Tag Archives: Edgewood Gallery

Giving It the Boot

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I visited my friend Clare Willson today at her home on Humbert Avenue in DeWitt, New York – I delivered two paintings for a silent auction fund-raiser planned for June 17, 2017 from noon – 4:00 pm (200 Humbert).  There will be food, live music, the silent auction and a 50/50 raffle.  Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children (free for children under three years old).  All proceeds benefit Clare’s journey to Mexico to undergo a dynamic treatment.  It promises to reboot her immune system ultimately reversing symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, with which she has lived for thirty years.

For tickets to the event, call (315) 439-7844.

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Clare hails from England.  She is a vivacious spirit, an artist who creates whimsical mixed-media artwork using found objects, old jewelry and paint.  Here are some pictures of Clare in her home studio.

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Clare is represented by Edgewood Gallery.  Here is the blog post from her most recent exhibition there.

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If you wish to donate to assist Clare in her recovery and cannot make the event, you can do so via www.gofundme.com/give-clares-ms-the-boot or send a check by mail to Clare Willson, P.O. Box 175, Syracuse, New York 13214.

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Gallery Hopping

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Yes – Joyce, Penny and I were gallery hopping Friday night.  Here we are at the Edgewood Gallery for the Mixed Media show! (216 Tecumseh Road, Syracuse, NY 13224)

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This show is comprised of Clare Willson’s whimsical mixed-media pieces combining metal found objects with a painted under-structure, Arlene Abend’s metal sculptures and copper jewelry, Talking Trickster Studio’s pottery by Amy Komar and Sheila Roock and Terry McMaster’s abstract art.

Clare sold four small pieces before she even arrived for the opening, which is so great and worth the wait.  Cheryl Chappell, gallery owner, curator and framer extraordinaire, books her artists well in advance, sometimes as much as five years in advance!

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It is really very impressive how each exhibition is so different from one another, and each pairing of artists works so well together.  That, combined with the punch Cheryl packs in terms of breadth of works fitting so nicely in the space, the great spread of wine, grapes, hummus, crackers and Brie, and the always amazing conversations with all my cool artsy friends, made for a great time!

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Clare’s boyfriend bought her one of Arlene’s fabulous necklaces.  Arlene Abend always surprises me with something new.  Although she prefers to work in steel (“I hate copper – it doesn’t fight back” was what she said with a smile on her face), the copper jewelry appears simultaneously delicate and strong (or feisty more-like, lol).  Arlene is such a spit-fire.  I just love her to death.  I am always telling my students the story of how she was in art school, took a metal-smithing course on a whim and fell in love with it.  You never know where art will take you is the point of that story, and a result of Arlene’s journey are these wonderful reasonably-priced pendants and pins.

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Amy Komar is another one of my Facebook friends who until last night, I hadn’t actually met.  As with social media though, we seemed to know a lot about each other and ended our conversation by hugging it out.  I loved her positive energy!  She glazes the collection of pottery while her Talking Trickster Studio partner Sheila Roock is the wheel-throwing expert.  Many of the pieces are created in porcelain with a fun-loving cat-(dog? no whiskers so…)man and other whimsical imagery decorating the surface.  I believe these pieces may be cash and carry while the wall art will remain on display until the take-down date of September 23, 2016.

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I met Terry McMaster for the first time Friday night. Lol, I didn’t get a selfie with him – oh well, next time! He is known for his photography – I purchased a print from a basket of cards he was also selling.  These new paintings are somewhat of a departure for him.  He agreed to a future exhibition in the library gallery at Chittenango Middle School.  I am looking forward to working with him in the future!  Exciting.

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Call Cheryl Chappell at (315) 445-8111 for more information including the contemporary art and frame shop’s hours.  Check out the web-site too!

 

Good Gig

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Whenever I run into J.P. Crangle, he always tells me that my teaching job is a good gig.  I LOVE that because it is soooo true!  I totally love my job – everything about it.  The curriculum is flexible enough that I can incorporate any artists or art movements, or even cultures that I choose.  I mean, there are thousands to pick from, as everything we know about ancient civilizations comes from studying their art.

I love the people at school.  The students are really fun.  Eighth graders and now, after a ten-year hiatus, I will be teaching fifth grade again (one section)!  They seem to love the projects we do and we spend a lot of time smiling, laughing and having fun while making art.  And it only gets better every year.

