Tag Archives: art exhibition

Needles & Glue

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Today, on Orthodox Easter, I did, technically, go to a church.  Kirkland Art Center occupies the architecture of a former house of worship in the quaint town of Clinton, New York ( 9 1/2 East Park Row, Clinton. NY 13323).  The place looks like the set of the naughts TV series Gilmour Girls!  I’d been invited here several times, but this was my first visit to this amazing little venue.

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Penny had a show there last month, so we took the road trip to get her paintings then stayed for the new exhibit.

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Needles & Glue features the work of mixed media artist Pamela Crockett, sculptor Stephanie Garon and collage artist Steven M. Specht, Ph.D., NCS.  Of the three, only Specht was in attendance today.

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Specht, a Psychology professor by day, sold two pieces, which were very reasonably priced.  There is so much satisfaction in these little gems.  Pictures are garnered from vintage magazines then arranged as narrative utilizing techniques he learned in an art course.  The collages are really quite intelligently crafted.

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The exhibition continues through May 24, 2019.  See the website for more information –  hours of operation and future events planned at the center including musical performances and dance! ❤

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Rebecca Taylor jumpsuit, Coach bag, Calvin Klein booties
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Cancel That

Currently, three venues are hosts to the twenty-four Syracuse University MFA candidates: Point of Contact Gallery, Community Folk Art Center and the SU Art Galleries. The art reception at POC was last Friday (that show continues through May 10, 2019), the one at CFA will be Thursday, April 18, 2019 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm (show continues through May 11, 2019). Last night at the Shaffer Hall venue, I attended the art reception for eleven of these students.

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What I love about Thursday evening art openings on campus – you can drive right up to the gate and park for free in the Q-4 lot – easy-peasy! It was such a beautiful evening. The university is a reoccurring landscape in my life. I really love being there. I received my BFA and MS degrees from Syracuse. I did not get an MFA, which I guess I would need if I am ever to be considered for a job as an Art Professor at SU (the Art Education masters is a Masters of Science for whatever reason, which is weird). A series of questions answered in essay format served as my thesis and not a gallery showcase of artwork, as is the case in these recent exhibitions.

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The students have varied focuses – illustration, painting and digital art, for example. Apparently, the cohesive thread of this work, according to the curator’s statement, is to do with the artist’s responses to their current realities and the angst that resides there be it via monstrous nightmare, political climate, gender issues, or social injustices, or some combination of junk that creates a response to conditions. The artists in this particular show seem to be attempting to express views, beliefs, fears and perceived truths in a sort of thinking man’s artist thing-a-ma-gig.

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Nothing tickled me here – true story – and that could just be because I am so not their generation, (kids these days, am I right? lol) and because I am a happiness-and-joy girl. I am perplexed by the need to be conditional about anything. I trust that everything unfolds when you are true to yourself, creating a vision that exposes yourself in a vulnerable way, perhaps, allowing your inner being to guide you towards the inspiration that will captivate. You feel it in your soul and that beauty that is within becomes your art and it subsequently resonates with the world. You will know it, your friends will know it, your professors will know it and you will see how incredibly it will take you where you want to go, easily and effortlessly.

So where do these kids see themselves? A conversation with some professors indicated that student art direction these days is focused on thinking about rather than the executing of ideas. This is not something I really understand. Are they not happy?

Are they hoping to open a dialogue about negative stuff? I don’t know. Some of this work is on the rather provocative side in the way that I cannot bring my thirteen-year-old students to this gallery on a field trip. There is some adult content of a sexual nature, as well as pieces that draw attention to violence and horror.

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Let’s cancel all that.

I guess I don’t agree with the blurb sentiment “sober examination of the facts”. We create our own realities based on dreams and desires. Choosing to get caught up in something you don’t want or don’t like just does not make sense to me. If I create a reality I don’t want, I don’t choose to stay there and dwell in it, complain about it and get stuck there. And I don’t really think it is the blanket statement under which all of these artists sleep, is it? Or is Plans are Cancelled a reference to a positive re-boot?

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The fun for me are these questions, not in the answers because the questions alone allowed me to ponder solutions of my own with regard to my own life. I am grateful for this show because I had really satisfying conversations with my friends Penny and Davana about this show and about how it can help us define/re-define ourselves as artists and teachers.

And it was also so helpful to share what I saw here with my Studio in Art students. It is so important to me as a teacher that I offer guidance in the form of training my students to trust and believe in themselves, to know that they will be able to navigate their path to whatever they care to do artistically in the future with or without me.

I wish these MFA candidates the best of luck and love in their creative journeys. I sincerely thank you all for your perspectives. ❤

Plans are Cancelled will remain on display until May 12, 2019.

