Tag Archives: Syracuse NY

Matter of the Minefield

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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)!

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New Packaging

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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).

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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.  

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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.

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EVERSON MUSEUM OF ART HOURS:

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

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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.

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15 Miles

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Can my life get any better?  OMG, I was in a music video today!  A bunch of us met this morning at the Erie Canal Museum, 318 Erie Boulevard East, Syracuse, New York 13202 to sing into a camera and a drone.  It was more like lip-syncing to the tune of “Low Bridge”, the ditty we all learned in 4th grade, which is about the time all New York State kids find out about the Erie Canal.  It only took an hour and a half, but it made me smile the whole day and I am still giddy about it. <3

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[excerpt from Facebook] The popular song “Low Bridge, Everybody Down” was written in 1905 by Thomas S. Allen after Erie Canal barge traffic was converted from mule power to engine power, raising the speed of traffic.

There’s an age old debate between each coast about whether the lyrics are “15 miles or 15 years”

Originally it was 15 years – but it was folk artist Pete Seeger who made the song become part of the folk repertoire and recognizable to every child in every school!

In fact, you would sing the song in class…and those days seem to have passed. So, we are asking our community to come out and sing our modernized re-imagined version!

The song will be recorded locally and utilize local musicians to create a fun easy to sing – a – long to version that James Domroe of 325 Productions will create a music video for with scenes in Clinton Square and by the Erie Canal Museum downtown!!!

Low Bridge

I’ve got an old mule and her name is Sal
Fifteen years on the Erie Canal
She’s a good old worker and a good old pal
Fifteen miles on the Erie Canal

We’ve hauled some barges in our day
Filled with lumber, coal, and hay
And every inch of the way I (we) know
From Albany to Buffalo

Chorus:
Low bridge, everybody down
Low bridge cause we’re coming to a town
And you’ll always know your neighbor
And you’ll always know your pal
If you’ve ever navigated on the Erie Canal

Get up there Sal, we’ve passed that lock,
Fifteen years on the Erie Canal
And we’ll make Rome before six o’clock
Fifteen miles on the Erie Canal

One more trip and back we’ll go
Through the rain and sleet and snow
And every inch of the way I (we) know
From Albany to Buffalo

Low bridge, everybody down
Low bridge for we’re coming to a town
And you’ll always know your neighbor
And you’ll always know your pal
If you’ve ever navigated on the Erie Canal.

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This was the brainchild of uber-cool guy Michael John Heagerty.  His enthusiasm for this city is so infectious.  You may recognize him from the New York State Fair, riding around in The Big Yellow Fellow, a barcycle for ten.  I rode on it at the Irish Fest a few weeks ago and it was so silly fun.  I just love that I can now begin a sentence with – one time on The Big Yellow Fellow (someday I will also be able to begin a sentence with one time in Paris or one time in Milan, or one time in Mykonos…).  Michael was the man in the yellow suit minus a Curious George monkey.

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The video we made will be joined with the music track, edited and distributed to local elementary schools.  The Erie Canal is a big deal around here.  I mean, we all spend time on it – hiking, biking, rollerblading, etc., that is, the mule named Sal’s trail, not in the actual drink, although I do see people kayaking in there sometimes.

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The museum itself was fun too.  I walked around both floors and checked out their little gift shop.  They are open Monday-Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and Sundays 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.  Next month there is a gingerbread house contest and other festive events for the holidays.  Call (315) 471-0593 for more information or to schedule a school tour.

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It’s Happening

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Trying to live my life the way I did in the summer has been a challenge.  The first three days of last week  – I went to work then did my two hour hike at Green Lakes and, subsequently, crashed on the sofa when I got home.  But I made an effort to meet friends out in Armory Square in downtown Syracuse, New York on Thursday night.  I parked the car and stumbled into a happening.

