Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sam & Adele Golden Foundation Open Studios @ the Residency Barn, New Berlin NY, May 20 2014

Sam & Adele Golden Foundation for the Arts
237 Bell Rd. New Berlin, NY, 13411 

The good old residency barn at the SAG compound just down the road from the Golden's plant. My first visit here was in December 2012 to do a project with the Golden Artist Colors design team and it remains a favored destination for an afternoon out of town whenever an excuse to drive down presents itself. Great place to pick up new ideas from the cream of the crop of current painters, learn about their use of materials and see some cows. I like cows.

Visiting my beloved windmills in Hamilton on the way down.

Cora Cluett, our first artist for this month's batch. Who very proudly told me she had no website, no business cards, just her paintings. Perfect!!

A fellow Golden's gel, gloss, tar and glaze enthusiast! But unlike myself who uses it for effect or practical sealing needs she's using the gloss as a material itself, mixing with a low viscosity high flow acrylic that gives it that lollipop glaze.

Cora Cluett; I'm under the impression that all of these works were produced during her month at the barn, and same for the other artists too. Like, YES! Keep painting.

The artist and attendees talking materials with my main man at Golden's, their own resident Creative Disruptor & fellow Project-U artist, Christopher Farrell. And seriously, nothing makes me smile like hearing Chris start talking materials ... He even turned up in a dream last summer where I was walking through this downtown festival scene and all of a sudden hear someone talking about matte vs. glossy surface effects, and there's Chris sitting at a table with David Bowie. I joined them.

Cora Cluett. No other way to put it: I wanted to lick her paintings, like they actually were lollipops. Or popsicles. And I liked how you were looking into the gloss rather than at it, if you get what I mean.

Cora Cluett. Checking out how thickly layered the acrylic glaze was, with the marks made by charcoal as the layers were applied & allowed to bleed into the acrylic medium. Their size is also perfect! and they were all get up close and see pieces. In larger scales I'm afraid the patterning of the charcoal marks would become indistinct. Which only means that a new approach would be required, but I prefer the intimacy of these sizes.

Cora Cluett, and yeah, I want one too. Even had a portfolio case with some zombies out in the Jeep and didn't think to propose a trade! Next time.


Next up is James Kennedy, Irish born artist now living in NYC, with his massive diptych painting which effortlessly dominated the ground floor. And which he informed me was his first painting on canvas, and that's ever. Could have fooled me! and I also liked how I had no clue what the painted image represented, made him promise not to explain it. I like not knowing exactly what I am seeing when looking at works of art, if that makes sense? 

James Kennedy, and I wish I'd gotten us a closer look at that figure to the far right.

James Kennedy. My recollectin was these were works done just after arriving with his approach changing over the weeks as the materials asserted themselves. And as with Cora Cluett all works seen here were produced by James in about four weeks time.

James Kennedy. As is inevitable we got to talking about influences and he ticked off a list: "Gorky, Francis Bacon, Yves Tanguey." I said "No, I mean your influences. Hey, wait a minute ..." Noticed some Duchamp going on with that Bride Stripped Bare organic machine thing and he came clean on that as well. Nice.

James Kennedy. He'd brought the rolls of tape to mask off the zones of the surfaces as he's always done (something certain painting instructors had insisted was not allowed ... guess so, ehh?) but immediately abandoned the approach after settling in with new materials as per the Golden's goodie stash. Perfect!

James Kennedy

James Kennedy

NOOOOoooooo ....

Headed to the coveted upstairs studio. Have joked more than once that I'd be happy to make do with this 12 foot landing as a studio space and just gaze out that window for ten hours a day, see what comes to be from it. 

Our third artist, Sarupa Sidaarth, here talking about her process of pouring layer upon layer upon layer upon layer of high flow acrylics onto a roughly painted monochromatic portrait of an acquaintance with Mark Golden. The result is like peering into one of those psychedelic slides projected onto a face, though even that isn't putting it right.

Sarupa Sidaarth

Sarupa Sidaarth, and I'd rank this as one of the finest single-surface paintings I've encountered in a while. It's as much a work of architecture as a painted image, with its building components being high viscosity acrylics and time. Lots of time.

Up close look at the layering, including ample use of light interference or reflective paints. Love 'em! but have usually confined my use of them (until now) to making space helmets on zombie cosmonauts. This is painting, and also plays into an idea I'd had about how regions of representational work often devolve into patches of abstraction when seen out of context to the rest of the images. Here she is using that directly but all over the canvas with each successive layer. Learned something!

Emma G. and friend, in awe.

