Images

Judy-Judy-Judy

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I was in the neighborhood visiting a friend – before heading home, I decided to stop into the Manlius Library (1 Arkie Albanese Avenue, Manlius, New York 13082) to check out the art exhibit.

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Judith Hand has a solo exhibition.  There are forty-six paintings – some from her floral series, pieces I viewed in a show at LeMoyne College.  Others are new sketches/paintings created in and around the Syracuse area, as part of a group called “Urban Sketchers”.  I think I am in this group – I do get their emails but have not actively participated yet.  They meet at various locations (cafes, museums, parks) with their art supplies in tow.

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Artwork is for sale and can be viewed during regular library hours.  The exhibition continues through February 22, 2020.  Call (315) 682-6400 for more information.

Hours of operation:  Monday – Thursday 10 AM-9 PM, Friday and Saturday 10 AM-5 PM, Sunday 1 PM-5 PM.

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#ootd – January 2020

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BCBGMaxAzria sweater, dress, and pants, Rag & Bone booties
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Free People cardigan, Theory sweater, BCBGMaxAzria leggings, Rag & Bone booties
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Free People cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria top, Rebecca Taylor pants, Calvin Klein booties

Welcome to my world.  Here are my 2020 #ootd school pictures thus far.  My Studio in Art students have been painting with acrylics – these paintings are going to blow your mind.  They are sooooo good!!!!! I think they only need a couple more weeks to complete them.  I have been wearing stuff that wouldn’t freak me out if it got paint on it.  I guess I am saying that fashion is taking a backseat at the moment.  I’m a control freak about the brushes – I tell them to use however many they want and need, and I will wash them, so, I spend about twenty minutes washing brushes on my lunch period every day.

Today was the first day of the 2nd semester, believe it or not, which means we are already half-way through the year.  I am giving pre-tests and prepping lessons – lots of cool things to come:  oil pastels, collage, more paintings and clay!!!  I’ll be switching up the artwork on the cabinets soon, as well as eventually organizing the excessive amount of white paint on that back counter, lol, for those of you who scoff at the mess. (It is an art room, after all – that’s what makes it fun and funny).  Special thanks to Katy C., my colleague and photographer, who laughs with me every day.  <3

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Theory sweater, Rag & Bone skirt, Marc Jacobs booties
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BCBGMaxAzria dress, Marc Jacobs booties
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Theory cashmere cardigan, Syracuse Yoga T-shirt, Banana Republic skirt, Marc Jacobs booties
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Banana Republic cardigan, Joe’s Jeans leather jeans, Sorel booties
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Rachel Zoe top, BCBGMaxAzria sweater and pants, Ralph Lauren boots
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Free People cardigan, BCBGMaxAzria top, Joe’s Jeans leather jeans, Nine West booties

Collection Legacy

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The four upstairs galleries at the Everson Museum of Art (401 Harrison Street, Syracuse, New York 13202) are filled with treasures, some of which I have seen many times over the decades – but not like this.  Elizabeth Dunbar, director and CEO, has a way of pairing paintings and ceramics with a keen eye that makes everything come alive and feel fresh again.

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It is this new perspective that breathes love into the exhibition, A Legacy of Firsts:  The Everson Collects.  It showcases the museums over one hundred year history, presenting the cohesion via an American thread.  The exhibition honors the museum’s legacy and in turn reveres the decisions made by previous curators and directors.  I love this credence to respect.  It feels welcoming.  It feels like family.  It feels like home.  As she says in her message in the winter 2020 Everson Bulletin, [the museum is] “For artists.  For community.  For everyone.”

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This is an historical trek that begins at the top of the spiral staircase with pieces purchased around 1911 when the museum was known as the Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts – impressionistic landscapes, portraits and still-lifes displayed in ornate golden frames coupled with the ceramic pieces of the day.  Adelaide Alsop Robineau was a local potter who corresponded with and met the museum’s director at that time, Fernando Carter, as she frequented the facility back then – her intricately carved vessels were the first pieces purchased for what became a premier ceramics collection.

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There are over 11,000 items in the Everson’s collection! As the show progresses into the second chamber, you are jolted by bold colors.  This room is filled with large-scale abstractions and colorful pottery to mix and match.  Lee Krasner’s painting is displayed above her husband’s, an early Jackson Pollack.  I love the similarity in their styles.

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There is a display of transmedia here as well, but the videos don’t translate well in a photograph.

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The next gallery is familiar in that the museum purchased pieces from exhibitions from their recent past.  This (below) is a piece by Vanessa German.

