I went to the MOST yesterday. I was not there for long – it is a “science” museum for kids. I couldn’t take all the running around and screaming, and that was just me (ba-dum-bump).
There were activity stations, a colossal and fully padded tri-level jungle gym, and different vignettes set with dramatic lighting throughout the maze-like venue to satisfy the children (mainly pre-school and elementary-aged), while their parents either engaged alongside or sat together sipping cold drinks.
I did like the dinosaur exhibit. I mean – so fake, but they were substantial rubber or mache creatures with animatronic gestures and, maybe, it sort of, looked like they were looking my way as I took the photographs.
And, of course, I liked the gift shop. That was fun.
If you’ve never been there, it’s worth a look. And here’s the secret: get out your Onondaga County library card and head to one of the local libraries that have the free pass. It pays for up to six people! How cool is that? Especially if you are a teacher and are on your last summer dollar before the next pay day.
“PEOPLE PLACES AND THINGS” is the title of the current exhibition at Edgewood Gallery (216 Tecumseh Road, Syracuse, NY 13224). I attended the art reception tonight.
The featured artists are David Gandino (people and places) and Joyce Backus (things).
Joyce Backus is an artist, children’s book illustrator, jewelry designer and art teacher. She is a friend and former colleague. Here she is selling papier-mache glassware, mixed-media sculptures and handmade jewelry.
David Gandino is a photographer, writer and actor, having worked in several of the recent movies filmed here in Syracuse. His photographs reflect a life well-traveled with a few portraits sprinkled in.
It was such a joy getting back into the spirit of gallery hopping – so fun supporting my friend, having art and fashion related conversations with friends, and chatting with, and getting to know other artists and patrons in this inviting space.
Cheryl Chappell (above left) is the owner. She is the person to know if you need anything framed. She also books these exhibitions months and sometimes years in advance.
This show will be on display through August 11, 2023. If you noticed any red stickers on the art labels, it means those items have sold. Some of the art and merchandise is still available. For inquiries including hours operation, go to their website – edgewoodartandframe.com
The bunny sculptures are finally finished. My 8th grade Studio in Art students (Chittenango Middle School, Chittenango, NY) created these papier-mache sculptures just in time for Orthodox Easter. They are currently on display in the school library.
We recycled Ithaca hummus containers for the baskets and Starbucks iced coffee bottles for the armature. In addition, we used paper towels, aluminum foil and masking tape.
The papier-mache is paper towel bits adhered with Mod Podge. Then we added acrylic paint.
Since it is the year of the rabbit in the Chinese zodiac, I thought it a good time to try this first-time lesson. I am pleased with the results. They are really cute!
Every year about this time, I assign a sketchbook assignment called March Madness, which is a drawing of people playing basketball. Not the hoop or a ball, or an aerial view of a basketball court.
But that is pretty much what I get. So frustrating. Basketball isn’t a successful theme for art.
As per this art exhibition at the Everson Museum of Art, I can only surmise that the curator thought – give the city what it loves, and for Syracuse, that is basketball. Art as secondary to the sport. Basketball players posing as contemporary artists.
Shoelaces as art. Basketballs as art. Sneakers as art. Trading cards as art.
And a room of basketball hoops and balls to actually play the game.
I wish I could be positive and open minded about this. Like in the vortex happy. But I was all – this is dumb.
Hoop Dreams: Basketball and Contemporary Art continues through May 21, 2023. Not sure if it is open today because of the blizzard, but you can make your own judgment during regular museum hours listed below.
My friend Joyce introduced me to Ithaca brand hummus. I also take various vitamins and eat cottage cheese on occasion. The recycling began to accumulate and I thought, if we add styrofoam balls, we could make humanoid sculptures.
It is so fun to create something new. A derivative of a contemporary artist based on found object materials that reflects cohesive themes. My sample was an angel (not pictured). I added the Ithaca hummus container lids for wings. It, sort of, resembled a Golden Globe award, so I added that concept. It would be the Angel on Earth award.
Students assembled their armature, used paper towels and Mod Podge for papier mache then used at least three different materials for texture and design. They considered themes based on personal interests and/or were inspired by classroom materials.
I had patterned papers with animal motifs and packages of fabric papers, Origami paper, African designs and Navajo-inspired designs. I also had actual fabric donated by the Home Ec. teacher last year and wallpaper sample books that someone recently shared with me.
In addition, I have a backroom stocked with old Barbie dolls that we harvested for parts. I brought a few things in from my personal art supplies (antique flag toothpicks, an extra lion head cat costume, assorted buttons, twine, peacock feathers).
Students were graded on construction, use of materials, theme and quality of papier mache application. Can you guess what award each sculpture represents?
Raymon Elozua: Structure/Dissonance is currently on view at the Everson Museum of Art, 401 Harrison Street, Syracuse, New York 13202. The show continues through December 31, 2022.
These are large additive sculptures featuring ceramics, glass, steel and found objects, which culminate in an explosion of color and beautiful junk that satisfies the artist’s intellectual philosophy of “decaying industrial landscapes.”
