The artful mind july 2016 b1

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JULY 2016

Kris Galli

Enigma, oil on canvas, 36x36


Represented by

Lauren Clark Fine Art 25 Railroad St. Great Barrington


EDWARD ACKER photographer

Time flies. Get pictures.



Vault Gallery Great Barrington, MA. 413.854.7744 Lilly Clifford Gallery East Sussex, England

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The ArTfUL Mind JULY 2016 • 3

The ArTfUL Mind ArTzine JULY 2016

Celebrate Art & Summer of True Love

Scott Taylor Painter

Interview by H. Candee Photography by Steven Sears page 10

Nicole Rizzo Artistic Director / Choreographer Gypsy Layne Cabaret & Company

Interview by H. Candee Photos by Lee Everett page 20

Diana Felber Gallerist

Interview by H. Candee Photos by Michael Flower page 26

Mongiardo Family

Interview by Natalie Tyler Photos by Kaitlyn Pierce

page 38

fiCTiOn: Michelangelo eats figs Part i Richard Britell page 49

Grandma Becky’s Recipes Laura Pian page 51

Contributing Writers and Monthly Columnists Eunice Agar, Richard Britell, Laura Pian Photographers Edward Acker, Lee Everett, Jane Feldman Sabine von Falken, Alison Wedd Publisher Harryet Candee

Copy Editor

Marguerite Bride

Editorial Proofreading Kris Galli Advertising and Graphic Design Harryet Candee

Mailing Address: Box 985, Great Barrington, MA 01230 413 854 4400 ALL MATeriAL due the 5th of the month prior to publication

FYI: ©Copyright laws in effect throughout The Artful Mind for logo & all graphics including text material. Copyright laws for photographers and writers throughout The Artful Mind. Permission to reprint is required in all instances. In any case the issue does not appear on the stands as planned due to unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, advertisers will be compensated on a one to one basis. Disclaimer rights available upon request. Serving the Art community with the intention of enhancing communication and sharing positive creativity in all aspects of our lives. We at The Artful Mind are not responsible for any copyrights of the artists, we only interview them about the art they create.

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Sales, sales, sales! As we celebrate the beautiful Berkshire Summer, we are excited to bring you SUMMER SALES! We are mindful that the benefits of shopping locally are many. And as more and more small, independent stores close we think how thankful we are for our many loyal and hugely supportive customers. We continue our support for many of our local schools' art programs and performance groups. And we are able to showcase some of the fine work that independent instrument makers and luthiers are creating one at a time right here in Berkshire County including: - Brier Road's Guitars' gorgeous OM Acoustic Guitar made ENTIRELY from fine tonewoods sourced HERE in Berkshire County, and his extraordinary Redwood/Padauk Baritone Ukulele! - Undermountain Ukuleles' lovely A/E Flame Maple Soprano, a big voice in a small, appealing package with the pro K&K Aloha Twin preamp to amplify the loveliness! - our own Dr. Easy's Drunk Bay Cigar Box guitars, simply the most amazing bang for a box ever heard and featuring ten brand new boxes so far for 2016: - The Rowe Stick Dulcimers - strum sticks par extraordinaire, provided for sale and for donation to outreach and Veteran's programs, - the lovely Stockbridge made Serenity Bamboo Flutes and Walking Stick/Cane flutes and - Whitmer Acoustic Guitars, lovingly made one at a time in Pittsfield from fine tone woods and - Don Waite's Gadjo Guitars - gorgeous and daring for a KILLER price! The Music Store has, for fifteen and a half years, enjoyed helping the community, near and far to make music. And this is a rewarding and satisfying enterprise for us. We look forward to continuing this mission into the second half of our second decade. And, as always, we offer wonderful musical instruments and accessories at competitive pricing. But there are just some things that we like to share with you, including support for our newest music makers, and Great Deals, Raffles and New and Used Instruments for everyone. Come and join the fun . . . We welcome the lovingly Berkshire County INDIVIDUALLY (NOT factory) made: Brier Road Guitars and Ukueleles, Whitmer Guitars, Don Waite's Gadjo guitars, and Undermountain Ukuleles. Play and own an ABSOLUTE ORIGINAL! Composite Acoustic guitars (the forever guitar!) and their peerless travel guitar, the Cargo, a favorite of our own Dr. Easy, David Reed, made of carbon graphite and impervious to most changes of temperature and humidity. You can see it often in his hands in performance locally and abroad. Guild Guitars - Light, powerful, affordable, beautiful SOLID woods, gorgeous tone! Beautiful Breedlove Guitars, including Koa, Zircote and Ebony Limited Editions and the 2015 Dealer's Choice Award Winner Oregon Concert!

TERRIFIC UKULELES! 60+ DIFFERENT models: Soprano, Concert, Tenor and Baritone, acoustic and acoustic/electric, six string, resonator, the Maccaferri-like Makala Waterman Uke (made all of plastic for easy portability almost anywhere!) the remarkable U-Bass, and the Solid Body Uke Bass prototype by the Magic Fluke Co.! How about a Cordoba Cuatro? Or Guitarlele? Or Gypsy Kings' Ltd. Edition? Experience the haunting sound of High Spirits Native American Flutes! How about a West African Djembe? Try a 'Closeout Corner' instrument to suit almost any budget. ALVAREZ GUITARS - great tone and great value. Breedlove - beautiful, American, sustainable. And so many more brands and types, including Luthier Handmade Instruments from $150-$5000 . . . . Ever heard of Dr. Easy’s Drunk Bay Cigar Boxes? Acoustic/electric cigar box guitars, exquisitely made, which bring the past into the present with a delightful punch, acoustically AND plugged in! You can even hear them in concert if you catch Dr. Easy's act in local venues! Harmonicas, in (almost) every key (try a Suzuki Hammond ‘Mouth Organ’). Picks (exotic, too!), strings (!!), sticks and reeds Violins, Mandolins, Dulcimers, Banjos, and Banjo Ukes! Handmade and international percussion instruments! Dreamy locally made bamboo and wooden flutes and walking stick flutes! And the new Berkshire County Rowe Stick Dulcimers, easy to play and adore, the sales of which benefit Veteran's homes and outreach programs. And there is more to delight the eyes, intrigue the ears and bring warm joy to the heart! We remain your neighborhood music store, where advice and help are free and music is the universal language. Working with local luthiers and repairmen we offer stringed and band instrument repair. And we just may have something you haven’t seen before (have you heard the Electric Cigar Box Guitars?). We match (or beat) many on-line prices for the merchandise that we sell, and do so in person, for the most part cheerfully (though we reserve the right to glower a little when asked if we can ‘do better’ on the price of a pick!)! The Music Store, located at 87 Railroad Street in Great Barrington, is open Tuesdays through Sundays and by appointment. Call us at 413-528-2460, visit us on line at, on Facebook as The Music Store Plus, or shop our online Reverb store at Happy MUSIC MAKING!

AUGUST 2016 A GREAT EDITORIAL LINE-UP! Advertise your event and business with

The ArTfUL Mind e-mail: Don’t miss this one!



510 WArren STreeT GALLerY 510 WARREN STREET, HUDSON, NY 518-822-0510 / David Stein: White On White/Black, thru July 31 (Friday & Saturday, 12 - 6, Sunday 12 - 5 or by app)

BASiLiCA hUdSOn 110 SOUTH FRONT ST, HUDSON, NY • 518-822-1050 Group Show curated by Dylan Kraus and Rose Salane, Too Much of A Good Thing, thru July 24

BeCKeT ArTS CenTer Of The hiLLTOWnS 7 BROOKER HILL RD, BECKET, MA • 413-623-6635 Thru July 10: Kristen O’Neill, ceramist, David Rothstein, wood design, HArold Ware, photographer, Ellen Kaiden, watercolors BerKShire MUSeUM 39 SOUTH ST, PITTSFIELD, MA • 413-443-7171 Living on Earth: The Work of Robert Hite, thru Oct 30

BerKShire WOOdWOrKerS GUiLd fine WOOdWOrK ShOW & SiLenT AUCTiOn BERKSHIRE BOTANICAL GARDENS 5 West Stockbridge Rd, Stockbridge, MA • 413-298-3926 July 16-July 17, 9-5pm

CArrie hAddAd GALLerY 622 WARREN ST, HUDSON, NY • 518-828-1915 25th Anniversary Exhibition, Leigh Palmer, Dale Goffigon, Ginny Fox, & Leon Smith, May 25, 2016 - Jul 10, 2016; Summer Exhibit Anne Francey, Stephen Walling, Marion Vinot, & Vincent Pomilio. Reception: Sunday, July 17th 2-4pm, Jul 13, 2016 - Aug 28, 2016 CheSTerWOOd 4 WILLIAMSVILLE RD, STOCKBRIDGE, MA 413-298-3579 June 18-Sept 18, 38th Annual Outdoor Sculpture exhibition, “The Nature of Glass”, 24 works by 12 internationally recognized glass artists, curated by Jim Schantz of Schantz Galleries Contemporary Glass

CLAire TeAGUe SeniOr CenTer 917 SOUTH MAIN ST., GT. BARRINGTON, MA 413-528-l881 See the newly rehung permanent collection. Eunice Agar paintings. Regular Hours: Monday- Friday, 8:00 AM 3:30pm

deB KOffMAn’S ArTSPACe 137 FRONT ST, HOUSATONIC, MA • 413-274-1201 Sat: 10:30-12:45 class meets. No experience in drawing necessary, just a willingness to look deeply and watch your mind. This class is conducted in silence. Adult class. $10, please & call to register.

deniSe B ChAndLer FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY & PHOTO ART 413-637-2344 or 413-281-8461 (leave message) *Lenox home studio & gallery appointments available. *Exhibiting and represented by Sohn Fine Art, Lenox, MA. Exhibiting as an artist member/owner at the 510 Warren Street Gallery, Hudson

diAnA feLBer GALLerY 6 HARRIS ST., WEST STOCKBRIDGE, MA • 413-854-7002 Fine art and crats with six week artist line up. (Open 11-6pm, closed Tues.)

frOnT STreeT GALLerY 129 FRONT ST, HOUSATONIC, MA • 413-274-6607 Kate Knapp oils and watercolors exhibit thru the summer

GOOd PUrPOSe GALLerY 40 MAIN STREET, LEE, MA • 413-394-5045 Scott Taylor and Joanie Ciolfi, June 24-Aug 8. INFUSED WITH PASSION August 12 – September 21 (9am - 4pm every day)

hOUSATOniC VALLerY ArT LeAGUe BERKSHIRE HOME & ANTIqUES (north end of Great Barrington, 107 Stockbridge Rd., between the Cove Bowling Alley and Shiro’s Japanese Restaurant) • June 30-July 31: HVAL Members and Non-Members, juried show. Opening reception July 1, 5-7pm. Aug 4: Members’ Show, reception Aug 5, 5-7pm. JOhn dAViS GALLerY 362 1/2 WARREN ST, HUDSON, NY • 518-828-5907


Thru July 23. Sculpture by: David Bacharach, A Parliament of Owls, A Conspiracy of Ravens

LAUren CLArK fine ArT 25 RAILRD. ST, GT. BARRINGTON, MA • 413-528-0432 recent paintings on canvas and wood panel, Bart Arnold, Kate Knapp, Carolyn Letvin, and Tina Sotis have their individual interpretation of inside space. Reception for the artists, Saturday, July 9 from 4-7pm.

L’ATeLier BerKShireS 597 MAIN STREET, GREAT BARRINGTON, MASSACHUSETTS • 510-469-5468, Nicholas Mongiardo and his three sons present their new art and furniture, july 1 - July 31. L’Atelier Berkshires, a place to discover unique paintings and sculpture from contemporary artists

LiSA VOLLMer PhOTOGrAPhY NEW STUDIO + GALLERY 325 STOCKBRIDGE ROAD, GT. BARRINGTON • 413-429-6511 / The Studio specializes in portrait, event, editorial and

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SCULPTUre nOW The Mount, 2 Plunkett st, LEnox, MA • 413-551-5111 / SculptureNow: Remix, thru Oct 31, 28 large outdoor sculptures by 28 artists. The show includes regionally and nationally recognized artists William Breslow, Rick & Laura Brown, Jamie Calderwood, William Carlson, Matt Crane, Peter Dellert, Murray Dewart, Anthony Garner, Lucy Hodgson, Sue Huang, Ann Jon, Conrad Levenson, Kathryn Lipke, Philip Marshall, Gary Orlinsky, Jerome Harris Parmet, Chris Plaisted, Kate Raudenbush, Laura Reinhard, Susan Ferrari Rowley, Laurie Sheridan, Fletcher Smith, Leon Smith, Robin Tost, Mark Warwick, John Wilkinson and Bernard Zubrowski. SOhn fine ArT GALLerY, PrinTinG, frAMinG & WOrKShOPS 69 CHURCH STREET, LENOx MA • 413-551-7353 Contemporary photography by local and international artists. We also offer photographic services, archival pigment printing and framing services. ST. frAnCiS GALLerY RTE. 102, SOUTH LEE (just 2 miles east from the Red Lion Inn) Friday thru Monday 10-5pm.

MAHAIWE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER 14 Castle St, Gt Barrington, MA • 413-528-0100 Paul Taylor Dance Company, Friday, July 22, 8 pm The repertoire includes Beloved Renegade, inspired by the life and career of Walt Whitman and his Leaves of Grass.

commercial photography : by appointment. The Gallery represents Sabine Vollmer von Falken, Thatcher Hullerman Cook, Carolina Palermo Schulze and Tom Zetterstrom. (Open daily from 11-4pm closed on Wednesdays) MASS MoCA NORTH ADAMS, MA Alex Da Corte: Free Roses, thru 2016.

MArGUeriTe Bride HOME STUDIO AT 46 GLORY DRIVE, PITTSFIELD, MA • 413841-1659 or 413-442-7718 MARGEBRIDE-PAINTINGS.COM FB: MARGUERITE BRIDE WATERCOLORS Original watercolors, house portraits, commissions, fine art reproductions. Seasonal scenes always on exhibit at Crowne Plaza, Pittsfield; Studio visits by appt. The Old Chatham Store and Gallery, Two Artists-Two Mediums, Berkshire Visions, Marguerite Bride and Karen S. Jacobs, June 5-July 27; “Jazz Visions”, this August at the Lichtenstein Gallery in Pittsfield, MA; Church on The Hill Fine Arts and Crafts Show in Lilac Park, Lenox, Aug 20 & 21

MOnTereY GenerAL STOre MAIN RD, MONTEREY, MA • 413-528-5900 Landscape painter Harry Orlyk. Opening reception June 18, 5-7pm. All welcome. Thru August 2016.

neW MArLBOrOUGh MeeTinG hOUSe GALLerY NEW MARLBOROUGH, MA VESSELS: an Invitational Theme Show opening reception for Vessels will be held Friday, June 17, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. The show runs June 18 through July 10, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Two exhibits will follow: Wild Life, showing 23 artists’ work July 30 through August 21, and New Marlborough Artists, 6• JULY 2016 The ArTfUL Mind

exhibiting the work of eight New Marlborough residents, September 3 through October 2.The Music and More season, with six exciting events, begins Saturday, August 27, and runs through October 8. All programs begin at 4:30 p.m. and are followed by a reception in the Meeting House Gallery nO. SiX GALLerY 6 DEPOT ST, WEST STOCKBRIDGE, MA Leah Lieber, On the Roofs, paintings, ongoing thru July

nOrMAn rOCKWeLL MUSeUM 9 GLENDALE RD, STOCKBRIDGE, MA • 413-298-4100 Rockwell and Realism in an Abstract World, thru Oct 30

OLd ChAThAM COUnTrY STOre & CAfe 639 ALBANY TURNPIKE, OLD CHATHAM, NY 518-794-6227 Berkshire Visions, watercolors by Artists: Karen S. Jacobs and Marguerite Bride SAndiSfieLd ArTS CenTer 5 HAMMERTOWN ROAD, SANDISFIELD, MA • 413-258-4100 Works by Carol Keindl; Reception: Paintings & Pastels by Joe Baker, August 6, 1:00-3:00pm

SChAnTz GALLerieS 3 ELM ST, STOCKBRIDGE, MA • 413-298-3044 Renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly will exhibit several of his works of art, including two large Chandeliers and a Persian Wall, at the Schantz Galleries in Stockbridge, MA, from July 8 through August 28; opening reception, Friday, July 8, 4–6 p.m. A destination for those seeking premier artists working in glass

SCOTT BArrOW PhOTOGrAPhY & GALLerY 17 HOUSATONIC STREET, LENOx MA • 413-637-2299 Photography exhibits

The ArT AnneX 2666 Rte 23, Hillsdale, NY • 518-325-4000, “Homage to Renewal: Mixed Media Compositions” featuring the works of RJ Rosegarten July 1-30. Reception July 9 at 4-6:30 pm.

