THE ARTFUL MIND THE SOURCE FOR PROMOTING the ARTS SINCE 1994
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THE ARTFUL MIND ARTZINE JUNE 2017
When you think about all we have accomplished, it’s baffling as to why we do not slow down, but instead are driven to work even harder. DR. LUCY SPELMAN ANIMALS & ART Interview...H. Candee ...8
FOLK ARTIST PAUL GRAUBARD Interview...H. Candee ... 16
JOHN F. GRANEY METAL DESIGN Interview...H. Candee Photography by Edward Acker ...26
TAMMARA LEMINEN ARTIST
Interview...H. Candee Photography by Kate Coulehan...38
FICTION: Old Town Without Spectacles Richard Britell ...46
Grandma Becky’s Recipes LOKSHEN KUGEL!!!! Laura Pian ... 49 Paintin’ the Town by Natalie Tyler ....51
Contributing Writers and Monthly Columnists Richard Britell, Laura Pian, Natalie Tyler 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
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2 • JUNE 2017 THE ARTFUL MIND
WATERMEDIA Studio/Gallery “a working studio”
by Chance or Appointment (cell) 561-632-2017 413-528-2120
345 State Road Great Barrington, Massachusetts
THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2017 â&#x20AC;¢ 3
SUMMER BEGINS JUNE 2017 A.P.E. 125 Main St, Northampton, MA
July 7 – 22: The Debriti Show/ JonMarc Edwards
The Debriti Show is an interactive installation that comments on the power of language and communication. It is set in what at first appears to be an apothecary or medical marijuana dispensary, but rather than marijuana, it dispenses text, words and poetry. In our current political climate and in a world where much of our communication takes place in 140 character tweets, the Debriti Show could not be more timely! http://debritishow.com/
510 WARREN STREET GALLERY 510 WArrEn StrEEt, HudSon, nY 518-822-0510 firstname.lastname@example.org / 510warrenstreetgallery.com "All that Jazz", all new work by nina Lipkowitz. June 2 and running through June 25, there will be an artist reception on June 3, 3-6 pm. (Friday & Saturday, 12 - 6, Sunday 12 - 5 or by app) ANN SCOTT
Solo show at the Southern Vermont Art Center, may 27-July 8. Ann Scott’s work can be seen year-round at Hoadley Gallery, 21 Church Street, Lenox, mA.
ARGAZZI ART 22 mILLErton rd, LAKEVILLE, Ct argazziart.com Hilary Cooper: water.......color......notes. Exhibition through June 19
CHESTERWOOD 4 WILLIAmSVILLE rd, StoCKbrIdGE, mA the country home, studio, and gardens of America’s foremost public sculptor, daniel Chester French. open to the public and a gift for all to see this season.
CLAIRE TEAGUE SENIOR CENTER 917 SoutH mAIn St., Gt. bArrInGton, mA 413-528-l881 Karen dolmanisth, thru may 30. See the newly rehung permanent collection. Eunice Agar paintings. regular Hours: monday- Friday, 8:00 Am - 3:30pm 4 • JUNE 2017 THE ARTFUL MIND
CLARK ART INSTITUTE 225 SoutH St, WILLIAmStoWn, mA orCHEStrAtInG ELEGAnCE ALmA-tAdEmA And dESIGn through September 4
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. DIANA FELBER GALLERY 6 HArrIS St., WESt StoCKbrIdGE, mA 413-854-7002dianafelbergallery.com summer show runs June 17 – July 30 with a reception on June 17, from 5-8 pm (open 11-6pm, closed tues.)
FRONT STREET GALLERY 129 Front St, HouSAtonIC, mA • 413-274-6607 Kate Knapp oils and watercolors and classes open to all. GOOD PURPOSE GALLERY 40 mAIn StrEEt, LEE, mA • 413-394-5045 2nd Annual Juried Student Art Show through June 26
JOHN DAVIS GALLERY 362 1/2 WArrEn St, HudSon, nY • 518-828-5907 email@example.com
LAUREN CLARK FINE ART 325 StoCKbrIdGE rd, Gt. bArrInGton mA 413-528-0432 Lauren@LaurenClarkFineArt.com www.LaurenClarkFineArt.com “the Line and the Curve”, paintings and sculpture by new York artist, Sharon Wandel. the show opens Saturday, may 27 thru June 25.
L’ATELIER BERKSHIRES 597 mAIn StrEEt, GrEAt bArrInGton, mASSACHuSEttS www.atelierberks.com. • 510-469-5468 firstname.lastname@example.org “In bloom” exhibition will run from may 13 - June 18. “FAdInG FAunA” Exhibition our wildlife today faces many dangers as their habitats disappear, climates change, animals are trafficked and poached. opening reception June 23, starts with a talk by Scientist dr. Lucy Spelman from 6-7pm followed by a reception from 79pm. dr. Spelman will discuss the intersection of art and science to save species and her work with artists through Creature Conserve. Exhibition runs from June 23-July 26 LICHTENSTEIN CENTER FOR THE ARTS 28 rEnnE AVE, PIttSFIELd, mA discoverpittsfield.com / 413-499-9348 Face them, a group exhibit featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning and former berkshire Eagle photographer Craig Walker. the exhibit opens June 2 with a reception during First Fridays Artswalk from 5-8pm.
LISA VOLLMER PHOTOGRAPHY nEW StudIo + GALLErY 325 StoCKbrIdGE roAd, Gt. bArrInGton 413-429-6511 / www.lisavollmer.com the Studio specializes in portrait, event, editorial and 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)
HUDSON HALL at the historic HUDSON OPERA HOUSE 327 Warren St, Hudson, NY 518-822-1438 email@example.com
Jonathan Lerner, near Ft. George, Quebec, on assignment for Rolling Stone in 1974
SWORDS IN THE HANDS OF CHILDREN : Reflections of an American Revolutionary by Jonathan Lerner Sunday, June 11, 2017 at 5pm Book reading and signing followed by a reception
Free - Reservations recommended! MASS MoCA 1040 mASSmoCA WAY, nortH AdAmS, mA 413-662-2111 Chris domenick: 50 days. on view now.
MARGUERITE BRIDE HomE StudIo At 46 GLorY drIVE, PIttSFIELd, mA 413- 841-1659 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. opening on June 30 and running until August 7 --- oil and Water do mIX! At the Good Purpose Gallery, 40 main Street in Lee, mass. Friday, July 14, bride will be doing a painting demo from 10 am – 2 pm at the Frelinghuysen morris House & Studio, at 92 Hawthorne St, Lenox, mass. She will be painting under a tent on the grounds of this stunning museum...come sit for a while, get a freebie water color lesson and demo. July 29-30, as most years, she will have a booth at the Church on the Hill Juried Fine Art and Craft Show at Lilac Park, main Street, Lenox, mass. this show happens rain or shine (usually rain), free admission, ample parking. Hours are Saturday 10am - 5pm, Sunday 10am 4pm. NORMAN ROCKWELL MUSEUM 9 GLEndALE rd, StoCKbrIdGE, mA 413-298-4100 reinventing America: rockwell and Warhol, thru oct 29
NEW MARLBOROUGH MEETING HOUSE GALLERY routE 57 In nEW mArLborouGH, mA A Child’s World - June 24 – July 23 R&F HANDMADE PAINTS 84 tEn broECK AVEnuE, In mId-toWn, KInGSton, nY 845-331-3112 Encaustic paints and supplies, gallery
SAINT FRANCIS GALLERY SoutH LEE, mA robert Forte’s work can be seen at he St. Francis Gallery from June2 to July 31; an artist reception will be held on Saturday June 10 from 3-6pm SCHANTZ GALLERIES 3 ELm St, StoCKbrIdGE, mA • 413-298-3044 schantzgalleries.com A destination for those seeking premier artists working in glass
SCULPTURENOW: GUIDED TOUR OF EXHIBIT tHE mount, LEnoX Sun 1:30 Pm
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) Line-up of artists through the season. open Fri - Sun 12-5
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
WILLIAMS COLLEGE MUSEUM OF ART 15 LAWrEnCE HALL dr #2, WILLIAmStoWn, mA 413-597-2429 Lex and Love: meleko mokgosi, thru 9/17. In two new chapters in his democratic Intuition project meleko mokgosi (botswana, b. 1981) Williams ’07, investigates the irresolvable contradiction that is democracy. Presented together for the first time at WCmA, Lex and Love consider the daily experiences of diverse populations who occupy southern Africa.
BERKSHIRES ARTS FESTIVAL JuLY 1-3 BERKSHIRES ARTS & CULTURE FESTIVAL AuGuSt 17-20 www.berkshiresartsfestival.com/#sthash.uloipj1K.dpuf now in its 16th year, the berkshires Arts Festival is recognized nationally as one of the most respected annual summer art events in the country. the festival is rated by the berkshires Visitors bureau as one of the top ten "Hot Spots" in Western massand is highly recommended as one of tHE places to go for family get-togethers. With its relaxed atmosphere, great food, fantastic art & fine crafts, there are plenty of things for the entire family to enjoy. HUDSON HALL at the HudSon oPErA HouSE
ASTON MAGNA astonmagna.org or 888-492-1283 Saturday, June 17 at 6 p.m. with "music for Forbidden dances,” a collection of sarabands, chaconas and tangos with Hector del Curto, bandoneon, and Aston magna musicians. Settle in for sultry music by Arañes, bach, bertali, merula, Purcell, Corelli and rodriquez. Saturday, June 24, the great clarinetist Eric Hoeprich joins Aston magna for “Late, Great mozart,” including the clarinet quintet, K. 563 and K. 581. on July 1, the stunning soprano dominique Labelle joins Aston magna for “Arias, Sinfonias and biblical oratorios” with Aston magna’s string ensemble. Selections by Caldara, Handel, Purcell and Clerambault. this performance includes a post-party birthday reception at the Aston magna estate. Aston magna also performs thursdays at brandeis university, and on Fridays at bard College, through July 8; brandeis and Great barrington through July 22 morE...next page...
THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2017 • 5
14 CAStLE St, GrEAt bArrInGton, mA • 413 528-0100 boomer Comedy unlimited presentsLenny Clarke, Jake Johannsen,Ken rogerson, Carol Siskind:
Sculpture Garden: Howard Kalish sculpture John Davis Gallery 362 1/2 Warren Street Hudson, New York 12534 518.828.5907
Hours: Thursdays through Mondays, 11 - 5 pm and by appointment ORPHEUS (The Birth of Music), 2017, concrete, pigment & archival concrete paint, 92 x 28 x 16 inches
BOBBY SWEET CD RELEASE PARTY tHE CoLonIAL tHEAtrE, PIttSFIELd, mA Sunday, June 11 at 7pm, tickets: $15 h t t p : / / w w w. b e r k s h i r e t h e a t r e g r o u p . o rg / o n - o u rstages/music/675-bobby-sweet-cd-release-party BASCOM LODGE mt. GrEYLoCK StAtE rESErVAtIon, WILLIAmStoWn, mA 413-743-1591 Wes brown trio with singer Jill Connoly returns for an evening of energy packed standards, ballads and blues. Performance in the lodge's dining room throughout dinner (7:00 to 9:00pm) See "menu page" for the evening's pricing and menu options.
BERKSHIRE BASH 3 live summer music festivals in Great barrington on the grounds of Ski butternut: berkshire beatles bash on Saturday July 8; berkshire blues bash on Saturday July 29 and berkshire Hot Summer Swing on Saturday, August 26. the day long events include a line-up of live music featuring national and local performers including Classical mystery tour July 8, roomful of blues July 29, Squirrel nut Zippers August 26 and more bands, musicians, food vendors, and summer fun. tickets for the berkshire bash series range from $100 for VIP Package (limited quantity) with access to artists, $35 adults in advance, children 12 and under are free. www.berkshire bash.com.
BOSTON EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL WWW.bEmF.orG or 617-661-1812 themed Carnival - takes place from June 11 to June 18 in boston, massachusetts. the 19th biennial international Festival and Exhibition features the north American premiere of André Campra’s 1699 opéra-ballet Le Carnaval de Venise, a double-bill of neopolitan comic opera from the bEmF Chamber opera Series, eighteen concerts showcasing the finest artists in the field today, the world-famous Exhibition, and so much more. 6 • JUNE 2017 THE ARTFUL MIND
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC tHE mAHAIWE 4 CAStLE StrEEt GrEAt bArrInGton mA 518-392-6677 www.cewm.org Fanfare for the uncommon Woman-Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage, Saturday, June 10, 6 Pm. Peter Zazofsky, violin, renana Gutman and Ieva Jokubaviciute, piano, danielle talamantes, metropolitan opera Soprano, Yehuda Hanani, cello and artistic director CLUB HELSINKI HUDSON 405 CoLumbIA St., HudSon, nY Club Helsinki Hudson • 518-828-4800 Count me In: A Perfect ten benefit Concert with Lady moon & the Eclipse, Sat.June 23, 9pm; LuCEro banditos: tues. June 27, 8pm; Suzanne Vega: Aug 11, 9 pm show. Please go to website for complete schedule. MASS MoCA nortH AdAmS, mA Jul 15: mad max with live score by morricone Youth Sat 8:30 Pm
BERKSHIRE THEATRE GROUP tHE GArAGE 11 SoutH St, PIttSFIELd, mA berkshire theatre Group announces a brand new series, the $10 music Garage. this series is devoted to presenting emerging musicians and regional talent. JACOB’S PILLOW 358 GEorGE CArtEr roAd, bECKEt, mA jacobspillow.org / 413.243.0745 miami City ballet, ted Shawn theatre, June 21-25 Wed-Saturday, 8pm, Saturday & Sunday at 2pm MAHAIWE THEATRE
PROCTORS 432 StAtE St. , SCHEnECtAdY, nY The Color Purple, oct 7-14
SHAKESPEARE & COMPANY 70 KEmbLE StrEEt, LEnoX mA 4000 miles, by Amy Herzog, starts may 25-July 16 In this obie Award-winning and beautifully crafted piece, Amy Herzog gives us Vera and Leo, a grandmother and grandson, locked in a moving and most amusing battle of wits. Life has dealt them a series of shocks, and yet, they and two intrepid young women continue to seek meaning through human contact in a touching and humorous portrait of the disenfranchised.
VENTFORT HALL MANSION AND GILDED AGE MUSEUM 104 WALKEr St. LEnoX, mA 413-637-3206 / InFo@GILdEdAGE.orG Concert, An Evening of duos Sunday, July 9th at 7:00 pm boston Symphony orchestra violist, michael Zaretsky, and violinist, Victor romanul, return to the mansion’s acoustically superb great hall selecting from their repertoire works by 16th, 19th and 20th century composers, including mozart, Stamotz, rolla, Sibelius and Prokofiev. In 1973, Zaretaky, a native of russia, played for Leonard bernstein who had him audition for the bSo.
IS183 ART SCHOOL OF THE BERKSHIRES
13 WILLArd HILL roAd, StoCKbrIdGE, mA 413-298-5252 x100 is183.org A great selection of art classes in all mediums this summer. Start planning by checking out the schedule available on line now!
R&F HANDMADE PAINTS 84 tEn broEK AVE, KInGSton, nY 800-206-8088 Pigment Stick Fundamentals: Served with a Side of Experimentation: Wednesday Aug 23 - Fri Aug 25. Cost: $400.00 Send in your events by the 5th of the month prior to publication. Welcome text files and images:
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SUMMER SHOW JUnE 17 — JUly 30
dAVId LoEb, BOUQUET WITH RED ONIONS
Eleanor will be exhibiting June 24 - July 23, 2017 In “A Child’s World” opening June 23, 5 - 7 pm tHE nEW mArLborouGH mEEtInG HouSE GALLErY NEW MARLBOROUGH, ROUTE 57, MA.
eleanorlord.com Gallery hours: Fri - Sun 11 - 4 pm
Other artists include: Ali Moshiri, Anne Servanton-Loeb Murray Hochman and Judy Mauer
Opening Reception June 17 • 5 - 8pm
6 HARRiS ST., WEST STOcKbRiDGE, MA 413-232-7007
Hours: Thursday - Mondays, 11-5. Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays
Squall, oil on canvas, 30” x 30”
Solo show at the Southern Vermont Art Center May 27-July 8.
You can see my work throughout the year at the Hoadley Gallery, 21 Church Street, Lenox, MA.
THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2017 • 7
dr. LuCY SPELmAn
Dr. Lucy Spelman (holding camera), Guyana with RISD students, 2014
ANIMALS & ART
Interview by Harryet P. Candee
Harryet: Lucy, how shall I address you? Dr. Lucy Spelman: most people call me dr. Lucy, but Lucy is fine. If I am working in the field or at the clinic, or making a presentation, I go by dr. Spelman.
I want you to know that I strongly believe in your work with animals and art. I wish I had the time to really participate in your ventures, but since I cannot, I’d at least like to probe into some of the ideas you’ve been working with. So, why is there such an alarming trend in the decrease in population of animals such as the Sumatran Tiger, the Panda and others? Dr. Lucy: the animal kingdom is shrinking because of the actions of the dominant species: humans. We control the resources all creatures need to survive: air, food, water, shelter and room to move. We are also consuming and using animals for clothing, companionship, entertainment, food and sport. As a result, the extinction rate for animals today is higher than ever in recorded history. to be more specific, the so-called “extinction drivers” are climate change, farming, global trade, habitat loss, hunting and pollution. So humans are the problem. but they are also the 8 • THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2017
Photographs supplied by Dr. Lucy Spelman
solution. We know in most instances how to save animals in trouble, but we lack funding. We need more public engagement, more collaboration, more creativity and more action.
It’s hard for me to digest this sad state of affairs, and I think what you are doing is amazing. How can we extend our educational forces and teach our children to veer in a different direction for the sake of our future? Dr. Lucy: I agree; it is sad. In fact, I changed my career direction because of extinction. I am a trained zoo and wildlife vet, and over the course of my 25year career I’ve watched my patients disappear. At the rate we’re going, my profession is also endangered. I decided to focus on public engagement. I wanted to inspire more people—everyone who loves nature and animals—to get involved. Conservation is not a science. It’s something we all do together. the good news is that humans are problem solvers—when we are motivated. As an example, consider the thousands of organizations dedicated to solving extinction as well as other environmental issues around the world. What we are not doing is supporting and funding them.
the question is what will inspire people to take action. the way I see it, we need a combination of art and science. Scientists produce a road map for conservation—for how many of a given species we need to protect and where. Artists motivate us to follow the map, and pay for it. together, art and science reach a wider audience with a more inclusive message. the cost of stopping the sixth mass extinction of species is not as high as you might think. We—all organizations involved in conservation—spend tens of billions a year on conservation, which is wonderful and important, but it’s not enough. We need to spend hundreds of billions. that may sound like a lot of money, but consider how many hundreds of billions go into funding wars. So, returning to your original question, as important as it is to educate children, I believe we need to work harder to motivate adults to make an investment in both animals and nature. We need to target the people with spending power and decision-making power. the future health of our planet depends on adult humans making informed decisions. We have the information. Scientists study the impact of climate change, farming, global trade, habitat
MOUNTAIN GORILLA SNARE REMOVAL. Dr. Spelman worked as the field manager for the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project in Rwanda for three years. Her team intervened to treat the gorillas only when necessary as in this case when a young female got caught in a snare.
loss, hunting and pollution on animal anatomy, behavior, evolution, health, nutrition, population dynamics, preventive medicine and reproduction. they gather data, interpret it, and make recommendations. the results tell us that most animals present today— including humans—will not survive our massive presence on earth without our immediate intervention. Science also predicts a ripple effect on human health and society. our scientific understanding of what we need to do to save species is only part of the solution. there is an equally important need to help more people understand how interdependent we are, and that our continued success depends on a diverse and healthy animal kingdom. We need to find new ways to ease conflict and restore damaged habitats. For example, we can pay farmers for their losses, or build fences, hire more rangers to stop poachers, invest in parks and reserves, and educate those who live in closest proximity how to live in balance with wildlife. In other words, we have to be willing to share the resources with other species. Each one of us can make a difference. Every bit counts, no matter how small or indirect it may seem. I try to encourage people of all ages to get involved on the simplest of levels: study, celebrate, protect. Start by picking an animal that interests you and
learn about it. then find a way to enjoy and appreciate the animal. make a drawing, buy a t-shirt, or host an animal-themed party. the next step is to take action to help it. Walk to work. Plant a bee-friendly garden. discourage a friend from buying a product made from wild animals or from a company that exploits wildlife. Volunteer for a conservation organization. And make a donation, even if it’s just $5.
