walker Tomlin retrospective.  I will be attending an in-service for teachers in March that focuses on the latter.  I titled this post Army of Thieves because the German sculptures stole the show, which is totally ironic in that the upstairs galleries are full of local artists work and that has ALWAYS been my dream for the Everson, lol, and includes my colleagues and former S.U. professors in its mix.  Vanessa German is a product of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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German’s dolls are meant to tell the story of/create a dialogue about the social injustices of the African-American experience.  It’s to do with destructing in order to construct.  Rebuilding a world and giving voice to a type of commitment to peace, joy and love in spite of challenges.  The result is the whimsical and harmonious sound of texture, a cultural heritage-based beauty and personification that has the potential to resonate for everyone in our community.

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It is the flavor of intense joy.  There is so much to see here!  Flea market finds that take your breath away.  Attention to detail with regard to fabric and fibers.  The sculptures are skateboarding and riding tricycles, standing on soap boxes and rejoicing as they stand for one’s tears and for the healing hope of a better future.

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You need to see them!  I really ought to plan a field trip for my Studio in Art students.  We just finished creating sculpture/mobiles of paratroopers using plaster, found objects and humanoid forms, so, this would be right up their alley.

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The exhibit continues through May 7, 2017.  The Everson is planning a day camp for students during the week of Mid-Winter recess (that starts a week from today).  Go to their web-site for more information or call them at (315) 474-6064.  They will also be doing a Saturday workshop for children, and in addition, several events such as family day and docent led tours of the exhibitions. ❤

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Matter of the Minefield

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Size Matters is the title of the latest art exhibition at Clayscapes Pottery, Inc. (1003 W. Fayette Street, Syracuse, New York 13204).  The ceramic sculptures by Syracuse University grad student Peter Smith will be on display and for sale through February 23, 2017.

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The show is a combination of two things – the idea of farm equipment enlarged and age simulated to act as a metaphor for man’s “relationship with the environment” according to his literature, and brilliant-hue glazed ceramic weapons mixed with porcelain gas masks, which I am assuming constitutes man’s willingness to destroy it.

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The work is found attached to walls, resting on tables, hanging from the ceiling and strewn about the floor.  This, for me and my band of fun artist friends, created a sort of surreal adventure in art wonderland, as we contemplated the minefield of meaning around the space.

It was the dialogue I was having as we posed in these pictures. Guns and missiles glazed in beautiful colors, a wall of blades that reminded me of the backdrop in a knife throwing performance at the circus….   Should we laugh or be afraid?  Pretty weapons.  Fragile weapons.  But still weapons.  And the haunting effect of decaying metal artifacts produced a kind of guilt-ridden sorrow.

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There is definitely something about Peter’s work that makes you want to start a discussion.  I love the idea of that narrative.  Love the way the work fits together in a cohesive way and yet any one of the pieces could find a home and continue to resonate on its own.  These gas mask castings are priced individually.

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It was surreal and beautiful. Like whimsical horror. I just love this meeting of minds, love the way a college student can be such a free thinker, creating art for art’s sake but also as a means to tell a story or voice an opinion of the world as he sees it.  It’s all in the perspective!  You really ought to see this show.

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You can read about Peter in this month’s issue of Ceramic Monthly.

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The gallery is open Tuesday – Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Call (315) 424-6868 for more information or visit their web-site at www.clayscapespottery.com.  They are also on Instagram (clayscape_pottery) and have a Facebook page (Clayscapes Pottery)!

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Going Greek

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This was a fun lesson – another one of my inventions:  Greek urns.  They are made of Pariscraft, not clay.  We used the plastic water bowls as molds, so it was a stagger start since I don’t have very many of them.

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Students placed 4 layers of plaster of Paris on the bowl.  In the following class, they were in a déja vu re-run because we needed two bowl molds for the armature.  Next, they added plastic cups (from Subway, Wendy’s, and various cottage cheese varieties).  I cut the hole at the bottom of the top cup and at the top of one of the plaster bowls.  They added plaster to the separate pieces then taped the bowls together with masking tape and went back to the plaster station to complete the step.  (Aluminum foil for the handles.)

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This was followed by painting the urn one solid color and then applying Greek patterns – and more color.

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They are stunning.  I love them!  Really substantial two and three feet sculptures.  I want them to write a note to their future selves and store it inside the vessels.  I am always thinking about my thirteen-year-old self.  Is she proud of who I have become? (I know she is!)  The note would serve as an artifact, the way Ancient Greek urns found in an archeological dig teach us about the culture that once was.  So fun!

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