The CLArK MUSeUM 225 SOUTH ST, WILLIAMSTOWN, MA • 413-458-2303 Thomas Schütte: Crystal, June 14-Oct 9

The GALLerY at r&f 84 TENBROECK AVE, KINGSTON, NY • 854-331-3112 Marina Thompson, new prints, Ancient Wax, thru July 16 VAULT GALLerY 322 MAIN ST, GT. BARRINGTON, MA • 413-644-0221 Marilyn Kalish at work and process on view, beautiful gallery with a wonderful collection of paintings

WhiTneY GALLerY 42 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA • 413-443-0289 August:The art of Scott Taylor, Michael Fabrizio and Ivor Parry; reception on Friday, August 5, from 5-8 pm.


BerKShire CrAfTS fAir MONUMENT MOUNTAIN REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL GREAT BARRINGTON, MA August 12 – 14, from 10 am to 5 pm each day


ASTOn MAGnA MUSiC feSTiVAL MAHAIWE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, 14 CASTLE STREET OR BARD COLLEGE AT SIMON'S ROCK, 84 ALFORD ROAD, GREAT BARRINGTON MA • 413-528-3595 Early music on period instruments. Saturdays in Great Barrington, MA in the beautiful Berkshires. June 18 - July 9 BASCOM LOdGe 30 ROCKWELL RD. LANESBOROUGH, MA 413-743-1591 / JoAnne Spies and Elemental Orchestra July 31, 5:30pm

TAnnerY POnd COnCerTS TANNERY POND 110 DARROW RD. NEW LEBANON, NY • 888-820-1696 Stephen Hough, July 16, 8:00pm

Kooman and Lyrics/Book by Chris Dimond; I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE:PerformancesAugust 4-14; Book and Lyrics by Joe DiPietro. Music by Jimmy Roberts.


heLSinKi CAfe 405 COLUMBIA ST, HUDSON, NY • 518-828-4800 July 28: Those Darn Accordians, Polka Punk, July 28, 8pm MAC-hAYdn TheATre 1925 NEW YORK 203, CHATHAM, NY 518-392-9292 / Into the Woods, July 28-August 7.

ShAKeSPeAre & COMPAnY 70 KEMBLE ST. LENOx, MA • 413-637-1199 Ugly Lies the Bone, June 16-August 28; Twelfth Night, July 14-August 20; The Taming thru July 30;The Merchant of Venice, July 1-August 21; Or, July 23-September 4

ShArOn PLAYhOUSe 49 AMENIA ROAD, SHARON CT • 860-364-7469 BIG RIVER: THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN Performances: July 21-31; Book by William Hauptman and Music/Lyrics by Roger Miller; COMMUNITY CABARET & BBq Performance: July 27,Directed by Sarah Combs; qUARTET Performances: August 18-28 A Play by Ronald Harwood; STAGE 2 @ THE BOK GALLERY:JUDGE JACKIE: DISORDER IN THE COURT Performances: July 7-17, Music by Michael

WAM TheATre The Oregon Trail by Bekah Brunstetter, directed by Estefanía Fadul; August 21, Samsara by Lauren Yee, directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian; and September 11, Grand Concourse by Heidi Shreck, directed by Sheila Siragusa.


OUTdOOr fAMiLY fiLMS in WiLLiAMSTOWn WILLIAMSTOWN, MA Images Cinema's Family Flicks Under the Stars Images Cinema is pleased to announce its 10th season of Family Flicks Under the Stars, its outdoor summer film series. Each film screens at sundown (around 8:15/8:30pm) on Morgan Lawn at the top of Spring Street, Williamstown, MA. Family Flicks is free to attend, fun for all ages. Concessions will be available onsite. Bring your own chairs, blankets, and bug spray. IMAGES CINEMA presents FAMILY FLICKS UNDER THE STARS Sunday, July 10: Pillow Talk (1959) Sunday, July 17: Inside Out (2015) Sunday, July 24: Groundhog Day (1993) Sunday, July 31: School of Rock (2003) MASSMoCA 87 Marshall St, North Adams, MA • 413-662-2111 Film: The Triplets of Belleville, Sat July 16, 8:30pm. A fantastical caper involving the Tour de France and the French Mafia

Spring Suite, Oil on canvas, 54 x 84 inches overall

WOOdSTOCK ArTiSTS ASSOCiATiOn & MUSeUM 28 TINKER ST, WOODSTOCK, NY July 9: The Adventures of Wilna and Nan


SABine VOLLMer VOn fALKen PhOTOGrAPhY Please call for workshop schedule Studio 413 429 6510. Hm 413 298 4933

Shire CiTY SAnCTUArY 40 MELVILLE ST, PITTSFIELD, MA • 413-236-9600 Sweater Dress Chop Shop; 2 day workshop with Crispina ffrench. Delve into Crispina's making process she calls ‘Used Clothing Alchemy’ using hand and machine sewing techniques to collage discarded wool and cashmere sweaters or sweatshirts into a versatile sweater dress/tunic to wear home. Send in your events by the 5th of the month prior to publication. Welcome text files and images:

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Photo: Joy Cummings

Jennifer Pazienza

The ArTfUL Mind JULY 2016 • 7


L’ATeLier BerKShireS

L'Atelier Berkshires is proud to present new art and unique furniture from Nicholas Mongiardo and his three son's Taj, Carlo, Massimo, in this first-time ever exhibition of the whole family. The Mongiardos are a local family bursting with talent in furniture design and the arts. Nicholas Mongiardo is well-known as a master of 20th century French Furniture restoration, yet his personal designs are nothing less than extraordinary. All three of his sons are the progeny of his fine sense of aesthetics and are artists and designers in their own right. The Mongiardo Family Exhibition runs from July 1st to July 31st, with an opening reception on Friday July 1 from 7-9 pm. Nicholas Mongiardo moved to the Berkshires in 1975 and started his furniture restoration business. His quality work of furniture has attracted celebrity clients and highend designers. Mongiardo’s oldest son, Taj, has now taken on the family business and added his own contemporary flair, by creating unique surfaces and cutting-edge designs. Carlo Mongiardo is a painter and sculptor living and working in Housatonic. Massimo lives in New York City, his art and designs have been recognized by Nike and skateboard companies. Discover fresh and innovative contemporary art at L'Atelier Berkshires Art Gallery. Unique paintings and sculptures by masterful artists are on exhibition in a historic Great Barrington building. L’Atelier Berkshires - 597 Main Street, Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 12pm-5pm or by appointment. For more information contact: Natalie Tyler, 510-469-5468,

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dALe ChihULY




Renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly will exhibit several of his works of art, including two large Chandeliers and a Persian Wall, at the Schantz Galleries in Stockbridge, MA, from July 8 through August 28; opening reception, Friday, July 8, 4–6 p.m. While Chihuly is famous for his ambitious architectural installations in notable cities, museums, and gardens around the world, Schantz Galleries provides visitors with a more intimate setting in which to enjoy the works on view. With a background in interior design and architecture, Chihuly has always been interested in space and light. Working within the architecture of the gallery, he presents several of his well-known series along with a few largescale installations. The centerpiece of the gallery is Sunrise Topaz Chandelier, a two-tiered Chandelier consisting of approximately 430 amber, gold, and clear elements. An American sculptor, Chihuly has mastered the alluring, translucent, and transparent qualities of glass, ice, water, and neon, to create works of art that transform the viewer experience. He is globally renowned for his ambitious, sitespecific architectural installations in public spaces and for his work in more than 250 museum collections. In addition to the blown-glass sculptures, Chihuly has included sixteen of his works on paper. As Nathan Kernan has stated in an essay, “Drawing into Space: Chihuly Drawing Revisited,” “Chihuly’s drawings over the past thirtyfive years constitute a parallel visual world as compelling and original as that of his amazing sculptures.” The artist has always used drawing as a form of conveying his concepts and ideas for his sculptures, and one can certainly experience his expressive energy and love of color. “You can more directly sense my energy in my drawings than in any other way, perhaps,” he has said. “And from the very beginning, the drawings were done, as my glass is done, very quickly, very fast.” Schantz Galleries Contemporary Glass, 3 Elm Street, Stockbridge, Massachusetts; Exhibition Hours: Open Daily, 10 am - 6 pm; 413-298-3044,



The month of August at the Whitney Center for the Arts will bring the viewers a show so intense in color that you may have to wear sunglasses to enter! This show will include the work of three very different artists all of which use color to their advantage. The art of Scott Taylor, Michael Fabrizio and Ivor Parry will be on display throughout August with an artist reception on Friday, August 5, from 5-8 pm. For Scott Taylor color more than subject is the common thread that connects all of the different work he paints. Whether its florals, landscapes or old rusted trucks, Taylor’s color play will make sure that you take a second look at each piece in the show. Ivor Parry’s paintings have been shown in various Berkshire Galleries. The Whitney show will exhibit many of his recent oil paintings, including One Eyed Jack and other inventive concepts of objective and non-objective art. Michael Fabrizio's colorful paintings conger up the rhythmic emotions music brings to one's body. His paintings become not only visual but audible. The vibration is what draws you to the color, then to the art. Living Color at the Whitney runs through the end of August contact the Whitney Center for the Arts for viewing hours. Whitney Center for the Arts - 42 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, Massachusetts. 413-443-0289,,



Now in its 43rd year, the Berkshire Crafts Fair will return to Monument Mountain Regional High School August 12 – 14, from 10 am to 5 pm each day. The fair will showcase the work of 89 artisans (35 of whom are new), carefully selected by jury for the quality and variety of their offerings. Visitors can expect a wide array of products and prices in each category of craft, from contemporary and traditional jewelry, to furniture, ceramics, textiles, glassware, and more. One hallmark of the fair is its breadth: the exhibition and sale draws master artisans from as far away as California and Florida as well as many regional artists. Admission to the fair is $8 and children 12 and under will be admitted free of charge. The show emphasizes quality, and variety. Since its beginnings in 1974, the Berkshire Crafts Fair has been recognized nationally as a major destination for fine arts and crafts. The fair was included on the “Harris List of the Nation’s Best Arts and Crafts Shows” and granted the “Sunshine Artist 200 Best Award” by Sunshine Artist Arts and Crafts Fair Magazine. Artistic Director Neel Webber describes the environment at the Berkshire Crafts Fair in two words: “comfortable and beautiful.” Webber continued: “It’s a great way to spend an afternoon. It’s not large; it’s not small. The crafts are very high quality. The focus is on looking at the work and meeting the artists. You get to see contemporary crafts, meet the artists, and ask them questions.” He adds “It’s being run by the community – students, faculty, and the community at large.” This is a unique community effort, with unique student rewards. “There are a lot of students inspired by what they see” said Webber. Students of Monument Mountain Regional High School form an integral part of the operation at the fair. In turn, they have the opportunity to witness professional art in the making. As Webber noted, “There are people [artisans] making a living, making art. They are generally happy and they’re professional artists contributing to society. “Students are exposed to a community effort that raises a lot of money and brings good will to them. They are greatly appreciated. They’re proud of that.” The Berkshire Crafts Fair is a not-for –profit event that generates funds for scholarships and educational endeavors at Monument Mountain Regional High School. Proceeds from the fair have funded an impressive array of special projects for faculty and staff at Monument Mountain Regional High School. Over the past 42 years, revenue from the fair has provided the school with over $75,000 in scholarships for graduates, a new track and tennis courts, a student center, air conditioning in the school auditorium and gymnasium, world travel for teachers and students, and a variety of equipment for the school at large.


A show entitled “Homage to Renewal: Mixed Media Compositions” featuring the works of RJ Rosegarten will appear at The Art Annex July 1-30. An artist reception is scheduled for July 9 at 4-6:30 pm. “Flea markets, garage and barn sales are entertainment in the country and have become an essential part of my work. I am on a constant hunt for material. I purchase on a whim. One day I might see a mannequin face or a pair of 1960s sunglasses or a red View Master, objects that people have discarded. The next day, without knowing why, I decide I need a pair of wooden wheels or a shovel handle and go hunting for them. I put the material in labeled boxes and store them on shelves to be rediscovered in the future. “When I select objects for a new mixed-media composition, I may sit with them for days, moving them around like pieces on a chessboard until they take shape. The selection process and choice of design come from a place not easily explored, impossible to explain, from a combination of eye and gut. Placement, however, is key, and balance is crucial. The construction may change many times and usually does before it is finished. I remove pieces; add others, balancing shadows, shapes, textures and color. Then, at some moment, I know instinctively the work is completed: the new composition has taken on another dimension, a unity of its own, and gained strength and character in the process.” Art Annex - 2666 Route 23, Hillsdale New York;,, 518-325-4000. Artist info:,, 518-567-1609.


This past fall, artist Geoffrey Moss was going over some drawings in his studio. The artist, known for his eclectic presentations of iconic barns, dogs, and Chinese acrobats, decided to take a closer look at the then small collection carefully stored in flat files that line an entire wall. The drawings, mostly small studies of private pools and boathouses, were intended to be translated into larger oils, abstracted to define perimeters reflecting landscape. In collaboration with his long-time art dealer Lauren Clark, Moss has now continued to elaborate on his Boathouse and Private Pool themes, creating a new series of large works on paper. For perhaps archival and media reasons, Clark and the artist have agreed to call the new pieces, “paintings.” The same graphic energy displayed in Moss’s oil paintings are playing here; draftsmanship at times even overtaking the theme in order to indulge the process of what can spontaneously happen when waxes and pigments and paint “dance on paper” as the artist says. A selection of Moss’s “Barnscapes” continue to be exhibited at Canyon Ranch and Lauren Clark Fine Art. Lauren Clark Fine Art - 25 Railroad Street, Great Barrington, Massachusetts; 413-528-0432,

"In acting we must cultivate our mindfulness and our focused awareness. What does this mean? In order to practice our art we must act in the here and now, and we must be aware of exactly what pushes our character onto the stage and what propels the character to do what (s)he must do in order to fulfill his/her intention." -- bMac

The ArTfUL Mind JULY 2016 • 9


Interview by Harryet Candee

Harryet Candee: Scott! how has the show at The Good Purpose Gallery been going for you and Joanie? Scott Taylor: The opening on June 24th was great, and very well-attended. It’s a two-person show that includes Joanie Ciolfi and myself. Joanie is a gorgeous painter. She has a great sense of color as well as mark-making. The two of us had painted together at NuArts for years and we had been in several group shows together. Our paintings always seemed to end up next to each other, so when Trish Boissevain (the curator for Good Purpose) called, we were both all in. The title, Brilliant Color, and the theme of the show came from Trish. She could see from our work that we connect through color very well, and the rest is history.

did you ever imagine you would take your art this far? Galleries, marketing, enjoyment, the whole kit and caboodle? Scott Taylor: I’ve been very blessed to have the opportunities that I have had along the way… it’s not to say I haven’t had to work hard for them, but it’s great to have people recognize and connect with your work, and in turn open some doors for you. What we’re doing right now is an example of one of those blessings. Having an opportunity to talk about and share my work on the pages of The Artful Mind is very ex10 • JULY 2016 The ArTfUL Mind

Photography by Steven Sears

citing and fulfilling for me. As for the marketing side of the art business, it doesn’t come easy for most artists, but I’ve always been involved with sales and marketing in every job I’ve ever done. That being said, I’m at a point in my life where I get so much pleasure from being in the studio throwing paint, I’d be happy to connect with more regional galleries to help take the time constraints needed to focus on art sales off my shoulders!

