Friday, May 17, 2013

Artist Residency Open Studios Times Two: Sculpture Space, Inc. Utica NY, and The Sam & Adele Golden Foundation New Berlin NY, May 15 and 16 2013

Downtown Utica NY, where the Project U Artists Group is developing a relationship with local businesses with our Art In Windows program. The objective is to spur economic growth by injecting the work of local artists into the area starting with the sidewalk level windows of businesses up & down the Genesse St. business district.

So the purpose of being in Utica on this particular day was to attend to some of our art displays and here's a quick look.

Photographer/artist Richelle Maki's incredible installation at APAC Customer Services, 
located at 131 Genesse St.

Around the corner at APAC's Bleecker St. windows, with paintings by myself (left) and Timothy Rand (center and right).

Weird chance pic of my corner at the far end of the Bleecker St. windows across from Utica's Centro Bus hub. Kith the large self portrait from the BC exhibition at right, and at left one of the doors I did as part of the promotional video commission by Golden Artist Colors. Another version of that landscape image will join them on Wednesday of next week and I'm trying to think of a way to rig up a quick zombie display here that can be placed near the window ... O.0

Sculpture Space's notification card, with examples of the artwork by the four current residents. Clockwise from the left: Alice Hope, Taylor Baldwin, Mikolaj Szosk, and Deborah Simon.

The Sculpture Space, Inc. website:

I'm keeping an eye on this one! It's the form of a stylized tree in a colored plexi type plastic in the lawn. Should be interesting to see how they manage its overgrowth relative to the groundskeeping.

Inside of Deborah Simon's studio, gazing at her miraculous combination of all hand made bird forms with WW2 attack aircraft. Including a B-25 Mitchell! ranking high on the list of coolest warplanes ever and a personal favorite of many model making efforts when a tadpole.

Deborah Simon

Deborah Simon

Deborah Simon

Deborah Simon

Deborah Simon

Feather studies, all of them hand painted & anatomically correct.

More B-25's!!!  


Deborah Simon's other ongoing project is making a half flayed bear ...

Deborah Simon

Deborah's multimedia presentation, a highlight of Sculpture Space open studios events. Which really are "open" to the public & promoted within the community, with a nice cross section of both artists, enthusiasts, local professionals and neighborhood curiosity seekers onhand.

Artist Alice Hope, at center, who blew my mind mentioning the use of magnetism as an adhering property in the work she does. The beaded "painting" hanging next to her is made of something like 2,020 beaded steel tassels, and she freely admitted that her capacity for making such pieces is rooted in OCD. I didn't get a chance to visit with Alice during this visit but want to know more! and will be back in June to see what results from her experimentation.

Polish born artist Mikolaj Szosk's presentation, with his installation artwork emphasizing his interest in modern architecture forms, a subject he taught at the college level. I didn't have a chance to speak with Mikolaj either but had that flash of recognition when saying hello upon first arriving. Next time!

Mikolaj Szosk

Finally artist Taylor Baldwin, a zombie loving multi-artist creating work that I instantly identified with. The high point of Taylor's presentation was a video clip of him de-constructing an anatomically correct mannequin form that I immediately recognized as a parody of that dingbat "Alien Autopsy" hoax. Hi-fived him for it after and I look forward to comparing notes on other pop culture forms ... Ever heard of Paul Naschy??  

One of Taylor Baldwin's works in progress, this the beginning of an anatomically correct model of an albatross constructed entirely from found or repurposed materials.

Taylor Baldwin

Taylor Baldwin

This picture proved interesting when preparing the blog post! I was trying to get a picture of the refreshment spread -- VERY important detail to show, IMHO -- and only noticed after that I'd gotten the Golden Foundation residency artists to picture left along with their official escort. Left to right: Sarah Dineen, Emma Golden, a smiling Paul Shakespear, and obscured by the gentleman with his back turned, Debra Ramsay. And Sculpture Space was well represented at the Golden Foundation residency open studios the following day. Nice!

On the way out the door for the drive back to Syracuse and realizing that Utica Club sign was behind the lot we did our live murals event in at the Utica Greens Fest in September. Utica is one massive public arts venue waiting for people to come show their work and make more.

So here we are the following day at the open studios event at the Sam & Adele Golden Foundation Artist Residency studio barn wonderland just down the road from the Golden Artist Colors plant outside of New Berlin, NY. And for my three hour round trip I made sure to get the royal treatment. This was fun.

The Golden Foundation website:

Golden Artist Colors' website:

I forgot to snag an event notification card! working the grapevine to have one saved, but on this email notice you can discern some contact info for the program, and here are weblinks to the artist's sites:

Cows, along Route 12b near Sherbourne, NY.

The good old residency barn, exciting just to be there and I am not kidding.

The three residency artists for this term, left to right Debra Ramsay, a fan, Sarah Dineen, and Paul Shakespear, with Sarah's studio space behind them.

Sarah Dineen with the incredible canvas dominating her portion of the barn's downstairs. I had a nice visit with Sarah and was intrigued to hear that until of late she had primarily worked only in monocrhrome black & white. And upon arriving for her residency term went straight for the fluorescent colors  ;D  intent on finding a method to use them that was not the cliche uber-color fluorescent painter's approach. She nailed it.

Sarah Dineen

Sarah Dineen, getting a feel for the layering process she's used, and the picture loses the incredible glossy surface of that gray patch. 

Sarah Dineen. I believe these may be examples of her work prior to the residency ... and loved the chair.