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***Artists represented at Syracuse University Art Galleries

Hollie Lyko, E. Garrett Bryant, Perry Burlingame, Jestina Sutherland, Rebecca Forstater, Sylvie Prendergast-Corvo, Samantha Corbett, Louise Thompson, Jason Cheney, Mark Zbikowski, Jiallin Deng

I See Deb Walsh

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“Eye Studio Arts, LLC is featuring the work of artist Deborah Walsh during the month of April. Walsh is known for her acrylic paintings of reflections on shiny surfaces, most often cars, motorcycles, chrome, and glass. Her work is about how light and color is diffused and reflected on various surfaces creating repetition, variation, pattern and rhythm.
Walsh graduated with a BFA in Painting and MS in Art Education from SU. As a retired Liverpool art teacher, she says her students she taught inspired her for more than 30 years. Her work has been included in Central New York Regional and National juried shows as well as many one-woman and group exhibitions. Private collectors throughout the United States own and commission work.
The Artist Reception, April 12th, will feature an acoustic performance by Caleb Liber, food and beverages and an opportunity to meet the artist.” (from the art exhibition Facebook page)

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I stopped into Eye Studio this evening – once again I missed the art reception by about twenty-four hours and ten minutes.  But, yes, I was there.  The art studio is a place for ceramics, glassware, and drawing and painting classes for all ages and ability levels.  There is a gift shoppe in the front room and two adjacent gallery spaces with the classrooms in the roomy back space.

My encaustic angel show was up at this time last year.  It is a wonderful gallery space and Walsh’s work is spectacular.  This art is highly collectible!  I can see how the car motif resonates with so many people – from color to model and make.  It is the kind of thing tailor-made for home décor.  Walsh’s prices are quite reasonable for her originals and there are also Giclée prints available that are of incredible quality.

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Deb Walsh has been painting shiny, reflective-surfaced items for almost thirty years.  She gravitates to vehicles, but is currently also finding that this style works well with silver tea-sets and glassware.

Here is her artist statement from the Saatchi art website:

About Deborah Walsh

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The work will be on display until April 30, 2019.

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See the website for more information including hours of operation and pricing (here).

 

Sweet Alley

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Tony Thompson’s closing reception was last night.  He’d been showing his artwork at Kasai Ramen, 218 Walton Street, Syracuse, New York 13203 for two months.  I decided to go and it was the first time I’d been to this location in twenty-six years!  OMG.  It used to be Sweet Baba’s, the very first place I exhibited my own art.  I was the house artist for a while – I don’t remember how long, but it was the place where I sold my first painting, which led to a commission.  Fond memories.

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The restaurant itself is a work of art.  It was built in the alley between two buildings.  The Walton Street entrance boasts a cozy bar area and some seating.  There are three staircases, one a spiral, that lead to a lower level filled with the ambiance of brick walls, dark lighting and the dance of kitchen staff preparing asian fusion meals to perfection.

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“Kasai Ramen is a 100 seat, two level restaurant. Its menu features traditional Ramen and Izakaya dishes with a Salt City attitude. Featuring superior service and exceptional quality food in an electric fast paced atmosphere Kasai is the restaurant to dine at in Armory Square. Come enjoy an order of Pork Gyoza, Shrimp Steam Buns, Shoyu Ramen and a Whole Roasted Duck!”

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Thompson is a Syracuse bred artist currently living in Utica, New York.  He exhibits regionally and is part of the graffiti/tattoo stable of artists led by my friend Jamie Santos.  These thirty somethings have commandeered the art scene here with many cool-themed pop-up shows and curated group restaurant gigs under their young hipster belts.

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The work here is cohesive.  Thompson uses found object canvases – discarded windows, old cabinets and wood scraps.  His work is a narrative of the inner workings of his mind.  Portraits that bring to mind a Basquiat quality with competent, confident line quality that belies his mostly self-taught status.  The other imagery appears like a nightmare jutxaposed with sweet child-like innocence.  My favorite pieces are the glass ones.  They are a fun marriage of old and new, the window allowing the viewer to, sort of, see into the artist’s engagingly energetic mind.

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Next up for the restaurant is a show by Jamie and beyond that, a curated Japanese-themed one that I may be a part of.  I am immersed in Japanese art and culture right now with four of my classes using Hokusai and other wood block print references, so it may be up my alley. (Get it?  Because Kasai Ramen is built in an alley….)

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Find Tony Thompson on Facebook.

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In the Flesh and Flora

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It was only my second time at LeMoyne College.  I remembered which street to turn into to get to the parking lot that leads to the Noreen Reale Falcone Library on the campus in DeWitt, New York, but once inside, the Wilson Art Gallery was not where it used to be.  I guess they renovated since I was last there, lol.  It was sort of strange, coupled with the fact that I got the time wrong and missed the entire two hour party by fifteen minutes.  The art is currently gracing the walls directly opposite the front door, which allows it to greet all visitors in the captive-audience style.  It also appears as a larger space than the previous venue, which, I admit,  is a win-win.

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The new show is titled Spring is on the Way.  It offers lovely floral incarnations by Judith Hand.  She is a retired art teacher who has worked at Westhill, as well as schools in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Massachusetts.  She is also a member of the Cazenovia Watercolor Society and a signature member of the Central New York Watercolor Society.

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I found out about this show via Facebook.  Judy is a FB friend I hadn’t actually met until this day.  I told her I was a blogger and she said she knew; she’d just read about my student’s Google doodles that morning!

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I shared that my Studio in Art students are working on landscapes in watercolor, so we talked shop for a bit.  And took a selfie, of course.  The art reception was yesterday (she’s sold five pieces!).  I  love the positive flavor of these pieces, the richness of color and, you know, the subject matter.  Who doesn’t love flowers?

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There is plenty of time to view this show.  Judith Hand’s paintings will be on exhibit through March 2019.

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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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