What is your wildest dream for your art-making? Scott: Recently, I’ve been applying to a lot more highprofile museum and juried shows, both nationally and regionally. So it would be pretty wild if I started getting accepted into that arena. As for my art-making, I continue to challenge myself everyday that I’m in the studio. I’ve started to see that challenge coming in the form of using different materials and techniques to make marks. I’ve also become a series painter, so today’s painting, I’m hoping, will give way to another one tomorrow, and I can continue to create a family of work. Sometimes that family can be as large as twenty pieces and sometimes it runs its course at four or five. That’s not to say I won’t go back into the series down the road. My “Fresh Paint” series, which is a collection of atmospheric landscapes, and my “Canyon” series, which are paintings that have a southwest influence, are getting added to all the time.

They are two of my personal favorites. My hope going forward is that these series will find wall space in regional galleries and start to find homes of their own!

What inspires you when you are faced with a fresh, white canvas? What is the method to your artistic madness? Scott: Well, it used to be fear, but after some 1800 paintings it’s the excitement of the next piece of work, and having the confidence to continue working the piece until it turns the corner. Truth is, it’s one reason I love acrylics—if it doesn’t turn the corner like I want, I can always paint over it. I also found that leaving a little of the painting’s history showing through has delivered some of my best work!! Are there any fearful thoughts you have when it comes to your creativity and your output? Scott: Other than my favorite acrylic paint manufacturer, Golden, stopping production of one of my favorite colors, cadmium red, I would say… at my age, meeting my maker before I’ve completed my last painting!! I can’t resolve that, but I can tell you that I’m feeling like I still have a lot of paintings left to paint. As for the cad red, I’m secretly hoarding tubes. if there were no colors in the world, and only black

and white, what then would you paint, and how would you go about solving that problem? Scott: Wow. It’s funny that you ask that question! I’m quietly (well not anymore I guess) working on a black and white series of works on paper. I can tell you for me it’s difficult because my voice in art has always been color related. For this different direction I’m learning that it’s really all about making a great line. Whether it’s bold, or thin, creating energy with a stroke… It lets the line develop its own form as you’re pulling or pushing a brush or a knife along, all adding character to the work you’re doing. Gaining experience with the process is helping solidify my voice in the painting. So far I have a couple of pieces finished that I would consider successful (but I have to put them away—I can’t be looking at them, especially if I have a brush load of cad red or teal!!!). I think because I use color to create the emotion, the drama in my pieces, using the line as a way to express myself in black and white is a work in progress. To see if I can solve that problem you’ll have to wait… I hope not too long for the results!!! Many teachers i have had in painting said it was a no no to use pure black, and it seems you do that as a soft outline in some of your work, or as a color for color sake... What are your thoughts on this? Scott: Years ago I was a watercolorist, it’s a wonder-

Scott Taylor Summers Retreat 40” x 30”

ful medium but for some reason I just wasn’t connecting to it the way I hoped. A friend of mine gave me a set of pastels which I really liked except for the dust and clean up. However, something happen during that process when I made a mark with a Cad Red pastel on a black sheet of paper. The color was so intense and dynamic, for me it was just what I had been looking for. Next I had to find another medium that could give me that same intensity but was easier for me to work with and that’s when I found the Golden brand of acrylics. I actually start my art making process by painting my canvas with a combination of two blacks first and then I continue using the black as my darkest value when needed. I’ve painted that way for about twenty years I like the color contrast that it brings to my work. I guess one of the few advantages of being self taught is that you can make the rules...

if a blind person wanted to understand your paintings, how would you go about creating an experience that he or she could understand? Scott: At times I see myself as a visual storyteller, and color helps tell that story in my paintings. So explaining my work to a person who is sight-impaired would mean taking the time to describe and connect the other senses that help the story to unfold. I think my color would be best described by associating it with temperature or emotion. So lets try that with a simple

Golden acrylics on canvas

landscape. This painting is titled Autumn Ridgeline. It was inspired as we traveled down the Taconic Parkway one Thanksgiving morning. A row of trees stands across a hillside. There is a chill in the air, the crisp blue skies contain several large fluffy clouds that billow above the barren trees like big cotton balls. On the ground lay fallen leaves—the kind that would crackle under your feet as you walk, their bright yellow color reflecting the warmth of the sun. The trees on the ridge, though they are barren, they remind you of people you love standing on the top of the hill with their arms stretched high as if they were waving to you. And although the air is cool and winter is coming, there is a feeling of warmth, and you are happy. How was that? Great! do you ever paint from the imagination? Scott: Absolutely… more now than ever, and I think that has added a lot of freshness to my work in recent years. When I first committed myself to painting, I was a watercolorist, and I loved the medium. But after three or so years I felt as thought I hadn’t found my voice. They were still tightly-rendered paintings that were nice, but they didn’t really say much about the image within the painting, or myself for that matter. Once I stumbled onto the vibrancy of acrylics I started to feel like I was home. However, my mechan-

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Scott Taylor Poppy Hill with Teal Vase 36” x 24” Golden acrylics on canvas

ics remained much the same; I would sketch the scene on site and take a picture for reference. Back in the studio I would do a more detailed pencil drawing and paint the piece, while all the time staying in between the lines. Once I started letting my eyes and hands do the work, to all intents purposes disengaging my brain somewhat from the act of painting, things started loosening up. I started gaining confidence in my mark-making ability and people started taking my work home. Sometimes the images can be something that came to me in sleep, dreamlike in nature—like my piece “The Pier.” Sometimes I take a visual snapshot of something I see on the way to the studio, and that gets incorporated into a piece. At times I start with something fairly realistic, then it takes a turn and the painting takes on a life of its own. Often my pieces are influenced by the music I’m listening to, and it dramatically changes the course of where the piece was going in the first place. I take a lot of cues from the rhythm of the music—it seems sometimes to influence the length of the brush strokes and how I paint.

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Could you go into some detail about your technique? how do you achieve Scott’s style? Start with a blank canvas… what comes next? Scott: Well, one thing I left out earlier was a short rendezvous with a box of pastels that someone had given me. Don’t get me wrong, I love the marks I made with them, but I couldn’t deal with the dust they created. Somewhere in the middle of that process, I made a red mark on a piece of black paper and optically the mark seemed to sit on top of the paper and vibrated. That vibration and colorplay was exactly what I was after, and I looked to try to duplicate that with a cleaner medium. So that was what really brought me to using acrylics. Now I start by painting the entire canvas a mixture of two blacks. After it dries I do a very vague line drawing on the canvas with a soft colored pencil. It’s vague because I want to keep what I’m going to paint loose. This method works really well when I’m painting my flowers, trees and landscapes. I have to be a little more involved with the line drawing when my subject matter is architecture or my old trucks. Then I work the large shapes and colors until the canvas is covered. The next step is

what takes the most time and requires a lot of patience from me, and where the painting is either won or lost. At this point in the painting’s life, it’s about making sure that the colors are balanced properly. The final step is adding details, and it has taken years to build up my confidence in my gestural strokes so that they read well in the viewer’s eye. Instead of painting every blade of grass in a field, I want to rely on good mark-making to successfully imply what’s there. I know I’m done when I step back from the painting and smile. It gets signed and I move on. Oh, you do have a distinct style…. how long has it taken to develop? Where did it begin? What technique did you begin exploring when you realized you were taking painting seriously? Scott: I think that my own style continues to evolve. It’s an ongoing process for me. I’ve painted for as long as I can remember, but about 20 years ago I think my style began to show itself, when I moved from watercolors to painting with acrylics. It wasn’t so much a focus on technique as an emotional reaction that found me painting a piece that to this day I con-

Scott Taylor working on landscape in red and black

sider my best work. It was in 2007, and the painting is entitled One in Eight. My wife is a breast cancer survivor, and during her very personal struggle I learned from her about living with courage and grace. I believe that in the creative process we sometimes are vehicles for an image, a story or a song that just comes through us. One in Eight was one such experience for me. That was when I realized I had a voice. As mentioned earlier, I tend to listen to music when I paint, and at times I found myself painting with very quick rhythmic strokes. It seemed to allow the black underpainting to show though in places. I also started to add more texture in my work, which gives the painting another dimension. As I continue to find my voice, my work has become increasingly more complex, with much more colorplay. I really love being able to have the opportunity to do what I do, to go into my studio everyday and create. Most of the time I want my work to show that I’m really having a lot of fun, and if that can translate to the viewer, it’s just what I’m looking for. The greatest comment that I can get from someone who lives with my work is that it energizes or makes them feel good, because God

knows it’s not a very easy world out there right now. started. Who knows, if my friend didn’t mention stopping at Santa Fe I might be shagging golf balls at a have you had classical training? Self taught? driving range, somewhere in the wild, wild west!! What discoveries did you make when you realized you enjoyed the act of painting? if you finish a work of art and find you don’t like Scott: I’m self-taught. Though art was a love of mine it, do you show it to someone for their opinion, or at an early age, I didn’t have the conviction to commit just trash it, or put it away—or put it in a show reto it until my early forties. It was after many years of gardless of your own opinion? owning a retail business called Taylor’d Sound in Scott: Ha-ha! Joanie has always been a good one to Pittsfield, I just felt that I needed a change in my life. show my work to. She knows my work pretty well, I thought that I would head out west and maybe get and sometimes it helps to have a painter’s eye to help into the golf business, and a very wise friend of mine work things through. We used to just walk down the said to checkout Santa Fe on my way out to Phoenix. hallway between our studios to show each other I did, and it became my home for almost a year. It’s a work. Now that my studio is up in Dalton I sometimes wonderful area with a very inspiring landscape. I send her a j-peg of the work in question. Another started painting watercolors out there and traded great resource is my wife Gina. She’s lived with my paintings with local craftspeople for furniture and work for so long, plus she’s Italian so she doesn’t other things. It was a very nurturing experience for mince words. When I bring a painting home at the me. I would spend my days out painting en plein air end of a day to show her, it’s sort of like being a gladand my nights in the galleries looking at all of the iator walking into the coliseum at the end of a fight… amazing colors that people were creating. Interest- I get a thumbs up or a thumbs down! A lot of times I ingly enough, when I came home I looked at this at will put the work aside for a while and look at it again Continued on next page... this area with a completely new eye. That’s where it

The ArTfUL Mind JULY 2016 • 13

Scott Taylor Summers Retreat 40” x 30” Golden acrylics on canvas

with a fresh eye. The other day I was showing some people my work at the studio, and I came upon a piece that was six or seven months old. I’ve got about twelve hundred paintings up there, so it’s not too uncommon to have one get a little buried in the mix. After they left, I pulled it back out and did some more work on it and it’s now in the show at the Good Purpose Gallery! That’s a success story. In the end, if it just doesn’t work it gets painted black and I’m back at square one.

Tell me a little bit about your home life… Who is in your life that’s wonderful and supportive? Scott: Sure, I’m happily married to my wife Gina for almost eighteen years. She’s an amazingly bright and beautiful, somewhat fearless partner. (Her last name in Italian means “win the war,” I might add.) That’s the reason I answered your last question the way I did, Harryet! Without question, she is my strongest supporter. My first time around I got married really young, and I have two great kids from that marriage, Shari and Scott Jr., and grandchildren that have kids 14 • JULY 2016 The ArTfUL Mind

of their own. They all have been supportive of the work that I do and they are all creative in their own right. The last time out for a visit, my great granddaughter Aislynn came armed with her latest creations for my critique. She’s a pretty good little artist. Can you think of something in your life that made you grow up a LOT? Scott: Certainly. I know that I’ve grown up as much from the losses in my life as I have from successes that have come my way. The loss of love, friendships and certainly the death of both of my parents, as well as some close friends, have all been involved in that growth. did it have a direct influence on your art-making? Scott: It surely has. Last July, Gina’s dad passed at the age of 89. At the same funeral home on Long Island, they were also waking a young man in his early twenties. One was a life well lived and the other, sadly, was a life not lived long enough. From that experience came a very dark painting for me, entitled

Termination Date, which ended up being a very Nathan Oliveira-like painting with several figures standing in rows with future dates written on their heads. It’s a painting that is very uncharacteristic of the rest of my work, but my takeaway message was that we never know when our time is up, so it’s important to really live in the moment of our days. My mom’s recent passing in November was the basis of a recent piece, Time To Rest, which is a painting of a field of sunflowers in late fall as they return, as we all must, to the earth. Another piece, entitled In my Father’s Hands, is a visual description of the times in our lives when we have more than we feel that we can handle, but in the end somehow we manage to live through it. That said, more often than not, I try to keep a positive outlook on life. I think much of the work I create makes people feel happy. I remember reading this quote a while back describing happiness. I can’t for the life of me remember who the author was, but it went: “Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely and to be needed.”

Scott Taylor Wahconah Falls 48” x 48” Golden acrylics on canvas

What kind of artist communities are you involved with? do you have a ring of artists that conjure together and discuss the arts? Scott: Up until a year and a half ago I had a studio on North Street at the NuArts group that included a wonderful crew of artmakers, many of whom I try to keep in contact with on at least a monthly basis. Marge Bride is a good friend who currently has a great show up in Chatham. There’s Joanie Ciolfi, and Dan Brody, who has a marvelous show up at the Berkshire Museum. Also Leo Mazzeo, who paints, curates several shows in the area and does the arts indie blog… we get together for a cup of coffee now and then to talk over the arts happenings in the Berkshires. I’ve also been on the board of the Berkshire Art Association for several years now, and we are constantly working to foster art throughout Berkshire County through our scholarship show and art museum trip underwriting. do you think we live in an area that is supportive of the arts? has anything you’ve gotten involved with, such as grant-writing or going into non-

gallery locations and showing your work, been helpful to you? do you like the idea of art on the walls in restaurants? Scott: For the most part, I think that the area understands the advantages of supporting all types of art in the community, both from an economic and an artistic side. Unfortunately, in my opinion, without new, viable industries to provide good paying jobs in the area, the community has to rely on the arts to bring in the tourist dollars to support it. I believe without the arts community doing its part, the economic landscape of this area would be radically different, and not in a positive way. As far as alternative venues to display art, for an artist—especially if you’re just starting to show your work—it’s imperative to get it out of the studio and have it be seen, whether it’s in a restaurant, coffee shop or healthcare facility; it doesn’t really matter. If you’re a full-time artist, getting your work into galleries that are excited about it and have a client base that will support your work is what it’s all about. However, in Pittsfield, where there aren’t any retail galleries, the monthly Artswalk has

become a viable place to have your art shown.

Can you see your artwork overlapping into another venue in the arts? Stage sets? TV? Scott: I certainly can. I think it would be very cool, as a matter of fact. When I’m watching a show or video I’m constantly stopping and rewinding it just to look at the art that they have on the wall. I have also had several people tell me that my images would look great in textiles and I’ve had requests to use some of my images for book and CD covers. Who knows if I’ll ever go down that avenue, but I’m always open to the idea.

h: how is the marketing aspect going for you? do you find it easy or difficult? Scott: I have always loved marketing and I think that social media represents a great opportunity for artists to get their work out there, but it takes time to build and develop an audience for your work. It’s funny, as much as I have enjoyed marketing my work these past

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Scott Taylor Somewhere Over the Rainbow 36”x36” Golden acrylic on canvas

twenty some years, I have to tell you, at this time in my life I’d just rather be painting. However, unless you have several brick and mortar galleries that are promoting your work, the internet is really one of the only ways people can see your work in a sales environment.

have you thought of going into the abstract expressionistic realm of painting, or do you like representational art best? Scott: I love most all two-dimensional art, and abstract art is certainly no exception. Although I’m not known for painting abstracts, I have painted several, but I have to say they don’t come easy to me. That being said, I think that all of my paintings have some abstract component to them.

