Tag Archives: art reception

In-Your-Face

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The year was 2006 – I started working at the middle school after another teacher retired ten years into my career.  I would be teaching 8th grade Art and an 8th grade accelerated Studio in Art class, for which I had to plan a field trip to New York City.

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I followed the guide left by the previous teacher using the same bus company.  In addition, I planned every detail including the itinerary of visiting two museums and the cost calculations to include fees for the museums and meals from the school cafeteria.  It was a lot of work, a huge responsibility on top of preparing new curriculum and all that teaching stuff.  I was excited though, because I focused on all the cool things the kids would learn about art, all the amazing art and art history to see and experience, and of course the thrill of being in Manhattan.  My students all kept saying they just wanted to see a real live hobo.

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Finally, the day of the trip arrived.  It was November 10th, the day before Veteran’s Day. Everything was going at a good clip until about five hours in when the bus started having wonky problems.  It took us an extra hour to get from Macy’s in Manhattan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art because the bus kept, like, shutting down-starting up again-shutting down, etc. at every stop light.  We arrived, spent five wonderful hours enjoying the Met and the American Museum of Natural History.  Instead of the company dispatching another bus, the driver returned with that faulty one.  Start-stop-start-stop-infinity until we made it to a Mobil station where we evacuated.  The bus driver put transmission fluid in then said he would drive around the block and come back for us.  He left us stranded for six hours, maybe seven.  We, kind of, became hobos.

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Luckily, it was a warm November night.  The children took it all in stride.  An adventure for them – they never felt in danger or scared.  Lol, I am pretty sure some of the chaperones are still traumatized to this day.  A one-day trip turned into an overnight ordeal.  Somehow the principal paid for us to take taxis to rendezvous with the dead bus now parked in a grocery store parking lot somewhere in the Bronx.  We made it home the next day via a bus dispatched from Quebec that had smashed both headlights in a collision with two deer on its way to save us.

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Those students are about twenty-five years old now!  Wow, that is just so crazy.  I suspect they are all doing amazing things these days and are not among the homeless faces exhibited in this art show.

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San Diego artist Neil Shigley has been working on this series of prints for about as long as I have had this memory in my head.  He interviews the subjects, photographs them then begins sketching their faces and transforms them into these larger than life prints.

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Each one looks to use two large pieces of linoleum; they are printed on two sheets of paper and mounted with large tacks directly into the wall.  The result is an in-your-face type of statement.  Making the invisible visible in terms of the scope of homelessness in our society.  Apparently, it is a vast and growing population in the San Diego area with people of all ages living on the streets and in parks, and just barely existing in this nomadic way.

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The exhibition is titled Invisible People:  Portraits of the Homeless.  The art reception was tonight.  It continues at Art Rage Gallery (505 Hawley Ave., Syracuse, New York) through October 27, 2018.  Shigley will talk about his work on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 at 7:00 pm in the gallery.  Call (315) 218-5711 for more information.  Gallery hours are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 2:00 – 7:00 pm and Saturday noon – 4:00 pm.

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Little Birdie

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I hosted a closing reception for Jamie Santos’ art show.  The exhibition had taken place in the Chittenango Middle School library (Chittenango, New York) during May and June 2018.  Since they administered the algebra regents exam in the library today, we held the party in my art classroom.

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About twenty students attended this end of the year celebration.  Cookies were served.

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Jamie Santos is a tattoo artist.  She works at Tymeless Tattoo in Baldwinsville, New York.  Jamie is a 2003 graduate of Fayetteville-Manlius High school.  She says drawing is an important part of her life.  She gets up by 9:00 am and starts the day by sketching ideas for tattoos or paintings – she brought several notebooks full of these wonderfully executed drawings to share with the students.

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Her focus lately has been on birds.

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Students had a lot of questions about the tattooing process – does it hurt?  How long does it take to finish a tattoo?  Do people bring snacks? ( Lol, love that one ❤ )

Jamie was very honest about the process, the time commitment, the pain.  She explained how the needle works, how it vibrates when you hold it, how the artist gets better with every job.

She used to work every day and now she books clients only four days a week, devoting the rest of her time to creating art in her studio.  Designing her own unique look, her own motifs are crucial to her success and she takes pride in the fact that her work ethic has truly improved her skill.

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I asked how many of these eleven to fourteen-year-old students think that they want to get tattoos when they are older and the majority of hands flew up!  Should I be surprised by that?  I guess not.

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The students absolutely loved her!  She is amazing.  Thank you, Jamie Santos, for being such an inspirational voice for your profession.

A thousand thank-yous, as well, goes to my fabulous colleague, Katy Conden, for working with me to make these art talks happen. They are no fun without you!

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If you would like to see more of her work, Jamie will be exhibiting in a show of tattoo artists at the Everson Museum of Art.

 June 30–August 5, 2018

Embracing the Underground explores the rich and diverse culture of modern day tattooing. This exhibition is the second presented through the Everson’s Community Exhibition Program, which provides opportunities for Central New York organizations to present the work of area artists.

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Save the Date

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Eye Studio is in a brand new location!  It is around the corner from me at 712 W. Manlius Street in East Syracuse, New York (13057).  The space is welcoming with a gift shop in front, office space, a kitchen for culinary classes and an immense studio space for creating art where wine and paint nights for adults take place, as well as ceramics classes, glass fusing and other art courses for all.

