Saturday, July 23, 2016

Public Diversity with Eye Studio @ The Tech Garden, Syracuse NY July 21 2016

The Gallery at The Tech Garden
235 Harrison St. Suite 1
Syracuse NY 13202

The Eye Studio website, with information on their classes, art camp programs, gallery function, and more:

Last year I got an email from Ilene Layow, owner/operator of Eye Studio in Syracuse, a private art education enterprise operating out of a residential home in suburban Syracuse, asking how she could go about getting a time to show the artwork of her students at The Tech Garden. I liked how she asked, and I liked how hosting the show would address a perceived weakness in my approach to being the Curator of The Tech Garden's gallery function. I was not addressing issues related to activism of the arts and giving artists who wouldn't otherwise have a chance the satisfaction of having their work on public display in a vital art venue. 

Point well taken. We kept in touch and when extending my contract to serve as Curator and Artist in Residence at The Tech Garden Ilene came to mind first when contemplating quarterly show ideas to fill out the rest of 2016. We agreed on a duration for the show that would cover the gallery's needs through early September, I showed her how to use the rail hanger system ... And that was about it. Stepped out of the way & let her at it. Ilene and her students had been preparing for the show for about a year and the hard work was right there on the walls to see well before our opening night of Thursday September 21. I am quite impressed.

Especially by the art, only a smattering of which is shown here as Ilene and her students conjured up 155 individual artworks to fill the gallery's nearly 1/8th of a mile overall length (estimated, by walking one wall, reversing and walking back the other while counting steps: it is one immensely long hallway). It is uniformly gorgeous and compelling stuff, made by children, adults, seniors, people with physical limitations, autistic students, students coping with cerebral palsy or other conditions which severely limit their physical capabilities -- but not their minds, or artistic need for self expression. They are people just like you and me & deserved this show as much as any of my degree laden idolized colleagues. It was my pleasure to make sure it got to happen for them! and here is some of what went down.

Enjoyed guiding the bus in from Maple Downs, where many of Ilene's students live and make art together.

Artists Steve Wameling and Charlie Sam.

Artist/educator Angela Arrey Wastavino, Charlie Sam and another young artist whose work I will enjoy showing,

Young Jordan, cleaning up on the sales. She's on a roll.

My favorite work from the show. Reminded me of something I might have winged together as a 10 year old. Outstanding work.

By another artist, and excellent. Lots of animals in this show.

I want this ...

I want this even more ...

Lots of ceramics in this show, something I'd been eager to bring to The Tech Garden for a while.

Ilene Layow on the right with artist & music education major Kristen Collins, who had several works in the show including her marvelous bird.

And SCORE! Young Jordan burning up the sales. Only person more delighted was mom! Outstanding, ladies. Artwork sold in every show I've brought to The Tech Garden.

Back to Maple Downs and many of the artists will be making work for my David Bowie tribute show in September. You get back what you give, always. 

Back to Utica.

And thank you Neil Armstrong & Buzz Aldrin! Tranquility Base July 21 1969.
Man that must have felt great.

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