Who in the art world do you watch for inspiration, new styles? Scott: Through Facebook I have developed large groups of very talented artist friends who are continuing to inspire me through their work. Brian Rutenberg for one, a NYC artist who is an amazing painter, and who also has a wonderful series of YouTube videos that every creative painter should checkout. Joan Fullerton, Vincent Desiderio, Peter Reginato, Mike Cockrill, Julie Shumer and James Koskinas are just some of my social media friends that create work 16 • JULY 2016 The ArTfUL Mind

that inspires me on a daily basis. Over the years, Vincent van Gogh, Edward Hopper, Richard Diebenkorn, especially his Berkeley series, Hans Hoffman and Mark Rothko all have had an influence on my work. Your studio is very cool, and so is this building. What kind of a factory did it used to be, and do they have any plans to expand and add more artists’ studios in the future? Scott: Thanks. I was really lucky. About a year and a half ago, I had severely outgrown the space that I had on North Street in Pittsfield. I started looking for a larger mill space mainly because I wanted to start painting larger scale work. At the time, there really weren’t any larger spaces available. I connected with Steve Sears, one of the owners of the stationery factory up in Dalton, and the rest has been history. The vision the owners have for the building is very cool, and they will be adding more studios for artists as well. I’m looking forward to having some company up here!

i know you’re usually pretty busy during the summer. What else do you have coming up besides the show at the Good Purpose Gallery? Scott: This month I also have some pieces from my new “Open Architecture” series in a group show entitled MOJO, which just opened on June 25th at the

St. Francis Gallery. On August 6th, during the First Fridays Artswalk, I’m in a show I’m really excited about called Living Color. It’s opening at the Whitney Center for the Arts in Pittsfield, and I’ll be showing with Michael Fabrizio and Ivor Parry—both artists whose works I really love. I’ve got to tell you though, you might want to wear your sunglasses. The color will certainly be in full force for that show! On August 27th, I open a show up at the Becket Art Center with Mary Ann Davis and Arthur Hillman. On September 3rd, I will also have a solo show at the Art Annex, on route 23 in Hillsdale NY, which is a fairly new gallery in a hotbed of galleries in Columbia County. It will be a very busy couple of months for me, but I’m really excited about each one of the opportunities!



Marguerite Bride has joined together with Lee Everett to present a show that is certain to get your blood moving and your feet tapping. Visualizations –both in paintings and photographs— of what has come to be called “America’s classical music,” JAZZ VISIONS will run from August 527 at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, with an opening reception on Friday, August 5 from 5-8 pm, to coincide with Pittsfield’s First Friday Artswalk. For the past few decades, both Bride and Everett have been involved separately in the jazz scene in various capacities….but more specifically the past 12 years since the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival came to town. Everett has been the official photographer of the festival, and Bride has been a supporter, fan and graphic designer. Two years ago the organizer of the festival suggested the two join forces and put on an exhibit….Everett’s photography and Bride’s paintings…and that is how it all began. Marguerite Bride, renowned for her watercolors of Italy, Ireland, and the Berkshires, as well as custom house portraits and more, has been attending jazz events and festivals for many years. Her paintings capture scenes like the Newport Jazz Festival; Montreal Jazz Festival; New York and New Orleans jazz scenes; assorted jazz venues; many of the Pittsfield jazz events and performers during the festivals; and also regular jazz nights at Mission Bar and Tapas, North Street’s Monday night jazz haunt. In all she will have approximately 20 original paintings; most are watercolor on canvas. As a special bonus, there will be a silent auction of a fine-art reproduction of “The Master’s Hands,” painted by Bride and signed by Dave Brubeck during the 2009 Pittsfield CityJazz Festival, which was the legendary Brubeck’s last performance in the Berkshires. Bids will be accepted during the exhibit with the winning bid announced at 4pm, August 27, the last day of the show. Proceeds from this auction will be donated to Berkshires Jazz. Everett will exhibit an action-packed array of his jazz photography....ranging from Ray Charles to Grace Kelly, and more. Details about Bride’s works and the exhibit pieces can be seen on her website; details and examples of Lee Everett’s photography are on his site. Jazz Visions is supported in part by the Pittsfield Cultural Council. Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, 28 Renne Avenue, Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Exhibit open 11am – 4pm, Wed – Sat or by appointment (contact the artist). Marguerite Bride:;; Facebook: Marguerite Bride Watercolors. Lee Everett:


After recently completing a body of work, I began to develop several new avenues for self-expression. Each builds directly upon my last show, which reinterpreted my childhood icons through an adult lens. The affinity with my current work lies in the use of strong color and simplified forms to establish mood and emotional impact. The focus of my new paintings, however, shifts from remembered subjects to internal psychological conflicts, reflections, confrontations and awareness. These themes resonate throughout my placement, pairing and grouping of human figures, and the use of distortion for greater physical immediacy. The second approach that I have adopted seeks the same results but is more indirect. Here I use subjects mostly drawn from nature to channel the psychological content. How often we experience the known and familiar through perceptions altered by context and outlook. These paintings work as semi-abstractions through bold and stark imagery that isolates and magnifies objects to heighten the underlying theme. During the month of July, Robert Forte will be showing his work at the St. Francis Gallery in Lee, MA., and at Atlantic Gallery in New York City. The latter is a group exhibit titled "A-Connection". It is a show of small works with a maximum size of 12" x 12". Forte will be showing two paintings with a "connection" in that both relate to the Garden of Eden: the entrance and the expulsion. Forte's other recent works,"Kundry's Garden" and "Force of Nature", also give anthropomorphic content to nature. Locally, Forte has exhibited in Great Barrington and Housatonic, and until recently was a regular exhibitor at 510 Warren Street Gallery in Hudson, NY. He also participated in the New Marlborough summer shows at the Meeting House Gallery. After retiring from the practice of law, Forte studied painting with Cornelia Foss at The Art Students League in New York, and figurative drawing and painting with Philip Pearlstein and Minerva Durham. Forte's works are held in many private collections throughout the country. Robert Forte -


For me, it is joyous to feel that I have captured the essence of a special time and place through my art and have given new life to a memory that will give pleasure for years to come. The commission process is collaboration between artist and client. Whenever possible we visit the site together and discuss elements of subject, color, form and the ‘feeling’ of the scene. The next step for me is to create a detailed color sketch that reflects the client’s vision and gives them a good sense of how the finished artwork will look. At this point the commissioner can give input and suggestions as I work toward the final design. Lastly, I simply do what I know hot to do – I sit at my easel and paint. Stephen Filmus is represented by J. Todd Gallery in Wellesley, MA. His work can be seen at his studio in Great Barrington by appointment. Stephen Filmus –, 413-528-1253,

"American actors suffer in hastily prepared and short-lived vehicles or in excessively long runs of a 'hit' show, neither of which provide the opportunity for artistic growth and development." -- Toby Cole/Helen Krich Chinoy

"I want to start with art and work my way towards trash." -- Joel Gersmann, playwright The ArTfUL Mind JULY 2016 • 17

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GYPSY LAYNE CABARET & COMPANY Interview by Harryet Candee

Harryet Candee: it’s clear from your performances that you know music! i’ve been searching for some music to get me revved, but not too revved that i can’t concentrate. What works for you? nicole rizzo: I would listen to some jazz, like Coltrane or Miles Davis. It allows my brain waves to stay steady and relaxed without too much nonsense. It depends on what mood I’m in. I try not to force what I’m listening to; it has to come naturally. Lately I’ve been listening to Flume, The Hamilton Soundtrack and Erykah Badu. I am in love with music, and much like in a movie, it is a constant soundtrack in my life. Music can inspire you, shake you up and break your heart all in one note. What do you have in common with Sally rand? 20 • JULY 2016 The ArTfUL Mind

Photography by Lee Everett

Tell me the connection—who was she, and how did you begin your interest in this artist? Nicole Rizzo: My connection with Sally Rand is her technical background in dance. She started as a chorus dancer, then moved on to silent films and created her most notable dance, the fan dance, which is one of the most highlighted forms of burlesque to this day. When I first started educating myself on burlesque, Sally Rand, Josephine Baker, Mae West and Gypsy Rose Lee were the pioneers. I wanted to keep the elements of technical dance—the tease and the cheekiness—in the art form.

When did you first have the idea of creating a burlesque and cabaret troupe? What were your needs and your goals at that time; the combination that set this idea into motion?

Nicole Rizzo: The start of the story is really how I fell into burlesque. I was living in LA at the time (2006), working in the music-video and independent movie scene, when I met a producer who wanted to start a burlesque troupe showcasing the different kinds of burlesque throughout the time periods. A bunch of fellow dancers and myself started making our way around the city, visiting Ivan Kane’s 40 Deuce, which went to Vegas and other burlesque showcases. We started doing the legwork in various genres of burlesque to educate ourselves in what was out there and where burlesque came from. I remember going to see Dita Von Tease one night and being memorized by her iconic martin bath number which is done worldwide now at festivals. For myself, I wanted to incorporate strong technical dancing with a sexy, cheeky strip tease. We never really got our

show off of the ground due to funding, but for me it put what is now Gypsy Layne into motion in my mind. I started the dialogue with myself about what kind of art I wanted to pursue professionally, and what art was feeding my soul. Personally, I was tired of going to open casting calls and feeding someone else’s vision. I was growing and discovering a new freedom with myself, my body and my art, and knew that I had something to say and wanted to share it. At the time, Gypsy Layne was not born yet, but the seed was planted in my mind.

does living in the Berkshires help with making these ideas happen more easily, as opposed to the big city? had you tried doing something like Gypsy Layne elsewhere, maybe without success? Nicole Rizzo: My move back to the Berkshires was for personal reasons, and at the time I wasn’t sure if I was going to stay or move again to New York City, which is where I went to school at Circle in the Square. When I made the decision to stay, I knew I needed to dive head-first into the arts community and reach out. I started asking questions about burlesque… was there any burlesque in Berkshire County? If so, for how long, and where did they perform? I read books, asked questions, got introduced to dancers and performers in the area and started to manifest the kind of show I wanted to build. The process also dared me to ask what kind of burlesque

Kinky Boots: Cosmic Candy, Laci Lovegood, Cody Dellaire show would work in this area. Lightbulb!: I knew that I wanted to educate the audience as I had been educated. The first run of Gypsy Layne shows was exactly that: Let’s take them on the journey of burlesque from the 1880’s to the millennium, and show the evolution of this art form. What’s so great about my experience with the Berkshires is that when I started to truly get this show moving, I had so much help and support. It’s the classic “if you build it, they will come” energy that started the Gypsy Caravan. What are you happiest with in your life right now? has the road gotten easier or not? Nicole Rizzo: I have had a lot of loss in my life the past 5 years. Both of my parents passed away, but fortunately for me they both witnessed Gypsy Layne. I have been blessed to have had parents who supported my dreams of living the life of a performer. It’s not an easy life. My father was in the Continued on next page....

Cosmic Candy and Laci Lovegood

The ArTfUL Mind JULY 2016 • 21

music business himself and played the nightclub scene in NYC in the 70’s. My mother helped me dream and my father grounded me with what this life would look like. With loss, there is gain as well. Also, I could NOT have done this show nor could I continue to do this show with out the support of the troupe. They are the most dedicated, hardworking, giving people. When I audition people for the troupe, I always tell them this troupe is magic. Gypsy Layne runs itself, meaning that, as we continue to do the work and support each other and our audience, the messages we send out—and the fun—will continue.

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Lady Bits

Was your first passion always dance? did anything else fascinate you as a child? Nicole Rizzo: My first passion was dance, but of course it was more about performing. Yes, I was one of those kids who set up their stuffed animals and dolls and put on a show! (What kid didn’t?!) In my adolescence, I broke into the theatre scene and fell in love with Shake-

Bad Boy--Good Man

speare, musicals and plays. By the time I went to school in NYC, I wanted to soak up everything the city had to offer—musicals, Shakespeare in the park, the festivals, Broadway. Dance was always in my background. It was and will always be my first love.

Where did you grow up, nicole? help us to see your past so we can understand your life now. Nicole Rizzo: I spent the first 5 years of life in Long Island, NY. We moved to the Berkshires in the early 80’s. I grew up in a small condo with a bedroom lined with Madonna, Prince and Guns ’n Roses posters. When my family moved, we didn’t have a lot of money for me to go to dance class, therefore I would watch music videos and concerts over and over and over again, working on the choreography. My love for dance was pure, and I didn’t have an agenda. It was about having a fun. As a director and teacher, that is one of my foundations: if you are not having fun, don’t do it. Yes, the technical work on my craft came later with classes and conservatories, but I don’t want to lose my integrity as an artist and what makes me happy. Misty Copeland didn’t start dance until she was in her early teens, and look at that woman rocking and changing the shape of dance. It’s inspiring. Were you a rebellious teenager? Nicole Rizzo: I definitely had my fun in high school. My mom held space for me and my curiosity around

Charles and Miranda life and my teenage years. I worked hard and played hard, which is still how I live my life. is there anything you feel strongly about? Something you might want to make a statement about your creative mission? Nicole Rizzo: One aspect of Gypsy Layne that I feel very strongly about as an artist and a woman is body image. One of our missions is to celebrate women and men and all of their curves. I never wanted to have a cookie-cutter troupe with perfect bodies. There is enough judgement in the media regarding body image, losing weight and having the “perfect body.” This troupe is about empowering people of all shapes, sizes and colors.

nicole, what role did you play in deadwood? Nicole Rizzo: Honestly, it was just an extra role. It was a great experience seeing the complexities of how a show is run, but it didn’t impact me as an artist at all.

in your troupe, what character do you play, or do you change all the time? Can you tell me about a few of the other characters? Are they all from your imagination, or do they match up with famous dancers/actors from the past. Nicole Rizzo: One of the highlights about the troupe

and our audience is our characters. We get people who come to the show and know our names and numbers. There is a relationship already there. It’s fun for us, because we we feed so much off of the audience. My character, Cody Dallaire is one of the cheeky, fun dancers. Most of my roles are in all the dance numbers and ensemble numbers. Another character, Kitty “Bang Bang” Halloway, a.k.a. Morgan quigley, is one of our strongest strip characters. Her resemblance to Betty Paige is uncanny. She has a dynamic face and curves that the audience eats up. Our resident singer, Laci Lovegood, a.k.a. Taylor Ives, sizzles when she is on stage. She has a way of drawing women and men into her numbers like a trance, and her sultry voice knocks people out. One key element to Gypsy Layne is our MC, Jude Deen. Justin Green has transformed from being a dancer, four years ago, to being one of the strongest players in the show. He knows how to engage, entice and unite an audience like no other. Justin writes all of his own material and lights up the stage with his bawdy humor and charm. It’s like watching a male Amy Schumer. Continued on next page....

Mike Monaco

The ArTfUL Mind JULY 2016 • 23

I’ve Been Kiss Before with Cody Dellaine, Mike Monaco and Kitty Bang-Bang Holloway how do you bring the nostalgia of burlesque to the stage? Nicole Rizzo: We are a cabaret troupe and like to keep the integrity of classic burlesque; we do not have any neo-burlesque in the troupe. Kitty does a fan number similar to Sally Rand. Our music choices are a huge factor in the nostalgia, and we like to keep it fresh with jazzy numbers—but with a twist, such as pulling songs from Scott Bradlee & Post Modern Jukebox, or classics, from Pearl Bailey to Earth Kit. do troupe members contribute with ideas? Nicole Rizzo: We have a meeting each year before we go into our season, brainstorming old numbers that we want to revamp or switch up. Every troupe member brings forth new ideas for their characters, and everyone auditions their numbers. Some things are a green light; others may go on the back burner until a future date. Ultimately, I want each troupe member to have a voice and showcase their talents. It’s collaborative.

Kitty Bang-Bang Holloway

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describe to me who Mike Monaco is? Who is he as a performer and as a person off the stage? Nicole Rizzo: Ah, Mike Monaco… The

evolution of Mike Monaco from a ensemble member to one of the most celebrated male performers of the show is so exciting to watch. Jonathan Ambar, a.k.a. Mike, is so dedicated to his own journey with burlesque. He has performed his new solos in New York City and Seattle, and continues to. He is very clear about his characters and what roles they embody. He has his notorious male strips, but also works a number with Justin, “Charles & Miranda,” which is like watching a satire play meets SNL skit. Gypsy Layne has such a strong troupe right now, with newcomers like Lady Bits and Cosmic Candy who shine with their dancing, to old favorite guest stars like Scarlett Deville, who works the crowd with her famous nun piece.

have you had much turnover of your troupe members? i bet it could get a little steamy and dramatic when people in this kind of theatrical venue do not agree, or worse yet, get defensive… Nicole Rizzo: The truth is, everything has a metamorphosis, including casts and bands. We hold auditions about once a year and will hire performers if they are the right fit. Like I stated before, this troupe is magic, and it takes dedication and commitment to be involved. Most of us are invested in this troupe for what it represents and stands for. I am not interested in having performers on board with egos and separate agendas. We gel together, and if someone does not work in the troupe, which has happened in the past, then it is advantageous for both parties to move on.

