Tag Archives: art exhibition

Futura and Eye


Futura, my exhibit of twenty-four encaustic angel paintings, is on exhibit in the gallery space at Eye Studio, 712-14 West Manlius Street, East Syracuse, New York (13057).  They are open Monday through Saturday 11:00 am – 7:00 pm.  There will be a closing reception on Friday, October 27, 2017 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm with free food and drink (wine!)  Musical guest will be Jerry Cali.


Please come if you can.  The goal is to sell all of the angels by the end of the party.  Patrons can leave with their purchase, which is why I like the idea of a closing reception rather than an opening.  They are priced at $111.


angel encaustic paintings by Karen Tashkovski

Futura is the brainchild of my inner being, a series of twenty-four 8” x 10” encaustic angel paintings. They depict the pure, positive energy of the present moment while reflecting on the past and looking forward to the future.

They are meant to be whimsical creatures supporting me and those who view them with love, kindness and appreciation. Encaustic is heated beeswax infused with oil paint. Each brushstroke is a deliberate creation, a quick and conscious decision on my part to honor a distinct moment in time.

I am fasciated by a found object’s abundant meaning, and so I use keys, horseshoes, sea glass and ribbons to add dimension to these paintings – another source of love and luck that is a talisman to me as the artist that will, hopefully, resonate with the viewer and subsequent owner of the piece.

I had the title of the exhibition in mind for several years before embarking on this collection. It was as if these images revealed themselves when they were ready to do so, and I was just the facilitator of the experience, like a fixed point in the future that I could not see until it became evident that I was finally ready and then that future became the now. I am delighted to finally share this new series of paintings with you – an audience of art aficionados, family, friends, artists and art students of all ages.










Tiny Voice





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.


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.


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.


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!



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.




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….





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.


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!”



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.



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



Art & Dining Experience

Banana Republic cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria dress, Chan Luu bracelet, BCBGeneration sandals


The art reception for Honor Thy Master at Dolce Vita World Bistro was last night.  This was the perfect opportunity to break in my blue BCBG Max Azria dress.  I bought it a year ago to wear to a wedding in Florida.  I decided to wear something else that day instead – you must know me by now to know that I had three possibilities at the ready (I went with the Jill JIll Stuart black jersey gown).  In addition to the never worn dress, my new BR cardigan was freshly delivered from www.bananarepublic.com, and so, coupled with sandals and gold hoop earrings, I was ready to be ready to have a great time at my party.



It was magnificent!  I am soooooo grateful to have support from wonderful friends and family.  We filled the restaurant.  It was an incredible thing – surreal might be a better word – to see people from work, fellow artists, students, my parents and my besties all dining together, all coming together to view my art and to enjoy a three-course meal, which included some amazing cheesecakes for dessert – OMG!



I didn’t actually eat – I table-hopped, chatted and laughed, and took all of these fun pics!  It was definitely one of the best art parties I have ever had, really and truly.  Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you for coming and sharing your Tuesday evening with me. ❤



This was a successful experiment.  Magical, more like.  Bringing people together and offering them a special menu created for the event.  Making an art show more of a happening in a way that benefits the venue and its patrons, as well as the artist.  There was actually interest in my work – potential sales.  Yes!  My dream of finding homes for these paintings is coming true.



So it was and is a win-win.  I loved sharing my art message with those who asked.  It is a funny thing to verbalize one’s visual language.  Mine is a personal vision and it requires a certain amount of vulnerability for me to do so.  As I reflect on this series of paintings, its meaning has shifted.  It happened gradually at first, with the changes I made two weeks ago and now I discover something new every time I look at them, as if they are still in flux, changing and growing emotionally as I am.  It’s almost as if I can feel myself moving even while sitting here writing this.  I can feel the momentum of the planet and it is like when you watch those films that fast forward the life-cycle of a tulip in bloom.  Evolving exponentially.



I heard that an artist’s energy resides in their work and people of like energy are the ones who are attracted to it.  Therefore, an artist in despair will find their patron in someone of a similar disposition.  My paintings speak of the need to seek solace in love, and are in the spirit of taking that leap of faith in order to find it.


That used to feel sad to me, but it doesn’t anymore.  There is no fear of despair in that journey.  Only a sense that the best is yet to come.



Last night was very special.  I will treasure that feeling of friendship and camaraderie for a very long time.



Honor Thy Master will remain on display until the end of April 2017.









Life’s a Game



Another perfect day in my universe…


I knew I would install my art exhibition at Half Moon Bakery & Bistro today, but the details of the how and the when, and the other stuff of it all were not planned.  The artwork had been piled into a big blue bin on my back porch with two other similar bins resting on top of it (very difficult to access without making a huge mess) – so instead of wrapping my head around figuring it all out, I just had breakfast and sat in front of my laptop scrolling Facebook, mindlessly loving everyone’s posts.


