Tag Archives: art exhibition

Politics As Art

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Discord is a necessary factor in conscious creation because when you know what you don’t want, you can know what you do want.  So it can be a good thing even while it is causing the upset.  In its acknowledgement, the theory is that change can happen.  And there’s magic in that.

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Art Rage is the gallery in Syracuse, New York that specializes in social injustice and political satire.  It’s not typically my thing.  I am so la-la-la lately, living life in a sort of happiness bubble of gratitude and appreciation, and not giving much attention to the national headlines that seem to keep others in a constant state of pissed-off-ness.  I don’t often agree with the arguments.  But I attended this art reception anyway – I do love when an artist translates their angst into something tangible that transcends its origins and hands the world something beautiful.  And I loved every minute I spent viewing this incredible new work and talking to artist Jim Ridlon.

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Discord & Dissent:  Commentary on Contemporary Politics by Jim Ridlon is the final show this season at Art Rage, 505 Hawley Ave., Syracuse, New York, 13203.  And it is truly genius!

Ridlon was not a fan of the political shenanigans, as witnessed on the morning news during the 2016 presidential campaigns.  What followed was a bit of scribbling – sentences, words that he desired to expand upon via this new series of assemblages.  Each one in this series is equipped with its own statement to guide the viewer to their own conclusions.

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They are visual puns meant to take the sting out, to replace the discord with fun, humor and the strange machinations of this Renaissance man’s mind.  They are outfitted in sports gear to possibly refer to the political arena as a game, as well as referencing his own history – football hero turned Syracuse University professor.  There are clipped feathers found on meditative hikes taken with his son that speak of the illusion of the sanctity of government positions; rusty found objects from various trips to flea markets – hunting the perfect pair of old scissors or wood turnings, ropes/chains to bind the opponent in an intricate power trip.  Well-worn accessories complete these framed boxes of objects, the human element that sets the viewer on this quest to create meaning.

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Jim Ridlon is a true artist in every sense of the word and does justice to this art form by allowing us a glimpse into his vortex.  I asked him if his studio was neatly organized – were all the scissors in a bin, leather bits together, et cetera?  Answer – chaos! Lol, I love him!

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Ridlon sets up his studio space so that he can concoct several pieces at once.  They are on tables laid out in their frames, items amassed in nearby boxes first that speak to his mini manifestos.  He builds, builds up then knocks everything down.  Sometimes it takes over thirty tries to make one good product and once that solution arrives, it is like a game key that solves the puzzle and everything else just falls into place.

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It is music to my ears when I hear an artist speak about their process.  It is poetry.  It is radiant and beautiful, and everything I love about creation.  The work becomes the thing – important, all encompassing and his passion was just so present as he shared it with me.  He told me that this process took months to complete.  He spent days and days working on them and many, many nights dreaming about them.  He was a man consumed by this work.  His eyes sparkled as he spoke of getting just the right element to fit the case then finalizing and gluing it all into place – a culmination that is weirdly spiritual.  Like, it was not about politics anymore.  That was just the spark to the flame.  An idea that took thoughts to these wonderful things.

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Were they for sale?  Yes, but he quipped that he did not expect to sell them, as they have an ugly side to them.  I didn’t agree.  But I guess this is the case with artists of all skill level and experience.  The force that reckons with the making and manipulation of art flickers out once the discord that brought it about dissipates.

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Thank you, Jim Ridlon, for inspiring me as my aesthetics professor in 1981 and continuing to inspire me to desire to grow as an artist.  To want to take a dream and make it real, and laugh in the face of current realities that are undesirable.  Outrage can and does make a difference when one is aligned with their ultimate source.  And then we watch as everything changes for the better.

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Jim Ridlon will give a presentation about his work on June 11, 2018 at 7pm in the gallery.  Visit the website or call (315) 218-5711 for more information including gallery hours.

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Happy Little Treehouse

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I was invited to participate in an art show at the Syracuse, New York Golisano Children’s Hospital.  In 2011, my Chittenango Middle School students exhibited Mexican sun sculptures in this same little gallery on the 12th floor.  This time Ryan Wood from the 40 Below Public Arts Task Force connected with Jenny Dickinson, Coordinator for Pediatric Programs and Events to create an art event in which all artists produced treehouse themed art and called it The Happy Little Treehouse Show.

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An all call went out via email and I responded.  Three weeks ago, I created three new paintings for the event.  Other artists in this group exhibition are as follows:  Madison M. Quinn, Carlos Lee, Micha L. Crook, Sofia Marquez, Eva Hunter, Brandon Hall, Becki Fuller, Tommy Lincoln, Karmin Schafer, Jamie Santos, Melquea Smith, Aldea K. Gerard and Ryan Wood.

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Many of the works are priced as donations to the hospital.  Mine too, although the signage was wrong on that.  I must have checked the wrong box when I filled out the form.

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My paintings are titled “Spring”, “Autumn” and “Winter”.  They are encaustic combines.  I used two hardboard panels to create the abstract tree and house then added a variety of found object items.  Encaustic is a process of heating beeswax and infusing it with oil paint.  They are priced at $75 each.

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The one hour reception took place this afternoon.  Because of hospital security issues, only artists and hospital staff attended.  It was really lovely networking with the other artists.  The gallery is a wonderful space, right across from the library near the elevators.

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The Happy Little Treehouse show continues through the end of May.

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The Spirit Beckons

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Sandra Sabene and Laura Stisser have united in art for an exhibition at the Roji Tea Lounge in Syracuse, New York.  The artwork will be on display through May 2018.  Tonight was the reception, which included a demonstration of meditative painting by Sabene and a musical performance by Zoe Mullan-Stout and Blake Propst.

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Sabene spins her canvas on a mobile contraption-style easel her husband had built for her.  It was pretty cool and reminded me of a similar process I am using with my 5th graders – their paper canvas-based sculptures are propped on banding wheels in order to look at and paint them from all sides.

During her presentation, the artist’s hand, holding a two-inch flat brush, danced across the canvas to the beat of music, dipping that paintbrush in a succession of primary colors, working intuitively and discarding brushes along the way.  She would grab another and another in an attempt to prevent the inevitable muddiness that can occur using this process, as she had mentioned prior to her start.  She lets go of pain, hurt, and the past and focuses on the now.  In the present moment, her hand guides her emotional healing sparking the flow of spirituality and inner peace.

Sabene teaches this method in her studio gallery, the Liverpool Art Center, located near Onondaga Lake Parkway in Liverpool, New York.  For more information on Sandra Sabene and her style visit www.artbysandra.com.

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Both artists create non-representational work.  Both connect to their inner spirit as they work.  Laura Stisser’s work looks to use a marbleizing technique.  She is evolving as an artist (she is a Sabene disciple) while also selling Young Essential Oils in her spare time, as well as making a living as a professional actor!  Connect with Laura Stisser at www.laurastisserart.com.

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The show is titled “A Soul on Fire…is the most powerful force on earth”.  The Roji Tea Lounge is located at 108 East Washington Street #2, Syracuse, New York.  Visit www.rojitealounge.com for information such as their latest menu and hours of operation.

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Futura and Eye

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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.

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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.

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FUTURA
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.

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Tiny Voice

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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….

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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.

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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!”

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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.

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

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Art & Dining Experience

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

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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.

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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!

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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. ❤

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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Life’s a Game

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Another perfect day in my universe…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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