While the Everson Museum of Art is celebrating fifty years in the biz with all sorts of amazing events throughout the year, the AmeriCU Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival is clocking forty-nine. The fest is located on and around Columbus Circle in downtown Syracuse, New York with lots of artwork, jewelry, accessories and functional pottery. And musical performances, food trucks (Carvel Ice Cream!) and even a vagabond stilt walker or two. The first two days are clocked out but you can stroll the event tomorrow from 10am – 5pm.
I found Peter Valenti and his wife in their prime location right on the circle. Peter is a retired public school art teacher (East Syracuse-Minoa) who has always been a working artist. He is a member of the Independent Potters’ Association (IPA) and one of the premiere ceramists in the area. If you don’t collect his work, you should.
Valenti creates the slabs then bisque fires them. His fabulous glazing effects are by way of raku firing. The colors and patterning (dragonflies, ginko leaf) lend themselves well with Arts & Crafts style and yet, they have a modern flavor and would compliment any home décor. <3
For more information, contact the artist at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last night I caught the tail end of a three-hour art reception at Clayscapes Pottery in Syracuse, New York. The IPA (Independent Potters’ Association) displayed their wares in the wonderful gallery in this basement establishment located at 1003 West Fayette Street.
Clayscapes is where I get the clay I use in my classroom. It is a retail business with walk-ins welcome; it is a gallery and it is home to studio space for ceramic artists, as well as a venue for ceramics classes for all ages.
I can’t spend a lot of time in there, however – big secret revealed – I am allergic to clay! When I do clay projects with students, I limit them to a four-class affair. I do it, of course, because it is really an important media for sculpture and functional art.
This gallery is really cool because many of the works are functional and so, when art lovers and customers see them, they want to use them immediately. And they can because it is a cash and carry show.
The glass shelves were formerly in the Everson Museum of Art before the museum went through renovations. Everything looks amazing. Every artist’s work is unique – there is really something for everyone.
I spoke with Wes Weiss, a local guy and Nottingham High School grad who spoke of his process in such an interesting way, which totally resonated with me. He said he took negative feelings of the political climate in this country and infused his feelings with positive text creating the message of melting his painful thoughts and keeping the good ones. He said an idea grips him and it is almost painful until he purges it via creation. He is “a slab guy”, using said technique to create tiles, lanterns and other pieces scattered throughout the show.
You can claim a free tile from his bowl of positive words located at the entrance to the gallery. I loved the sentiment of walking away with a piece of his goodness. It really blends with my belief that we all work together to create our experiences. Loved that so much.
Also in this show are the following: Casey Cleary-Hammarstedt, Jen Gandee, Matt Hill, Michael Hughes, Sookie Kayne, Bobbi Lamb, Tom Krahe, David MacDonald, Jamie Noce, Tina Parker, Jessica Pilowa, Margery Rose, Millie St. John, Tim See, Don Seymour, Karen Jean Smith, John Smolenski, Alan Stankiewicz, Peter Valenti, Sarah VanDerVoort, Michele Walters and Rebecca Wind.
This exhibition continues through May 5, 2018. Visit IPA at www.ipa.org for more information about this group. Clayscapes Gallery is open Tuesday – Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm and Saturday 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.
Clayscapes Pottery, Inc. is located at 1003 W. Fayette Sreet, Syracuse, New York (13204). I buy clay for my classroom there – the Miller #10 is my favorite. My colleague and I also buy kiln supplies – most recently new kiln shelves.
In addition to merchandise, Clayscapes offers pottery classes and studio space. They have recently begun a monthly Sip ‘N Turn party, which I have no doubt is a blast. I would say that would be a lot more fun for me than to do one of those vino painting parties where everyone paints the same landscape.
If you are interested in more information, go to their website here. Or call them at (315) 424-6868. You can tour the facilities at any time they are open: Tuesday – Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm and Saturdays 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.
There is a gallery space as well. I was there earlier tonight for the Independent Potters’ Association artist reception. It is a group of eighteen extraordinary craftsmen and women. The ceramics were displayed throughout the venue, but instead of remaining for the duration of the exhibition, they were being sold right off the shelves. And selling like hotcakes. The piece in the poster for the show was sold, as well as an exquisite vessel that left its podium in a blink of my eye.
This makes me soooo happy. Thank you, art patrons, for recognizing the talents of these terrific artists.
It was a great party with free food and beer sponsored by Middle Ages Brewery. Get it? IPA for the IPAs (Independent Potter’s Association). Members include Peter Valenti, Don Seymour, Wes Weiss, Jessica Pilowa, Tim See, Tina Parker, Jen Gandee, John Smolenski, Millie St. John, Bobbi Lamb, David MacDonald, Brenda Conley, Lindsey Scott, Matt Hill, Karen Smith, Rebecca Wind, Sarah VanderVoort, and Wendy Emborski.