Sarah Dineen

Sarah Dineen with another artist who had come to see what there was to see, though I didn't introduce myself this time.

Paul Shakespear at the foot of the loft space that had me in a cold sweat in December when doing my commission work in the barn. We recognized each other from the Sculpture Space open studios the day before but had not been introduced. He's as nice as the smile indicates too, had a fun visit with him and would like to go back for another look & talk technique if there's a chance.

The incredible loft studio in the barn. One of the things I asked Paul about was how the spaces had been divvied up ... Tempted to start an urban legend about a survival of the fittest test in the woods around the plant but truth be on day one they got a tour, sat down, and each one had chosen the spaces they ended up occupying.

Which blew my mind -- who could pass that incredible studio up?? -- until my Hamilton Center for the Arts colleague Kayla Cady pointed out that the walls up there wouldn't have been big enough for Sarah's massive canvases, and Debra's approach is more airy and would have been at odds with the more claustrophobic nature of this nook. And that she would have a tough time in there with so little wall space & a polished hardwood floor. She wears aprons when she paints. I sit at a table and use a thimble full of water over a whole painting. Just need something to sit on and a place to plug in a lamp. Perfect, and Kayla gets the downstairs (in my dreams ... for now).

Paul Shakespear, and the gel medium lover in me was groaning at how polished that sheen is. Upon reflection back at home when preparing the pix for posting the work suddenly reminded me of the "Gray Gardens" panels turned on their side & reduced 1/8th in size. I'd better email Paul a link to them so he knows what I'm on about, I'd been meaning to explore that form again somehow and this could be an approach.

Paul visiting with Kayla in the larger middle section where I'd done the door drawings in December. I'd still want that loft though.

Paul's battery of glazes, gels, finishes and delicious goo.

Paul Shakespear at right, Golden's Chris Farrell at left, and one of the Sculpture Space founding directors at center & am kicking myself over a name ... I am impossible with names ...

Paul Shakespear, and I want to know more.

Debra Ramsay now with her superlative color studies, which are indeed derived from the natural world outside in the wilds of Chenango County surrounding the barn & plant. I had been enraptured by the columns of mist rising off the hills when there during a very damp December, some of which ended up in the works I drew in the barn. Debra described walking the trails around the property, collecting specimens of nature and basing her studies on their colors. We also share a love for the Acrylic Ground for Pastel! Can't imagine painting without it anymore.

Debra Ramsay's spare, orderly studio space.

My favorite of her works! made me think of Syracuse painter Phil Parsons who did a series of paintings of a barn to explore the color red. Nipped a barn into one of the pieces I had done there too, and would imagine that this is Debra likewise paying homage to it's unique aura.

Debra Ramsay

Debra's stash of Golden product ... OMG.

Now some fun! with that impossible to miss Emma Golden smile, and the gentleman on her arm -- whom I had recognized from (I think) the Hamilton Center for the Arts scene but had not met -- proved to be Mark Golden, husband of Barb Golden who runs the foundation. With artist Debra Ramsay and a fan to the right.

I also asked Mark a question that had been on my mind since the 2012 residency program show at the plant's gallery in April, and brought back to mind especially by Paul Shakespear's paintings -- How come so much non-figurative work amongst the resident program's output? Was that the result of the jurying process by which artists are selected or some sort of gestalt that the artists arrive at to showcase the Golden's product? (I'd not yet chatted with Debra Ramsay who's paintings are derived from natural forms including landscape imagery.) 

Answer: The artists themselves are the likely reason given the nature of the residency program. Those artists interested in pursuing the residency are enthusiasts of Golden's products and tend to work in what might be regarded as a materials-oriented approach. The paint itself determines the forms they arrive at and most "materials-oriented" artists I am familiar with tend to work in a non-figurative manner. The paintings are about the paint itself, or whatever materials are being employed, more than pursuit of pictorial imagery based on subjective reality.

Which isn't to say they jury in favor of artists who work in such a manner, but put into words succinctly it would be kind of a shame to have an artist be given such access to whatever they want & have them pursue traditional landscape painting. Which brought to mind the quote from Rube Goldberg that all Michelangelo needed to draw a masterpiece was a nickel for a pencil and a piece of paper. Imagine what Michelangelo might have painted given another 350 years of art history and access to the Golden plant? Probably something like Sarah Dineen had arrived at, and she too was immediately influenced to alter her approach once she saw those glowing fluorescent paints.

Enjoying myself immensely with Emma & Barb Golden, whom I'm looking forward to doing more work for and with in the near future! 

Two witnesses with their identities obscured to protect the innocent.


And on my way out the door with Chris Farrell, Golden's Creative Disruptor and the hepcat who tracked me down looking for someone crazy enough to paint on a door. Looking forward to talking about the Project U group with him this week in Utica and hearing about his idea for a "temporary contemporary" in a repurposed space. Needless to say I want to know more, starting with if that skull shirt he has on comes in black. Outstanding!

Back to the cows ...

Stopped off in Hamilton at our Broad Street Gallery co-op, and printmaker Ashley Stagner had left this beauty of a sketch behind and I WANT IT! we're working out a trade for a zombie: I love collecting my colleagues' work  ;]

Cazenovia Lake on the last leg back home. I did Utica & back two days in a row then New Berlin on day three ... Looking forward to almost a whole week in Syracuse painting. Need to get ready for that Syracuse arts festival season, one month to go before Art On The Porches in the Strathmore section of Syracuse and need 100 zombies ...

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