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And I believe that (above) is an Angela Fraleigh 

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The fourth gallery space is heaviest on the ceramic collection.  It is such a bold move to see these pieces sans glass or other protective shielding, but that is what makes them so compelling.  Textural items created to be touched that one must not touch within reach – when I visited the museum as a child, all the ceramics were under glass in the do not touch space, as though they came to the museum to die, lol.  Now they are sooooo alive!

This show is visual candy.  I love the angles of the presentations, the way pieces connect, that flow, rhythm and the sheer beauty of the artwork.  It’s a wonderful journey through yesteryear and beyond.  <3

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A Legacy of Firsts:  The Everson Collects continues through March 22, 2020.

The Everson Museum of Art is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.  Hours of operation:  Wednesday, Friday and Sunday noon – 5 PM, Thursdays noon – 8 PM and Saturdays 10 AM – 5 PM.  There is a sliding scale admission fee (free for members).  Visit their web-site for the deets.  www.everson.org

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Arts & Crafts-gasm

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The basement of the Everson Museum of Art (401 Harrison Street, Syracuse, New York 13202) is currently an Arts & Crafts movement lover’s dream.  Renegades and Reformers:  American Art Pottery was just installed yesterday!  It is a phenomenal show.

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Adelaide Alsop Robineau was a well-known potter in Syracuse circa the early 20th century.  After the Everson purchased a collection of her work, the powers that be decided to focus on ceramics, eventually building one of the finest ceramics collections in the nation.

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This exhibition focuses on two factions of artists, in this case the idea that (according to the literature) there are “two personality types” among artists – renegades and reformers.

Renegades refer to those who created a personal identity through their art and reformers are considered to have pursued a modern approach to their work lashing out against Victorian values of the day.

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The exhibition will be on view through July 5, 2020.  A docent-led tour is scheduled for March 19, 2020 at 6 PM.  This is part of the Third Thursday event (many galleries and museums schedule art receptions and events simultaneously on the third Thursday of the month here in Syracuse).

The Everson Museum of Art is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.  Hours of operation:  Wednesday, Friday and Sunday noon – 5 PM, Thursdays noon – 8 PM and Saturdays 10 AM – 5 PM.  There is a sliding scale admission fee (free for members).  Visit their web-site for the deets.  www.everson.org

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AM-Jam Tattoo Expo

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There is a tattoo convention happening now through Sunday, January 26, 2020 at the Ramada on Carrier Circle (6555 Old Collamer Road S., East Syracuse, New York 13057).  It is the 34th annual AM-JAM Tattoo Expo 2020.

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I get a lot of my information about events through social media, but for this one, I saw the advertisement in the Eagle Bulletin!  I decided to check it out since it is a hop, skip and a jump from home – just got back.

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I had to park at another hotel – this is a happening!  There are vendors selling jewelry, clothing, tattoo ink and even honey in addition to the many tattoo artists represented from all across New York State.

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I saw A LOT of people getting tattooed!  Clients can book appointments in advance, but walk-ins are certainly welcome.  This is an epic phenomenological encounter-style experience:  the smell of cigarettes in the air outside the hotel, the incessant buzzing of the needles as they drive ink into human flesh, the visual stimulation of the macabre juxtaposed with cartoon imagery as you weave a path that takes you through several banquet rooms on your quest for all things inked.  It’s pretty amazing!

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Other events scheduled include tattoo contests and costume contests.  They will be open until midnight tonight then back at it tomorrow from noon to 6 PM.  Admission is $10.  Call (518) 893-2273 for more information.

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Imagined Word

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Be prepared for an all consuming journey of the mind, if you plan to visit Syracuse University’s Point of Contact Gallery (350 W. Fayette Street, Syracuse, New York 13202) in the next two months.  Puerto Rican artist Rafael Trelles has reinterpreted visions, dreams and literature to create a compelling dialogue between artists while exposing his queries regarding the human condition in his art exhibition titled The Imagined Word.

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Twenty-two painted drawings are presented here.  They are figurative – faces painted with etching inks, an oil-based ink that dries relatively quickly (as opposed to using oil paint, which would bleed on this particular paper, as he explained to me at tonight’s reception).

Some faces came first until a literary resource matched the artist’s hand then others selected first and the process reversed. Gestural lines and acrylic paint in sweeping brushstroke join these brilliantly rendered portraits to create compositions of depth and allegory, allowing the viewer to attach meaning in terms of their own identity to the stories with respect to personal fears and the beauty of their individual subconscious realms.