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In addition, there is gallery space.  Proprietor Ilene Layow is currently exhibiting her Green Lakes series of drawings, paintings, and glass works.  Yesterday she offered me a show for next month!  I will display Futura, my series of twenty-four angel encaustics.

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Yes!!!! They have found a temporary home from their current location on my dining room table.  I am beyond excited right now!  The space is really a perfect location for this artwork.  A match made in heaven!

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We have scheduled a closing reception for Friday, October 27, 2017 from 6:00-8:00 pm.  There will be wine and food, and a musical guest to be announced.  Save the date.  It would be just over-the-top amazing to see you all there.  I am so grateful for all of the support I have received throughout the years.  You are such amazing friends!

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The great thing about a closing reception is the cash and carry aspect.  You can buy the art and take it right off the wall and home with you immediately.  The show goes up on October 2nd and will be available to view during normal business hours and by appointment.  Contact Ilene at iteachart.twcny.rr.com  or call (315) 345-4576 for that information.  The hours of operation are changing for the fall season. They will be up on their website soon.

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I am quite certain you will fall in love with this place then receive the impulse to take art classes.  Art is the absolute best medicine for a happier you. ❤

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Friendship & Art

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Coach baseball cap, Halston Heritage dress, Karl Lagerfeld Paris boots

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The closing reception for Art & Baseball, my watercolor show at Half Moon Bakery & Bistro, was sooooo much fun!  The baseball cupcakes were so cute, and delicious too.  I had a lemon one – yum!

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I have such an amazing support system of love from my immediate family.  My sister Kathy and my mom were there and my dad stopped in after a long morning of tilling his vegetable garden.  My friend Penny was doing the same at her place in Sylvan Beach before coming!  I have the best friends and I know how fortunate I am to have them in my life.

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Proprietor Debbe Titus said exactly that – “you have the best friends supporting you”.

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After the reception and take down, my friend Kim and I drove over to her hair salon, Kimberly’s Salon at 2520 James Street in Eastwood (Syracuse, New York).  We hung the paintings there.  So that is the answer to the questions, when and where is your next show?  They will be up indefinitely and are available for sale in a cash & carry.  I will just replace them with more art.

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Kimberly’s Salon hours of operation are as follows:  Tuesdays & Thursdays 11:00 am – 6 pm, Wednesdays & Fridays 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, and Saturdays 9:00 am – 2:00 pm.  Call (315) 463-2735 for more information.

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I do have the very best friends a girl could ever ask for.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  Today was such an amazing day in my universe.

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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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Rage of Love

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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! ❤

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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.

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Event Horizon

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The great thing about having an art exhibition and art reception at a restaurant is you forego the traditional crudities in favor of sampling the cuisine.  And in the case of Maxwell’s, this involves a gourmet spinach salad, brick oven pizza and hot wings.

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Toss in a performance by a band starring a whiz kid on drums and you have one amazing evening with artists and friends!

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Artwork by Kara D. Cook is on display and for sale at Maxwell’s for only one week, but I am certain she will sell everything in that short time.  Like me, she has her BFA and MS from Syracuse University, and she is a local art teacher.  She is also a fan of Jasper Johns and Alice Neel, but her fanaticism does not spill into her canvases.  Her work is original, fresh and captivating.

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The show is titled Bricks & Bones.  Kara preps some of her canvases with paper collage of sheet music or maps then creates landscapes of local haunts, places she sees as she drives to work, places from her childhood in Chittenango, New York…places that have been discarded and left to rot in a way.

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But there is so much beauty to see in these images, I think, like the beauty of everlasting love explored in The Velveteen Rabbit.  Memories of the past that make you say – I remember that place and I will try to not forget that past.  She attacks the canvases with a combination of materials beginning with acrylic then adding charcoal, colored pencil, marker and whatever else works.  I actually thought they were digital photographs when I first walked in.  I was delighted to see all of the nuances of the mixed-media upon further inspection.

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I purchased a print of the Cinema North, the old free-standing movie theatre in Mattydale, New York.  I was trying to remember what movie I went to see there, something with my cousins who lived out that way.  So, yeah, it’s like that – a faded memory that had to be a good one but now it is sort of missing its pieces too.

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According to Wikipedia, In general relativity, an event horizon is a boundary in spacetime beyond which events cannot affect an outside observer. In layman’s terms, it is defined as “the point of no return”, i.e., the point at which the gravitational pull becomes so great as to make escape impossible, even for light. An event horizon is most commonly associated with black holes. Light emitted from inside the event horizon can never reach the outside observer. Likewise, any object approaching the horizon from the observer’s side appears to slow down and never quite pass through the horizon,[1] with its image becoming more and more redshifted as time elapses.

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This provocative timey-wimey feeling is what I get from Kara’s work.  You are most definitely pulled in, and the effects are impossible to escape.  They linger, like that reoccurring dream you keep having or like that math problem that seems easy yet you cannot solve.  According to her literature, “[the work] retain[s] memories of the past. Bricks and Bones is meant to appreciate their narrative.”  I am so impressed with the depth to which Kara reveals emotion in her work.

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Oh, and she makes jewelry too!

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Maxwell’s is located at 122 E. Genesee Street, Syracuse, New York 13202.  Call (315) 299-6633 for information or visit their web-site here.  Kara D. Cook can be located on all the usual social media locations.  You can start by liking her on Facebook here.

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