Collaborative Concepts at Saunders Farm is an excellent venue for experimental sculpture. This year my piece, "DRIP DRY", a clothesline hung with metal clothing, was my first experiment working with aluminum flashing and screen material. I decorated the flashing by piercing it with nail holes, a technique inspired by New Mexican metal work. This show is up through the end of October, 2014. After that, "DRIP DRY" will be installed in the garden of the BEAN RUNNER CAFE in Peekskill as part of THE POWER OF WOMEN ARTISTS.
STEAMROLLER PRINTING, GARRISON, NY
The Garrison Arts Center hosted a wonderful community event on October 5, 2014. An entire day was devoted to making prints, large and small. Printmakers, new and seasoned, of all ages, participated. The weather was glorious and the results were spectacular. Artists Barbara G. Smith, Coulter Young and Ada Cruz were among the volunteers who made this happen.
At the beginning of November 2014, I will be participating in three different shows. This is one of them, at the Paramount Center for the Arts in Peekskill.
Queen Sofia Spanish Institute
Yesterday, while falling snow made the Hudson River and the sky above it fuse into a nearly monochromatic grayish-white, I took Metro North from Peekskill down to New York City. It turned into a nice day for walking around New York, provided one was equipped with practical footwear to wade through and around what accumulations of muck remain on the sidewalks and streets due to Winter's repeated onslaughts.
Recently, while visiting NYC, I have allowed myself the flexibility to respond to serendipity. Yesterday, this presented itself in the form of the QUEEN SOFIA SPANISH INSTITUTE, which I happened to pass, at
684 PARK AVENUE
NEW YORK, NY 10065
T (212) 628 0420 F (212) 734 4177
Currently on exhibit there is MARIO TESTINO's ALTO MODA. Anyone who has a weakness for rich fabrics and ethnic design ought to enjoy these large-scale photographs of Peruvian men and women in traditional festive garb from various regions of Peru. Both the skillful photographs and the clothing portrayed are works of art. Highly embroidered and embellished Peruvian costumes from corn-growing, alpaca raising and cattle-herding regions, are completed by amusing and sinister masks, which, due to the clarity and size of the photographs, can be seen in greater detail than if we were actually attending the ritual dances and activities for which they are created. The costumes and tableaus are freighted with a fair amount of social commentary. Cross-cultural influences are worth noting, such as the tiered, flouncy skirts and black leather chaps appliquéd with white leather guitars, which suggest a possible cross-pollination between Peruvian cowboy culture and our own in the U.S. An explanatory text is given to visitors to guide them through the exhibition.
New York seems to be a treasure trove of small exhibition spaces. It is justifiably famous for its magnificent museums of every stripe, and its galleries where a cornucopia of fine arts are exhibited and available for purchase. Not surprisingly, comparatively intimate and obscure venues, a number of which lurk behind the beaux arts, limestone facades of former Upper East Side mansions, frequently go unnoticed and under-appreciated. This is good news for serendipitous visitors who may find they have the run of still-elegant homes which they can wander through in stately and often solitary serenity. Yesterday, before leaving, I filled my water bottle from an elegantly arched marble dolphin water spout.
This weekend was the opening for the 2013 Saunders Farm art event in a Garrison cow pasture, put on by Collaborative Concepts. I have been to this in the past but this year I decided to participate. I really enjoyed meeting all the artists and being a part of the event. Thank you to all my friends who climbed up the hill, defying the hazards of the cow pastures, to come see my art!
The mosaic bowling balls are my contribution, titled "BOWLING WITH HENDRICK HUDSON'S HALF MOON CREW, a nod to Washington Irving's story of Rip Van Winkle.
There were a number of other nice pieces of which I didn't take photos. If you want to see more, check out the Collaborative Concepts link on Facebook or their web page.
Sketchbook Project, 2011
The Sketchbook Project, out of Brooklyn, was a good way to get the creative juices flowing. Having chosen one of their suggested topics, "Make Mine a Double", I set out to explore the concept of "doubleness", pro, con, and neutral.
At the end of 2011, Peekskill artist Carla Rae Johnson invited many creative people to contribute to a project that she had conceived. Having purchased an old library card file, cards were needed to fill it. Each participant agreed to create 300 catalogue cards for the file, to be called "The Alternet", by the beginning of 2013. This card catalogue is currently traveling around to libraries in and out of NY State. Here are some of my contributions.
BEALE STREET BARBER SHOP
I have always maintained that Peekskill has been on the verge of a renaissance ever since I moved here in 1986. Change is always slower than people would have it. Sometimes it takes unpredictable directions. On the other hand, there is the "be careful what you wish for " school of thought. Were unprecedented prosperity to descend upon Peekskill all at once, many of the people who make Peekskill interesting and different ( even if sometimes maddeningly so), would be forced to flee.
Today I had the opportunity to patronize one of the newer businesses in Peekskill, the Beale Street Barber Shop, or "B*S*B*S" at 907 South Street. Some people probably know it as the "Elvis" barber shop. Elvis, with his resplendent locks, is certainly a most visible presence in the shop, which caters to men and ladies, with special rates for children, seniors and "Law Enforcement - Military - Firefighters". One need not leave the shop looking like Elvis but the owner, Mark does his best to make his customers feel as attractive and imposing as "the King" must have felt in his prime.
Because Peekskill is reflecting, more and more, the vision of a town culturally enriched by a burgeoning population of artists, visual and performing, these creative people are most certainly among Mark's clientele. Mark is himself a musician. Also, images of Elvis are not the only artwork to grace his walls. Mark has made a commitment to exhibit art at B*S*B*S. Currently you may see an appealing company of robots, conceived and constructed by the artist Coulter Young.
I am happy with my haircut, I enjoyed meeting Mark and I may have a chance to exhibit some artwork at B*S*B*S some time in the future. If so, I hope to include my portrait of "Rusty: Wash N' Wear Haircutters", a barbershop which preceded B*S*B*S on the same block of South Street. Rusty is missed but B*S*B*S is a worthy successor.
Last Thursday Melissa Conners, Connecticut artist and friend, joined me at Croton's River Walk where we created a creature out of driftwood and rocks. It somewhat resembled a reindeer, with a long neck and antlers and a brushy tail. It gazed out at the water.
I am an artist who enjoys trying new media. I love the cross-pollination of ideas. Often, though, it all comes back to drawing.