The Kirkland Art Center in Clinton, New York is celebrating its sixtieth year! They’ve invited artists who have had exhibitions there in the past – both founding members and recent exhibitors – to be a part of their anniversary show, which runs June 8, 2021-July 8, 2021.
The art reception was today from 1-4pm. There are forty-nine artists represented, among them, my friends Penny Santy and Linda Bigness (pictured). Most of the pieces are for sale.
They are open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am to 2 pm, and on Saturdays from 1 pm to 4 pm.
Call (315) 853-8871 for more information
KAC 60 years of art exhibitors –
Stephen Arnison, Constance Avery, John Bentham, Linda Bigness, Jan Burke, Howard Chaney, Edward Christiana, Karen Christiansen, Robert Cimbalo, Frank Cittadino, Sally Clark, Sylvia de Swaan, Barbara Decker, Laura Diddle, Sebastian Domenico, Kathy Donovan, Charlie Fisher, Jan Fisher, John Gardner, Frank Jacobs, Pinny Kuckel, Jessie Landecker, Gregory Lawler, Mary Gaylord Loy, John Loy, Jim McDermid, Roger Moore, Ralph Murray, Gina Murtaugh, Stephen Perrone, Vartan Poghosian, Easton Pribble, Tim Rand, Marietta Raposo,Bill Salzillo, Penny Santy, Stella Scarano, Alba Scott, Sheila Smith,Gail Strout, Joseph Trovato, Frank Viola, Frank Vlossak, Heidi von Bergen, John von Bergen, Shirley B. Waters, Rainer Maria Wehner, Doug Whitfield, Jonathan Woodward
The Richell Castellon art exhibit at Wilson Art Gallery in the Noreen Falcone Library on LeMoyne College campus is a must-see. (1419 Salt Springs Road, Syracuse, New York 13214).
Castellon gives us his impressions of homeland Cuba vs. Syracuse, New York. The landscapes of Cuba appear as an anachronism – like a sunny Miami circa the 1950s – the cars are vintage, the streets are clean and the people appear content. The Syracuse paintings are a bit more gritty, There’s a painting representing the underside of a rusty Route 81 bridge and another depicting a homeless panhandler holding a sign reading, in part, “the best is yet to come”. I am assuming this is a metaphor for the artist’s life?
Because he does live here now. According to the literature, the artist is interested in the similarities and differences between Cuba and Syracuse – the paintings are all street views, painted in the same style, yet these places are distinctly different with regard to the way he captures the light.
Castellon offers both city views in color and in value studies using an impressionistic brushstroke with acrylic paint. The paintings seem to glow from within. The Syracuse paintings radiate heat, especially in the way he handles the traffic lights in the night-time street scenes. They appear to have a sort of uncanny incandescence, which is quite impressive. How does he get acrylic to do that?
I met him at the Syracuse Tech Garden a while back – he told me then that he paints from photographs and from memory. There is a sense that the images have emerged from dreams. They portray a sequence of moments in time, as if they are somehow actually moving. I think it is the combination of loose brushstroke and just enough sharp edges that creates this phasing in-and-out of reality magic.
Yeah, I think Castellon is some sort of artist wizard. The larger originals are only $850 and the two smaller framed paintings on paper are around $300. Very collectible!
From Cuba to Syracuse continues through March 30, 2020. See the library website for hours of operation. For more information, call (315) 445-4330.
Donna Atwood of Moravia, New York, is a former Science teacher turned full-time professional watercolor artist. Intuition is her guide.
She applies the watercolors (usually one hue per piece as a starting point) onto a variety of papers. Then she plays with abstractions and visual textures, adding found and household objects – plastic bags, rags, torn window screens – and weights to hold everything down until the next morning. When she removes the objects, she assesses what she has and begins to deliberate. She asks her husband what he sees, like a fun Rorschach test game and they laugh at the disparity of their visions.
Ultimately, she makes her own decisions about what she sees, as though the paper truly speaks to her alone. I delighted in her enthusiasm, positivity and passion as she spoke of this process when I met her at the First Friday event last night at Gallery 54 in Skaneateles, New York, where she is the featured artist this month.
Once Donna decides on the spirit animal, she goes to work rendering the composition focusing on the eyes. Tiny details are emphasized, allowing for the animal to disappear into the colorations. These are paintings that need to be seen in person. The photographs do not do them justice. They truly imbibe the artist’s joyful spirit.
Donna Atwood originals and prints are available for sale at Gallery 54 (54 E. Genesee Street, Skaneateles, New York 13152). If you would like to meet her too, perhaps ask her further questions about her process, Donna will be doing a demonstration at the gallery today (1:00-3:00 pm). <3
Excerpt from the gallery web-site
Even though Atwood was a science education major in college her interest in creating art, which began as a child, continued to flourish. It wasn’t until 2012 that she started practicing watercolor, she says describing her artwork as abstract impression. While she creates her share of surreal landscapes her preference, as the Gallery 54 show will demonstrate is for paintings of animals.
“I decided to create surreal animals and found many different ones lurking in patterns,” she notes. As she describes her work, the backgrounds start out as abstract colors and shapes, but “by manipulating shapes in to eyes, ears and a noses,” she can get the viewer to see” what she sees . . . “the face and body of a creature.”
Atwood is particularly fond of finding animals that are endangered or under represented in artwork generally. Many people, she notes, relate to specific creatures or what she calls “spirit animals.” She likes that viewers of her paintings relate to her whimsical version of “their animal” and that the colors or faces in her paintings make them smile.
“Keeping the background of a painting as untouched as possible allows the animal to grow from it,” she says, adding, “I want to express the presence of the animal, not highlight every hair or whisker.”