Sink or Swim with Former Gypsy Dona Dragona, Lady Bits and Kitty Bang-Bang Holloway

how did you come up with the name Gypsy Layne? Nicole Rizzo: I knew that I wanted Gypsy in the title because of Gypsy Rose Lee and the idea of being a “gypsy.” It was originally supposed to be Lane but it was a band’s name. I love Layne—it flows so well with Gypsy, but it’s funny because we get mixed up all the time with “Lane.”

What is the most difficult part of getting a show ready? Nicole Rizzo: Tech week is always the hardest. There are so many people people who work on these shows outside of the core troupe members. We have a DJ who creates our playlist, a tech crew consisting of sound, lights and set-up. We have three tech days and then a full day of setting up the show at the venue. These days are long and tedious, but when we step onto that stage and hear the crowd, it’s all worth it.

What have you learned throughout your years of doing this that you would suggest to emerging performers to never—or always—do? Nicole Rizzo: When you are a performer, sometimes you feel like you need to constantly justify or validate yourself and your art. For me, I think trusting that it will always be in your blood is enough. I can’t imagine doing something else in my life. Life is a tapestry that we build, and every piece may not be the same but it works. Listen to your gut and do the work. When I lived in New York, my friend who was trying to be in the Paul Taylor company (and I who was trying to break into Broadway) always said you have to pay your dues.

What do you think audiences love the most about your performances as a troupe? Nicole Rizzo: FUN!! We really wanted to showcase that in the photo shoot. Our troupe runs on fun and having a good time. There is something for everyone in this troupe, which is one of the reasons we run as a cabaret—from dancing to singing to cheeky humor—while putting a burlesque spin on it.

do you ever feel like you offend part of the population… You shouldn’t, but i’m wondering. Nicole Rizzo: I will admit there is still a small population of people who have a different idea of our show. We have been told that we cannot perform at certain venues, and we’ve been told to change certain aspects of the show. There is a sense that we qualify as “strippers.” Many people do not even know what burlesque is. My stance is to educate them if they are interested, and if not, move on. We know who our demographic is and how to entertain them. To be transparent, I am not interested in ignorance or in losing the show’s integrity. Continued on next page..

Scarlet Deville

The ArTfUL Mind JULY 2016 • 25

Make-up and rehearsal time with members of Gypsy Layne

What do you think of as a defining ‘moment’ in the world of burlesque? Nicole Rizzo: Hmmmm… I would say the biggest icon moment I can think of is Josephine Baker and her Danse Sauvage number in Paris. She wore her famous banana skirt that coined the phrase “Art Deco” in fashion. It is still re-created in the world of burlesque to this day.

What are you planning for the troupe in the next year? Nicole Rizzo: We are really excited about the next few months. We are debuting at the Majestic Theatre in West Springfield on August 25th. Also, so excited to announce that we are performing at Mohegan Sun in CT on September 23rd.

Jude Deen

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how do you keep your professional world separate from your private life? Nicole Rizzo: I am married, and it would be a lie if I said Gypsy Layne does not affect my partnership. I am lucky to have a husband who supports what I do and helps with the show. He understands that when we are gearing up for a show, I get home late at night and

we have limited time. Working as the producer of this show takes a lot of time. You have the marketing, press and poster angles. I have a great team and can delegate some of those tasks to troupe members. Jonathan is editor and handles the press releases, Justin designs posters/postcards. Morgan is my stage manager and handles schedules, set lists and costumes; and I handle the booking. All of our efforts align with each other to create what goes into a season and a show. Hard work! if you were to do something totally different, what would it be? And it could be anything—even flying to Mars! Nicole Rizzo: I would work in the social work field, either with eating disorders or addictions. My rockstar job would be to be a DJ!

What do you give your audience that comes most naturally to you? Nicole Rizzo: For me, I love to smile and connect with the audience. I am the first to yell and ask the audience if they’re having a good time, the first to tell them to get louder. I’m all about breaking the fourth wall. Are tattoos permitted in your troupe? Nicole Rizzo: Oh of course, we all have tattoos.

do you love Broadway shows? What did you think of it from a professional point of view? Nicole Rizzo: Yes, I love Broadway. I am most likely on the list with everyone one else for Hamilton. I would say the last Broadway play I saw was

Billy Elliot, with my dad—he loved the movie. I saw Pippin at Proctors last Spring. One thing to know about me and my dancing is my love of Fosse!! Most of my wheelhouse is Fosse/jazz. Last year I saw Moon for the Misbegotten at WTF, with Audra McDonald.

Who are you close to, and how do you benefit from the ways they support your artistic ambitions and goals? Nicole Rizzo: I have a small network of immediate family here, but family is what you make it. I have a wonderful husband and a group of women and men in my industry, from yoga to dance. And of course my amazing Gypsy family!

Tell me, what is it you envision for your troupe? Nicole Rizzo: There are certain aspects that I have always wanted for the show. We’re getting there. I would love to have more men in the troupe, and another strong singer and a belly dancer. People ask me if I have any interest in going to New York or Boston, and yes it’s great to work the festivals there and in Vermont, but I’m interested in our fan base and keeping them entertained. Our press states “The Berkshires’ first homegrown burlesque troupe,” and that is exactly what we are. I don’t want to forget that, or how much our fan base means to us and to the troupe’s livelihood.

Song: Jelly Roll What question do you ponder lately? Nicole Rizzo: question to ask myself: Lately I have been questioning my divine feminine energy and what that looks like to me and my place here on earth. My question is, if I were to travel back in time and become another woman, who would it be and why? My mother always said I looked like Nefertiti and I have read and researched her qualities and noticed our profile resemblance. How interesting would it be to live in that time, 1300 BC. She reminds me of a deity with a divine and goddess quality. The only difference is the size of our bosom!

Here are our upcoming tour dates:

Thursday, August 25th at The Majestic Theatre in West Springfield MA

Friday, September 23rd at Mohegan Sun, COMIX Comedy We have another show in November headlining a fundraiser for Berkshire Nursing Families, date is first or second week of November


Make-up time

The ArTfUL Mind JULY 2016 • 27


The Monterey General Store is pleased to be hosting a reception with the artist Harry Orlyk, whose work is currently being exhibited throughout the store. All are welcome to attend this event, Saturday, June 18th, from 5-7pm. Refreshments will be served. This work will be on display through August, 2016. Harry Orlyk, who resides in Salem, New York, describes his process of painting his exquisite landscapes in oils on linen: “A quarter century of painting has been an act of the imagination to determine who and what I am with respect to the earth and sky. Process, rather than product oriented, searching for the daily painting, has become a way of living in relationship with the earth. To become a human being, a part of nature rather than someone separate observing it from the outside, like hunter- gathers, I am led from one opportunity to the next, being directed by seasonal stages. The relationship has become the trust I give it to show me where my next painting will be. Each painting entails facing a swath of creation and observing something of its story, becomes a long log of small truths.” 448 Main Rd, Monterey, MA.

"The speech we hear is an indication of that which we don't hear . . . a necessary avoidance . . . which keeps the other in place . . . one way of looking at speech is to say that it is a constant strategy to cover nakedness." -- Harold Pinter


B. Docktor is a photographer who aims to show the kernel of magnificence of whatever she’s witnessing: children, families, weddings, pets, events, and the beauty of our region. Why does she make photographs? To preserve the essence of something happening now in a way that brings joy, to spark our memories later, to show future generations who we are, what and who we love. B says, “What I love to do is photograph you and the beings you adore in a way that will be fun and memorable and bring a smile to your face every time you see the images. My pictures let you relive the energy and emotion, the big events and small wonders, the amazing moments and minor miracles that make up your life. I don't just make your pictures, I tell your story. I know how close to get, when to snap, and when to wait and wait and wait until the essential moment is there. “There is an easy, natural quality to my work that allows what's special about you and your life to shine through. I love photographing all facets of life. The people, places, animals, and events you want to hold onto. There's an urgency and importance in doing that. Children grow up, landscapes change, celebrations come to a close—but the pictures will last forever.” B loves to create art that will last, and have an emotional impact—gorgeous albums, art for your walls, or slideshow videos for events. If you are planning a party to honor a loved one, these beautifully edited slideshows can incorporate old photos, new photos, and video that are very moving when projected for your family’s special event. To see the range of B’s work: Videos are on the page called “Moving Images.” 518-329-6239 or



The Housatonic Valley Art League will be back in Great Barrington this summer with two new, exciting art exhibitions. HVAL is one of the area’s largest art organizations and has been putting on these summer exhibitions since the mid 1970’s when it was known as the Sheffield Art League. This year the HVAL Shows are being held at Berkshire Home & Antiques, in the north end of Great Barrington, 107 Stockbridge Rd., between the Cove Bowling Alley and Shiro’s Japanese Restaurant. The first show is the annual HVAL Juried Show, which opens on June 30 and runs through July 31. It features the best, recent work of both HVAL members and non-members. In this Juried Show, all the work submitted must pass the scrutiny of the appointed judges to make it into the show. The judges will then give special awards to 6 works of art, which stand out from the rest. The public is invited to the opening reception, which will be held on Friday, July 1, from 5 to 7 p.m. Refreshments served, awards presented, and it’s a great time to meet and greet the artists in person. The paintings all change on August 4, with the opening of the HVAL Members’ Show. This show, which runs through Labor Day, is open to HVAL members only and will have over 100 paintings on display as each member may submit up to three recent works of art, not previously shown. Everyone is welcome to the opening reception on Friday, August 5, from 5 to 7 p.m., with refreshments served, awards presented, and the artists present. Both these shows offer a great opportunity to pick up some good art, by very talented artists at very reasonable prices. Housatonic Valley Art League -

"Why do we workshop? We do so in order to keep our bodies, feelings, perceptions, mental functioning and awareness honed and 'on tap'." -- bMac

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BriLLiAnT COLOrS through August 8 Good Purpose Gallery is hosting "Brilliant Colors", a vibrant painting exhibit by local artists Scott Taylor and Joanie Ciolfi which runs through August 8. Taylor’s work features his colorful florals, landscapes, and, of course, his old trucks with attitude. Though he does not have formal art training, elements such as color theory and composition have come intuitively to him. His education stems from spending a great deal of time studying the work of artists that he admires – Vincent Van Gogh, Edward Hopper, John Singer Sargent, Wayne Thiebaud, and Richard Diebenkorn, to name a few. Ciolfi’s paintings range from expressive abstracts to atmospheric imagery….quiet beauty, strong light and vibrant color run through her artwork. She is currently using a technique of oil sticks, paints and brushes on canvas or board to create paintings that express and share her passion for color. It is obvious that both Taylor and Ciolfi are inspired by the beauty of the Berkshires.

infUSed WiTh PASSiOn August 12 – September 21 Opening August 12 and running through September 21, Good Purpose Gallery presents a dazzling and colorful exhibition entitled Infused with Passion: extraordinary canvas and furniture paintings by Andrew Novis. An opening reception and an opportunity to welcome Andrew and hear about his art process will be held Friday, August 12, 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Andrew Novis has an overall belief in ars pro gratia arte (art for art's sake) with other significant essentials that influence both his style and subject matter. These factors consist of being mostly self-taught, extremely passionate about art and life, an accomplished athlete, and seriously attracted to the Fauve School of painting. He is also strongly influenced by Latin American art, and specific modern painters such as Paul Gauguin and Romero Britto. Color for Andrew is his core strength and he emphasizes color within a painting or piece of painted furniture Andrew has said, "I was diagnosed with ASD/Asperger’s Syndrome in the fall of 2012. Being an “Aspie” artist, I tend to create and conceive my imagery through the left brain, focusing on detail, order, separation and purity of color (very little mixing), and clearly defined lines. This reflects my general need for simplicity, clarity and structure in real life." Good Purpose Gallery - 40 Main Street, Lee, Massachusetts. The gallery is open 9am - 3pm Wednesday Monday. For more information on the Gallery, visit our website: To see the exhibiting artists’ work, visit the gallery or their websites at and


fine ArT LiMiTed ediTiOn PhOTOGrAPhY

Denise B Chandler is a fine art photographer who has had her work exhibited at The Berkshire Museum, Sohn Fine Art Gallery, Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, IS -183 Art School of the Berkshires, St. Francis Gallery, Chesterwood, The Hudson Opera House, Spencertown Academy Arts Center, and Tivoli Artists Gallery. In 2012, Chandler completed the Photography Residency Program at Maine Media Workshops & College. While in Maine, she was guided, encouraged and her work critiqued by renowned photographers: Michael Wilson, Andrea Monica, Peter Ralston, Arthur Meyerson, David Turner, Brenton Hamilton, David Wells, and Syl Arena. Chandler has continued her formal workshop training with master photographers, Seth Resnick, Greg Gorman, and John Paul Caponigro. Denise B Chandler, a lifelong Lenox resident where she maintains her studio and private gallery. The majority of Chandler’s work is contemporary and concentrates on the details of a subject frequently embracing bold colors, geometric shapes and patterns. Denise B Chandler is represented by Sohn Fine Art Gallery at 69 Church St. in Lenox, Massachusetts where various selections of her work can be seen throughout the year. Chandler offers private gallery visits at her personal studio/gallery by appointment only...please call either number listed below. A member of 510 Warren Street Gallery, Hudson, NY., her fine art photography can now be viewed Friday and Saturday 12 - 5, and Sunday 12-5 or by appointment.Denise B Chandler, Studio & Gallery visits by appointment only. 415 New Lenox Rd, Lenox, MA. Please call 413-637-2344 or 413-281-8461 (cell). Website: / :

LAUren CLArK fine ArT


Lauren Clark Fine Art presents “Interiors”, new paintings by four Massachusetts painters and a glass artist from Florida. In an exhibition of recent paintings on canvas and wood panel, Bart Arnold, Kate Knapp, Carolyn Letvin, and Tina Sotis have their individual interpretation of inside space. Though entirely different in their approach to the subject, there is an inherent commonality which makes this a pleasingly cohesive show. From Knapp’s bright, exuberant colors and forms and Sotis’s incongruous yet utterly appealing dark/light spaces to the warm and inviting interiors of Arnold and Letvin, these are the interior spaces we might like to inhabit. Susan Gott, coming to the gallery via Mary Childs, is a highly accomplished and well regarded glass artist residing in Tampa, Florida. Her blown and cast glass “window” sculptures are a natural accompaniment to the two dimensional works. The show opens Friday, July 1. Please join us for a reception for the artists, Saturday, July 9 from 4-7pm. Lauren Clark Fine Art, 25 Railroad Street, Great Barrington, MA, 413.528.0432 /

The ArTfUL Mind JULY 2016 • 29

diAnA feLBer Diana Felber Gallery West Stockbridge, Massachusetts

GALLERIST Interview by Harryet Candee

Photography by Michael Flower

Harryet Candee: One minute you’re an artist, the next a gallerist! how did this all happen? Diana Felber: If it came as a surprise to you, so did it to me, Harryet. After I left 510 Warren St. Gallery in Hudson last Spring, because I could no longer handle paying the membership fees, I cast around for something else to join and I found the newly formed Richmond West Stockbridge Artist Guild. We had two art shows, and because the membership had grown from the first show to the second, from June to October, we thought there would be need for an overflow gallery space. Ed Merritt’s old glass-blowing gallery was the chosen spot, and I simply volunteered to help hang and organize the space. In discussions with Ed, I was convinced to take it over and form a new gallery. As time moved on, I was left alone to do the job. The guild never needed the overflow, as it turned out, and I was left with a gallery to fill and make happen.