How do we combine science, art and nature in a positive way, and reverse the earth’s demise— caused mainly by humans. Dr. Lucy: often, well-meaning people turn away from understanding what conservation truly means, because it seems too upsetting or hopeless. many of us reside in urban areas, disconnected from nature. Art helps us explore how we feel about animals and our relationships with them. It deepens our understanding of their unique needs and encourages us to appreciate similarities and differences, and to show compassion. Art can make the problems facing animals today not only more real, but more understandable, meaningful and solvable. It can motivate us to take conservation action. the goal of the non-profit I founded, Creature Conserve, is to develop programs that encourage artists to get more involved and informed by collab-
orating with scientists who work in conservation. We want this work to result in art that is both informed by the facts and emotionally charged. We believe such art will engage the public more fully and more effectively, and that the well being of all species depends on art/science collaboration more than ever. Artwork created through interaction between scientists and artists reaches its widest and most diverse audience online, and in exhibits that include galleries and museums as well as schools, libraries, and gathering places such as coffee shops, bookstores, assisted living facilities, banks, hotel lobbies, office buildings and other public venues. our first major exhibition, Wildlife trade Art & Science is an example of this type of work. the subject is the legal—and illegal—global trade in wildlife. the exhibition was hosted initially by rISd in July 2016, and is now on its way to the national museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Wyoming (June 24-Aug 24, 2017.) https://www.wildlifeart.org/exhibits/wildlife-trade-art-science/ I remember how the Bronx Zoo used to be, with the animals in tiny cages, totally not in their natural habitat. It was a good way to enable people to watch them, but not good for the animals. Now,
Continued on next page...
THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2017• 9
Ours/Theirs Mountain Gorilla Creature Conserve Collaboration with Natalie Tyler ‘s glass sculpture
all animals are in their environment—not so easy to see, but better for them. Dr. Lucy: I may very well have seen the same polar bear years ago. It was after a visit to the bronx Zoo (several decades ago) that I announced to my parents I would one day become a zoo and wild animal vet. I felt it was our (human) responsibility to offer the very best care possible for animals in captivity. I feel the same way now, except I see all animals everywhere as captive to humans. Humans surround and confine all species, domestic and wild, on our farms, in our backyards, in zoos and in conservation areas. the future of all creatures depends on our ability to manage them, no matter where they live.
BAT STAMPS by SERENA WU. For her final project in Dr. Spelman’s Human-Animal Interactions class at RISD, this artist designed a new stamp series to highlight the diversity of bats and the many roles they play in society, including pollination and insect control.
10 • JUNE 2017 THE ARTFUL MIND
Tell us about the ways in which you are working with animals and art. Dr. Lucy: I teach biology to art and design students at the rhode Island School of design (rISd) and run Creature Conserve, the non-profit I founded. In both cases, my goal is to encourage artists to get more involved and informed by collaborating with scientists who work in conservation. I started teaching at rISd in 2010, because I wanted to find new ways to make the science of saving species and the importance of taking a one-health approach to conservation more accessible, meaningful and relevant. Within a few weeks I knew I had found the right place. the following year, I started work on a website designed to exhibit student artwork on topics relating to endangered species and conservation. After a few more years, I decided to start a non-profit that would support more artist/scientist collaboration. throughout, I continue to practice veterinary medicine, mostly in private practice (I am the Exotics Specialist at ocean State Veterinary Specialists),
Ours/Theirs Mountain Gorilla Creature Conserve Collaboration with Natalie Tyler, Viral Reflections Photo: Jeff Masotti
LYNX-FRIENDLY WINE by INSIL CHOI. For her final project in Dr. Spelman’s Human-Animal Interactions, this artist designed a wine label to help protect both the oak forests where cork is harvested and the Iberian lynx that live in this habitat.
with a bit of time in the field (I have a long-running study on wild giant otters in Guyana, South America.) You can see examples of student work produced for various class assignments at rISd, online at Creature Conserve: http://www.creatureconserve.com/student-gallery. Also on the website are examples of artwork from our first Creature Conserve exhibition on the wildlife trade. How was it that you first started doing this work? What was the last straw that made you decide you must do something? Dr. Lucy: my best explanation—which takes 18 minutes—is my 2015 tEdx-Providence talk. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F05ZmfZunE0 I will share one story here. Several years ago I re-
member slogging along a muddy trail in rwanda, thinking about one-health medicine. It made so much sense; it was so easy to explain. Healthy mountain gorillas depended on healthy people and a healthy environment, and vice versa. the problem was getting people to act on it. For example, whenever there was an outbreak of respiratory disease in a gorilla group, we (the gorilla doctors) would reiterate the importance of preventive medicine for the gorillas. We recommended that everyone visiting the gorillas wear a face mask. our idea, later proven, was that international travelers were bringing respiratory infections to central Africa. We thought local people were getting sick in the same way. It was so obvious what needed to be done. Yet there was resistance. It seemed the mask was an acknowledgement of our failure to protect the gorillas. It was somehow shameful, a statement of a problem rather than the solution. I also remember feeling driven to do my work for the gorillas by a deep sense of responsibility. the relatively huge effort we were making for a single species did not bother me. I knew it was extreme. but I also knew the gentle giants I had grown to love depended on us for their health and safety. Working with the gorillas taught me how readily our emotions, our sense of compassion and our humanity influence conservation decisions. I finally understood that conservation is more than a science. I realized it was time to shift gears in my career and start teaching. I no longer wanted to work to save the last of a species or focus just on the science of veterinary medicine. I wanted to help inspire the next generation of conservationists, especially college-age students interested in nature, animals, science and health. What followed was a year-long visiting Assistant Professorship at brown university, where I taught a
primate behavior course and a freshman seminar on human-animal interactions. next came the opportunity to teach at rISd in the Liberal Arts division, which continues today. So far, I have developed seven new biology-based courses, including two based on international travel (Guyana in South America and South Africa in Africa.) At rISd, I encourage my students to learn the science behind a topic first, and then apply it to their art and design work in the studio. I challenge them to find new ways to make scientific information more real, understandable and meaningful. their creativity inspired me to start Creature Conserve. In what way is your work rewarding for you? Dr. Lucy: one of the things I enjoy most is teaching. I find it especially rewarding when an artist realizes that they are more than capable of learning science. I start by showing (rather than telling) my students that artists and scientists are not all that different. I share my experiences as a scientist, including examples of how I collaborate with artists. I choose scientific readings that are as user-friendly as possible. I try to help my students see that artists and scientists are both trying to understand the world around them. the process they use is also similar: both art and science require inquiry, creativity and peer-review; both result in a product that is shared publicly. And how is your work challenging? Dr. Lucy: As a professor and as a veterinarian, I never feel as though I know enough, or have enough time to do all that I want to do.
Have you always had a passion for animals? Dr. Lucy: Yes, animals have always been part of my life. I wanted to be a zoo and wildlife vet by the age of ten. Continued on next page... THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2017• 11
Images of the Wildlife Trade art & Science exhibition from last year 2016 in the gallery at RISD.
over the course of my career so far, I have treated animals of all kinds, from dogs and cats to cockroaches and giant pandas. I have lived in rwanda, where I managed the veterinary team responsible for the world’s only mountain gorillas. I have served as director of the Smithsonian national Zoological Park. And I have become a published author. In addition to scientific articles, I contributed the title story and edited 23 others in the rhino with Glueon Shoes. (random House, 2008) and wrote the text for the popular national Geographic Animal Encyclopedia (2012.)
What laws would have to be passed by Congress to help save and protect animals specifically in the United States? How difficult do you see this as being? Dr. Lucy: I am not a legal expert, but my view is that one of the most important things we can do now is support and enforce the laws we already have in place. the Endangered Species Act, for example, has been hugely effective, but we need to continue to fund its programs at the national, state and local level. In addition, many people are unaware that public participation through the Federal register, which is available online, is a big part of how this law is administered. one of my prior students, drea Sullivan, created a mock-up website designed to improve the user experience. Hers is just one of many artist projects I would love to find major funding for. What organizations around the world are most supportive of your work? Dr. Lucy: Creature Conserve is still a new non-profit, 12 • JUNE 2017 THE ARTFUL MIND
and we are just beginning to make connections with organizations that focus on conservation, as well as with individual artists and scientists. For the wildlife trade exhibition we had wonderful support from rISd as well as the International Fund for Animal Welfare, IFAW.