Atwood’s work has received awards at the New York State Fair and well as numerous local art exhibits. A resident of Sempronius, NY she has had artwork shown at the Cortland Public Library, the Dryden Community Cafe and the Gilded Lily gallery in Connecticut. Following her show at Gallery 54 she will have an exhibit at the Cortland Guthrie Hospital, from September through November and currently has work displayed at the Tully Artworks Gallery.
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.
Penny had a show there last month, so we took the road trip to get her paintings then stayed for the new exhibit.
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.
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.
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! <3
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.
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.
“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!”
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.
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.
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….)
There is a small gallery to the right of the entrance at Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center in Auburn, New York, called the Gallery Julius. It is a space reserved primarily for emerging regional artists who send work to the art center’s curator for consideration.
Common Places is the current exhibition: photographs by Willson Cummer of Fayetteville, New York, taken while on hiking excursions to parks near his home. He and his wife are kindred spirits, the term for people I meet on the road-less-travelled sections of the trails at Green Lakes State Park. We have that in common.
These photographs also have sunshine in common, and a sense of serenity and timelessness. There are ten similarly-sized and framed photographs in this show, all priced at $650.
These photographs are from my project called Common Places. I use a few word plays to develop the concept. First, I made these images in parks — places held in common, set aside from private development. Also, these pictures are of unremarkable places. While I love to climb in the Adirondacks this work is about common parks near my home in Fayetteville, New York. Finally, I am interested in the use — primarily in the 1700s — of the commonplace, a scrapbook of sorts in which people collected stimulating quotes, letters and printed items. These pictures are my commonplace.
All current spring exhibitions will be on display until May 12, 2019. The Schweinfurth is open Tuesday-Saturday 10 am – 5 pm and Sunday 1 pm – 5 pm. Admission is $7 and free for exhibiting artists, members and children.
Janine and I took a trip to Cazenovia, New York today. We visited Cazenovia Artisans, an artist’s co-op. It is located at 39 Albany Street in the heart of the village. Linda Bigness just joined, so I thought it would be fun to visit and see the new work. (For a full list of artists in the cooperative, visit their website).
Bob Ripley was manning the register. He is a former Advertising Design man turned full time watercolorist. His work is AMAZING!
It was such an honor to meet him and speak with him about his art. Bob uses Windsor & Newton watercolors and Arches 300 pound paper, which he staples into foam board while working on the individual pieces.
Bob shared his technique – here he is working on a commission. He added the figure of the man into the landscape and strategically placed the fishing line to add rhythm to the composition.
He uses frisket to assist in the layering process of glazing. It stops the paint from bleeding into areas and also helps to save the white of the paper, which is a watercolor technique used instead of painting with the more opaque Chinese white paint. In addition, he shared a method he’d perfected through trial and error – placing clear transparent tape on an area then going back in and shaving the edge with an Exacto blade to match it with the landscape, all to insure that the paint stays where it belongs.
Watercolor is tricky that way. It is about sheer layers blending together. Bob was very clear about never using black. Instead, he combines Hooker’s Green and Alizarin Crimson or if he wants a cooler looking dark, he mixes the Alizarin with Ultramarine Blue.
This work is really incredible. Each piece takes about seventy or eighty hours to complete. Bob draws the basic lines of the landscape then adds more detail with pencil as needed.
There are original watercolor paintings on the wall for sale, as well as high quality Giclee prints, which look almost identical to the originals in quality and color. Each piece is infused with Bob Ripley’s vivacious spirit. He is so talented!
I privately set an intention this morning – I wanted to see a cardinal, believe it or not. People always say that when a cardinal crosses your path, it is a sign that someone who has passed away is nearby. I was sifting through Bob’s prints thinking I might see one (I can’t explain why I thought he would even have one). Then I turned and found a cardinal print in his section on the greeting card fixture!
Later that day, I saw an actual cardinal while hiking around Green Lakes. It literally called out to me then it frantically fluttered about while I flustered getting my cell phone from my pocket. I was laughing and crying at the same time while trying to get the shot, so this is not a great picture, lol, but it doesn’t matter. Thanks, Dad. <3
Cazenovia Artisans is open Monday – Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and Sunday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. For more information call (315) 655-2225.
After the Happy Little Tree House art reception on Tuesday, Brandon Hall took Karmin and me to see his other hospital exhibition. It is in the cancer center wing of Upstate Medical Center and will be up for a couple months, I think, or at least until the end of May.
Brandon is an art teacher at Fayetteville-Manlius High School. He scours flea markets and garage sales to find discarded photograph albums and situates these unknown strangers into wallpapered assemblage landscapes peppered with texture and color. They are mounted on wood and double-lacquered to prevent fading. They are really exquisite and priced at only $250!
Also in this show are Heidi VanTassel’s photography and paintings by Kate Renetta.
Thirteen paintings from my angel series “Futura” are currently on display at the Half Moon Bakery & Bistro in Jamesville, New York! Bobbi Petrocci and I pulled the switch-a-roo – she took down the CBA Hope for the Bereaved exhibit and installed my show by lining up these encaustics to look like ethereal soldiers hovering from above to love and protect the foodie patrons at this wonderful café.
The paintings are $111 each. If you want one, just let proprietor Debbe Titus know. She can contact me and I will meet you there. You will get to take one (or more) home for Christmas! They really do work best in multiples! They are small: 8″ x 10″ paintings on masonite mounted on 11″ x 14″ chalkboard.
It is always such a thrill to exhibit here. I have a fondness for a captive audience – people who do not ordinarily go to art shows, so we bring the art to them. Making the invisible visible is what it’s about. The show will be up during the month of December 2017.