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J.P. Crangle and I went to graduate school together.  He is a professional artist and caricaturist extraordinaire!  I still have the one he drew of me, which he had created for the open house we had for students back in the M-17 days of the Syracuse University Art Education department.

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Good gig – he said it again when I saw him Friday, January 8, 2016 at the Edgewood Gallery art opening reception where he is showing and selling brilliantly-hued cartoon paintings on wood and quirky plaster doll sculptures in a show titled “Small Planets” alongside the work of Dan Shanahan and Sharon Alma.

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His paintings and sculptures are truly whimsical displays of color and fun!  The gallery/frame shop looks totally different from the way it looked during the last show (with the exception of the amazing David McDonald’s mugs on a table and powerhouse artist Arlene Abend’s tiny sculptures on the window ledge surrounded by healthy, leafy plants!  They were there the last time too and are not part of this exhibit).

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Dan Shanahan is exhibiting these incredible watercolor paintings and hand painted prints rendered with the tiniest details that keep you involved, seeking and finding more to see.  They are doodles with precision.  Really incredible stuff.

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Sharon Alma, another friend of mine, is selling jewelry in the display case.  Very colorful and incredibly, they are made of paper!

I went to the Gold Key awards ceremony for the regional Scholastic Art Awards competition last Thursday night at OCC and I was struck by the proficiency. The majority of artwork selected as winners this year were literal translations in portrait, still life and landscape.  Student technicians with inspiring mastery of detail.  The rendering skills are nothing short of breathtaking.  Not much over all in the abstract realm though nor in emotional content.

It was the same way when I was in high school.  Top prize was a Blue Ribbon back then, which I won for my portfolio – this led to getting accepted at Syracuse University where I was told my portfolio was one of the best the interviewer had seen.

Funny that, because when I look at the work now – some on the walls of my parents’ home and others that I have in a paper portfolio shoved away in the crawl space of my 2nd bedroom – I think it completely lacks emotion.

Yes, I can draw, but the artwork I enjoy making now is abstract -about my emotional journey through life, one rich with texture and rhythm, and color.

Which is why I was thrilled to support my former student Maria L. Her sculpture portfolio won a Gold Key (her current instructor is Allison Kominecky).

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She created this white dress from an underlying structure of chicken wire.  The bodice was shellacked with her parents’ divorce papers.  All of the tissue paper from Christmas (according to her mom) made up the fluffy skirt.  This hauntingly beautiful piece filled with raw emotion transcends the competition and becomes a kind of memory of time and space while her other large piece filled with a cascade of paper butterflies almost says that beauty is abundant yet fleeting so one must enjoy the moment while one can.  It all makes you want to laugh and cry at the same time while giving the artist a giant hug for her bravery and perseverance.

That’s joy.

Her work, like the three artists’s at Edgewood, can also be described as whimsical and fun.  One can surely find the beauty in realism, but art can also symbolize magic in other ways.  Maria’s work and the rest resonate joy, an emotion we can all do well to include more of in our lives.

I just read a thingy in one of Rhonda Byrnes’ books about it.  Say it to yourself whenever you can, but slowly.  I – AM – JOY.  Say it a bunch of times and often.  If you are ever down for whatever reason, I guarantee it will make you smile.  Makes you realize that life is supposed to be joyous and fun.  That’s definitely a good gig if you can find it.

The Edgewood show will be on display at 216 Tecumseh Road, Syracuse, NY 13224 until February 19, 2016.  For more information and hours of operation, find the gallery here or call (315) 445-8111.

If you are interested in checking out Maria’s art and the rest of the Scholastic Art Awards winners, it is all on display until the end of February at the Whitney Building at Onondaga Community College, Syracuse, NY.

 

 

Edgy

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The Edgewood Gallery is a teeny little place, about the size of my living room with only two walls of space in which to exhibit art.  But I have to say, gallery owner and framer extraordinaire, Cheryl Chappell really knows how to pack an artistic punch.

I was crazy busy this weekend.  On Friday, I installed my art exhibit at Natur-Tyme, attended my sister’s garage sale, exercised, wrote the blog post about my show and finally got around to going to the artist reception at Edgewood.  It was from 6 – 8 pm and I squeaked in at 8:30.  A handful of people were still there including Hall Groat who creates breathtaking oil paintings.

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He is selling tiny square pieces – maybe 6″ x 6″? for $125 but they are worth every penny.  He has such a masterful technique.  They are perfectly worked little canvases.  My favorite one is the little baseball.