When you are teaching art and extinction, how much class time is spent working with your students on the skills needed for successfully communicating ideas related to animals and the planet? Dr. Lucy: All of my classes are different. I spend most of my time teaching concepts in biology, evolution, and conservation, except for the course I coteach with a studio artist, which is focused on visualizing and communicating science. So in most of my classes the artists use their communication skills for their final project. In the studio art class we practice this skill constantly—with several exercises each class, nine weekly assignments, and a final project. How did you first connect with Natalie Tyler and her gallery? Dr. Lucy: natalie found out that I was going to be presenting at the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and design meeting in California in 2015, and she suggested we collaborate on a piece of public art for the conference. this was the foundation for ours theirs: mountain Gorillas. You will be here soon, giving a talk at Natalie’s gallery, L’Atelier Berkshires Art Gallery & Studio, in Great Barrington, MA. Can you disclose
something about what you will be sharing? Dr. Lucy: I am looking forward to the event and will be bringing reproductions of several of the artworks from the Creature Conserve Wildlife trade Art & Science exhibition to display. I will be making a presentation that mixes personal stories about working with animals with the latest information from the field about the animals in trouble from the wildlife trade. I will also share a bit about the artists whose work I will be sharing. We will also be running a print sale online of some of the works; all proceeds will benefit Creature Conserve. What are your plans for the future, no matter how crazy and unrealistic they may seem at this time? What will give depth and meaning to you and your work with all the blessed beasts? Dr. Lucy: I would like to expand the work of Creature Conserve exponentially, so that it is funding art/science collaboration locally, nationally, and internationally. Thank you! Z
DIANA FELBER GALLERY ALI moSHIrI
LAUREN CLARK FINE ART
Lauren Clark Fine Art presents “the Line and the Curve”, paintings and sculpture by new York artist, Sharon Wandel. this show which opened on may 27 will run through June 25. Known primarily for her sculptures of sleek bronze birds, Sharon Wandel is also a painter of some renown. In this Inaugural Show and Season opener at the newly located Lauren Clark Fine Art, both media of the artist will be on view. the artist is a longtime Sculptors Guild member who joins poetry and nature with the metaphorical and realistic in her bold but delicate bronze sculptures which embodies the universal symbolism of freedom-the bird. the new gallery, as with the former, is a showplace for paintings, fine art prints, sculpture, art glass, ceramics and jewelry by regional and internationally recognized artists. Lauren Clark Fine Art - 325 Stockbridge Road, Suite 1, Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Business hours are Wednesday-Monday from 11-5:30 and Sunday from Noon-5. For more information call 413-528-0432, or visit the website at www.LaurenClarkFineArt.com
MARY CAROL RUDIN tHE LAdY’S bACK, rEd, oIL on CAnVAS, 10 X 24
mary Carol rudin likes to produce work that allows viewers to come up with their own stories. Inspired by metaphors as well as the things she witnesses, she will often use titles that are only part of the 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 is a boundless combination of things. And, there is an audience for everything.” rudin has 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.” mary Carol rudin grew up in Southern California where she began painting. She now lives and works in the berkshires and new York. Signed, limited edition, Giclée prints of rudin’s work are available. mary Carol rudin - www.mcrudin.com
At the diana Felber Gallery this summer there will be new and old friends showing their artistry. our summer show runs June 17 – July 30 with a reception on June 17, from 5-8 pm. murray Hochman will show 3 new pieces, with their glimmering, exquisite abstraction. Ali moshiri brings his sumptuous abstracts; rich in color and delight. the gallery is blessed to have a French couple – the Loebs - well almost French – they live outside of Paris, and they are both talented: david paints landscapes and still lifes, and Anne creates gorgeous, elegant ceramics. Jorge Silveira will delight you with his fanciful portraits, and Lorraine Klagsbrun is returning with more collages. Diana Felber Gallery - 6 Harris St., West Stockbridge, Massachusetts; 413-232-7007. Beginning in May, hours will be "open daily except Tuesdays", 11am - 6 pm.
THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2017 • 13
collins | editions
opening in 2005, as berkshire digital, did fine art printing mainly for artists represented by the Iris Gallery of Fine Art before opening our doors to the public. We do color calibrated printing on archival papers. these archival prints, also known to many people as Giclée prints, can be made as large as 42” x 80”. Photographers & artists also use us to create limited editions of their images. In addition to the printing services, collins | editions also offers accurate digital reproduction of paintings and illustrations for use in books, brochures, magazines, websites and postcards. our website, www.CollinsEditions.com has a complete overview of services offered, along with pricing. the owner, Fred Collins, has been a commercial and fine art photographer for over 30 years having had studios in boston and Stamford. He offers over 20 years of experience with Photoshop™ enabling retouching, restoration and enhancement to prints and digital files. the studio is located in mt Washington but dropoff and pick up is also available through Frames on Wheels, located at 84 railroad Street in Great barrington, mA (413) 528-0997. digital files can be easily loaded up to our FtP site. collins | editions studio - 220 East St, Mt. Washington, Massachusetts; 413-644-9663, www.CollinsEditions.com.
14 • JUNE 2017 THE ARTFUL MIND
HECtor dEL Curto domInIquE LAbELLE
SuLtrY tAnGoS, moZArt And VoICES
June marks two milestones for the Aston magna music Festival: A 45th birthday and the return of the festival to its original home at newly restored Saint James Place. the season opens Saturday, June 17 at 6 p.m. with "music for Forbidden dances,” a collection of sarabands, chaconas and tangos with Hector del Curto, bandoneon, and Aston magna musicians. Settle in for sultry music by Arañes, bach, bertali, merula, Purcell, Corelli and rodriquez. All Aston magna concerts at Saint James Place include a pre-concert talk at 5 p.m.; wine; wine and cheese reception follows with the artists at Saint James Place. on Saturday, June 24, the great clarinetist Eric Hoeprich joins Aston magna for “Late, Great mozart,” including the clarinet quintet, K. 563 and K. 581. on July 1, the stunning soprano dominique Labelle joins Aston magna for “Arias, Sinfonias and biblical oratorios” with Aston magna’s string ensemble. Selections by Caldara, Handel, Purcell and Clerambault. this performance includes a post-party birthday reception at the Aston magna estate. tickets: $40 in advance, $45 at the door; "under 30" guests $15; students $5 with Id; children with an adult ticket holder are free. July 1 reception $60. Aston magna also performs thursdays at brandeis university, and on Fridays at bard College, through July 8; brandeis and Great barrington through July 22. Aston Magna - Information and tickets: astonmagna.org or 888-492-1283.
GOOD PURPOSE GALLERY HAnnA SuPrAnoWICZ LonnEKE
2nd AnnuAL JurIEd StudEnt Art SHoW
the Good Purpose Gallery in Lee is honored to present the 2nd Annual Juried Student Art Show. If this exhibit is anything like last year’s student art show, we are all in for an extraordinary experience! High school-aged students from berkshire County and College Internship Program (CIP) students were invited to submit their best artwork to be juried by the gallery’s art authorities. the jurors scored the submitted artwork based on quality, intention, content, and excellence of craftsmanship. only outstanding artwork has been selected to be displayed and for sale at the gallery through June 26. the vision of this exhibit is to bring exceptional art to the gallery and to provide a showcase and sales outlet for berkshire County high school students and CIP students. Students have submitted a remarkable diversity of excellent artwork that will delight and surprise you. the gallery is proud to highlight the abilities and talents of local high school students and CIP students on the Autism Spectrum. the Gallery’s mission is to help integrate young individuals on the Autism spectrum and other learning differences in the community and to enrich their lives through the visual arts. the Good Purpose Gallery and Spectrum Playhouse are professional venues that exist to offer students with learning differences real-life training, experience, and integration with the community. both venues host professional artists and events on a regular basis throughout the year, including plays, performances, art exhibits, and more. Good Purpose Gallery - 40 Main Street, Lee, Massachusetts. 413-394-5045; firstname.lastname@example.org. Gallery hours: 9am – 3pm daily. For more information on the Gallery, visit our website: Goodpurpose.org or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
“Art does not solve any problems, but makes us aware of their existence.” -Magdalena Abakanowicz
Eleanor will be showing her work this summer at The New Marlborough Meeting House Gallery “A Child’s World” Invitational Mixed Media Show Route 57, New Marlborough, MA Opening June 23 • 5 pm to 7 pm Please stop by! Fridays to Sundays 11 am to 4 pm
FRONT ST. GALLERY
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! 510 Warren Street Gallery presents “The Flowers” Come pick a bouquet that will last forever! Paintings by Kate Knapp • June 30 July 30, 2017 Opening Reception July 1, 3-6 pm
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
NINA LIPKOWITZ “ALL THAT JAZZ” iPaint On My iPad
Meditations in Light & Color, Created in Light, Printed in Pigment
June 2 Thru Sunday, June 25 ARTIST RECEPTION Saturday, June 3, 3 - 6pm
510 WARREN STREET, HUDSON, NEW YORk Gallery Hours: Friday & Saturday 12 - 6pm Sunday 12pm - 5pm
THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2017 • 15
PAuL GrAubArd Folk Artist
Interview by Harryet P. Candee
Harryet: Describe the American Visionary Art Museum, and tell us about the art pieces you have in permanent collections around the globe. Paul Graubard: I’m 85, in pretty good health, but nobody lives forever. I would like to leave a legacy. I want my work to be preserved and available to future generations. I’m now on a quest to get my work into permanent collections of quality museums. It’s my illusion of immortality. I love the work to be permanent. my work is in the following museums: AVAm is America’s official national museum and education center for intuitive, self-taught artistry. It’s a one-of-a-kind place. Artists come from all walks of life. Some of the art is constructed with toothpicks, and there is sculpture carved out of an apple tree. Emotion is at a premium, with art that will make you laugh or cry. Humor abounds in the art at AVAm— there is a flatulence bench and an unusual gift shop, Sideshows. It’s an astonishing place. I have seven paintings in their permanent collection, all Jewish-themed: new moon, noah Fishing, Jonah’s night trip, my tribe, Jacobs Ladder, david and Goliath, and Ezekiel Saw the Wheel the Sanskriti Foundation in delhi, India offers residencies for writers and visual artists. Its role is that of a catalyst in revitalizing cultural sensitivity in contemporary times. they have four muslim women 16 • JUNE 2017 THE ARTFUL MIND
Three Ring circus Visionary Arts Museum
Photographs Supplied by Paul Graubard
in their permanent collection. the museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe has the largest collection of folk art in the world. these are the pieces they have taken for their permanent collection: birds and bikers, Arctic Jam, Jewish Cowboy, and the Cremation of Sam mcGee. the Jewish museum in Switzerland will exhibit my painting the black biker in September. the show will be a riff on Chagall, and will run simultaneously with a Chagall exhibit in another Swiss museum. I am slated for a show at the Waterloo museum in Waterloo, Iowa. the director of the museum has made two studio visits, and is interested in a series of Ezekiel paintings. I hope to have my work in their permanent collection.
And where can we go to see your work locally? Paul: I have a painting called Spiritus hanging at Ahavath Sholom. When you come into the sanctuary, you’ll see it on the wall to the left of the ark. this is how it came about. twenty years ago, I was in the midst of a personal tragedy. my oldest daughter had died from Hodgkin’s disease. I was in my early sixties, and to cope, I buried myself in work—a full time psychology practice and directing a theater group. then I began to doodle and draw, the first time since grade school, and soon turned to painting. I ended my
practice, abandoned the theater group, rented a studio and began to paint full-time. I knew what I wanted to paint—a Jewish circus. As ringmaster, I could control everything. Would that life was the same… I strove for humor and joyful images because that kept my sadness at bay and transported me to another world. From there, I went to stories from the torah and the torah itself. Spiritus literally means breath, and creating the painting was a breath of life for me. I am happy and grateful to share it with my fellow congregants. there is a Hasidic belief that one can thank the Lord for life and its bounties by singing, dancing and creating. L’Chaim. Spirituscomes out of a need to celebrate life itself no matter what, and our people.