Were you ever thinking of being a gallerist before? Diana: No, it was never a dream of mine, although I will say that during the monthly meetings at 510 I used to think, “Ahh, if this were my gallery, I might do things differently.” I learned a lot there about hanging shows and making good choices for the 30 • JULY 2016 The ArTfUL Mind

walls, for which I am grateful.

does it allow you to continue painting your own work? Diana: Oh no! Not now! I’m looking forward to doing some of my own work perhaps next winter when things slow down.

Perhaps the new gallery has inspired you to grow in new directions with your own work. i’m still wondering, how much time do you have for yourself these days? Diana: NONE! The gallery has been totally consuming of all my time. Steve, my husband and partner in this venture, and I talk all the time about the many decisions that need to be made. However, I am the “decider” when it comes to art choices.

i heard the opening was wall-to-wall people. People dream of their openings being this way. What was your secret for getting the word out? You must be a popular Berkshirite! Diana: It was amazing! I stood at the door greeting a constant flow of people. The line went out the door, and West Stockbridge residents were talking for several weeks about all the excitement. I would be very happy for this sweet town to become a success. It’s

been quiet here for a long time. The glass blowing place, once so popular, has been empty for far too long. Ed Merritt, the owner, has been immensely supportive. He really wants me to succeed. I hope we do!

Where did you grow up? how did you land in the Berkshires? Diana: I was born in England, because of WWII circumstances, and came to this country when I was five years old. Our family lived on Long Island, and when I went to college I hoped that was the last I would live there. The values surrounding life there were not to my liking, too materialistic. Perhaps it was also a product of the times. Now, since materialism has engulfed the entire country, it probably wouldn’t matter. After I had my kids with my second husband and we had landed in the suburbs of Philadelphia, which I also found rather more materialistic than I liked, we found the Berkshires through Steve’s connection with Kripalu. Here, back in the 80’s at least, it had the appearance of a life based on “higher” values. People made kids’ birthday presents instead of forking over $20 or $30 to buy them. I hoped that life in the country would instill good basic values in my children, like respect for people and the land. And that’s how we ended up here.

I find it somewhat ironic now that I’m attempting to make a contribution to the material collections of people by selling them beautiful art to enhance their homes and lives.

in your words, how would you describe “life in the country”? As for myself, i wouldn’t live anywhere else. Diana: Oh, I too love the country! Love nature and have to be surrounded by GREEN. As much as the cities offer culture and excitement, I need the countryside to be able to breathe and feel comfortable— and for artistic inspiration. I love to paint flowers, as well as other subject matter.

how has the community supported you so far with your gallery? Diana: That opening was a huge show of support, for which we are enormously grateful. Having so many wonderful news organizations, especially online ones, has helped as well. A really big supporting organization has been Tanglewood, with their Business Partners program. Because of that we were actually able to make a sale of a painting in our first month. We’re advertising widely in our first year, because we have to get the word out that we exist! There’s also the fabulous photography of Michael Flower, which is helping to bring the visual reality of the gallery to our public.

Diana Felber Gallery

Photo: Michael Flower

Diana: That’s a mixed picture, which depends on the economic class you’re a part of. We all know of the million-dollar sales of famous artists’ work at auction houses. And we know that galleries have been closing because of lack of support. I believe everyone needs art in their lives, so I am selling art at many price points. Plus, I really wish to support the artists, help them survive. What do you see in the future for artists? Diana: Artists will never stop producing art. It’s the basis of their make-up. They have to create—I know this feeling too. Artists are frequently the harbingers of the future. We need to pay attention to what they have to say. It’s possible we take art for granted, especially here in the Berkshires as we’re surrounded by beauty. But just imagine how dull and lifeless it would be if we had no art to stimulate our senses.

What would help the art economy? Any innovative ideas, diana? Diana: I wish I knew the magic formula to reconnect people and art, to allow them to feel comfortable investing in beauty. We are all looking for new and innovative ways to reach the public. In our gallery we will hold artist talks, so that the artist becomes less isolated from society, and so that art becomes more approachable, understandable. We will also be supporting art classes for children, ages eight through eighteen, once the summer begins. These will consist of daily workshops just outside our gallery in the charming area near the Williams River, in West Stockbridge. Many folks walk around here, and it feels really comfortable, accessible and peoplefriendly. how did you go about choosing the artworks in your current show? Continued on next page...

i’ll bet you’re getting a lot of artists reaching out to you. Was the lack of galleries here a factor in your decision to open one? Diana: Yes! There used to be so many more galleries in the Berkshires. So many have closed. I understand that online sales are the new way to go, but I still believe people like and need to get in front of art and see it in person. It’s a vital experience. In my gallery, in which I incorporate crafts, I encourage people to touch the objects (not the paintings or drawings, of course). People need to exercise as many of their senses as possible to really experience life, aside from having their thumbs on their phones. I used to be a dance therapist, so I believe in a full sensorial experience. how do you feel the economy has been lately on art sales? Continued on next page...

Diana says: OHhh, very interesting!

The ArTfUL Mind JULY 2016 • 31


Hanging it all up

Photo: Michael Flower

Diana: I scoured my memory for artists I knew and appreciated. And then I pushed my networks. For example, I asked the artists I had already found if they knew of others, and so on. There are many talented artists in Berkshire County, so many that show here regularly. I wanted to go a little further afield, if possible. I hope to be able to show some new faces, as it were. But I am definitely open and eager to show local artists’ work. I also don’t want to tread on my local gallerists’ toes, stealing away their artists. We gallerists need to be both respectful and considerate of each other. If I know of some artist showing in another gallery that a client is interested in, I won’t hesitate to send them to that gallery. Who has been your guide and mentor in working the gallery? Diana: Jane Kasten, whose gallery at the Gt. Barrington Train Station was to me one of our best. And Kate Knapp, from whom I learned an awful lot over the years, when I painted in her studio and when I 32 •JULY 2016 The ArTfUL Mind

was a member in the gallery she essentially runs in Hudson, 510 Warren St.

i know there is so much to do all the time to make a gallery successful after its opening. Aside from this all being a great experience, it must also be a great learning curve as well. Diana: This was one of the things I was looking forward to when I took on this challenge, pushing my brain to learn new stuff, especially about the Internet and social media. Because my gallery is so delightfully tucked away from the main drag, to stay alive and humming I am very dependent on that social media—how to get the word out! There’s also a lot to learn about what this locale will like and support. For that reason and because I myself like so many styles and media, I’ll probably not have one-person shows for a long time. I’m still testing the waters. Will you be having winter hours? i think we need to be a four-season art and culture area, and so

many winters go by when it seems the gallery scene is so slim. Diana: Yes, I’ll be open during the winter, but probably not six days a week. Once again, I’ll have to see how it goes. The shows won’t change every six weeks. Most likely they’ll be eight to ten-week shows.

What were your earliest and fondest memories from your childhood? Diana: My thoughts/memories go back to the neighborhood woodlands, which I loved to explore. Green nature has always been a draw for me. I even have memories of playing beneath the shrubs of the garden surrounding our British apartment. When things get really hectic and you want to blow a fuse, tell me, what do you do to get back in control? Many people do yoga, walk their dog… how about you? Diana: It hasn’t been that hectic yet. Frankly, I’m

Choosing which one goes where, that is the question... photo: Michael Flower

looking forward to when it will be. That said, I do love to walk my dog in the woods, and I am definitely a yoga addict.

What are your paintings about, diana? Diana: Hard to just show one, so I’ll share two. The first one I painted from real life. It’s called West Stockbridge Tourists. I caught these two delightful characters outside of Baldwin’s store, and I was pleased with how I captured their relationship. Plus, I loved their hats! After admiring and figuring out how Gerhard Richter made his abstract paintings, I made a few of my own “Richters.” They’re lots of fun, and a quick fix for my painting habit. This one was bought by the art dealer Alex Sarbib. Why did you incorporate crafts with fine art? Some people say the two should not be mixed. Diana: It is my firm belief that craft IS art. Not a subset or a lower caste. Crafts require all the discipline and aesthetic judgement that any two-dimensional art does. And people light up when they come into my “craft room.” I call it the fun room—full of temptations. Who in your life would you have liked to have been to your gallery opening? if there was someone—a famous artist, a family member—who would that person have been, and why? Diana: This is such an interesting question. I actually wrote up a list of “no-shows” for myself. I would have loved for Jane Kasten to have shown up, because I so admire how she ran her own gallery. Another person I’m still hoping will show up is my most

Continued on next page...

...and jewelry! The ArTfUL Mind JULY 2016 • 33

inspiring art teacher, Mark Milloff, who now teaches at RISD. And finally, I would have loved for my mother to have been able to witness this new event in my life. Although always highly critical of me, I think she would have been proud. I attribute much of my discernment to her—not my taste, but the ability to make good choices.


The doors are now open for the world to come see what you have created, and the artists you represent! What kind of feedback have you received so far? Diana: It is extremely gratifying to see folks’ reactions as they enter the gallery. Often, the first word is “Wow! Such a beautiful space!” And then after they look around, they begin to see the art, and the high quality of it. Finally, they appreciate the breathing room I give to each artist. I feel very pleased that some highly-esteemed local artists are inquiring about showing their work here. I’m already working on next summer’s shows.

Michael flower is a great photographer, and has been doing a fabulous job with photos for you at the gallery. Who else would you consider an important contributor to the development of your gallery’s interior/exterior? Diana: YES! Michael has been phenomenal. His advice and his talent have proven invaluable in helping to make my beginning the success that it is. And Ed Merritt, my landlord, also has been enormously supportive. I believe the elegance I’ve been able to achieve is also due to my friend and contractor, Darren Todd. The upgrade to the building has been inducing Ed to clean up his end of the building, where he and his sons, Eli and Sam, create amazing art from recycled materials. And since you asked, I put my sign maker, Robert Stone, through a lot of mishugas until I finally arrived at a logo/design I was happy with. Hanging with close friends....

Photos: Michael Flower

Tell me, what are you striving for that will make your gallery different from the others? Diana: All galleries strive to distinguish themselves and to attract people who appreciate art. I would love to be recognized for my selection of artists, their distinct work and the way I honor them with spaciousness on these beautiful white walls. My carefully curated craft selection is just one more way I hope to be slightly different.

What artists will you be featuring in the coming months? Diana: In this very next show, I am showing a weaver, Betty Vera, who makes amazing street scenes come to life in her tapestries—literally the streets, and the floors at our feet. I have been privileged to have access to the deceased Bessie Boris’ estate, and will be showing her beautiful work both in the upcoming show, and the one following. Terri Moore is allowing me to show not only her “bergs” on yupo, but some of her glorious abstract oils. Nina Evans’ work on glass should be inspiring, as are the superbly detailed, breath-taking flower drawings of Kathleen Cammarata. And lucky me, Robin CrofutBrittingham, who just graduated from San Francisco’s Art Institute, will be showing her newest work here in the fall. 34 •JULY 2016 The ArTfUL Mind

Right: Bessie Boris

Left below: Michael Filmus, Majestic Pines Right bottom: Peter Petrochko

Photos: Michael Flower

Will you still have time now to give your gardens the attention they have been so used to? What are you planting this year that you haven’t planted before? Diana: Oh dear, I am afraid I am planting neglect and a little bit of sorrow. I just hope that the garden will survive my absence. I raid it almost daily to enhance the gallery. I used to barely be able to cut flowers from the garden, but now it’s become a total cutting garden.

diana, this is your chance to ask a question you would like to answer, one i haven’t asked you. Diana: Not exactly a question, but a reflection: In speaking with an old friend yesterday, I realized that my personal mission has once again followed me here to the gallery. It is not something I am especially proud of; it simply shows up. That is “to leave a wake of beauty behind me.” I believe my gallery is beautiful, full of wonderful things, and allows people to bring beauty into their homes and lives. 413-854-7007 6 Harris Street, West Stockbridge, MA H

Diana! Hang ‘Em High! Photo: Michael Flower

The ArTfUL Mind JULY 2016 • 35

36 •JULY 2016 The ArTfUL Mind

rOBert fOrte Force of Nature, Oil on Canvas

During the month of July, Robert Forte will be showing his work at the St. Francis Gallery in Lee, MA., and at Atlantic Gallery in New York City.

eLeAnOr LOrd


Kate KnaPP

Painting classes on Monday and Wednesday mornings 10-1pm at the studio in Housatonic and Thursday mornings 10am - 1pm out in the field. Also available for private critiques. Open to all. Please come paint with us!

gallery hours: open by chance and by appointment anytime 413. 274. 6607 (gallery) 413. 429. 7141 (cell) 413. 528. 9546 (home) front Street, housatonic, MA

The ArTfUL Mind JULY 2016 • 37

MOnGiArdO FAMILY Taj, Massimo, Carlo, Nicholas Mongiardo

Interview by Natalie Tyler

Natalie Tyler: This July is an exciting month for you and your three sons; you are having a Mongiardo family exhibition of your furniture designs and fine art at L’Atelier Berkshires Gallery in Great Barrington, from July 1st to July 31st. You must be very proud of your and your son’s accomplishments. how did this exhibition come about? Nicholas Mongiardo: I had been toying with the idea for a long time. It wasn’t until I recently turned NMINC over to my eldest son, Taj, who is largely responsible for it’s growth and success. That transition allowed me the time to take a ‘show’ more seriously. The main ingredient though was the environment for the work. I find L'Atelier Gallery to have European elements, small, unique but sophisticated.

Your sons Taj, Massimo, Carlo and yourself are all uniquely talented; having a family lineage of a fine sense of aesthetics, where do you think that originates from? Nicholas: Coming from a poor Italian family, my grandfather taught me to straighten old rusty used nails at 5 years old. ‘Roll them on the brick and tap 38 •JULY 2016 The ArTfUL Mind

Photography by Kaitlyn Pierce

them with the hammer.’ I can only guess that my inspiration came from my growing up very near the Brooklyn Museum and Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. My mother brought us there frequently and I remember being taken aback by the greenhouses and particulars like the statuary in the reflecting pools, the scented gardens for the blind, Egyptian exhibits etc. As I grew older other objects on exhibit came to my attention including Belter furniture, a large eggshell and lacquer panel and I began to focus on details.

Where did you get your early influences from? Nicholas: When it comes to art, my thought is ‘There is only one Artist’ that being the creator of nature. All art can be referenced from nature. The sky as abstracts, the oceans, the trees, all can be seen in any art work. We are living in art but one has to see it that way. Man, per say, has been interpreting from the earliest cave drawings. Tell us about growing up in new York, what was your life as a child like? did your family encourage your creative endeavors? Nicholas: My parents always bought my brother and

I constructive toys, like Erector sets, building blocks, Lionel trains, etc. My brother who is 5 years older had little interest in these toys and abandoned them. So I began to construct and build and assemble toys that were recommended for older children, advanced learning. Recognizing my interest my parents then bought me larger and more complex detailed challenges. They were very proud of me. At 9 years old, we moved to Canarsie which was very rural. There were dirt streets some with hitching posts, small farms and horse barns in Mill Basin. My friends and I along with a mentor built a 2 story pigeon coup. Starting with 6 pigeons we managed to have 500 within a year. how do you think you're italian/American culture influences your designs? do you feel a kinship with italian art? Nicholas: My first trip to Europe really opened my eyes especially about the age of things: the marble statuary, the Sistine Chapel, the architecture, the longevity. It shows a sense of permanence, a permanence that young America is lacking. Unfortunately we are now living in a disposable world. NMINC is

Screen and bench by Nicholas Mongiardo

structured on an Old World European mentality, preservation and respect.

how did you become an expert at restoration of the turn of the century french furniture? did you apprentice with someone? Nicholas: Life is about learning. All my life I focused on Masters as mentors. I traveled the world in order to stimulate my interest by the best craftsmen. I trained at Porsche for body repair, learning the art of metal straightening and painting. The master European body men had forged their own body tools. At 21, I opened my own auto body repair shop but always specialized. At 23, I was offered a partnership in the antique business, ‘Great Parker’s Pony Circus.’ We traveled to England and drove a lore to Scotland buying American antiques. Using my childhood skills and mentor tutoring I began repairing the furniture, then moved on to a Victorian townhouse restoration. While restoring the house I purchased a 1930’s American deco bedroom suite. The clean lines appealed to me and I applied the Mercedes finish to the furniture. A noted deco dealer, Alan Moss, saw the bedroom suite and requested to show it at the 1974 Radio City Art Deco show. The finish drew a lot of attention and the request to restore developed. Soon overwhelming, the cost of restoration surpassed the value of the American Deco furniture. A switch to exclusively French easily absorbed the cost. I then

Photo: Kaitlyn Pierce

concentrated exclusively on the 12 best French Deco designers from the period 1914-1934. Again I pursued my interest traveling with Taj to Vietnam to document the processing of organic lacquer and eggshell inlay. Then we went onto to Mexico, Santa Clara Del Cobre for the art of raising a seamless vase out of recycled copper wire. A 100 year old tradition, they start at 5 years old, raising a vase- seamless vase. Almost all of my work is photo documented. Who are some of your greatest influences? Nicholas: Of course the major French designers, Ruhlmann, Dunand, Chareau, Eileen Gray etc. I also like Louis Comfort Tiffany, Frank Lloyd Wright and many more. I actually learned the names of flowers by studying Tiffany’s lamps.