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It was all part of Syracuse Fashion Week.  There was a fashion show on Walton Street the night of the curriculum open house at school earlier this month that I had to miss. I think I missed it last year for the same reason.  Models walked the runway of the 100 block, which had been closed off to traffic.

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This event was the Landmark Theatre Window Project.  The building is home to several vacant businesses, and so, this was the result – human mannequins as window dressing displaying fashions for the event today at the Marriott Downtown Syracuse (formerly the Hotel Syracuse).  It is called Fashions at The Persian Terrace and that fashion show starts today at 11:30am.

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In addition, the windows advertised other local businesses in the area including the Empire Brewing Co. and Painting with a Twist.  The latter is located at 3179 Erie Blvd. East in DeWitt, New York and was the only one to supply me with literature.  I love the idea of generating friends and family, as well as people of all ages to come together for a night of art making. Call (315) 447-2733 to schedule a visit soon!

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I love that Syracuse is becoming more artsy.  That people are coming up with fun and innovative ways to get involved in the community.  We all need to get out more and explore our world, because something great is always happening right in our own backyards if we take the time to notice.  It is only a hop, skip and a jump away. <3

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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!

 

Alert the Media

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!

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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.

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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 jamiesantosartworks@gmail.com for more information.

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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.

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Inside – we viewed these whimsical three-dimensional creations while listening to the sounds of Backpacker’s Field Manual (two Chittenango grads!)

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Loved it! <3  You will, too!

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Seeing the Light

At the artist reception on Wednesday night at Light Work, I fell in love.  Yes!  This is something that I seem to do easily lately.  I am in love with life, so what can I do?

In this case, the objects of my affection are Ben Altman’s photographs, which are hanging in the hallway of this beautiful venue (316 Waverly Ave., Syracuse, NY).  They will be there until July 22, 2016, if you want to see them in person.

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Here is a link  to the whole shebang on the Light Work website –

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Altman uses an old-fashioned camera to take photographs of people using their cell phones to photograph memorial sites around the world.  He is sort of a voyeur looking over the shoulders of these tourists to create images that have an eerie-beauty to them.  The memorial site is blurred but we can see a part of it through the tourists’ viewfinders.

So, you kind of say – ohhh, that’s pretty – then you read the title and you are looking at a picture taken at Auschwitz or one taken at the site of the Oklahoma bombing.  It is just this startling feeling of, like, OMG, I just thought a place of utter sadness was so beautiful.  Then you feel totally weird for liking it.  So you go back and look again with the new knowledge and feel super weird, because it is still so hauntingly beautiful.

And by you, I mean me.

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What a profound experience.  The photos are very large.  They are all the same size, framed the same way, which alerts us to the fact that they are equally important.  I just love the concept, the follow through, the process of capturing frame-in-frame shots that are all different, yet remain in harmony.

Here is his artist statement –

“Tourists at iconic sights almost automatically photograph with their smart-phones and cameras. This act becomes more complicated at memorials, sites, and museums that commemorate episodes of mass violence. Over the past few years I have photographed visitors and their screens at many such places. The people in my images are strangers who are mostly unaware of my intention, even though I use a hand-held 1940’s 4×5 press camera. My vintage equipment fits well with thinking about the present in terms of the past.

“Raising a device between oneself and a site of atrocity can be seen as distancing and reductive. However an impulse to manage and diffuse what these places mean is understandable and perhaps necessary. Often the memorials themselves depict the appalling, chaotic events they represent with unwarranted coherence or with the blankness of preserved artifacts. They invite engagement but also obstruct it. The memorials and the photography each suggest questions: how to see these sites; how to empathize with the unknowable experiences of the people who were caught up in the events; how to understand the ways in which past horrors configure our present world; how to live with our knowledge.