Please talk about Jewish folk art… about the way you paint, why you paint and why you have focused on so many Judaic paintings. Paul: I don’t think there is such a thing as Jewish folk art. there is no shortage of Jewish artists and depictions of Jewish life, but there is no tradition like Polish or ukrainian Easter egg painters, Haitian religious painters or totem carvers. I paint the way I do because it’s the only way I know how. my style just evolved. I never thought about it, it just took over. my style is bold, which is
interesting because I’m shy. I know I don’t want to get too sophisticated. For example, I bought an expensive book on perspective, saw that it could be mastered, but then decided not to pursue it because it ran counter to my intuitive style. I figured I could still get my point across even if a person’s feet weren’t positioned correctly. I often inadvertently draw heads or arms disproportionally and it makes things a little more interesting, to me at least. I stick with acrylics even though I recognize the beauty of oil paints. I don’t have the patience to let oils dry. I’ve taken some classes, I’ve had some inspiring teachers, but I find going my own way best. I think I do so many Jewish paintings because it’s a world I know. I see myself as a storyteller who uses paint as a medium. the biblical stories I depict I learned as a child—some from Hebrew school and some from gospel songs and spirituals like Go down moses and Shadrach, meshach and Abednego. I’ve also done a lot of Arctic paintings, because as a child I was mesmerized by Jack London stories, and I built an elaborate fantasy life for myself in the Yukon. Instead of just recalling those fantasies, I now put them on canvas. I loved fantasizing as a child, and I still do. Is your faith in Judaism, and why have you stuck to it? Paul: I’m not a man of faith. I don’t believe in an overseeing god or an afterlife. being Jewish to me is more tribal. It’s a primitive feeling. I think we’re all primitive and I have no trouble acknowledging
that. Judiasm is my culture and I like some of its ancient practices. I enjoy ritual and singing, and that draws me to synagogue life. Having a good rabbi helps, and barbara Cohen, the spiritual leader of Ahavath Sholom, is of the highest quality. I firmly believe there are good and bad in all nationalities, but I do feel a special kinship with my Jewish compatriots. Do you think a comparison can be drawn between Judaism and Buddhism? Paul: I don’t know enough about buddhism to compare it to Judaism. I know that neither religion proselytizes, and that I respect. religions that proselytize have done horrible things in their belief that they and only they know the truth, and that they are better than the nonbelievers. I’ve met a number of Jooboos in my life, Jewish people looking for a spiritual fulfillment they didn’t find in Judaism. the flirtation with buddhism didn’t last very long for most of them. A few that I met became orthodox Jews, but most were still searching.
What is the meaning of My Tribe? History repeating itself? Paul: the painting my tribe is just what it says it is. these are my people. I feel I was born into a tribe that Abraham started. When I was eight days old I was circumcised and inducted into the tribe. So I identify with all of the people in the painting—even the people I don’t like—because they’re my kin. I usually don’t think very much about the meaning of what I paint. my tribe was different. I had to reflect on a lot of history as I decided who to include
Paul Graubard David and Goliath
in the painting. Who should be included from the times before the diaspora, who has made major contributions to society, who has brought some joy in to the world, who was a groundbreaking scientist or artist? A lot of thinking and reflection on historical periods and achievements went into the painting. For fun, I included a self portrait as well as a portrait of Karen. A central feeling behind my tribe is a sense of belonging—I can walk into a synagogue anywhere in the world and I will be welcomed. that feeling is a source of great strength to me. I’ve always had that feeling. At times I’ve been affiliated with a synagogue, and there were many periods when I was not affiliated. but the feeling of belonging always persisted. I believe that history has a way of repeating itself, but there was no conscious thought of that while I was doing the painting. Please give me two reasons why you paint. Paul: I paint because I am compelled to. I have things to say and I need to say them. I paint because it brings me great pleasure and I have a hedonistic nature. I love to play, and painting is play. It’s tactile, bedazzling with color and you can listen to beautiful music while you work. It’s stimulating. on occasion, when you get it just right, it produces a natural high. What fun.
Why is art necessary? Paul: “Art” has become rarified and pricey. It has a snobbish element to it. of course not everybody is an artist, but at the same time we all practice art. Continued on next page... THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2017• 17
Paul Graubard Jacob and The Fallen Angels
It is truly basic to life. Children as young as two begin to sing and exercise great imagination. Who hasn’t danced or sung or told a tall tale? We’re born to make things and to admire what is made. We don’t think of singing in a church as art, but it is. ordinary activities—like dancing or building a playhouse for a child—are not considered as artistic achievements because they are ordinary. but dance is dance, whether it’s done by a ballerina or a teenager at a party. And building is sculpture.
Are there a lot of ideas involved during your development of a piece? Paul: there are exceptions, but I don’t think of any big idea when I paint. my focus is much more narrow. the big question is always: What story do I want to tell? Can I see in my head what I want the canvas to look like when I’m finished? do I like the color combinations I’m thinking of? do I have the
18 • JUNE 2017 THE ARTFUL MIND
skill to accomplish what I want to accomplish? those are the things I think about, as opposed to an idea. my professional development has been a tradeoff. I can’t duplicate the freshness and obsessions I had when I first started to paint. on the other hand, I’ve grown more skilled and can now do things I couldn’t do as a tyro. I’m still learning. I’d like to make full canvases a la bruegel or bosch, but I don’t feel capable of that yet. Hopefully I’ll get there, but it’s been elusive so far. Do collectors seek out your work for a reason? Why the enthusiasm about your art? Paul: I think collectors are drawn to my originality. my style is unique—I do not paint in the style of anyone, and that’s appealing to collectors and museums. I never studied painting and I don’t know
what the rules are, so in my ignorance I break the rules. that can make for quirky, odd paintings. that scares most people, but it’s what museums and collectors are looking for.
Can you talk a bit about different art styles, and your own creative flow? Paul: I knew from the beginning that I was not as good as a camera in capturing realism. that freed me to depict things in my own style. my inability to render things exactly can lead to interesting and unusual depictions. We’re all used to looking at people with equal arm lengths. Sometimes, entirely unconsciously, I will make one arm twice the size of another. In one painting, I gave a dancer three legs without thinking about it. It turned out to be a good painting. I’m usually not conscious of feelings or thoughts when I paint, except for the continual questions I ask
Paul Graubard Words in My Wife’s Head
myself: does this work? How can I make this better? before I start, I play with images in my head, and when I like an image I try to put it onto canvas or wood. there are exceptions. I painted dance macabre after the long illness and death of a friend. After I finished the painting, I realized the painting was all about my friend. the same thing happened with the Cremation of Sam mcGee. It was painted right after the death of another good friend who had been horribly burned in an automobile accident. most recently, I started to paint mrs. o’Leary’s Cowshortly after trump was elected, and continued adding fire during his first 100 days. most of the time I paint on an unconscious level, but there are notable exceptions. What do you feel you bring to viewers? Paul: I don’t think of the viewer at all when I start a
painting or when I’m in the middle of doing it. I only try to satisfy myself. When I’m finished, when I sign the painting, I wonder if it’s a “good” painting. Will people like it? I hope people like it, but if they don’t that’s oK too. I think that artists who think of how an audience will react before or during the act of creation will usually undercut their work. It’s good to say what you want to say, not what someone wants to hear. I tend to look at the rosy side of life, so a lot of my paintings are humorous and cheerful. I also like to spoof. For example, I thought it must have been boring for Jonah to be confined inside a whale for three days. What to do? Play solitaire, fish, puff on a hookah, read a book? It’s fun to exercise your imagination and then let the characters dictate their own actions.
What music do you listen to? Paul: my taste is eclectic. I like Janis Joplin, classical music—especially Vivaldi and mozart—reggae, klezmer and folk music. I sometimes dance in the studio before I paint. I like to dance, and like a lot of painters I have created many dance paintings. Where have you traveled, what have you learned? Paul: I’ve traveled to mexico, Peru, most of the Caribbean, most of Europe, morocco, Israel, Iceland and India. the country whose art and color had the strongest impact on me was mexico. I was enthralled by the murals of orozco and rivera, and going through vegetable markets exposed me to more color than I had ever seen. the color in India was ubiquitous—some of the saris were breathtakingly beautiful. Israel had the Continued on next page...
THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2017 • 19
strongest emotional impact on me. I’ve done a lot of Wall paintings, and biblical scenes mostly set in the desert. Putting on tsfillin at the Wall was one powerful,emotional experience. I think my experiences in all three countries, with their histories and particular colors, figure into my painting.
When is it time to use just black and white? Paul: I started out using charcoal. much fun. my earliest paintings—a circus series—were all just black paint on white paper. I don’t remember when I started to use color, and I now feel no desire to go back to black and white. I often do a lot of sketching before I begin to paint, and that’s always in black and white. then they’re discarded.