Sarupa Sidaarth with Barb Golden's mom, who remembered me from a Hamilton Center for the Arts reception. Neato!

Soaking up the show-stopper of the visit. This was cool.

Sarupa Sidaarth. Glorious montage of 12x12 inch portraits. Spent the better part of an hour in total contemplating it and from each angle saw new or different things, then all over again back at home preparing these pix. Perfect!

Sarupa explained to me that she had arrived with most of the faces painted out with a plan to use her previous method of layering (see her website above for examples) but ditched the plan once set loose with Golden's arsenal of liquid paints. So the works of her shown are an entirely new body of work that was crafted at the barn in about a month.

Some of the individual panels, on initial glance this was my favorite.

Sarupa Sidaarth

Sarupa Sidaarth, and my favorite upon seeing the work for the 2nd time. What struck me about her approach is that it plays with the mind's stubborn tendency to try and make sense out of disorder. The face is literally the base layer with each subsequent application of material pulling the image into a new set of patterns for the brain to then decipher. The trick is likely when to stop, and she's got that timing down pat. Nice.

Sarupa Sidaarth, and here showing how the work looks different depending on angle & lighting conditions. Spent the better part of an hour looking these over and went away convinced that ...

... YOU RULE! Megakarma, my dear! and big blue haired cheers to all of the artists for their residencies, see you at the 2014 SAG show next April!

My old work space ...

And some of the results still up on their wall! Hot damn.
Ready for another go anytime. Just give a hollar, I'll be around  ;]

Hospitality table picked clean! Got there late, had to re-do the blue. It takes forever.

And while waiting around to get a pix with Emma G. we were invited for a quickie tour of the barn's first floor where the residency artists dorm during their month at the candy shop. It's like a flying saucer nut being awarded a residency at Area 51 to bug out over UFOs for a month and I can't wait for a shot at it.

The barn's water reclamation system! which if I heard correctly collects the runoff from the cleanup sinks in the studios. While less overtly toxic than oil paints acrylics are all comprised of all sorts of compounds which would surely mutate frogs into ravenous death monsters if the waste water from cleanup (and production of the paints at the plant up the road) were introduced into the local water table via traditional sewer runoff. Not kidding about this either, frogs are inherently sensitive to any change to their ecology and sick frogs are a good indication that we screwed something up.

So they collect all this water, pipe it up to the plant where it is combined with the plant's production waste water and run through a filtering process which removes the bulk of the chemicals. The water is then re-used for purposes other than consumption. The result is no death frogs, and the art + materials used to make it can be produced without fear of contaminating the ecology. Pretty cool.

First floor commons lounge with about the baddest back yard ever. 


Beth!! from the Utica posse  <3 who was also at the Flux event last week. Seeing her everywhere these days, and trust me when I say I do not mind at all.

Marc-Anthony! also from the Utica crew and one of the artists who started the Upstate Flux incubator which had its own open studios last week -- check the navigation links at right for a blog post on that scene. Cool focus fail too.

Barb G.! who pretty much runs the show down there. 
Keep em coming my dear, we need the good ideas.

Mark!!! LOL! hahaha, awesome. Let's go fishing sometime.

Julie Angerosa  ;> another of the Upstate Flux founders, one of the "Thirteen Direction" show members from last summer, sister-artist, and longtime contributor to the Project-U group. My call is also that we have yet to truly witness this woman's creative potential unleashed, planning to stick around to see it happen.

Brianna! who was responsible for some of the Art In Windows work Project-U displayed in downtown Utica last year. Nice meeting at last! come join us at a meeting sometime and we'll do some more  ;]

YES!!!! Patience is rewarded, and Emma Golden, you rule. 

Open Studios at the barn every four weeks, hope to see you at the next one.

"I'll be back."
(Terminator voice plugin.)

No kidding! Gilligan's Island in Sherbourne on the way home. Planning to stop for a burger + a shake at some point, looks like the kind of place but the line was a bit long. Will stash some Zantac in the glove compartment for that magic day.

Cazenovia Lake by dusk, then back in Syracuse by dark. 
Mission accomplished, see you in June, and until then ...



  1. Great blog. I wish I could have been there!

    1. Cheers Linda! Thanks much, always enjoy going to the big barn. Every four weeks a new batch of artists, check the Golden Foundation site for a list of upcoming events and hope to see you at one!


  2. Always great to see you at the open studios events. Sarupa's work is even better in person!

    1. Right on Mike!!! see you in JUne for sure ;D

  3. Hey Steve - it was so nice to meet you - wish you had asked for a trade!! maybe at the show next year?! Thank you for posting this and for coming out to the open house - what a terrific arts community! best, cora