The Educational Center at Green Lakes is now up and running! Wow – it has taken something like a year to rebuild the boat house and transform it into this amazing space. It is really beautiful. And it has Stickley furniture!
There is a lot of history here. Information on the meromictic lakes, the story behind the purchase of the land – and its stunning World War II connection. Yes – there was a POW camp on-site. It was near the golf course by the east entrance to the park. German soldiers created many of the trails and farmed the land!
This education center is chock-full of information. There is a large map of the park on the center island. A bunch of interactive displays can be found in pull-out drawers. There’s an outdoor classroom too. They offer classes that are aligned with New York State standards and they welcome all age groups (and not just science students).
To set up a school field trip, contact Katie Mulvihill at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (315) 492-1756. Green Lakes State Park is located at 7900 Green Lakes Road, Fayetteville, New York 13066-3385.
Before the weather took a nose-dive into Snowmegeddon, I visited Ilene Layow’s Eye Studio open house. It is currently located at 126 Doll Parkway, Syracuse, New York (13214), but it will soon find a three times bigger home in East Syracuse (at 712 W. Manlius Street). The open house took place this weekend.
There is a kiln room and studio space, a three-bedroom home having been transformed by art and art-making. Even the bathroom has a magnificent hand-made glass sink and tiles.
Ilene is a teaching artist. I blogged about her last year when she had a Green Lakes-themed art show at the Manlius Historical Association. It was there that I fell in love with her glass pieces. I was finally able to purchase one today!
I bought the above piece – it is glass made with frit, tiny-colored glass bits that allow for dimension. The glass is fused in the kiln. This piece has a little shelf in back for a candle. I love it!
She was selling her wares along with Jackee Johnson and Marcus Acevedo. Jackee sells artsy fashion including tops and scarves and Marcus, who works out of studio space at Onondaga Community College, displayed ceramic goods.
Eye Studio teaches classes in acrylic painting, drawing, wheel throwing, watercolor, hand building clay, glass fusing and stained glass. These classes are available to all skill levels and all ages. Classes take place week day afternoons and evenings, and on Saturdays. This is such an incredible resource in our community. Ilene is teaching home-schoolers as well!
Then there is the option of a fun party – like a birthday party or a ladies night/family night where you gather with your favorite people and produce art – glass pieces, clay, paintings…you name it! Call (315) 345-4576 to schedule yours!
The gallery is open by appointment as well. For more information, check out the website – www.iteacharts.com.
It’s always refreshing to chat with retired art teachers. Their lives are so full of art – their own art, the business of art, and a treasure trove of excitement and genuine bliss.
Ilene Layow has been retired a couple years now. She told me that in the last year she has produced more artwork than she ever had!
Her work can be seen at the Manlius Historical Society & Museum, 109 Pleasant St., Manlius, NY, through August 31, 2015. They are open Tuesday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm.
Using Green Lakes as her muse, Ilene has created work in ink, watercolor, acrylic and glass. The glass pieces are particularly sensational. OMG!
She has a kiln in her studio, Eye Studio at 126 Doll Pkwy in Syracuse, near LeMoyne college. She’s there virtually every day either creating or teaching classes to other art teachers, friends and children. There is a summer art camp for kids – $85 a week and the next one starts tomorrow. For more information on this, her email is email@example.com. Find her website here.
You all know that Green Lakes State Park is my happy place – and as I strolled through her collection, I felt like I knew exactly where each landscape existed on the path around the lakes!
She said she takes loads of photographs then works from them in her studio. She is really an inspiration. I absolutely love her passion for her work. Love her mastery of all media!
I’ve been thinking about this paint landscapes thing, which led me to bring my camera on my last “walk about”. Here are some pictures I took at Green Lakes. It is a New York State park not far from my home. I’m there nearly every day because I <3 it there. There are two lakes: Green Lake and Round Lake. They are meromictic, which means the water on top doesn’t mix with the water on the bottom or something. Formed by glaciers and seemingly mysterious. Very, very deep. I’ve heard that Round Lake is bottomless or maybe just so super deep that it can’t be measured easily. Something like that.
It takes about an hour to walk around both lakes, about 3 1/2 miles of time to think, meditate, clear your head, enjoy nature, etc. The other day as I walked this little kid stopped me and asked me if there were coyotes in the woods, and I said probably. That was mean. I don’t know why I scared that kid like that. I’ve never seen a coyote. Doesn’t it just look like a dog? How scary can it be to humans? I don’t know. I’ve seen other critters – turtles, snakes, owls, deer, fox, groundhogs, and lots of squirrels and chipmunks….
It’s really beautiful there. The water is more turquoise than green I think, and it is probably my favorite color even though I don’t particularly use it in my paintings, in home decor or wear it in a garment. I don’t think pictures do the place justice to tell you the truth, but at the same time, I can’t see myself ever doing a literal translation of these photographs and the fifteen or twenty more I took that day. Maybe as an art project for school, but I think that it would be better if students used their own compositions and probably more amazing if there was a way to do a plein-air field trip.
But that is just a fantasy because when you teach eighteen or more students at once, things take way longer than you think they would if you were doing it yourself. For example, it takes me about 20 minutes to capture someone’s essence in a portrait drawing – pencil only or crayons only, which is fun to do at parties until it gets too weird and you end up feeling like a hired clown. It takes middle school students about three weeks to do the same work. You kind of learn how to organize your class lessons after a while of teaching, learn how much they can accomplish in a given period of time – just saying if there are any Art Ed students reading this.
I went to high school with Syracuse artist Michael Cody. He is known for his Green Lakes paintings, which he has done in both oil and acrylics. He showed them in the library art gallery at my school and did a talk that illustrated the fact that George Benedict was a great art teacher, because a lot of what he talked about regarding composition and mixing paint was information I have taught to my students that came from the horse’s mouth (Mr. B.), and so he really kind of reinforced what I had been teaching. Of course, that does not always happen with other artists who have spoken to my students. Sometimes there is a giant difference of opinion regarding the vernacular of art.
I have this thing about figure and ground vs. negative and positive space. I only use negative and positive to describe form in a work of sculpture (the negative space is the void) and refer to figure and ground when discussing two-dimensional works. A lot of art education has to do with how you were taught, as though all of the college stuff goes out the window for some reason when you teach. This isn’t just me talking, I read it in a bunch of research papers when I took a graduate course two years ago and again when I worked on my papers for National Board Certification this past year. I feel lucky I had great art teachers when I was growing up, but then again, someone else in the art world would be more than willing to dispute my knowledge and share their knowledge/expertise/opinions when given a platform.
So here are some paintings by Michael Cody.
It would have been so cool if I had photos of the exact same locations – like in a perfect world I would be the super blogger of the universe, but, oh well. I think you can see that it is the same place only so much better in Michael’s work. Aren’t they so good?
I don’t know if he is represented in a gallery. I will have to let him know I shared these here and he can give out the details of how you can contact him. He is the real deal.
As for me? My abstract landscapes are still hanging in the Sullivan Library in Chittenango, NY. They will be there until the end of August. I was lucky that their August person cancelled because as I told you before, I just think one month shows seem too short. So there are a couple more weeks if you want to see them.
I’ve booked the next person for the school library show and it is Karen Kozicki. She’s a photographer. I’m so excited to work with her. Booked the show a year ago! We are meeting at the end of August to install. There’s still plenty of summer left before then and plenty of days to enjoy the lake.