How do you feel about the art world—any likes, dislikes, solutions to problems? Paul: I don’t know enough about the art world to have real opinions about it. I’ve been to a lot of museums and I don’t recall seeing many people of color there. that means museums are not so good at reaching out to the community. that’s true of a lot of arts organizations. I much prefer representational paintings to abstract work. I like stories, but oddball portraits and landscapes by Van Gogh and some of the French Impressionists captivate me, as does beautiful work a la botticelli. I think I’m a very young 85, but I’ve pretty much given up trying to find solutions to big problems. I’m content to make my art. 20 • JUNE 2017 THE ARTFUL MIND
Paul Raubard Jacob vs. Angel
Paul, where and when were you born? Tell us about your family. Paul: I was born in Elizabeth, n.J. in 1932, the beginning of the depression. my father was born in romania, and came to the u.S. alone at age 13. my parents met at the Singer Sewing machine factory where they both worked. I grew up in Passaic, n.J., a mill town 15 miles from nYC and 50 years behind the times. Europe was on everyone’s mind. I grew up during WWII, and listening to war news was routine after dinner. my grandparents recounted how, growing up in russia, they were afraid to leave the house if a policeman was in the neighborhood. And they spoke of the feeling of immense wealth they had with their first linoleum floor. my father hated his yeshiva education (up to fourth grade) and was anticlerical until his later years, when he became active in synagogue life. I respected my father, but he was an old World authoritarian who demanded respect, and we did not get along. my mother was never satisfied, and I did not have a particularly happy childhood. I did very poorly in both religious and public school and I was a high school dropout. I got kicked out of Hebrew school—it was called talmud torah school then—after a fistfight with the sexton. He had a sadistic streak and would pinch your cheek while asking if you were a good boy. I asked him many times to stop. When he wouldn’t, I retaliated, and we duked it out. that was my last day of Hebrew school. I did have my bar mitzvah at age 70, along with my granddaughter. (I was bar mitzvahed again at 83—hence achieving my biblical thirteen
years and repeating it.) through grade school and the year or two of high school I attended, I disliked most of my teachers. I remember wanting to strangle a drawing teacher. that must have meant I cared about art more than most subjects, because I don’t remember having anywhere near the depth of the feeling I had toward that teacher. I took the GEd and did well in college, because attendance was voluntary and I loved books and scholarship. I ended up with degrees from the university of michigan and Columbia and I received my doctorate from Yeshiva university, where I taught for many years. I don’t remember seeing any paintings in my house when I was growing up, nor in my neighbor’s houses either. I never took art courses or studied art history, but I did buy posters at the college book store to decorate my room. I saw orozco and rivera murals while in college, and spent some time in the Henry Ford museum in detroit. When I was in the Army I was stationed in Washington, d.C., and I spent time in museums on my off days. I remember having a crazy impulse to steal Picasso’s old Guitarist. otherwise art did not figure very much into my life, until I started painting in my sixties.
Do you study the Bible? Talmud? Kabbalah? Paul: I went for many years without attending synagogue, but being Jewish is central to my identity. I became active in synagogue life when I moved to the berkshires. I belong to a study group at Ahavath Sholom now. I’ve dipped into talmud and torah study. I love the stories, and marvel at life in ancient
Paul Raubard Biker
times, but my knowledge of Judaism is pretty limited. I have no interest in studying Kabbalah, and when I read the bible or torah I now have my eye out for visual scenes.
God rested, so must humans. Do you agree? Paul: Who could argue with that? type A’s do… A famous scientist once said, “What you call rest, I call decay.” I think we need novelty in our lives as well as rest.
Explain Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow. What elements of nature are you using to stress something out of the pages of time. Paul: At first I thought I was just depicting an old folktale, but as I explained earlier, it’s not a coincidence that the painting coincided with trump’s election. Prior to the election I did two paintings involving fire—one a harbor fire and the second a painting of people burning clothes on the beach in marseilles following a cholera epidemic. I seldom think about why I’m painting what I’m painting. What matters is whether I’m interested in the subject and can get a good visual picture. I don’t probe why. What do you appreciate, maybe for the first time?
Paul: the question immediately brought to mind a quote that rebecca Hoffberger (the founder and director of AVAm) wrote about me: “Paul Graubard is indeed a wonder-filled artist married to two great loves—Karen, his timeless poet wife/best friend, and to that powerful mistress, wonder itself.” I think rebecca got it right. Thoughts about the Yiddish Book Center… Paul: Having been there only once, I don’t have too much to say about it. I love the idea behind it and came away impressed with the ideas, structure and activities I saw there. It also seems to be a live enterprise, with their interest in sponsoring live music. Hooray for that. As an artist, I wish they had more art there.
Do you speak Yiddish, or use wordplay in your art? Paul: I heard a lot of Yiddish as a boy. my grandmother only spoke Yiddish, and my relatives often conversed in Yiddish. I don’t speak it but I can understand a little (bissel.) I know Yiddish slang and expressions pretty well. I sometimes, but seldom, use words (I don’t know if it’s wordplay) in my paintings. When I do, they are essential to the painting. rather than words, I play
with visual images. I can stretch things—Jonah was in the belly of the whale; it was fun to figure out how he’d spend his time. I’ve done the same with Ezekiel, and I play around with his visions. Do you think language is an art form? Paul: matisse said something like… to be a good artist you need to cut out your tongue. but being married to a poet, I deeply know that language is an art form.
How has the Internet improved or hindered your art-making process? Paul: In many ways, the Internet has improved my life considerably. I can gather information and images from everywhere. I can even type my own letters or essays. I also find Photoshop essential to my career, in that I can show images to people all over. the negative side of course is that learning the skills of Photoshop and computer manipulation takes an enormous amount of time and a certain kind of mind. I don’t have that kind of mind and I begrudge the time. So I often need help. that makes me reliant on other people, and I don’t like to rely on anyone, so it’s frustrating. I also found it disheartening to realize that often what the photo looks like is more important Continued on next page...
THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2017 • 21
than the actual painting, since they don’t always correspond, and dealers usually just see the photos. And I’m a better artist than I am a photographer.
What was childhood family life like—is it reflected in your art? Paul: I appreciated my extended family. I adored my grandparents (maternal—my paternal grandparents were in Europe). Sunday visits to my grandparents and a trip to the delicatessen at night was routine. I have lots of cousins, and we were close growing up. my father worked long hours. His will was imposing but he was only around on weekends. I had a difficult relationship with both my parents. I was a bookworm, and spent as much time out of the house as possible. I shared a room with my sister until puberty and then I slept on the couch in the living room. I didn’t have my own play space as a child, and I became quite adept at using my imagination. Imagination is critical to my work. I revel in it. It’s easy for me to imagine scenes—what kinds of clothing people would wear, what the landscape looked like, etc. A lot of my childhood fantasies and activities are embedded in my paintings. the Arctic, fishing, the circus, and comfort foods. And of course the whole experience of being Jewish. What do you find important to teach children— and adults when possible?
22 • JUNE 2017 THE ARTFUL MIND
Paul: I spent most of my adult life as a teacher. At this point, I have no desire to teach. I hope the life I lead can be an example for others but I have no lessons to give. I do like to bring some joy and happiness into people’s lives, and I think I do that through my paintings. I’ve observed people looking at my work, so I know they can evoke smiles and chuckles. that’s fulfilling.
Are you a satisfied artist? Are you temperamental? Paul: I am a satisfied artist. I wish I had more skill, but I am grateful for what I do have. I got my doctorate when I was 33. that was a high point in my life. Having my work accepted into the permanent collections of museums is the same kind of high point. only this is one I never dreamed about, and it was child’s play compared to earning a doctorate. this has been the happiest period of my life. I love to paint. I have a great studio and the time to paint. I love my wife, more and more each day. When your health is good and you love your wife and love your work, then life is very good.
What is your preferred place to live? Paul: Cities are appealing to me. We have fun in cities, but life is good in the berkshires. there are always trade-offs. Cities are stimulating and there’s plenty to do. but it’s also easy to get distracted, and too expensive.
the berkshires has its drawbacks, but it’s a great place to work and life is easy here. People are nice, traffic and noise are minimal and it’s easy to keep your focus here. It can be a tranquil existence in the berkshires, and it’s especially good if you can live in your head. A soothing quote, please, from your life and times… Paul: these are not original but I often think of these phrases: bE HErE noW. dance like nobody’s watching. marriage halves the sorrows and doubles the pleasures of life. Thank you! b
Water’s Edge oil on Canvas 40 x 32”
SAINT FRANCIS GALLERY JunE 2 tHrouGH JuLY 31 Reception Saturday June 10 3 - 6 pm
routE 102, SoutH LEE, mASSACHuSEttS
BERKSHIRE ARTS FESTIVAL
berkshires Arts Festival is celebrating 16 years. Join us July 1, 2 & 3 at Ski butternut, in Great barrington, massachusetts. this is your gateway to an amazing world of art! new work! new artists! A great time for the entire family. bring the kids….puppet shows, treasure hunt, live music and terrific food. the berkshires Arts Festival is a juried show featuring more than 200 artists and artisans exhibiting exceptional original works in ceramics, painting, jewelry, glass, wood, mixed media, sculpture, fashion and photography. besides fantastic art for the serious art collector or the casual browser, the berkshires Arts Festival includes live music, creative workshops, demonstrations, fun children’s activities, on-site dining and refreshments all weekend long. Activities for all ages: • Gordon Holey’s Larger than Life Puppet brigade for the kids; • treasure Hunt every day for kids and adults to find dozens of amazing puzzle boxes hidden around the festival by richard rothbard (boxology.com); • Live music all weekend by the Lucky 5 with footstomping “Hot Swing & Gypsy Jazz”. “We personally select our exhibitors with care and an eye for excellence in design and craftsmanship. the history of success of our arts festivals is based on our demonstrated experience in choosing and presenting the most talented and unique artists and craftspeople from all over the united States. the collection of original artworks we have chosen this year is particularly outstanding.” Berkshire Arts Festival - Ski Butternut, Rt. 23 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Contact Richard Rothbard, 845-661-1221, Richard@americanartmarketing.com, berkshiresartsfestival.com Hours: Saturday, Sunday (July 1&2) 10-6; Monday (July 3) 10-5. Admission: Adults $14; Seniors $13; Students $7; Children under 10 FREE. Weekend Pass available for all three days: $16. Free parking on site.
