Tag Archives: Syracuse NY

Lighting The Way

18921701_1789479464412355_2135318878450635757_n

19059311_1789479571079011_6522713731678084122_n

I managed to convince a dozen friends to meet me at the Chinese Lantern Festival last week.  It was my birthday, a week night, and it was sunny here for the first time in over a week.  Perfect conditions to enjoy this exquisite happening at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, New York.

19030698_1789479324412369_861797120008853300_n

19030293_1789479094412392_3024246088069281404_n

You enter at Gate 6 and follow the signs to the parking lot inside the fairgrounds.  The event is open every night (except Mondays) from 5:30 – 10:00 pm until June 24, 2017.  It is $15 per person but they have daily specials; there was a $2 discount last Thursday for “best friends day” in addition to it being my special day!  Check their Facebook posts here.  I think there is another deal coming up for Father’s Day this weekend.

19029366_1789478991079069_1440568088658871284_n

18954921_1789485831078385_8270287964671370194_o

We arrived at around 7:00 pm.  There are a few food vendors and an ice cream truck, and a bunch of crafts to purchase from booths at the far end of the festival enclosure.  At 8:30 pm, performers take the stage – acrobat and rhythmic gymnastic style stuff with Asian melodies and lavish costumes.

18951291_1789479291079039_2275566579216859823_n

By 9:00 pm the sky becomes that beautiful Prussian blue before turning dark then the statues transition into glowing visions of beauty.  What an incredible light show and photo opportunity.  It is truly a magnificent experience!  Once you witness it, well…I think it is unforgettable.  So worth the admission price.  I am so grateful that my friends indulged this whim of mine.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I love you all sooooo muchy-much. ❤

18951196_1789479527745682_3218317693935019529_n

18920667_1789479037745731_4218893275700496375_n

18920584_1789479847745650_3594275382881326974_n

18920374_1789479807745654_6330128665336217715_n

18920356_1789479637745671_7662954039424488229_n

18813306_1789479214412380_4156528193591716040_n

Honor Thy Master

20170326_125548
6863, 24″ x 30″, 1998, mixed-media, $200

I took a lesson out of my friend Penny’s playbook and re-worked eight paintings for my exhibition at Dolce Vita World Bistro that starts next week.  Spent the last two days in intense artist mode, which I haven’t done in quite a while.  It was a long time coming…and now I get it.  I get what Penny feels.  I get the lecture Anne gave me the last time we spoke – about making a commitment to painting because that is who you are.  A painter.  An artist.  Much of what I told her about who and what I wanted to be seems inauthentic now.

20170326_114720
Angel, 24″ x 30″, 1998, mixed-media, $200

Nobody knows the real me.  Some of you know some of my secrets – but not all of them.  It is strange to re-visit these paintings because I know what they are about, what they are still about and seeing them now as my future self, it is like I already knew the journey.  I’m still on it, but, OMG, I am so much closer, if that makes any sense at all.  It doesn’t have to.  I know what I am talking about, lol, and so, I feel a profound sense of love for my old self.  It’s weird and exhilarating, and just overwhelmingly emotional.  I finally know where I am going and, of course, now that I know that, I can finally just enjoy the inspired action I will take to get there.

20170326_123321
Me & Bob R., 24″ x 30″, 1998, mixed-media, $200

I added varnish to these paintings and chalkboard paint to the borders.  Some were tweaked with twine knots and other mixed-media, a visual language insert to augment the journey, so to speak.  These improvements are like the bridge that hurdles the gap between who I was and who I am now.  Maybe I am not much different to the naked eye, but to me I’m vastly better, new and improved in mind and spirit.  I am exposed and yet, still within the confines of my dreams where reality is soooo amazing.  I love life as an artist.  There’s truly no better way to live.

20170326_113050
Flag, 24″ x 30″, 1998, mixed-media, $200

The series – did it have a name before?  Because I don’t remember it.  Regardless, I’m calling it Honor Thy Master.  The original concept was the idea of the mandala as the first mark-making a human being creates.  The circle and cross or X iconography on a white field is juxtaposed with torn postcards/notecards of artwork by Modigliani, Johns, Rauschenberg, Van Gogh, Michaelangelo….  I am honoring those master artists by adding their work to mine in combination with authentic mark-making.  The addition of the chalkboard element, as always, is for the purpose of a third artist – the future owner  of the work.  My chalk marks will eventually erase and so, that person could add or subtract marks to the border with chalk themselves.  In this way, we all join hands and make art together.

20170326_125344
Footprint, 24″ x 30″, 1998, mixed-media, $200

I am so proud of the way it all connects.  The twine is the rope that binds us in both love and angst; we are free to choose.  It is powerful and yet so simple, so perfectly cast that it gives me such a thrill to put these puzzle pieces together – like, literally…really!?!  So much joy in the perfection of it.