— Ben Altman, March 2016″

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When I was in Jersey City, NJ, I took a picture at the memorial they have honoring the New Jersey residents who died in the Twin Towers.  It is two walls of granite with names on each side and when you walk through towards the waterfront, the Freedom Tower sits between them in your sight line.  It is an emotional experience to stand there and witness.  As a tourist, I took a picture exactly the way Ben Altman explained in his statement.  But my photographs contain my own reflection. I guess in this way, I become one with my empathy and that is a good thing.  Altman’s detachment invites the viewer inside in a way that allows us to see the light of beauty in darkness.

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For more information on Ben Altman, find his website here.

 

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.

 

 

The Dreamer’s Legacy

You’d think that Syracusans would have no trouble driving around in a blizzard yesterday, but the hazardous conditions resulted in many car accidents around town.  I stayed home in my little bungalow in my pajamas all day, a fire in my wood-stove and a cat on my lap.  Spent much of the day dreaming.  Thinking about future art and writing projects and reflecting on the last six to twelve months of my life.

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I met Jan Brett once and asked her if she stays in her pajamas all day since she creates her children’s books from her home office.  She laughed and said she gets dressed every morning and makes it like a nine-to-five job.

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So, today I got up with the intention of bracing the storm to go to work.  I had breakfast and used the snow-blower on my driveway only to find out once I came in that school was changed from two-hour delay to closed. (I am about to go out again to do it all over again.  It is seriously snowing like cray-cray!)

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I am in yoga pants and a cashmere sweater and my Ugg boots that I wear as slippers.  Plus a cashmere beanie because it is still a little cold in here – apparently, I have the worst insulation in the neighborhood, as National Grid likes to remind me every month with those you-use-way-more-energy-than-anyone-else letters.

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I compromised a little – not quite the Tashionista I would have been if I had gone to work, but I am “decent”, lol.

Okay, now that all of that is out of the way, welcome to my first blog post of 2016.  Part of my contemplation has been deciding what my goals will be for this blog for this year and beyond, for my art and for my life in general. As I still sit here pondering, I am also looking back to see how far – if at all – I have come on this artistic journey.  Last year at this time, I noted a few things.  Like I had two students win awards in Scholastics. This year I had six honorable mentions out of fourteen entries, which is pretty great!

Last year at this time, I had 3,700 followers on Twitter.  Now I have 6,504.  I also doubled my connections on both Facebook and Linkedin.  By promoting these blog posts, I have received a lot of support from so many people all over the world, and tons of endorsements from friends, acquaintances and strangers on Linkedin.

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My friend Anne Novado recently closed Gallery 4040 here in Syracuse and moved to Jersey City, NJ to start a new gallery, which will open in the spring.  I miss her already, but it is such an exciting time for her.  She is embarking on a new chapter in her life, a new adventure.  A Syracuse artist/businesswoman branching out into another city and state.

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I love the idea of reinventing myself, of finding my purpose, and a part of me wishes I had some giant life-altering event to focus on like Anne has.  At Christmas, my sister said something I thought was profound – she said, “I chose to move back to Syracuse (from Boston) I chose to live my life here.  I don’t want to find a job elsewhere.”

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I did that once, when I lived in Ft. Lauderdale over twenty years ago.  My life feels like it is supposed to be here now.  I mean, I think so.  I want to say I have the same conviction that she has, but I am not quite sure that I do.  I do think of myself as a Syracuse artist though, as I have lived the majority of my life here.

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On Sunday, Penny Santy and I visited the Onondaga Historical Association.  It is a museum encompassing a history of Syracuse, New York.  It is such a beautiful thing to have historians who keep track of what once was and are the guardians of both past and future here in Syracuse. Like The Giver, lol.

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There are two art exhibitions currently, as well as permanent collection memorabilia.  One of the shows is called Snowy Splendor – Winter Scenes of Onondaga County.  It’s on the 2nd floor.  My friend Joan Applebaum has a painting in this show.

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There are paintings and photographs depicting Syracuse scenes and landmarks.  They’ve filled the room with flocked pine trees and old sleds too.  And of course, that giant statue that used to be on the roof of a brewery on the North side.  I remember seeing it a lot growing up.  We used to wait in the car while Mom ran into a bakery around there, I think.