MARGUERITE BRIDE SummEr EXHIbItS
mArGuErItE brIdE, WAtCH HILL LIGHt, WAtErCoLor
marguerite bride will be exhibiting at a number of venues during the summer months. opening on June 30 and running until August 7 -- oil and Water do mIX! At the Good Purpose Gallery, 40 main Street in Lee, mass. this is a duo exhibit with Karen Jacobs (oils). bride’s new watercolors include new England and berkshire scenes, farmlands, barns, seacoast, lighthouses and some incredible skies. Preview of new works on bride’s website. Also see Goodpurpose.org for hours. opening reception in on Friday, June 30, 4:30-6:30 pm. on Friday, July 14, bride will be doing a painting demo from 10 am – 2 pm at the Frelinghuysen morris House & Studio, at 92 Hawthorne St, Lenox, mass. She will be painting under a tent on the grounds of this stunning museum...come sit for a while, get a freebie water color lesson and demo. July 29-30, as most years, she will have a booth at the Church on the Hill Juried Fine Art and Craft Show at Lilac Park, main Street, Lenox, mass. this show happens rain or shine (usually rain), free admission, ample parking. Hours are Saturday 10am - 5pm, Sunday 10am - 4pm. Anytime is a great time to commission a house portrait or favorite scene you would like captured in a watercolor. Paintings (or even a personalized gift certificate, then I work directly with the recipient) make a cherished and personal gift for weddings, retirement, new home, old home, anniversaries…..any occasion is special. Commission work is always welcome. Marguerite Bride – Home Studio at 46 Glory Drive, Pittsfield, Massachusetts by appointment only. Call 413-841-1659 or 413-442-7718; margebridepaintings.com; email@example.com; Facebook: marguerite bride Watercolors.
ROBERT FORTE robErt FortE, In mY StudIo
robert Forte's paintings continue to explore themes and ideas drawn from experiences in his life and in the world around him. the canvas used as a vehicle of expression as opposed to representation provides Forte with the excitement that makes painting an ongoing adventure and a source of limitless possibilities. Antecedent artists that inspire are the great expressionists Soutine and Schiele, beckmann, Kirchner and Kokoschka. Forte also enjoys the minimalism of contemporary artists such as Alex Katz and the unique imagery of bacon, Guston and Kitaj. the politically catastrophic events now in progress in this country, and the social upheavals worldwide have reinforced Forte's need to give vigorous expression to ideas and emotions that resonate both personally and universally. the anticipated assault on human rights and dignity make it all the more imperative to use the canvas forcefully, both as a reaffirmation of oneself and a reaching out to others. there are many ways and media with which to achieve this, but Forte has concentrated his work on oils, adding acrylics for their adaptability to rapid brushstrokes. In 2016, Forte was accepted into Atlantic Gallery in the Chelsea arts district of new York City. Accordingly, robert has been focusing on works for the Atlantic Gallery exhibition schedule for 2017. the first exhibit, which opened in January, was a members' group show in which robert exhibited three new works in oil and acrylic. A second members’ group show followed, its theme, freedom of expression, sought to channel the fears and emotions created by the current political scene into an artistic outpouring. A highly successful "Connections" show this year, in which members invited artists to participate, is in the planning stages for next year. Some of robert Forte’s work can be seen at he St. Francis Gallery in South Lee, from June2 to July 31; an artist reception will be held on Saturday June 10 from 3-6pm. Finally, in October 2017, Robert will have his own show at Atlantic Gallery. robertforte.com
"I want to start with art and work my way towards trash." -- Joel Gersmann, playwright 24 • JUNE 2017 THE ARTFUL MIND
Lynne m. Anstett - Photographer
Peacock Butterfly - Landed in Normandy, France
Bonjour, je serai ici quelque temps.
Cedar Waxwing - Fruit Focused
~ Lynne m. Anstett - Photography© u Imagery Art Works ~
I aim to share what I see, by chance or by design, that is beautiful to me. The camera allows me to do that. ImageryArtWorks@hotmail.com u 860-888-3672 http://www.gicleeone.com/Lynne-Anstett-Giclee-Photography https://www.facebook.com/LynneMAnstettPhotography/
THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2017 • 25
JoHn F. GrAnEY mEtAL dESIGn
Interview by Harryet P. Candee Harryet: When is there a need for a hand-forged iron product? John F. Graney: In this age of mass produced products, there are many items required for site-specific application, i.e. a prosthetic limb, or a corrective lens for the Hubble space telescope. Each requires the skill and knowledge of a craftsperson trained to be an expert in their particular field. In the hands of a blacksmith focused on architectural metalwork, each job is different. A fireplace screen needs a special hinge, fabricated for the opening. A handrail needs to be bent to the shape of a curved stair. A standing sculpture must address the artist’s intent and obey the physical laws of the universe. the restoration work done in the shop must use the same techniques as the original smith used to create the work. I see your metal work is elaborately rendered. Does that seem to always be a priority for a client?
26 • JUNE 2017 THE ARTFUL MIND
Photography by Edward Acker
John: I've discovered the most simple projects are often the most difficult. A single curved line must have no dips or wiggles. A square pedestal base must be plumb, square, and its surfaces level. Pickets on a stair rail must be attached at the correct angle. Even one degree off can ruin a railing, as I have proven to myself, unfortunately. metal lends itself to fine intricate lines, as it can be thin and strong at the same time. Is your trademark style to work with a lot of curving shapes and ornate design? John: I love forms of nature. there are no straight lines in nature. Even the horizon of the sea is not flat. the elaborate designs are sometimes my attempt to conform to building code space requirements for pool gates, fences and stair rails. I strive to have the work look rich, not busy.
I’m wondering what types of iron forging keep you busiest? John: Interior stair rails, fences and gates.
And aside from fences, railings, gates… do you engage in making sculptural pieces as well? John: Yes, mostly private commissions for sculpture. Although this year we made a marvelous wall piece for a long-time client. She requested something to fill the blank space between two windows on a large exterior wall. We dialoged on the basic design, something that captured the spirit of the Konkapot river behind the house, along with the springtime growth of plants—and it needed to not make the windows look small. I submitted several sketches that had different emphases and we combined them into one. Do you work alone on projects or do you have a crew (smitties) that handle some of the jobs in-
John F. Graney
photo: Edward Acker
volved? How do you divvy up the work? John: Presently I have a full time staff of five. Each member of the team has their specialty. rich Wansor is forge master, and assists in design and layout; Sheldon is the head fabricator, welder and installer. Frank is top tIG welder, assemblyman, and an expert at the nuance of bench work. brian is machinist, fabricator, finisher and installer. robin, the newest member of the crew, has jumped in and is ready to do what ever is required. meticulous attention to detail is an integral part of all the crew’s nature. We also hire specialty shops to assist us. they range from a CAd design shop, water jet cutting shop, sandblast and paint shop, foundries in iron, bronze and aluminum. We utilize the trades to enable us to get the job done at the most reasonable price and time.
I was looking at the Old Westbury Gardens fence image on your website, and I wonder, what is the start-to-finish process? Can you give us a brief outline and description of what you do, from the point of design conception to completed and installed work? John: this and all our work at old Westbury was a restoration project. In the blue rail, the original stone curbs were broken and not aligned. this caused the fence to wrack and break. there were missing cast
rosettes, flowers and leaves. the hinges and latch were broken. Step 1. Assess the damage. make a list of repairs, missing parts. Choose what to repair, replace or refurbish. In the restoration trade, we try to keep anything that is at least 40 percent intact. Exceptions are made all the time. StEP 2. Photo catalog the job as it is. take careful measurements, if possible, of site conditions. disassemble on site and remove. StEP 3. Sandblast to clean metal, and make a template of the scrolls, leaves, and flowers. Send original rosette to foundry for casting. StEP 4. After all the new parts are made, we cut and weld them into the existing metalwork. Careful welding and grinding is needed to make the new work meld flawlessly with the original. Clean, prime and paint. StEP 5. deliver and install on site. What is your favorite thing about metal fabrication and design? John: Where to begin… the smell of the coal smoke, the rhythmic sound of the hammer blows, shaping the metal in the moment that it is hot enough. the magic of moving an element that we perceive as solid immobile, that is fluid and soft under the heat
photo: Edward Acker
and hammer. It is a challenge and pleasure to dialogue with the client and understand their needs… and I enjoy utilizing my knowledge and skills to bring their idea to fruition. there is the satisfaction of a job well done, and the smile on the client's face.
You must be in love with metal, fire and heavy hammering. Has the procedure been made any easier these days in terms of using, say, the power hammer as opposed to hand work? John: Since metalwork began, there have always been tools to make work more efficient, whether it is the hand sledgehammer wielded by the apprentice, or a water-powered drop hammer to forge out the billets of steel. there are techniques of metal joinery that come from the beginning of metalwork. many are borrowed from wood joinery and construction. Pegs in wood are rivets in steel. the mortise and tenon joinery is done in wood, and we do the same in steel. baskets are wrapped to join the reeds. blacksmithing has a collar connection, or a wrap in metal around the pieces. A prized skill of forging is the forge weld. Here, the metal is heated until nearly melting. Continued on next page... THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2017 • 27
Large Tree - the tree of live for the Camp Eisner, Gt. Barrington outdoor worship area. 18 ft. tall 26 ft. wide. Center space holds the Ark w/ Torah scrolls inside. photo: Edward Acker
Add a flux to keep the metal clean and a few forceful hammer blows, and two pieces of iron meld into one. today, in place of the hand labor, it’s done with gas, or high-pressure water jet cutting. Forge welding is replaced by the ArC, mIG or tIG weld. Each of these create an oxygen-free environment that allows the iron to be joined in a manner that makes the connection as strong or stronger than the original. In place of a water-powered drop hammer, we have pneumatic powered hammers that strike with 50–500 lbs. of pressure. We now use hydraulic presses and shears to take the place of hand chiseling or sawing the metal.
Is there a difference between working with new and old steel? What are the advantages of both, and how do you decide which to use? John: old steel is probably wrought iron, and it’s no longer manufactured. today, all iron is produced as steel. merchant-grade, hot rolled mild steel,10-36, has the same forming capabilities as the original wrought iron. I can get more complex with the chem28 • JUNE 2017 THE ARTFUL MIND
ical analysis if need be. We rarely use recycled materials, as there isn't enough of it for most jobs. the recycled material will also be pitted or scarred, which is fine for a sculpture, if designed in that manner.
