Friday, January 30, 2015

"Winter Recipe" @ The Tech Garden, 235 Harrison St. Syracuse NY January 2015

The Tech Garden
235 Harrison St.
Syracuse NY 13202

Artists featured in the show were:

Gail Reynolds
Ashley Marie Bartlet
Theresa Barry 
Emily Bender Murphy
Kathryn Petrillo
Christophe Ennis
Ray Trudell
Wilson Cummer
Catherine Gibbons
Arianna Lynch
Sherry Spann Allen
Holly K. Austin
Doreen Simmons
Missy Zawacki
Joan Applebaum
Yegor Mikushkin

Click here for a followup blog post on our fabulous reception event!

Photo: Gail Simon Reynolds

The "Winter Recipe" show actually started simmering here in January 2013 when the group of artists in a show I was part of was invited to sit on a panel discussion about public art exhibits in private businesses. One of the business leaders from the community who also sat on the panel was Ellen Leahy who was the visionary leading b.c. Restaurant on Fayette Street. Ellen had been a champion of the arts in Syracuse for several years as she had devoted the large banquet room at b.c. to also serve as a gallery space, and had been hosting exhibits of works by local artists all along first at Pastabilities and writing on the arts for

Ellen and I bonded quickly and she invited me to bring my paintings to b.c. for a show the following month. Which turned into a two-month engagement, then a group show with two of my colleagues, then an offer to serve as an Artist in Residence, administrating the gallery shows to free Ellen's attention up a bit, and I was delighted to accept. Between July 2013 and August 2014 we had a string of very successful shows which afforded me a wealthy learning experience on the event planning & curating behind such efforts.

One other duty for the restaurant's gallery was to find and book other artists to the calendar of exhibits & allow for logistical planning and ensure a smooth process of one show being replaced by the following. In my enthusiasm for the position I booked the gallery clear through the following year without considering the dynamics of the restaurant business. And it was with sadness that I learned of b.c.'s sale in September of 2014 and the discontinuation of the gallery shows. My thoughts were with the amazing, dedicated and likable people who worked the restaurant, and the fourteen artists whose shows were now unfortunately cancelled. All good things must pass.

Less then a week later I received a call from my dear Syracuse art scene friend Kristina Starowitz, then serving as Artist in Residence at The Tech Garden and I knew instinctively what she wanted to meet over coffee about. Expecting her first gorgeous baby boy, Kristina needed someone to substitute for her as Artist in Residence / Curator of The Tech Garden while learning the SuperMom ropes, and after thinking about it for maybe eighteen seconds I happily agreed to watch the shop for 2015.

A stipulation of which was that the four quarterly art exhibits I would be responsible for had to be proposed + approved of in advance before the appointment to the position. With maybe two weeks to plan a year's worth of art shows the first zero brain power needed solution was a makeup show for the artists I'd booked to the b.c. gallery along with two whom I'd intended to -- Sixteen in all, and they would have less than sixty days to prepare. The group was on the bounce, before November was half over all had committed, the busywork of pre-planning wrapped up before the New Year. And the quality of the exhibit as an overall art-viewing experience exceeded my wildest expectations. This is one heck of a show! Very proud of all the artists who took part for their fabulous creations & dedication to the exhibit.

Here's a look at how it came together.

Day one, with artist Theresa Barry measuring off her wall space & practicing with presentation solutions.

My rolling curator's table on wheels. Final head count for the show was 105 works and it took three days to label it all. I'm holding off on showing individual works to encourage people to come see the show in person, but here's a glimpse of what was featured.

With artist Theresa Barry! who had co-curated the marvelous "Phonography" show at The Tech Garden in the fall of 2012.

With artist Sherry Spann Allen, whose marvelous wood painted creations were the first thing I wanted viewers to encounter when entering to see the show.

With artists Kathryn Petrillo and Christophe Ennis, and one of my favorite self shots ever.

With artist Joan Applebaum, one of the more established names in the CNY scene and having her work in this exhibit was a privilege. 

Whoa ...

Artist Catherine Wright, doing some venue scouting in anticipation of the April show featuring the Utica posse.

Astral Travelers

With artist Missy Zawacki, and I wish I'd had the good sense to video the sight of her running that painting behind us across the plaza out front in her babushka lady jacket.

Ashley Marie Bartlet assembling her nook, and that garden painting is absolutely magnificent, must be seen in person.

With artist Maria Rizzo! who served as Artist in Residence at Tech Garden during 2013.

With the lovely Joanna! a painter from Brooklyn who also does her hair Diamond Dogs red. Wait until she sees the blue come March  ;>~

And with artist Ashley Marie Bartlet! who helped curate the show with that feminine touch which sort of rounded out the edges. We work good together! Let's do more ;D

Driving home through Syracuse University after finishing up. It had snowed.

Click here for a followup blog post on our memorable reception event!

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