20170326_113458
Blood, 24″ x 30″, 1998, mixed-media, $200

17474020_10154778477628248_1680371366_o

I will install the show next weekend.  There will be a reception on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at 6:00pm at Dolce Vita World Bistro.  A unique dining experience!  Antonietta Vigliotti has prepared a special menu for the evening.  I will create a public Facebook event page for it and invite all of my friends and acquaintences, and they will be able to invite friends too – the more the merrier, although it is not a huge space.  I think the dining room serves up to forty people at a time.  Reservations are in order for the dinner, but you can come and hang out at the bar too!  It will be amazing to see everyone!  I can’t wait! ❤

17577726_10154778474508248_2049222148_n

17555380_10154778472933248_1925309140_n

Dolce Vita World Bistro is located at 907 East Genesee Street, Syracuse, New York (13210).  You can either call for reservations (315) 475-4700 or fill out the form on their web-site.

20170326_124643
Landscape, 24″ x 30″, 1998, mixed-media, $200
20170326_121503
Dream, 24″ x 30″, 1998, mixed-media, $200

Mayer on Cloth

20170202_181808

20170202_181910

At 6:00 p.m. tonight, Jeffrey Mayer, Associate Professor of Fashion Design at Syracuse University, will be presenting a talk on the Art for Every Home: Associated American Artists exhibition at the SU Art Gallery.  He will be focusing on the clothing and textiles that are in the back gallery.

20170202_181730

20170202_181739

I took these pictures when I was at the opening reception.

20170202_181749

20170202_181912

Here is more info taken from their Facebook invite page –

Join Jeffrey Mayer for a thrilling discussion focusing on the costumes and textiles featured in the current exhibition “Art for Every Home: Associated American Artists,” on dislay through March 19th in the galleries!

Post World War II fashion, with a new silhouette and a new appreciation for the designer as an artist, created the perfect opportunity for Associated American Artist to team with textile manufacturers to produce art based fabric prints. Creating series of textiles for both home decoration and clothing use these prints were marketed as being created by ‘fine artists’. The collaboration with textile manufacturers would only last for a very few years before AAA designed print fabrics would cease to exist. This lecture will include additional textile print examples from the Syracuse University Sue Ann Genet Costume Collection which document how the trend became popular and what contributed to its demise.

Jeffrey C. Mayer is Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Fashion Design in the School of Design, SU CVPA, as well as the curator of the Sue Ann Genet Costume Collection for which he has designed many historic costume exhibitions. He is also author of ‘Vintage Details; A Fashion Sourcebook’ published by Laurence King, London.

20170202_181723

The show continues though March 19, 2017.  The gallery is located in the Shaffer Art Building on Syacuse University campus.  Gallery hours are Tuesday – Sunday 11:00 am – 4:30 pm.  The gallery stays open until 8:00 pm on Thursdays.  They are closed during university holidays.  Call (315) 443-4097 for more information or email them at suart@syr.edu.

20170202_181714

Rage of Love

20170211_203753

20170211_203603

20170211_203536

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.

20170211_203545

20170211_204015

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.

20170211_211327

20170211_203722

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.

20170211_203617

20170211_210350

20170211_205424

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.

20170211_203824

20170211_203836

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.

20170211_203855

20170211_203735

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! ❤

20170211_205131

20170211_203905

20170211_205042

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.

20170211_205248

20170211_203554

20170211_211314

The Power in Penny

20170127_164840

20170127_163932

By day, Penny Santy is a graphic artist.  By night and weekends, she becomes a powerhouse superhero – an oil painting phenomenon who captures the essence and beauty of (as well as the struggle to find) the perfect relationship in a work of art.

20170127_175613

20170127_163940

20170127_164414

I love having conversations about art with Penny.  She was recently in Baltimore for the Diebenkorn and Matisse show and spoke passionately about the brush strokes and the artists’ implied intention resulting in their ultimate successful choices on canvas.  It is this attention to things that Penny brings to her own work, a constant questioning of what instinctively works at any given time.

20170127_164034

20170127_164713

20170127_164154

20170127_164140

This is reflected in her literature.

My motivation for creating art is a search for what makes humans tick, and for finding emotion in the painted image. My work is derived from an exploration of human strengths, struggles, accomplishments or destruction. What is great about making art is that it goes much deeper than the outward appearance of things. I’m always searching through the process of painting for what is below the surface. The process allows me to discover, and I am excited by what I find. My paintings aren’t trying to present answers, but to ask questions.

20170127_164206

20170127_172028

Penny reworks paintings until they are to her satisfaction, whether it is the better choice of blue for a sky or the slightest value change in a complementary color scheme to tweak the flow of rhythm that is constantly in her vortex.  Her presence as an artist is truly captivating.

20170127_172015

20170127_165059

20170127_163924

I am really impressed with this new body of work, how it defines her vision, a place hovering between reality and abstract, which generates considerable movement with breathtaking perfection.

20170127_164044

20170127_164110

20170127_164721

She sold several of these paintings at the opening last night at the Wilson Art Gallery in the Noreen Reale Falcone library at Le Moyne College (1419 Salt Springs Road, Syracuse, New York 13214).  I observed patrons fighting over pieces (“okay, I’ll get that one and you can have that one” type stuff).  It was really magnificent to witness her success.  She is the real deal and I encourage anyone who wants to acquire her work to do so now before she skyrockets to the fame she deserves.