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Groat visited my school ages ago when I had this Visual Artist series at Bridgeport Elementary.  I would get three or four artists a year to come to the school library and give two presentations – one to all the 4th graders and one to all the 5th graders.  The series had been sponsored by the defunct State Bank of Chittenango.  I asked the bank president for grant money every year to pay the professional artists around $100 for their services.  Groat created a baseball painting as a demonstration that I still have somewhere.  I think I had it framed and it is still at the elementary school.

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He didn’t remember me when we spoke at this reception.  No doubt my ego was a bit bruised, lol.  Back then I remember him telling me how he had eeked out a living as an artist by being a go-getter.  He’d created murals at the old Syracuse Savings Bank in downtown Syracuse by telling them he knew how to do it even though he had never done it before – the kind of amazing confidence that many of us spend our whole lives chasing.  Now Groat works alongside his mini-me, Hal Groat II.  They have a mutual website where, among other things, they interview other successful artists via offering them questions to respond to.  He proceeded to demonstrate this on me, which was pretty hilarious.

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Jay Hart creates these large-scale “geographic  compositions”.  They are mounted on foam board – not sure how they are attached to the wall.  Very interesting textured topography!  I’m not sure my Samsung Galaxy 6 phone camera do them justice.  They are a bit more colorful in person.

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At least I was able to take photographs.  The last time I attended an opening at Edgewood, it was so crowded with so many of my art colleagues that I spent the whole time talking – no pics to show for it and of course, I didn’t write a blog post on that show.  It was nice to be able to see the work from at least a five foot distance and the lucky thing for me was that even after hours, some of the artists were still there.

Vicki Thayer was selling hand-made jewelry.  I was particularly impressed with the keshi pearls.  They looked a lot like Honora pearls but her color combos were more brilliant, I think.  She said that soon no one will be able to get these pearls in these colors (they kind  of look like pieces of Corn Flakes in shape), because they take years to manufacture.  Obviously they are a specific type of oyster  – so when I say manufacture, these oysters are farmed but the process is all natural.

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Even with that said, Thayer’s prices are so reasonable – a pair of earrings for around $40 and the ability to compliment them with a matchy-matchy necklace.

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Finally, probably my favorite of the group – these impressive wood carved anamorphic wall mounted sculptures by June Szabo.  They reflect the idea of nature.  One of them was supposed to be a delta and two rivers but my dirty mind thought I was looking at Fallopian tubes, like in the 7th grade Health textbook.  I’m a dork.

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John Franklin is also exhibiting.  The Edgewood Gallery is located at 216 Tecumseh Road, Syracuse, NY.  Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday 9:30 am – 6 pm, Saturday 10 am – 2 pm.  And this show, entitled Beneath the Clouds, continues through August 28th, 2015, so there is lots of time to see it!

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Faith, Fate & Fashion

This was a crazy busy weekend what with everything that I usually do and the whirlwind of art events I mentioned last time.  I found the irony in meeting some Facebook friends for the first time at the Edgewood Gallery opening on Friday night so hilarious.  It was like a Saturday Night Live skit or something.  “I know all about you,” is what one woman said to me, along with insisting that I was stalking her on social media.  “You paint cats,” she said.  It was just so funny.  Later she spoke about her dream of meeting Faith Ringgold, to which I responded that I had met the artist.  Here’s the picture to prove it in case she thought I was totally lying.

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Faith Ringgold shared her art journey at Light Works at Syracuse University in 2007.  Her visit coincided with an exhibition of her work at the Community Folk Art Gallery here.  Faith is an incredible person – so inspirational and positive, and lovely.  She autographed her book for me and we chatted for a significant amount of time considering that she’d been signing books for a couple hours and there was a long line of people behind me.

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https://www.facebook.com/pages/Faith-Ringgold-Books/429143970457474

Faith is on Facebook – her daughter posts updates regularly.  She’s currently working on an app that is based on quilting, which is geared to the elderly and can help improve memory function.  I feel like if I can have just half her energy and attitude I will someday make a difference in this world.  But I am always vacillating – that confident vs. insecure yo-yo mindset that grips just about every artist from time to time.  Did I make the right choices with my life?  Am I even good at what I do – artist, teacher, etc.?

When I was in college, Frank Goodnow, my painting professor, was surprised to find out I was a fashion design major.  “You are a painter,” he said. I think about that a lot when I wonder if I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing if one believes in fate.

