Friday, June 13, 2014

Food For Thought: Project-U and Maria Vallese @ Restaurant Week, Utica NY June 12 2014

June 12 found the Project-U Artists Group I help Chair providing artwork for Utica NY's Restaurant Week promotion at the invitation of our mentors in the Downtown Utica Development Association. While trapped in Syracuse for most of it I was included in a charming display of artworks at my favorite Tramontane Cafe for a food-themed show curated by artist Dawn H. Farrar, cleverly titled "Food for Thought" and taking the form of a fundraiser for the group. We need it.

The Tramontane Cafe
1105 Lincoln Ave 
Utica NY 13502

Click here for the Tramontane Cafe FB page, be sure to "Like" it to stay abreast of their myriad of weekly events including poetry nights, open mic nights, community group nights, and some of the most refreshingly potent coffee one will encounter in Central New York.

Attendance was light with the return of Sonny Boy (the chap on the leash) being the rock star attendee showered with adulation. But those who did come by got the payoff of the summer so far, as we will see below.

Our hospitality table bedecked with food items donated by Restaurant Week sponsors including a mass of bananas via the Utica Food Bank. Had to buy a box of cereal on the way home to make use of the four I absconded with once the event had run its course.

Christopher Farrell, who got Best In Show from my vantage point.

Kathy Donovan

Dawn H. Farrar

Fiona O'Downey, 2nd best in show, marvelous painting.

Jenna North, and these pieces were scratch and sniff creations which encouraged audience interaction with them as a conscious violation of the normal standards of gallery presentation.

Artist Unknown, awaiting clarification.

Maria Vallese

Dawn H. Farrar

Sponsorship table! with gift certificates donated by other Restaurant Week venues, and to be paired with art purchases as an extra thank-you to our patrons.

Kathy Donovan

Artist Unknown, awaiting clarification.

Took a break to amble up the block to Tiny's Grill on State Street where Project-U artist Maria Vallese was having a Restaurant Week exhibit of her own work which I believe will be on display through the end of June.

Maria Vallese

Maria Vallese

Yes, we have no bananas.

Maria Vallese

With artiste Maria Vallese! a multi-talented creative powerhouse who also designed Project-U's venue map for our summer/fall exhibition season.

With artist Kathy Donovan from the former Hamilton gallery scene, where coming in contact with her work helped re-interest me on the use of color. 

Our big surprise for the night! Project-U co-Chair Jenna North with WKTV Utica's Allison Norlian, who blew all our minds by stating all we have to do is call her and she'll be delighted to cover our upcoming events ....

REALLY???? A fly could have flown in my gaping wide mouth after hearing that. What a place!

Jenna demonstrating the scratch & sniff properties of her paintings. Our sincerest hope is that Uticans catching the broadcast would be intrigued to go take a look and make a purchase to directly support public arts programs which will enrich their city. Or at least buy a sandwich and cup of coffee at the cafe, who have been ardent supporters of these efforts from day one.

Allison taping her presentation, and if you click here you can see the final results as broadcast both at 11pm on the 12th and 8am the morning of the 13th.


Best picture of the night! Oh these males are so serious ...

Then it was time for a quick jaunt down to the Hotel Utica to see how my own works had been employed for a pop-up show for the Restaurant Week's Industry Night kickoff featuring hospitality professionals taking part in Restaurant Week. May not look like much but it's on the resume! Yo.

... Shortly after being goaded into climbing onto the roof of Jenna's building via an extremely rickety escape hatch ladder which was made for spiders to use for access to the crawlspace right under the roof. Not 280lb beefeaters from Syracuse who wear combat boots. Have we mentioned that I am pathologially terrified of heights?? FUN


Though in the end I passed what was a rite of passage needed to qualify for renting one of the 2 bedroom apartments in the structure, and I'm hoping this becomes the new Steve Headquarters come mid July.

1 comment:

  1. Youll probably be living on that roof come summer! So glad you will be closer, Must have you out to sit on the porch and stare at the windmills. They look quite alien at night. Great job sharing all the art from the show. I truely am sorry I missed out. I am working on a new fish sculpture. As they said in the old days "You can tue a piano but your can't tuna fish"