20170127_164910

20170127_164854

20170127_165052

The show is titled Between Us.  In addition to the butterfly series, Penny is sharing works she’d made for juried exhibitions including the winning entry from that Adirondack show and the Bowie-inspired one from the Tech Garden show last year.  Her hen and sunflower paintings work as well here, as they reflect her proficient technical skills while fulfilling her criteria to share rhythm with respect to relationships between objects, nature and people.

20170127_165104

20170127_174726

20170127_164402

The exhibition continues through February 24, 2017 and can be viewed during library hours.  Call (315) 445-4153 for more information.

20170127_164342

Make it a Penny Santy day today!  Head over to see this show then take a drive out to Earlville, New York.  You can meet Penny at the Earlville Opera House Art Gallery  (18 East Main Street, Earlville, New York 13332) where she is exhibiting her series of bull paintings.  There is an art reception from noon to 3:00 pm today!

Matter of the Minefield

20170120_193725

20170120_194722

fb_img_1485013686365

Size Matters is the title of the latest art exhibition at Clayscapes Pottery, Inc. (1003 W. Fayette Street, Syracuse, New York 13204).  The ceramic sculptures by Syracuse University grad student Peter Smith will be on display and for sale through February 23, 2017.

20170120_200149

20170120_193659

20170120_193735

The show is a combination of two things – the idea of farm equipment enlarged and age simulated to act as a metaphor for man’s “relationship with the environment” according to his literature, and brilliant-hue glazed ceramic weapons mixed with porcelain gas masks, which I am assuming constitutes man’s willingness to destroy it.

20170120_200252

20170120_193828

20170120_195812

The work is found attached to walls, resting on tables, hanging from the ceiling and strewn about the floor.  This, for me and my band of fun artist friends, created a sort of surreal adventure in art wonderland, as we contemplated the minefield of meaning around the space.

It was the dialogue I was having as we posed in these pictures. Guns and missiles glazed in beautiful colors, a wall of blades that reminded me of the backdrop in a knife throwing performance at the circus….   Should we laugh or be afraid?  Pretty weapons.  Fragile weapons.  But still weapons.  And the haunting effect of decaying metal artifacts produced a kind of guilt-ridden sorrow.

20170120_200338

20170120_193849

There is definitely something about Peter’s work that makes you want to start a discussion.  I love the idea of that narrative.  Love the way the work fits together in a cohesive way and yet any one of the pieces could find a home and continue to resonate on its own.  These gas mask castings are priced individually.

20170120_193903

It was surreal and beautiful. Like whimsical horror. I just love this meeting of minds, love the way a college student can be such a free thinker, creating art for art’s sake but also as a means to tell a story or voice an opinion of the world as he sees it.  It’s all in the perspective!  You really ought to see this show.

20170120_195623

You can read about Peter in this month’s issue of Ceramic Monthly.

20170120_194235

20170120_200230

20170120_202857

20170120_194831

The gallery is open Tuesday – Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Call (315) 424-6868 for more information or visit their web-site at www.clayscapespottery.com.  They are also on Instagram (clayscape_pottery) and have a Facebook page (Clayscapes Pottery)!

20170120_195054

20170120_200246

20170120_195548

New Packaging

20161126_145108

20161126_145058

20161126_145053

I strolled through the Everson Museum of Art today (401 Harrison Street, Syracuse, NY 13202).  In the basement wing, they’ve flipped the Education Center with the Ceramics section and created a gorgeous inviting space for part of the ceramics collection (the rest, like the Robineau funerary urn, is in storage).

20161126_145320

20161126_145225

20161126_145136

20161126_145124

It is spectacular!  The art looks fresh again.  You can actually enjoy the nuances of individual pieces and appreciate them for their craft.  The Everson has a very large collection of ceramics.  I’m not sure if it is one of the largest in the country, but something like that.  The old shelves made the collection look like it was all in storage, like they never really wanted people to look at it.  I remember taking students on a field trip there once and there was so much stuff, it read like junk and nobody looked at anything.  

20161126_145046

20161126_145037

20161126_145018

The museum has never looked better!  We have this incredible resource right here in Syracuse, NY.  So great.  I was delighted to see a handful of visitors there.  They are charging a fee to get in these days, but it is free for Everson Museum members.

20161126_145330

20161126_145722

20161126_145709

20161126_145510

EVERSON MUSEUM OF ART HOURS:

SUNDAY 12-5
MONDAY CLOSED
TUESDAY CLOSED
WEDNESDAY 12-5
THURSDAY 12-8
FRIDAY 12-5
SATURDAY 10-5

20161126_145009

Next week they are installing the Festival of Trees, so maybe you can plan an outing for that!  Call (315) 474- 6064 for more information or visit their web-site www.everson.org.

20161126_150019