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I was reminiscing about this with Laurel Morton, a former classmate and current assistant professor in the fashion program at Syracuse University.  I visited her studio at the Delavan Center on Saturday and we chatted about the past.  I haven’t thought about those dreams in years and so it resurrected that whole road not traveled thing.  Had I moved to NYC  and taken that job at Ralph Lauren, would I have eventually become Marc Jacobs famous?

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I don’t know.  Maybe.  At SU, you took foundations courses in art as a freshman at that time (not sure how it is now) then you re-applied to your major.  I had originally planned on going into advertising, but only because I thought I needed to have a reasonable art career to satisfy my worried parents who were spending all of this money to send me there.  I was the eleventh person chosen for the competitive advertising program based on my freshman portfolio but at the last minute I chose fashion design, which had no such competition.  I thought I could see myself doing that.

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I eventually found my way back to painting and art, and teaching.  I mean, I can still design clothes.  But these days I only do it to create Halloween costumes.  My specialty is coming up with something that relates to an artist, art movement or culture for a costume that goes with an art lesson at school.

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Frank Goodnow was right- I am a painter.  I really cannot imagine my life without mark-making.  Designing clothes is just another thing I can do.

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http://archives.syr.edu/collections/fac_staff/sua_goodnow_f.htm

The Edgewood Gallery show of work by Amy Bartell, Linda Bigness and Todd Conover will continue until January 2nd, 2015, btw, if you want to see it or buy something.

http://edgewoodartandframe.com/

 

 

The Unicorn Festival

Most teachers can relate to this simple fact.  Students always react strangely when they see us outside of school.  It’s either a hyper-freak out – OMG! Ms. Tash, Ms. Tash! or the total reverse; a shy backing away and a chorus of whispers – I think that’s Ms. Tash!  What’s she doing here?

Do they think we are robots that are turned off and put away at the end of the day, like a stack of I-Pads?  I talked to my sister about this and she said, “Look at it from their perspective.  Seeing you outside of school is like seeing a unicorn.”

I am a bit of a unicorn.  Because in this day and age, in a culture of me, me, me social media and with it the belief that we are all the stars of our own reality shows, it seems that everyone wants to be recognized for their individuality.  Their spirit, creativity and the like should make them the black hole of the universe, sucking everyone else inside their vortex.  Everyone wants to appear cray-cray, the risk-taking artist that deserves all that attention.

Maybe I’m the opposite.  The crazy person who just wants to be normal.  Am I crazy?  Sometimes people say I am, but maybe I’m the only sane one in the room and everyone else is crazy.  My last blog post generated a flurry of comments in the group postings on www.linkedin.com.  Mainly camaraderie in despair, which really made me wonder if they understood me at all.  Something made me feel sad last week.  I’ve had my share of ups and downs, wearing my heart on my sleeve and on the walls of my home, as I’ve shared in a previous blog post.  But my emotions don’t swing on a Vincent Van Gogh-caliber pendulum.  I’m still sad about that particular thing but it’s compartmentalized now and I’m, yes, perfectly normal.

Emotion certainly plays a chunk part in the world of art, though, and it’s funny how important it is to many that they are perceived as more emotional than another.  It’s not a competition, you know.  There are all sorts of emotions that come into play when making art.  It doesn’t have to be sadness.  It can be serenity, anger or euphoria….

Whatever it is, it should be nurtured and supported.  I have not been doing this as often as I should.  I get invited to local art openings and events all the time and I just don’t go.  I want to be a better friend.  This Friday  from 6-8 pm, the Edgewood Gallery is holding a reception for an exhibition and sale of artwork by Amy Bartell, Linda Bigness and Todd Conover.  Edgewood is located down the street from my parents’ house – you can see the house from the gallery’s front door if you look east.  It’s on Tecumseh Road in Dewitt, NY, right across from the Nottingham shopping plaza.

http://edgewoodartandframe.com/news/

On Saturday from 10 am-4 pm, the Delavan Center will open its doors for a holiday event and sale.  The Delavan is a building filled with local artists’ studios, many of them are Facebook and personal friends of mine.  Linda, of course (find the link at the end of this post to the video we made on Columbus Day weekend), and Amy plus Laurel Morton and a slew of others.

http://www.delavancenter.com/Coming%20Events.html

This unicorn plans to make a cameo appearance at both events.  I’ll be in black, naturally, but I draw the line at wearing a beret on my horn.  That’s way too cliche, don’t you think?

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 http://www.bignessart.com/encaustics.html