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It’s weird seeing it as part of Syracuse’s history because I don’t feel like I am that old and it is a part of my life’s narrative.  That’s what this museum is like for me.  A lot of what I saw in there looks like it came from our old house on Ashworth Place or things many of us can still find in basements or attics complete with that familiar musty mildew smell.  There is a collection of World War I medals like the one in my jewelry box that belonged to my great grandfather.  There are plates from the defunct Syracuse China factory – the ones my parents have with the bird in the center.  Someone has made broken pieces of these plates into jewelry that is for sale in the gift shop.  You can purchase silk scarves with that same bird.  It’s just all so familiar, like a home away from home or a dream….

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The other art exhibition is called A Life in Art – A Highlight of Women Artists in OHA’s collections.  Its location is adjacent to the gift shop.  This show is up until June 5, 2016 so there is plenty of time to see it.  My friend Arlene Abend is represented in the exhibit.  In the ’70s, she created these little metal sculptures for the Syracuse Symphony’s fundraiser. Arlene has been such a force in the Syracuse art scene.  I am so glad to see that she was recognized here.

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You know, every generation thinks they invented the arts in a way.  You know what I mean – kids think they are way cooler than their parents or their teachers….  What I love about this show is how these women from the earlier days were able to create art at all and get recognized – in a time when they were expected to be wives and mothers first and foremost.  They were true creative trailblazers!  Like the woman whose husband was a firefighter and she sometimes accompanied him to a fire resulting in paintings.  Or the woman who painted the Syracuse Savings Bank for her relative who worked there.

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There’s a marble sculpture and block prints, watercolors, oils and charcoal portraits. Mostly portraits and landscapes.  Betty Munro was a landscape artist.  A watercolor of hers is part of this show and there are more originals for sale in the gift shop.  It is really incredible to see these beautiful pieces for sale (only $425-$575 unframed).  They are images depicting downtown Syracuse landmarks, which would be perfect for the walls of any businesses still located in the vicinity!

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I loved viewing this show and imagining one of my abstract pieces alongside the rest of these talented artists’ work.  Someday….  Am I worthy?  Maybe that is part of my dream. To be recognized internationally just so that my hometown can someday acknowledge me as one of Syracuse’s best.  Now that is something I truly would love to manifest.

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The OHA is located at 321 Montgomery Street, Syracuse, NY 13202.  They are open Wednesday-Friday 10am-4pm and Saturday and Sundays 11am-3:30pm (Closed Monday and Tuesday).  Call (315) 428-1864 for more information.  Find their website here.  You can donate or become a member, or even volunteer as a docent.  It is such an amazing place! They do a lot of student field trips and have an archive you can search.  I am very interested in locating an old picture of my house, which was built in 1900. That would be very cool.

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Back to School Fashionista

Let’s face it – back to school is all about the fashion.  And it’s not just me.  I’ve had plenty of conversations in the last two weeks with my colleagues where we spend time between classes complimenting each other’s outfits and that’s with both men and women.  The new principal walked by me twice in a day and said, “Talking about fashion again?”  (I was…to two different friends).

Banana Republic dress, BCBGGeneration sandals, Fossil bracelets
Banana Republic dress, BCBGGeneration sandals, Fossil bracelets

I love what the kids are bringing to the table too.  The boys wear shorts, socks and sneakers that all match in colors like bold yellow and turquoise.  The girls like what I call shimmer-shammer, tops with sequins in heart motifs or positive message text.  Of course, my favorite thing is when someone is wearing  cammo sandwich (head-to-toe camouflage) and I say, “Whoops, I didn’t see you there.”  Yeah, that joke never gets old.