What brought you to the Berkshires? Nicholas: Ellen Pearson and I became friends when she sold her opulent Victorian townhouse in Park Slope to a friend. While restoring the townhouse, Ellen and husband Roy Blunt Jr. moved to Monterey. One winter her house caught fire and she needed help to secure it from the weather. I came immediately knowing she had 2 young children. I secured the house for the winter and returned in the spring to tear it down and rebuild the structure. That house is now owned by the Prairie Whale owners. Just to mention, Ellen owned a 9000 acre ranch in Waxahachie Texas

where we were invited along with a dozen friends to play cowboy twice a year. An amazing experience. how does nature inform your designs? Nicholas: Fortunately, I feel guided and protected by the forces of nature. Innately I feel a trifle more animal than human, guided and directed by symbols provided by nature. Following these symbols, directs me to particular people that offer me knowledge and extraordinary experiences spiritually not religiously. The Bark and pig parchment table as well as the Bubinga viewing bench are good examples.

Where did the inspiration for the Bubinga wood museum viewing bench “religious experience” come from? Nicholas: I consider boards of such majesty to be highly respected. So in the case of this particular board minimum waste is the objective. Simply folding the ends over offers that ‘Highest Respect.’ A prayer before cross cutting. You don’t take a majestic board like that and create any waste. The execution of that bench was inspired by going into major museums and seeing the viewing benches. They are beautifully designed to compliment the space and not violate the art. When did you first start to notice that your sons were creative? Continued on next page... The ArTfUL Mind JULY 2016 • 39

Studio of Nicholas Mongiardo Nicholas: I spend a large amount of time with my children and I am always occupied. Very early on I instilled that there was no such thing as boredom. So they simply chose to occupy themselves with me and learn. I teach almost anyone what I know and know well. In their own way they surpassed me which was my goal.

how do you go about advising your sons? What are your relationships to each other like? have you felt astounded at times by what they make? Nicholas: Well ‘mistakes are for learning and achievements are for teaching.’ I exposed them to all art but especially minimal art such as Cy Twombly. How can scribbles be important fine art? Exactly the point. This ‘tuning of the eye’ is essential and I am grateful for those who taught me, especially to Michael and Tina Chow. Attention to detail, vital. Consistent inconsistencies are an element of nature. One doesn't recognize it but feels comfort in the company of it. Hand-made is filled with consistent inconsistencies. That is what we follow. Our work is based on that theory. The boys astound me almost every day. I am a very fortunate person. do you and your sons discuss each other’s projects and give feedback? is there cross-pollination and collaboration within the arts in your family? 40 •JULY 2016 The ArTfUL Mind

Photo: Kaitlyn Pierce

Nicholas: We discuss what we are doing 8 days a week and 26 hours a day. We live, eat, breath creation. There is a common denominator that people recognize in the work and bring to it my attention even though our work is very different. It is all stimulating.

each of your boys has found their own voice within art and design. how are all of them exploring their artistic passions? Nicholas: Taj is running MNINC building high end furniture both residential and stores internationally. He is also creating surfaces for these projects that are futuristic and amazing. At this time the industry wants New and Fresh never been seen before surfaces. He is also designing and building art furniture incorporating his own formulated surfaces. Massi is a graduate of Mass Art and at 16 had his self portrait exhibited at the Norman Rockwell Museum. He is currently living in NY illustrating books, designing skate board decks for Hopps, restaurant chalk drawings, Nike projects and his own paintings and drawings and more. Carlo also graduated Mass Art living in the Berkshires and is now the head of the finishing dept of NMINC. He is also a surface treatment specialist working very closely with Taj. Portraits are one of his specialty's along with painting and sculpting.

how do your creative endeavors differ from those of your sons? Nicholas: There are parts of fine art that I do not understand. Piles of rocks and whatever bore me. I think my younger boys have a better understanding of those mediums. Perhaps my craft gets in my way. I don’t consider myself an artist. I remember making a distinct decision one rainy night in Tribeca before it was Tribeca in Larry Poons loft. I was not willing to struggle and starve for my creations or to ‘bet on myself.’ That is why I choose to maximize my talents and capitalize on it. I am a strong believer in ‘follow your passion’ but that is in constant flux. Taj has recently decided to create and his rapid acceleration is amazing. He has become obsessed, such a pleasure to witness.

What have you learned personally and artistically from your sons? Nicholas: Time and patience. Contentment for an artist is a death sentence. The driving force in creating is the discontentment and all three live in that discontentment. ‘I like it but the next one will be better.’ Nice thought but... What are some of your most favorite projects you have worked on? Nicholas: I love both the restoration of masterpieces

Panels being worked on by Carlos Mongiardo

Brutus by Carlo, ceramic bust of the French furniture and my own creations. Many of my master restorations included an assistant. There are several of my restorations in The Metropolitan. A Jean Dunand 23k rose gold screen ‘Sunrise Sunset’ assisted by Erin Lore. I do not work for museums. I do not want anyone’s hand on mine. I jump all over the place. A found object can feed me inspiration for months. So I create and restore. My works are very diversified, from furniture to painting to assemblage etc. I do not enjoy art exhibits where every piece has resemblance. The palette is extremely broad. Steel, lacquer, gold leaf, wood, exotic, on and on. I’ve always been big on recycling. My house is built from recycled material.

You created a feature film set, what film was it, what was the experience was like? Nicholas: Copy Cat was a unique experience. The director and designer was Jim Clay of ‘The Crying Game.’ The project was Sigourney Weaver’s apartment to be built on Treasure Island, San Francisco. The theme was french art deco specifically Jean Dunand and Pierre Chareau. The focal point was a set of operating shutters 14’ tall x 28’ long consisting of 14 panels fuselage shape. The art work was reminiscent of Dunand, bold geometric designs in multiple gold and tarnished leaf over a tortoise amber lacquer. The furniture was Chareau. There was also

Photos: Kaitlyn Pierce

corrugated vintage cast glass vintage walls from a train station in Chicago. Erin Lore and myself executed the shutters. The workspace provided was excellent. The Blue Angels were rehearsing for a show and flew over daily. The work team was primarily from New Zealand, great people. Jim Clay was happy and upon my return I received a phone call from Jim. The staff and crew were giving me a standing ovation over the phone after the first shooting of the shutters in operation. I was happy. Erin and I were given a film credit for special effects.

how did the design world discover you? Nicholas: Definitely through the restoration. I never advertised and do not solicit. If a new client suggests I call ‘them’, I do not call. It was word of mouth. I was restoring for Lillian Nassau, Tony Delorenzo, Michael and Tina Chow, Andrew Crispo, Steven Greenburg, Jerry Moss, etc.etc. Dealers, collectors and major celebrities. Then the fashion people got hold. Armani for Rodeo Drive then Bellagio Hotel, African style for Donna Karen Int., John Pawson furniture for Calvin Klein, Mr. Chow restaurant Kyoto then Sol Korea. On and on and still going on. Now Dior, Fendi, Vuitton etc.etc. plus private residences and an occasional yacht. The NMINC is now Taj’s and I am back to restoration.

How do deadlines impact the way you all create? The large projects can get complicated, especially, the retail stores. It depends on the design firm. A clothing store will set an opening date. Then the garments are manufactured for that date and because they are seasonal it is crucial that the store opens on time. A penalty can be determined by a ‘Projected Day’s Sales.’ On one project I recall a $75,000 a day penalty. In any event they are typically rushed and that affects our quality control not to mention overtime. Last year we had 2000hrs of overtime. Taj is very serious about delivering on time and NMINC has a good reputation. That is what keeps us busy. What are your key goals when working on your own personal design projects? Nicholas: I prefer to build one of something. Multiples are not my thing even if the piece is a success. The French the use the term unique meaning 'one only.' It makes the piece rarer hence more valuable not to mention repeating loses the discovery of the prototype. On the pieces I restore I always prefer the earlier pieces. The birth of the design. I also use recycled material or out of production material so in some cases it is not possible to reproduce. I don’t want to create something that is dated. Timeless not timely, my work is diversified, in a way the pieces

Continued on next page... The ArTfUL Mind JULY 2016 • 41

Taj Mongiardo on work in studio

His surface texture and color used Photos: Kaitlyn Pierce

seem to come from the same hand. Longevity, consistency is the family bloodline.

Spending time in Vietnam sounds like it had an impact on you and your work. When were you there? What did you learn from the local people? did they learn any special techniques from you? Nicholas: I was there in the early 90’s. Nick Kelley was visiting Vietnam serving goodwill. Building schools, medicine, cloths etc. He noticed the inlaid eggshell lacquer being done and recognized it from eggshell restoration at my studio. I began experimenting with eggshell inlayed into lacquer in the 70’s and in the 80’s produced several original pieces. One particular mirror frame ‘The Theory of Evolution’ was shown at the Cooper Hewitt Museum. I invited my parent’s and my mother looked at the mirror and said’ Nicky, I don’t see why anyone would be interested in that’ Oh well, ‘Thanks Mom.’ Yes, in fact I did teach them something. Jean Dunand 42 •JULY 2016 The ArTfUL Mind

the French 20th century lacquer master did all sorts of eggshell inlay. One technique of inlaying the shell inside out was very effective. The inside of the shell is absorbant and the outside is not. Most of Dunand’s laborers (100 +) were Vietnamese. When Dunand closed his studio the Vietnamese went home. After the course of 50-60 years, the inside out ceased. The Vietnamese were surprised at the technique. Nick Kelly offered a joint venture and we produced some amazing masterful pieces. One ‘The Garden Of Eden’ will be shown at L’Atelier. I learned very much from the people and the artists. I learned the processing of organic lacquer. The fact that the lacquer is actually enamel, meaning that it is a turpentine base not alcohol. The terminology gets confused over the oceans. It is very lengthy to explain but it is a huge difference chemically. Where else have you been? has travel influenced your designs?

Nicholas: Everything influences me. A trip to Price Chopper can do it. No seriously. As I mentioned at age 23, I had been importing from England and Scotland. I traveled to Italy, France, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. I drove from London thru Portugal and Spain to Morroco. Mexico City to Santa Clara for hammered copper, Vietnam for lacquer, and Puerto Rico. Drove US coast to coast and into Mexico. Bangkok, Thailand, Japan- Kyoto, Osaka. Taj’s mother is German, Massi and Carlo’s mother Swiss, so we travel to Europe quite often.

if you could go back in time and live in a different era, where and when would be? Who would you want to have coffee with? Nicholas: I would be living in the pre-industrial revolution when everything was made by hand. The dozen French masters that I’ve been restoring are who I would like to meet. Also Egon Schiele, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Frank Lloyd Wright, Alberto Gio-

Massimo Mongiardo, artist at work Photos: Kaitlyn Pierce

cometti, Carlo Bugatti, Walter Groupius etc.

how do you figure out what the masters did to enable you to restore their work? Nicholas: Actually each piece has a different personality. Some are tense, some friendly, and others difficult. Mostly they are revealing and reject if you are doing something wrong. I’m restoring something now that has been fighting me. Finally it rejected a material that I had to wipe off immediately and Voila, there was the answer. It also helps to know an awful lot. ‘How I know everything is the only thing I don’t know…’ There is a trend to compartmentalize art, design, and craft. What would you say the differences between art and design are? do the lines ever blur with similarities? Nicholas: There is a huge difference but I see things simply. It’s either REAL or they are NOT REAL. Decorative Art isn’t respected as much as fine art, an

example: The Giacometti brothers, an Alberto tall standing figure sells for 100 million and Diego Giacometti table sells $150,000, even though the creation of those works are similar. Decorative Arts is functional and Fine Arts is not functional other than pleasure.

What made you decide to change the company from restoration to Custom design? Nicholas: Restoration is exclusive to me. It is not something you pass down or teach. The formulas are so instinctive and spontaneous that it is something from within, like a chef or an artist. You can teach someone to paint but they are not going to paint like you. Hence, the company went on to custom furniture. Something Taj had been doing for years and knows well. So he just took the ball and ran with it. This is a very exciting time for you and your sons. What does the future hold for each member of the Mongiardo family? Will you be doing more of

your personal designs? What direction are your sons heading in? Nicholas: We are all A-types so whatever direction we take we will more than likely just keep doing. I never had a plan to be the Ultimate 20th century Restorer. I just got stuck like so many people. Fortunately, I love what I do. The Mongiardo Family Exhibition is on view from July 1st- July 31st at L’Atelier Berkshires, 597 Main Street in Great Barrington, Ma, 01230. Hours of Gallery are Wednesday- Sunday 12-6pm or by appointment. Contact Natalie Tyler at or at 510-569-5468 with any questions. H

The ArTfUL Mind JULY 2016 • 43


Pastels, oils, acrylics and watercolors…..abstract and representational…..landscapes, still lifes and portraits….a unique variety of painting technique and styles….you will be transported to another world and see things in a way you never have before…. join us and experience something different. Painting classes continue on Monday and Wednesday mornings 10-1:30pm at the studio and Thursday mornings out in the field. These classes are open to all...come to one or come again if it works for you. All levels and materials welcome. Private critiques available. Classes at Front Street are for those wishing to learn, those who just want to be involved in the pure enjoyment of art, and/or those who have some experience under their belt. Perfect if you are seeking fresh insight into watercolors, and other mediums. A teacher for many years, Kate Knapp has a keen sense of each student’s artistic needs to take a step beyond. Perfect setting for setting up still lifes; lighting and space are excellent. Peek in to see! Front Street Gallery – Front Street, Housatonic, MA. Gallery open by appointment or chance anytime. 413-528-9546 at home or 413-429-7141 (cell).

fine Line MULTiMediA LiVe PerfOrMAnCe PhOTOGrAPhY And VideO

Fine Line Multimedia provides single or multi-camera video of music, dance and theater performances. Services include: scripting and storyboard art, videography with professional high definition cameras, high quality audio recording, sensitive lighting design and creative editing with the latest non-linear editing system. For the past 45 years Fine Line Multimedia has provided audio/video performance production for The Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood, Berkshire Performing Arts Center, National Music Foundation, Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, United Way of the Berkshires, Arlo Guthrie, Rising Son Records, Bobby Sweet, World Moja, Phil Woods, Grace Kelly, Heather Fisch, Opera Nouveau, Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company and many more. Fine Line was established in 1970 by Lee Everett in Lenox, Massachusetts. Everett came to the Berkshires after studying Advertising Design and Visual Communications at Pratt Institute and working for years as an Art Director in New York. He taught Art in local schools and began a full-service multimedia studio in Lenox specializing in the Performing and Visual Arts and other business and industry. With Photography, Graphic Design, Advertising, Marketing, Audio/Video Production, Website, Social Network Creation and Administration together under one roof, Fine Line can satisfy the artistic communications and promotional needs of a wide range of clients. Please look at some examples from our portfolios of work on our website and use the contact information on the site to get further information, to see more samples, photographs or video reels, for professional and client references or for a free project consultation. Fine Line Multimedia - 66 Church Street, Lenox, MA; Contact: Lee Everett, 413-637-2020,

“Nobody Loves you like I do, baby...”

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B O B .H.