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There is magic here.  These recent pieces reflect two years of work.  Next up for the Trelles, large-scale paintings on canvas and an exhibition in London!

The Imagined Word continues through March 13, 2020.

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Point of Contact Gallery |350 W. Fayette St. Syracuse, NY 13202 | Open Monday – Friday: 12PM – 5PM or by appointment. Call (315) 443-2169 for more information.

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Decorative Surfaces

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Just returned home from another wonderful art reception.  This time I was around the corner from home, at SUNY Empire State College (6333 State Route 298, Suite 300, East Syracuse, New York 13057) for the Independent Potters’ Association exhibition, Surface Decorations on Ceramics.

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I spoke with Alan Stankiewicz (above), the mastermind of this show, as he is curator and exhibitor, as well as an educator at the college.  He used horsehair as a surface decoration on his piece – the horsehair is placed on hot-from-the-raku-kiln-fired pottery.  It is allowed to burn away leaving fine lines resembling the look of a gestural charcoal drawing.  I’d never seen this technique before.

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This is the beauty of the exhibition.  The whole thing is a teachable moment.  This group of potters share their expertise with each other and now, here, with the students of this college and you, the public.  There is such a sense of positivity in their camaraderie.

The exhibit is nicely linked via tiles with explanations of individual techniques and literature that tells the story of this vernacular.  It is really so amazing how many ways pottery can be decorated and, of course, multiply that times the combined techniques variations and you have madness!  I honestly don’t know how the artists settle on a particular style.  It has to be inspired action.

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Many SUNY Empire employees joined the artists for the reception in the Central Arts Gallery.  They had a marvelous spread of munchies.  It is on the third floor of the building on the left after entering the college facility.  I was here once before for Maria Rizzo’s thesis exhibition.

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Surface Decoration on Ceramics will remain on display through February 28, 2020.  Gallery hours are Monday-Friday 9 AM-5 PM.  I highly recommend this to any high school ceramics art teachers in the area who are contemplating a field trip.  It is a really informative show.  So many cool ideas! Thank you, IPA. <3

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Woolly Winter

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Today, after work and a five-mile Green Lakes hike, I headed over to the Sue & Leon Genet Galley at The Nancy Cantor Warehouse (350 W. Fayette Street, Syracuse, New York 13202) for the Sue Ann Genet Costume Collection exhibit, Let It Snow!  Keeping Warm at Syracuse University, 1870-2020.

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I love the irony of this whole premise that it is cold in Syracuse in winter and I’m all hiking my head off for two hours a day thinking it’s totally warm – what’s wrong with you people?  Naturally, I am also all about cashmere, fur, leather and down parkas, so this little exhibit was right up my alley.  Keeping warm is my schtick.  Really, it’s fashion.  Fashion’s my schtick.

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I frequented this gallery when it was housed in Slocum Hall back in the ’80s, so actually visiting it again, it’s kinda/sorta my old stomping grounds.  I am a graduate of the Fashion Design program at Syracuse University and a really cold (minus 4 degrees) day in 1982 is referenced in the literature, which was probably a day I was walking around campus with my gigantic portfolio and paint case or a huge bag of fabric and a sewing kit (dual degree Fashion and Studio Arts) blowing around all over the place.  Could this be anymore about me? LOL, sorry….

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This is obviously an exhibition of outerwear spanning a century and a half.  Everything on the mannequins looks stunning – well preserved and for the most part, timeless.

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The show was curated by Professor Jeffrey Mayer.  Kirsten Schoonmaker gave a slide presentation during the event tonight sharing her expertise on textiles, specifically a history of the fashion/costume use of wool and fur through the ages.  Students in attendance were clearly enthralled by her dynamic presence.  She is an Associate Professor of Fashion Design at Syracuse University, as well as the exhibit designer and collection manager.

Let It Snow! will be up through February 28, 2020.  You will love it. <3

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***from the Syracuse University website

On Dec. 2, 2019, Syracuse University canceled a full day of classes for the fourth time in its 150-year history. This means that generations of students have trudged through snow, sleet, ice, and wind in order to get to class. How did they keep themselves from shivering as the daytime temperatures plunged as low as -4°F in January of 1982? Students on campus have proved that staying warm doesn’t have to mean sacrificing style. Thick fulled wool in fashionable hues has been cut and shaped to follow the silhouettes of the moment, whether it be the 1880s, the 1980s, or today. Collars and cuffs have been trimmed with insulating materials from soft fur to plushy polyester, trapping warm air around exposed skin as icy winds blow. Belts and buttons not only keep coats from flapping, but also add a touch of shape, sparkle, or contrast. Selections from the Sue Ann Genet Costume Collection reveal that while faces may change, outerwear has always been a style statement on campus.