BCBGMaxAzria dress, BCBGGeneration sandals, Fossil bracelets
BCBGMaxAzria dress, BCBGGeneration sandals, Fossil bracelets

The day I wore the above outfit, I was up on my step ladder finally adding posters to the walls of my classroom once the humidity died down a notch (no aircondish).  I literally fell off…and landed perfectly on my four inch heels.  Alex, one of my students, is still talking about that.  He was like, “How did you DO that?”  Answer – cat-like reflexes, if cats wore heels.

BCBGMaxAzria dress, BCBGGeneration sandals
BCBGMaxAzria dress, BCBGGeneration sandals

As you know, I’m attempting to save money so that I can start a sentence with “One time, in Greece….”  My friend Shelly said I should start by not buying any new clothes.  She’s right.  No one in Greece has seen me in person in these clothes (except my cousin Michele) so there’s that.  But I will literally die if I don’t continue to buy new stuff.  I’d rather do that than eat or fix the brakes on my car.  I’m honestly not sure how I will manage.

BCBGMaxAzria dress, BCBGGeneration sandals, Honora watch, Coach tag on velvet necklace (homemade/one-of-a-kind - my cat ate the string; pooped it out the next day!)
BCBGMaxAzria dress, BCBGGeneration sandals, Honora watch, Coach tag on velvet necklace (homemade/one-of-a-kind – my cat ate the string; pooped it out the next day!)

There is a way I could have both new clothes and the trip, and that is to do with the business of selling art.  In a dream scenario, I would sell every painting I have for sale at Natur-Tyme before the witching hour.

BCBGMaxAzria top Banana Republic pants, BCBGGeneration sandals, Fossil bracelets
BCBGMaxAzria top Banana Republic pants, BCBGGeneration sandals, Fossil bracelets

I take them all home next Saturday, September 26, 2015 at 9:00 am. Right now, aside from the very reasonably priced 18″ x 18″ cat paintings ($75), I am selling unframed watercolors in different sizes for between $75 and $200.  I only need to sell ten of the latter for that ticket and some pocket money.  And we all know how much better these abstractions look in multiples, right?  I  know there is someone out there who wants to help me.  I can feel it.

Lifeline, 18" x 24", watercolor, 2002, $200
Lifeline, 18″ x 24″, watercolor, 2002, $200

Also, I have cards there for only $5. Those cards are an absolute steal at that price since they take me close to three hours each to create.

Banana Republic dress, BCBGGeneration sandals, Honora necklace
Banana Republic dress, BCBGGeneration sandals, Honora necklace

I am soooo happy.  The accolades have been such a gift.  So many people telling me they love my artwork.  So many people  congratulating me on the article in Women of Upstate New York.  The  summer has been seriously laced with magic.  I am so grateful for all the adventures, for the love and the friendships and for the amazing things that happened with regard to my art career.  Some of the best times of my life…moments I will cherish, and never, ever forget for as long as I live.  I am a very lucky person.  I know that.

Trina Turk dress, BCBGGeneration sandals
Trina Turk dress, BCBGGeneration sandals

I wish I could just give the artwork away and if I didn’t need the money for this trip and another romantic notion – to go to Paris, you know I would.  Like if travelling was free.

BCBGMaxAzria top, Banana Republic skirt, BCBGGeneration sandals
BCBGMaxAzria top, Banana Republic skirt, BCBGGeneration sandals

The only way to manifest those dreams is with your help.  I will be forever grateful and you will have a Tashkovski original, a piece of my soul, kinda like a horcrux only better because it was made with love.

Bailey 44 top, Trina Turk skirt, BCBGGeneration sandals, Fossil bracelets
Bailey 44 top, Trina Turk skirt, BCBGGeneration sandals, Fossil bracelets

The thirty-two framed paper collage and watercolors will remain at Syracuse Tech Garden until October 9, 2015.  Contact Steve Nyland to make a purchase –  gallery.ttg@gmail.com.

with my favorite student-fashionista, Hope!
with my favorite student-fashionista, Hope!