I visited with four friends in their tents on Montgomery Street yesterday. They are all participating in the AmeriCU Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival, which continues today from 10 am – 5 pm. The festival occupies and includes four streets around Columbus Circle in downtown Syracuse, New York.
Boundless Brooklyn is a company that sells 100% recycled cardboard model kits – crafted billboards, lighthouses, mailboxes, halfpipes, lifeguard stations and water towers that can be turned into amazing works of art.
You can also purchase the water tower kit at Target!
Art Above All is the brainchild of tattoo artist Jamie Santos, who paired these kits with local artists to create this amazing exhibition. She is a dynamic force in the Syracuse art scene! I connected with her via Facebook after attending and later writing the blog post about that pop-up pizza-themed art show. My blog went viral for several days with that one, with the most views in a day in the history of my blogging “career”! Jamie was responsible for that show as well.
I love her spirit and energy. And while I have never considered getting a tattoo, I know I would be in good hands should I ever change my mind. She works out of Tymeless Tattoo in Baldwinsville, New York (and also curates their gallery space). Jamie curated this unique art show of billboards and water tower models at SALT Quarters gallery (115 Otisco Street, Syracuse, New York), which is within walking distance from her art studio at the Delavan Center on West Fayette Street. SALT Quarters will be open again today and tomorrow from noon to 5:00 pm. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The opening reception took place last night. Upon arrival, we were greeted by three artists painting murals. Penny, Joyce and I chatted with them about the creation of art and the process of mark-making while they set about creating these large-scale pieces. I loved hearing their philosophies. It doesn’t seem to matter how people arrived at the idea/conclusion of becoming an artist, I mean in terms of their backgrounds or the age at which their idea manifested into their reality – the truth is the language of art is the same. It is the language of the journey, of self-discovery, of the role emotion plays in creation and the joy of living a dream-life through art.
Inside – we viewed these whimsical three-dimensional creations while listening to the sounds of Backpacker’s Field Manual (two Chittenango grads!)
I am so inspired by this show. The artists really seemed to transcend their materials. They don’t look like cardboard cut-outs at all. Their ideas range from humor to social injustice and are created with paint and mixed-media in graffiti, Pop Art, Impressionist and traditional styles. The models are essentially advertising media and so, the message seems to be the message, lol – to alert the media through media, so to speak. To give voice to the artist within, whatever that statement may be.
I just love the camaraderie of this exhibition/event. Artists joining forces in the spirit of fun and love. It is truly a magnificent use of this tiny gem of a gallery. I would love to gather a bunch of these models and see what my students at Chittenango Middle School can do with them!
The artists in this exhibition include Aaron Z. Lee, Andrew Peters, Brandon Lazore, Casey Landerkin, Cayetano Valenzuela, Charlie Sam, Chris Sosa, Dan Styles, Doug Aldrich, E.L. Downey, Jacob Alan Roberts, Jamie Santos, Jemola Addley, Jesse Gabriel, Jesse Ryan, Josh Montgomery, Marcus Osmun, Michael Giannattasio, Michael John Heagerty, Monty Ses Esposito, Paul Ulrich, Steve Sie, Tommy Lincoln, and Tony Tompson. Some of the art is priced to sell – not sure about all of it, but the artists have supplied contact information via email in order to connect.
40 Below is a group that is making a difference in the city of Syracuse, NY. Of course, anyone over forty thinks it’s a stupid name, lol. I remember when they started the group – I was already not the target audience. The point was to get the younger generations – were they Generation Xers then? I can’t remember – to stay here. To remain in Syracuse following graduation from college. Most people who grew up here wanted to move anywhere else and I would imagine getting a downstate New Yorker to want to live life in this slower lane is a bit of a tough sell.
And I can’t blame them, as I did it myself for a time, moving to Florida when I was in my twenties.
So yeah, it was/is a task force established to improve the arts culture and promote Syracuse as a happening cool place to live.Syracuse, New York is more of a sports-town. I think the world pretty much knows that via the amount of people we can get to go to the Carrier Dome for a college hoops game in 23 below zero weather (more than 30,000). It’s definitely an astonishing feat by any stretch of the imagination. The arts are always just short of emerging and it is funny (read: sad) how most successful Syracuse artists are finding their success elsewhere.
Our most famous artist is Carrie Mae Weems. She lives here but rarely shows her work here. There was that Everson Museum of Art exhibition, but other than that she is strictly a grant recipient and sells in New York City.
But 40 Below keeps trying and I commend them for it. I attended their most recent pop-up art exhibition. Last year’s coincided with Winterfest activities. This year the one night only event happened on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 from 5 pm – 8 pm at the Redhouse Art Center, 201 S. West Street, Syracuse, NY 13202.
All local artists were invited to exhibit by dropping off a piece at the Point of Contact gallery across the street. I did not participate since the time for drop off was the exact time I was buying my new car from the Fox-Honda dealership in Auburn, NY.
My friend Penny Santy participated, as did my Facebook friends Charlie Sam and Renee Fair. In attendance were a lot of artsies over forty. I mean, I didn’t see many or any twenty-somethings. But it was a decent-sized crowd, and it was a lot of fun!
Not sure if anyone sold anything, but manifesting exhibitions sometimes leads to sales down the line so it’s all good. You just never know when the next opportunity will present itself. I know my friend Angela connected with some people about a possible new art venture and we all enjoyed the carrot sticks and dip, wine and cheese spread.
If you’ve never been to an art reception – there is always free food and wine.
Not sure when the next event will take place. I am sure 40 Below would welcome your support! Here are some links to find out more about this organization –