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About the Sue and Leon Genet Gallery:

Based in the School of Design at the Nancy Cantor Warehouse, the Sue & Leon Genet Gallery is a student-managed space hosting exhibitions from the school’s students, faculty, and alumni. Programing seeks to engage the University and downtown Syracuse community with exhibitions inspired by and related to the field of design. Public gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, noon to 5:00 pm., or by appointment.  Call (315) 443-2455.

In the Absence of Presence

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The last time I went to the Noreen Reale Falcone Library (1419 Salt Springs Road, Syracuse, New York 13214), the LeMoyne College campus looked a lot different.  They’ve since uprooted a nearby parking lot in favor of more grassy knolls (which are currently snow-covered).  I had to ask several people to direct me to it once I found visitor parking across the street.  It was, like, in the Hunger Games when they discombobulated the players by topsy-turvy-ing the playing field computer simulation.  The building didn’t even look the same to me as I came upon it from a different angle.  I mean, where was I?

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Eventually, I found my friend Penny and together we chatted with Gina Occhiogrosso, who is currently showing oil paintings and mixed-media fabrications at the Wilson Art Gallery located inside the library.

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Occhiogrosso graciously shared information with us regarding her artist inner-voice.  Her mother (now retired) was an artist and shoe designer with a penchant for “junking” (as my sister calls it), filling her home with flea market finds in various states of patina-ed wear.  Decades of layers that make up a life of surroundings.  As the artist pondered this home landscape, she created paper cut-outs from photographs she’d taken then abstracted them via paper collages.  Intrigued by the void, the absence of the material, she set upon painting large scale versions of these pieces.

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The result becomes its own presence, its own entity put into the world without the necessity of the language of its origin.

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It is beautiful to witness these things and know their secrets, though, because I, personally, just love knowing.

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There is artwork in this show that spans approximately three years of work.  More paper collages are meant to represent the anxiety of environmental disaster, in this case, the tsunami disaster of 2011.  Occhiogrosso creates that absence of presence once again, cutting images, rearranging them and turning them into solid-colored shapes that intertwine to create something vaguely familiar but completely void of the emotion that inspired them.

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In addition, there are fabric collages that are stitched, painted and inked.  Here the work becomes layered, as though there is more to discover, as if she’s hiding a legend inside.  I am intrigued by this body of work.  Occhiogrosso’s talent lies in the bridge between fear and the journey to a calmer, gentler space via the shapes of the present.  She seems to be on a discovery to something more.  I stumbled into something wonderfully puzzling and I am very interested to see what happens next.

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***from the artist’s web-site

I am a painter whose work is composed not only through the application of wet color on a surface, but through processes of disassembly and realignment, and the incorporation of common, everyday materials like thread and yarn. These activities and elements allow me to explore anxiety, loss, humor and heroic femininity.

The hallowed and often masculinized tradition of painting is subverted in my work through a repeated process of cutting and then sewing painted surfaces together to develop new forms, dynamic connections and illusions of depth. Where these freshly stitched edges join, there is a seam, which has both linear and sculptural qualities. The seam acts as a geometric disrupter of curvy ellipses and other organic forms that are carefully rendered and then carved up with alternating precision and chance. The ghost of those cut edges has its own subtle presence. Where the fabric overlaps in the reverse of the painting, a slightly more opaque path is traced, issuing a new element whose origin is not at first apparent to the viewer.

I am interested in developing a surface that’s full of the suggestive qualities that abstraction can create. The stitched paintings supply this through the deliberate recalibration of shapes and their relationships to one another. In parallel to these, and often in service to them, collage becomes an important method for revealing new, unexpected interpretations of form. The sources of the collaged materials are often photographs of real things and places that hold meaning for me. As in the paintings, that information is disrupted and reinterpreted in compositions that suggest the fleeting nature of forces, figures and time.

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Gina Occhiogrosso is an Associate Professor and Foundations Coordinator at The College of St. Rose in Albany, New York.  She is represented by several galleries and has been in numerous group shows.  She is a MacDowell Colony Fellow.  This exhibition will remain on view at Wilson Art Gallery during regular library hours through February 21, 2020.  For more information call (315) 445-4330.