I was thinking about my friend Bobbi because she and I helped each other with our last events at the bakery.  My mind kind of wandered into – wouldn’t it be nice if she was available to help me?  And then, out of the blue, she texted me.


I turned myself into a Tasmanian devil and within twenty minutes I had loaded the car with the art and all of the necessary install junk.  I have no recollection of how that happened mind you; it just DID.  We ended up meeting at Clark Reservation State Park in Jamesville, New York, which is down the street from the bakery, and hiking one of the many breathtaking trails there concluding with an awesome butt-blasting stair climb.  Then we headed over to Half Moon and had lunch – spinach quiche and a goat cheese side salad with maple syrup balsamic dressing.


We hung the show together – thirteen watercolor paintings.  Honestly, if it wasn’t for her, I would not have been able to do this alone!  It really took two sets of hands to map out a plan with one holding the artwork while the other eye-balled the positioning.


It really didn’t take long with my good friend by my side (thank you, thank you, thank you!!!  I ❤ you, Bobbi Petrocci!) and the result is a very different exhibition than the one I had last time in October 2016.  These are my baseball titled watercolors.  They are priced to sell at $125 each.


Proprietor Debbe Titus and I planned the artist party as a closing reception.  It is set for Saturday, April 29, 2017 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm.  We will have adorable and tasty mini cupcakes (planning three dozen) with frosting to resemble baseballs.


It is going to be so cute and fun!  Please come if you are in the neighborhood!  In addition, I will have unframed watercolors there to peruse and everything will be a cash and carry sale.  You can leave with a happy tummy and a watercolor under your arm.



The Half Moon Bakery and Bistro is open Monday through Saturdays.  Monday 10:00 am-3:00 pm, Tuesday 8:00 am-3:00 pm, and Wednesday-Saturday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.  Call  (315) 492-0110 for more information or visit their web-site, www.thehalfmoonbakery.com. I trust I will see you there!



Rage of Love




The artwork presented by storyteller artist and quilter Vanessa Johnson is an extension of her being.  The outstretched arms of this humanoid fabric art are inviting, welcoming and loving, connecting the women they represent, the artist and the viewer in a heart-warming embrace.  She is honoring women as she visually interprets their struggle while contemplating her own life journey as an African American with roots in Ghana.



Vanessa begins with the bodies – sewing cloth to cloth, much of it found in West Africa.  This becomes her canvas and from it sprouts limbs, heads and the detailed decoration of meaning that produces emotionally-charged and animated floor-to-ceiling quilts.



Last night was the opening reception for Unwrapping Vanessa at ArtRage, 505 Hawley Avenue, Syracuse, New York.  The art exhibition continues through March 25, 2017. ArtRage is a gallery that focuses on social issues.  They hold several exhibitions a season and coordinate them with other events – lecture/discussions, musical performances and poetry readings, film screenings and theatrical plays.  There is a pancake breakfast on Sunday, March 5, 2017 beginning at 9:00 am.  On Wednesday, March 8, 2017, Vanessa Johnson will give an artist talk at 7:00 pm.




Vanessa has been creating art quilts for over twenty years and has exhibited her work all over Central New York.  She displayed work at the Chittenango Middle School library a few years ago!  Since then her work has evolved considerably.



There is so much raw emotion to be discovered.  Of the love of identity, of the power of friendship and of the joy of knowing a world where so many women of color are respected in their achievements.  She is certainly inspired by these women and by the strength of the community in which she lives.



The artwork is combined with stories, text in quilted books and woven into the tapestry.  In addition, pouches of soil from her homes here and in Ghana are lovingly added as a type of talisman.  She calls them “gris gris”.  It is this narrative that blurs the lines between artist and artwork, iconography, environment and inspired action.  So much beauty in the richness and flavor of her life! ❤




ArtRage is open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 2:00 – 7:00 pm and Saturday noon – 4:00 pm.  They are available for school tours as well, and are always seeking submissions from artists for future exhibitions.  For more information, contact info@artragegallery.org.  Their website is www.artragegallery.org.




Mandala Man


Ken Nichols‘ mandala paintings have been on display in the Chittenango Middle School library since the end of November 2016.  They are coming down on Monday.  Ken is a painter and a potter, a Syracuse artist who believes in the passion of creation.







He uses Golden Artist acrylic paints.  He begins by painting the surface of the canvas black then uses an intuitive process to shape the composition relying on color to forge a path of rhythm throughout.  The result is vibrant and fun abstracts that keep the viewer hypnotized in his psychedelic vortex.





Ken spoke to students during a 10th period art reception in December.  He had them mesmerized!  I have a short video at the bottom of this post.  It is always a win-win for students to meet artists.  A mutual admiration society of positive energy that transcends age and time.  Belief in yourself is always the message.  Taking pride in what your hand can manufacture.  Art for art’s sake and for peace of mind.  Really good conversation.


Check out more about Ken Nichols by visiting his web-site here.


Educational Camaraderie




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.




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.



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.




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.






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.



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.