VeSSeLS An inViTATiOnAL TheMe ShOW The Meeting House Gallery in New Marlborough opens its nineteenth summer season with an invitational theme show, Vessels. Twenty-one artists will show both three-dimensional, actual vessels and twodimensional variations on the theme, such as floating vessels and humans as vessels. In the category of three-dimensional art, baskets crafted by experts Jo-Ann Kelly Catsos and Wendy Jensen will be exhibited along with creative pottery by Daniel Bellow, Cookie Coyne, Marcia Kammel and Linda Skipper. Painters taking on this theme include Ann Getsinger, Nancy Goldberger, Pat Hogan, Elizabeth L. Lombardi, Marjorie Pollack, Abbe Stall Steinglass, Terry Wise, and Phyllis Kornfeld. Photographers include Lee Backer, Betsy Wells Farber, Peggy Reeves, and Larry Silk. Jeanne Marklin adds the spice of her highly acclaimed fabric art, and Serena W. Granbery contributes her sculptural work in metal . The Meeting House Gallery is housed in a historic church building, which also hosts the fine Music and More concert and literary series later in the season.* The gallery on the lower level of the building feels cool on a hot summer’s day. The art work, professionally displayed, is well-lit by both natural light and spot lighting. Located on Route 57 in New Marlborough, the gallery is located next door to the acclaimed Old inn on the Green. Supported by the New Marlborough Village Association, the Gallery is run by a volunteer Gallery Committee of artists and art lovers. Exhibiting artists contribute to the opening festivities and by sitting the gallery. As in past years, this collaborative enterprise offers work by outstanding artists from the Berkshires, some of whom are nationally and internationally recognized. The show runs June 18 through July 10, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Two exhibits will follow: Wild Life, showing 23 artists’ work July 30 through August 21, and New Marlborough Artists, exhibiting the work of eight New Marlborough residents, September 3 through October 2. *The Music and More season, with six exciting events, begins Saturday, August 27, and runs through October 8. All programs begin at 4:30 p.m. and are followed by a reception in the Meeting House Gallery. For more information, visit: http://

The ArTfUL Mind JULY 2016 • 45

Mary Carol Rudin

"Round in Atmosphere", Acrylic on Canvas, 18 x 24

510 510 WArren STreeT GALLerY 510 WARREN STREET, HUDSON, NY 518-822-0510 (Friday & Saturday, 12 - 6, Sunday 12 - 5 or by app) /

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a Private Pool, 2016,18" x 18", mixed media on paper

GEOFFREY MOSS new Works on Paper


25 Railroad St. Great Barrington, MA 413.528.0432

Denise B Chandler Fine Art Photography

Stephen Filmus

roadside Petriotism, Denise b Chandler

eXHiBitinG and rePreSenteD by:

• Sohn fine art Gallery 69 Church St., Lenox, Ma


• 510 Warren Street Gallery 510 Warren St., Hudson, nY


COMMISSIONS Time to commission your favorite scene.




“interiors” Presents

July 1 through July 24 Bart Arnold Susan Gott Kate Knapp Carolyn Letvin Tina Sotis

reception for the artists Saturday, July 9, 4-7pm

25 Railroad Street, Great Barrington, MA


The ArTfUL Mind JULY 2016 • 47



MArY CArOL rUdin

I like to produce work that allows viewers to come up with their own stories. I am inspired by metaphors as well as things I witness and often use titles that are only part of my story; the rest is for the viewer to decide. As a visual artist I love exploring materials and the ever growing number of mediums. It is exciting to see the variety of drawings, classic oil painting, mixed media, technology, found objects, and installation art. There are boundless combinations of things. And, there is an audience for everything. To date I have worked with charcoal, pastel, oil paint, watercolor, and acrylic. Now I am moving toward my first mixed media. I am excited to explore the combinations of materials. The adventurer in me cannot help but want to go to another place and find new experiences in art. I grew up in Southern California where I began painting. I now live and work in New York City, as well as the Southern Berkshires. Mary Carol Rudin -

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The genre of early music, as played on period instruments, has been the cornerstone of the Aston Magna Music Festival for 44 years, and July brings this season’s two final performances. Led by Artistic Director Daniel Stepner, the festival offers an ongoing aural feast, played by some of the field's most renowned musicians. The small concert hall settings offer an intimate musical experience. On July 2 at 6 p.m., at the Daniel Arts Center at Simon's Rock, the program features the natural horn, with Todd Williams and Laura Dempf. The program, “Mozart's Diversions,” including string ensemble offers A Musical Joke, The Horn quintet and Divertimento, K.287. The season’s final concert moves to the historic Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on Saturday, July 9 at 8 p.m., with an evening of "J.S. Bach: Sacred and Secular," featuring Dominique Labelle, soprano; Deborah Rentz-Moore, mezzo-soprano; William Hite and Frank Kelley, tenors; and Jesse Blumberg and Ulysses Thomas, baritones, in cantatas Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen, BWV 12, and The Singing Contest Between Phoebus and Pan, BWV 201. A chamber orchestra, including winds, brass and percussion, performs orchestral works. Pre-concert talks are given by Dan Stepner one hour before each event, in which he places the evening's music in its historical and cultural context. Post-concert, the audience is invited to join the artists for a wine and cheese reception. These two events are not to be missed! Aston Magna concerts are also performed the preceding Thursday and Friday nights at Brandeis and Bard College, respectively. Aston Magna - Information: tickets: 888-492-1283; Mahaiwe PAC tickets only: 413-528-0100.


You are absolutely right. I did borrow the title Above the Chimney Tops from the much beloved Over the Rainbow. It is one of my very favourite songs, so too the movie. In the May issue of The Artful Mind I explained, that thanks to my stepdaughter, I have a CD with 20 versions! Like Beautiful Dreamer or Che Sara, Sara, when I hear the lyrics to Over the Rainbow, in my head, or in actuality, they have the power to connect me to the earliest memories I have of what may influence my painting practice, or how I generally live my life for that matter. These are a few of the songs my mom would sing to me in the nine short years we had together before her ascent into the heavens. But discerning what influences my work, or how it is my paintings look as they do comes to me in reflection, in silence, in conversation with others, even as I write this column. I have had the good fortune to work with Canadian Curator Tom Smart, who has helped me to better see what it is I may be up to in my painting practice. Landscape, love and longing have been constant themes in my work, embedded as they are, in my quest to effectively navigate the liminal spaces between earth and sky, matter and spirit, immanence and transcendence, representation and abstraction. Of course anything we say about what we do is always partial, contingent and always open to multiple interpretations. Thankfully that is how knowledge and understanding work. What he has written, “In her hands and through her art, paradoxes and opposites are synthesized, and re-imagined” rings true to me. That rather than objectifying the landscape my work, “is a gloss through which reality is renewed and the eternal might be glimpsed in the singular appreciation of home and each other.” Painting in my Keswick Ridge studio, with its view onto the surrounding land and sky, is my Oz. It is how I “get back home.” In Above the Chimney Tops the branches imply an earth below, but altogether letting go of any visible land creates tension and disorientation in us. Memories are awakened as we visually traverse what lies above and what below. Then, it clicks and we like Dorothy are reminded, “there is no place like home.” Jennifer Pazienza’s work is held in Public and Corporate Collections in the Provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Alberta and in numerous private collections throughout the US, Canada and Italy. Jennifer regularly exhibits in the Berkshire area, most recently at the 510 Warren Street Gallery June 2016 Invitational Group Show in Hudson, NY. Jennifer Pazienza - Website: Email:



I suppose you are familiar with the wonderful biographies of the Renaissance artists that Vasari wrote. That book, or series of books, is the best known, and almost our only source for the biographies of all the great, and also all the lesser-known artists of the period. It was Vasari who first understood the importance of the anecdote when telling an artist’s story. Serious scholars dismiss the anecdote as irrelevant but to do so is a mistake. Art and art history in the past was the entire province of specific sets of individuals. In ancient Egypt it was the Pharaohs, in the Renaissance it was the church and the priests, in the 20th century it was the wealthy collector, and today it is the tourist. It is the tourist who generates the great energy of current art enterprises and exhibits. It is for him that all the modern deformed, crooked, melting, distorted museums are being built. It is to the tourist who, as a rule, knows almost nothing about art, that the anecdote is directed. You can be quite sure that for him van Gogh would not be interesting if he had not cut off his ear. Vasari understood the importance

of the personal detail from the beginning, and he provided almost every one of his biographies with a suitable, memorable anecdote. One of Vasari’s biographies is about an obscure artist named L’Indaco. Today L’Indaco is almost entirely unknown but the detail he gives us is one of the most important of the time. L’Indaco was a personal friend of Michelangelo. He was neither intelligent nor talented but the great man enjoyed his company and often had him to dinner. Vasari tells us that Michelangelo preferred the company of buffoons and low people and that is what he was like when not at work. I quote the portions of L’Indaco’s story that relate to Michelangelo, and you will perhaps notice its rather archaic style, although the wonder of it is that a biography written in 1550 can be so readable despite the run-on sentences. Vasari, from the life of L’Indaco: Now seeing that, as has been said, Michelangelo used to take pleasure in this man’s chattering and in the jokes that he was ever making, he kept him almost always at his table; but one day Jacopo wearied him as such fellows more often than not do come to weary their friends and patrons with their incessant babbling, so often ill- timed and senseless; babbling. I call it senseless, for reasonable talk it cannot be called, since for the most part there is neither reason nor judgment in such people and Michelangelo, who, perchance, had other thoughts in his mind at the time and wished to get rid of him, sent him to buy some figs; and no sooner had Jacopo left the house than Michelangelo bolted the door behind him, determined not to open to him when he came back. L’Indaco, then, on returning from the market square, perceived, after having knocked at the door for a time in vain, that Michelangelo did not intend to open to him; whereupon, flying into a rage, he took the figs and the leaves and spread them all over the threshold of the door. This done, he went his way and for many months refused to speak to Michelangelo. The artists of the time, in awe of Michelangelo, sought constantly to have a passing word from him, because the slightest remark could make or destroy their careers, but L’Indaco snubbed him, and would not return his calls, so to speak. This disturbed Michelangelo. To be sought out by the high and mighty and other great artists writers and poets was one thing, but to lose his connection to his roots, to simple people who know how to laugh unrestrainedly at stupidities, was a great loss to him. Never forget that Michelangelo was short, rather ugly, with a flat broken nose, and he was not always at home in polite aristocratic society, as was Leonardo, who was considered one of the most handsome and charming men of his day. But here we must depart from what Vasari had to say, and I must confess that even my speculation about what Michelangelo felt about L’Indaco is a bit of conjecture. But for the rest of this story we have the authority of Professor LaDuch, (pronounced Duck) whose veracity need not be questioned. Although upset by being rejected by his good friend, Michelangelo did nothing about it for several months. He heard that L’Indaco had been hired to replace the floor of a small unimportant church somewhere in a poor section

of Rome. Later he heard that the project to replace the floor was nearing completion. Then he heard that his old friend had run into some unforeseen difficulties and was having enormous problems with his floor and, as a result, was in legal difficulties. Michelangelo was overcome with curiosity and went to the church in question late at night and, seeing the interior illuminated with numerous candles, pounded on the door. L’Indaco opened the door of the sanctuary and seeing who it was, immediately began to push the door closed but Michelangelo prevented this by inserting his foot in the doorway. L’Indaco did not want his old friend to enter, not because of the previous slight involving the figs, but because he did not want the great man to see the idiotic and stupid mistake he had made with his inlaid floor, a mistake which threatened to ruin his life and his reputation and turn him into a laughingstock. He had laid out an extremely complex black and white marble mosaic floor utilizing motifs found often in fragments of Roman ruins. The mistake he made was to measure the space of the floor from the outside wall on the eastern side over to an interior wall on the western side. Beyond the interior wall on the western side was the twelve feet of the space of a hallway, and then the other exterior wall. It was a rigid geometric pattern of intersecting octagons, and in order for it to work perfectly the octagons had to complete themselves ending at the exterior walls. The interior walls also fell on other edges of the octagons. As it was the pattern ended stupidly, right in an awkward slice of the overall design. Because of this mistake of measurement, the floor he was laboriously cementing down with iron like indestructible materials was just over six feet off of the proper centering. When L’Indaco reached his center guideline he should have noticed that he was already off by close to three feet, but his chalk lines were faded from being trod on so often, and so he failed to notice his mistake. As his pattern approached the interior wall and the completion of his job he discovered his mistake with a rush of cold terror. It was the sort of mistake to permanently ruin the poor church’s interior. To install the floor when all the materials were fresh was a difficult project, but to remove it once it was set was nearly impossible. It was shortly after L’Indaco realized his mistake that he heard Michelangelo knocking on the door and went to answer it. Michelangelo stood in the portico out in the dark and looked over his old friend’s shoulder into the dim candle lit interior of the church. His eye took in the pattern of the inlaid floor and after a few seconds he said, “The resources of the Vatican itself may be insufficient to rectify the mistake you have made here L’Indaco, but we must set to work fixing it as soon as possible. But first allow me to go off and buy us some figs somewhere so as to refresh ourselves, and then we will get verso il basso per l’ottone dei chiodini.* * Down to the brass of the tacks.

-Richard Britell

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Grandma Becky’s Recipes

by Laura Pian

Chopped String Bean Salad

(Wooden bowl and Hockmessers, courtesy of Sara Brody and her beloved Grandma Bertha.)

School’s out, summertime is here! My childhood summers were broken down into two halves. The first half I attended sleep-away camp in the Berkshires and upstate New York. Camp was where my parents sent me for guaranteed fun. I’d enjoy time in “the country” with ice cold, fresh-water lakes, blankets of star-filled skies, camp fires and the classic camp songs that accompanied them, sweet & sticky bug juice, lots of mosquito bites, and with what would become life-long friends. The second half of my summer was spent on the hot concrete pavement in the Bronx enjoying games of hopscotch, jumping rope, and playing punchball. This was my loving home with my family, my loyal New York City friends and my beloved Grandma Becky. After four weeks in camp and not eating all that well, Grandma’s first words to me were “Oy! vos ton zey kormen ir dort? (Oy! what do they feed you there?). Kumen esn aun oyspashen aroyf! (come eat and fatten up!)” Summer lunches with Grandma Becky consisted of salads and sandwiches filled with something chopped. Usually something magically prepared from yesterday’s leftovers. One of my favorites was Grandma’s chopped string beans, which my Mom also perfected. Chopped string beans, also known as vegetarian or mock chopped liver was prepared in a large wooden bowl using a hockmesser (chopping knife). Chopping was hard work, and although hard work was what Grandma Becky excelled at, she’d sometimes let me help. I would klap (bang) the hockmesser into the veggies while she busied herself with other kitchen chores. Being in charge of the hockmesser was an extreme honor which made me feel like a queen! I’d klap, klap, klap faster and harder than your eye could see; mostly just splashing small pieces of food all over the kitchen wall. Grandma saw this as not only a mess to be cleaned, but more importantly a sinful waste of food. Needless to say, I was no longer welcome to help Grandma klap. The good news is that I can still prepare Grandma Becky’s salads in an electric food processor today!

Grandma Becky’s Chopped String Bean Salad Ingredients: 2 lbs fresh green beans, washed and trimmed 3 medium onions, chopped 4 or 5 hard-boiled eggs Canola or vegetable oil for frying onions Salt & pepper to taste

In a large pot, boil green beans until medium-soft. Drain and chill in refrigerator until cold. While beans are chilling, slowly sautee chopped onions until translucent and barely browned, remove from pan and set aside. Hard boil eggs, chill and peel. If you are using a wooden bowl and hockmesser place string beans, hard-boiled eggs, salt & pepper and chop until smooth in consistency. I like it a little chunky, but that’s up to your own personal taste. If using a food processor, place all ingredients (except for the chopped fried onions) into processor and pulse until smooth, scraping sides down to mix well. Be careful not to over process. Scoop out into large bowl, add chopped fried onions in their oil. Mix well. Serve on coffee table as a nosh before lunch or dinner with crackers, cocktail sized pumpernickel bread, or matzos. My favorite is a chopped string bean sandwich folded up on one slice of fresh marble rye bread! Chill any leftover in covered bowl in refrigerator. Enjoy and esn gezunt! (to your health!)

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