This is not just a new series of work that takes a theme and runs with it. It is more like a half-century career retrospective. The bauble-rich sculptures make more sense in multiple because they sort of announce the concern of global waste.
Included in this show is Elozua’s personal collection of rusty enamelware. This is the part of the experience I loved best because I spent my entire summer doing something that was in the making for about seventeen years.
I bought a metal detector and searched the yard of my 1900s era home. There was so much there. The videos are on my YouTube channel. Now I just need to intellectualize these finds and incorporate them into art. The meaning? Unearthing the treasures that are right beneath you on your path. Most of it was garbage because back in the early 20th century people buried their trash in their own backyards. Isn’t that ironic?
We are always burying our hearts under the mask of reality. Making art is about building dreams. I want to build mine with all that garbage. And so does Elozua with his. I’d say that is harmony, not dissonance.
Experimenting with a technique has its rewards, just ask Rebecca Hutchinson. And you can ask her yourself tomorrow – Saturday, September 10, 2022 during her gallery walk (the work is in the Robineau and Malzman Galleries) from 11:00 am – noon at the Everson Museum of Art, 401 Harrison Street, Syracuse, New York 13202.
I met her last night at the art reception and I was delighted to make the acquaintance of such a spirited human being. She spoke of developing a technique where her large scale vessels are hand built upside-down using a series of paper strips dipped in clay slip, which is surprisingly strong. The pieces are not kiln fired and yet ,not fragile, which is intriguing.
Some of these enormous pods are decorated in botanical gestural paintings and drawings, like those on the long strips of rice paper located in the adjacent gallery. They are meant to represent the ebb and flow resilience of nature. This mark-making is what elevates this work from experimentally friendly bulbous thingys to big bulbous thingys with a meaningful message.
Professor Hutchinson teaches ceramics at the University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth in addition to her role as a working professional artist and all-around art trailblazer .
Rebecca Hutchinson – Regeneration will be up through December 31, 2022. There will also be a workshop scheduled to learn her techniques. Call the Everson at (315) 474-6064 for more information or visit their web-site. www.everson.org
She was resolute in her determination to create art on her own terms.
I have known Syracuse artist Arlene Abend for thirty years. We met when I joined the now defunct Visual Arts Committee at the Civic Center. We held juried exhibitions and installed the work of local artists on the walls of the space – a captive audience situation, which lead to several sales. My sister even bought someone’s art from there and I met my first patron who ended up buying several of my paintings over the years.
I left the program after about four years. I wanted to do member exhibitions and everyone felt that was self-serving. Later, they moved the exhibitions to the PBS building (was it? I don’t really remember) but they did start having those member’s shows.
I have always felt the same way about the Everson Museum of Art. They would bring in these out of state artists who’d get recognition from our less established museum subsequently gaining the confidence to go on to illustrious careers. I couldn’t understand why the Everson didn’t cultivate from within. That seemed the perfect opportunity – to big up our talented local artists and catapult us towards successful art careers nationally. It would be a win-win as it would generate interest and revenue for the museum because there would be so many wealthy and amazing artists who would give back. I guess I was never thinking universally, but selfishly (my vortex contains the dream of showcasing my art in all four of the upper galleries – I can 100% fill them), The idea that we are an art community that helps and supports each other – is that too daft?
Well, it’s finally happening. Elizabeth Dunbar has begun this trajectory and we can currently see this manifestation in the form of a feisty little ninety-year-old woman who is currently showing her sculptures in the Robineau Gallery at the Everson Museum of Art.
We create our own realities and Arlene Abend’s road has been one primarily of family and deep-rooted friendships combined with the solitude of her artistry. Every one of us has stated a collective “it’s about time” in reference to this exhibition!
The bumpy amorphous shapes in her metal wall sculptures sort of mirror the curves in her path/emotions in her path – health issues, worry, relationship heart break, disappointment, money struggles, fears…and yet, the tiny humanoid figurines showcase her whimsy and humor, her belief in the human spirit even while the resin pieces indicate a sort of trapped suffering.
This exhibition has always been in Arlene Abend’s vortex – of that I am certain. It’s almost as though the resolution was in lowering the resistance. Lessening the struggle in favor of the resiliency of the human condition. Here she is at the apex of her career, all ragged edges, highs and lows, structures and voids, liquids solidifying inside her mind for all of us to witness – a life lived with an expectation to share it in all its incarnations.
It really does not matter how much time it takes for a dream to come true. That’s the beauty of it.
Arlene Abend – RESOLUTE is on display through April 17, 2022. Visit the www.everson.org for information regarding hours of operation and admission price or call (315) 474-6064.
We created these donuts in two of my Art-8 classes. Some were mounted on black foamboard and others placed in real Dunkin’ Donuts boxes, which were donated by the wonderful manager at the DD on Rt. 5 in Chittenango, NY.
aluminum foil, masking tape, paper towels, Mod Podge, Celluclay, acrylic paint, glitter, foamboard, DD boxes
They are so fun! The trick here was to try to make them all the same size and the same shape. It wasn’t as easy as it sounds. Each student made a half dozen. I graded them on successful armature, application of Mod Podge and Celluclay, as well as paint and detail.