Do you find the clients are enthralled by the process and want to watch you perform your artistic work? John: not as much as one would think. It’s a very labor intensive and time-consuming process. the metal takes five to ten minutes to heat up, then we have 30 seconds or so to work with it. In the shop, we load the forge with enough bars to keep the waiting time to a minimum. the welding and grinding done to join the bars is dangerous to watch without proper eye and hearing protection. John, what is the educational background that led you to work in this art medium? It’s practical and yet so beautiful. That’s a great combo! John: my background is science and art. I've always
been fascinated with botany—hence the nature in my work. I never took many formal art classes, but my drawing abilities came from the sketches and drawings of what was seen under the microscope, and plants in the field in the style of Audubon. my early teachers encouraged me to reach out and explore. A high school and college summer job laying driveways taught me to “see” what I was looking at. Low and high spots on a driveway would cause puddles and problems with drainage. After graduating college, I took a welding class, as there were few jobs for a botanist. I was living in rural Wisconsin, and my peers were learning homestead skills, masonry, etc. So I went to welding school. there I found a blacksmith magazine with a forged iron rose. Immediately, I knew how that was made. As a young teen, my mother had taken the family to Europe one summer. She has many relatives, and we stayed a few days with them, including one in milan who was a jeweler. He had a bouquet of roses in the shop. I told him they were beautiful cast roses. He said, “no sonny, these are forged!“ He
Brian Bastow photo: Edward Acker
could see I was perplexed, so he brought me and my brother into the back to show us how it was done. He cut out blanks of petals, five to a layer, three layers thick, hammered and textured, then placed them onto a small silver shaft and bent up with pliers to make the rose blossom shape.
At one point in history, blacksmithing and working with a forge was a trade, as opposed to an art. How did these utilitarian objects become something of a serious art investment? John: the blacksmith has always been a bit of a shaman or mythic. the work involves the elements of the world. Since metalworking began, it has been inscribed with decorative elements. I've seen ritual objects from Africa that are 4,000 years old. Some of the earliest anvils were made from meteors that are a sort of metal. the blacksmith’s work was for the warrior and the healer. Knives, nails, all manner of common objects could only be made by the smith. often, when kingdoms warred, the blacksmith was the one sought after to capture or kill, so no more
weapons could be made.
What traditional (antique) tools do you prefer to use, and why? John: my favorite is the Swedish armorer hammer. It is two lbs., with an extra long cross pean end. next is the leg vise, which is a vise bolted to the workbench or pedestal, which has a long leg going into the floor for stability. my anvil is a modified version of a European armorer’s anvil. It has a long, tapered round horn on one end, and a tapered square horn on the other end. there is a side clip for tight scroll work, and an upsetting block built into the side. I got this from Sweden for my 30th birthday. What type of heat source do you prefer, and why? John: We use coal and gas to heat the metal. there are different applications for each style of fuel… the gas forge can give an even, long heat, for bars that need to be twisted or hammered into a long point. the coal forge is a smaller, intense heat, good for starting scrolls, leaf work, and tenons. I can only
forge weld in the coal fire. the gas forge doesn't get hot enough.
You have to be in pretty decent health to do a lot of this work. It’s a good thing you live in the Berkshires, which must help. What do you find to be the most arduous and tedious part of a project? John: It's all arduous. unloading the truck, stocking the racks, and there are many hours spent on design time. the shoulders ache from hammering. Hands hurt from holding the grinder. Exercise and stretching helps, and monitoring the amount of each activity per day helps reduce work fatigue.
Are there health-related issues that may occur over time? John: As with any physically demanding job, proper ergonomics is a must. Lifting correctly, bending correctly… we insist on dust masks and eye protection for grinding and the general work day. there are many more chemical hazards now than in olden days. Continued on next page...
THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2017 • 29
Robin Graham at work
We strive for state-of-the-art ventilation and fume protection in the shop.
Who are some of the famous people you’ve done work for? What did you create for them? What was the weirdest, strangest creation you were commissioned to do? John: We have worked for musicians, actors, composers & millionaires. Locally, Emanual Ax had us make a stainless fireplace screen. the baker-Lynch family of merrill Lynch had us make a pool fence and gates, interior handrails, outdoor tables and bronze handrails. the tavitian Foundation, originators of the Literacy network, had us make many yards of outdoor railing, replicate 17th century side tables, exotic lighting sconces and chandeliers. Great barrington Land trust has asked us to work on various aspects of the riverwalk along the Housatonic river in town. We have worked at Canyon ranch, restoring the entrance archway when it was hit by a delivery truck. We have worked at Jacobs Pillow and duval Patrick's residence in richmond, along with restoring the entrance gates and fence at High Lawn 30 • JUNE 2017 THE ARTFUL MIND
photo: Edward Acker
Farm. Smaller odd jobs include a two-inch solid stainless post for a bird feeder, twelve feet in the air and four feet into the cement. It was a bear problem. the oddest item ever were the restraint devices the shop made in the early 1980s for the S&m crowd of Chicago. Have you ever had to repossess any of your work? Strange things do occur… anything you can recall? John: Several years ago, I was asked to make a kitchen rack for a large private residence. It was full of curved lines and wavy shapes. It had to fit exactly onto the ceiling joists and stay centered over the kitchen island. the designer had done the entire house in an arts and crafts style, and the client loved the idea on paper. When we got it installed, she took a step back and asked if we would kindly remove it. It didn't go with any of the geometric shapes and square angles in the kitchen. the concept of waves, wind and branches wasn't working. We still have it in the shop, and it has been the inspiration for many
other kitchen racks. What is your favorite time period in history? John: the Aesthetic movement through the Art nouveau period. this is where industry first clashed with nature. the Art nouveau period incorporated the natural world, with stylized depictions of water bugs, dragonflies and flowers. Here, the tools of the industry blended best with the handmade styles of the blacksmith. Do you work with architects, and does it always run a smooth course? Tell us. John: Architects and interior designers are the backbone of our business. they have the credentials to sell the client on our work. It's not always easy. Field conditions and changes in design all play a factor. often I need to educate them as to what the installation requirements are for a stable rail or gate. the architect is the key link to clients’ knowledge and understanding of the design and options for materials. Do you have fencing and railings at your own
Rich Wansor with tools and Frank Raczkowski in background
home that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve made? At this time, no. We have a small chandelier, plenty of hooks and hangers. I need to make two small handrails for the front porch to get our final Co since we remodeled. I need to make a garden gate for my wife, as well.
Where did you live before coming to the Berkshires? John: I started welding and forging in Wisconsin in the late 70s. I stayed out there until 1987, when I was accepted into a position at a large Kunstschmeide Studio in Aachen Germany. I stayed there for about a year, teaching beginners and practicing my trade. When I finished there, I landed a position as blacksmith in residence at the Peters Valley Crafts Center in northwest new Jersey. I left there in 1993 to open my own shop in union County, nJ. my wife at that time was employed by nJ public television. I came to the berkshires many times before moving here. A student at Peters Valley named Peter barrett invited me up one weekend, and that started it. my family and I moved here in 1998. I opened the shop in Sheffield in 1999.
Are you finding your line of work fruitful here in the Berkshires, or is more of your business outside of the area? Has that changed over time? John: When we moved here in 1999, I had a yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worth of work from the nYC area. We were already working in berkshire County, as my customers in nJ owned homes here. I introduced myself to the local contractors, and after a few years, I became known and trusted. now, in 2017, 90 percent of our work is within 50 miles of the shop. We still venture out when the job is worth our while. What other art mediums are you interested in? Are you a fine painter? Potter, perhaps? John: I enjoy sculpture, in all forms. Painting, sketching, and printing interest me. I've tried ceramics and jewelry. It's just too small a scale for me.
What do you think is needed to make the arts successful in our community? Can you pitch some suggestions that can help to sell art? Keeping the arts alive in the schools is integral. I've participated in the undermountain High School apprentice program in the past, but it takes more atten-
John Graney Metal Design workshop
photo: Edward Acker
tion and focus than I am willing to devote at this time.
Is there anyone you would like to hand down all your knowledge to, to continue this line of work? John: At this time, no. the shop crew sees what I do, and they are not interested in running this sort of operation. It would take a special person to handle all the different aspects of this company. I would be glad to pass it along to a properly skilled and willing person.
Who was your most important mentor? Was this work handed down through your family? John: my family has a lot of teachers. I credit my mother for pushing me to experiment. my first apprenticeship with bob bergman changed my life forever. I wasn't very skilled or good when I started, but he never said no. He just kept pushing and encouraging me. max Siegel was an amazing smith I met when starting out. He was small in height, but huge in skills and compassion. He and I met in 1976 at my first blacksmith convention. He had worked in the famous Continued on next page... THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2017 â&#x20AC;˘ 31
Sheldon Victor photo: Edward Acker
Yellin Studio from 1930 to 1960. then he retired and opened his own studio. the Artist blacksmith Association of north America (AbAnA) has been instrumental in furthering my career. they present conventions and trade shows on a national and regional level, and they sponsored my journeyman work in Germany. they have tirelessly promoted blacksmithing in schools and public forums.
Dragons, eagles, birch and beaver screens—so John, are you an animal lover?! How do you research and how do you render so precisely? John: I love nature and find great peace in the woods and fields. I have been an avid bird watcher most of my life, and was a hunter and fisherman when I was younger. When working on a large stair and balcony rail for the mohegan Indian Senior tribal Center, I found a book called Flora and Fauna of the Connecticut Hills, from 1936. It contained hand drawings of nearly every animal in the area, and it was nearly photographic in rendering. I collect photos from magazines, as well as my own pictures. thanks to modern technology, I started with an opaque projector to copy photos in the size needed. now I use digital technol32 • JUNE 2017 THE ARTFULMIND
ogy to get the results I need.
Have you ever made anything that you have not liked, but the clients loved? John: the S&m handcuffs, gags and restraint devices were too weird for words. It did pay the bills…
What would you be opposed to making—something that might go against your integrity and belief system? Have you ever turned down a job? John: I've turned down many jobs, either due to scheduling or price. Sometimes a client's attitude is all I need to say no. If my work is not appreciated, or my staff respected, I won't work for the client.
Are you sentimental enough to still have the very first forged piece you ever made? John: the very first piece was a simple “J” hook. It took me nearly two hours to get it right and then I burnt it to nothing by leaving it in the fire too long. I do have the first fireplace poker I made. I have candlesticks, trivets, a hall tree I made for my mom that I got back after she passed away. I have a simple letter opener that contains the basic forge skills of welding, scrolls, twists and tapers.
Who do you live with, and do you drive them crazy with your work? Artists tend to be good at that. On a lighter note, tell me about your home life, too. John: my wife Laurel left her full-time job in television to raise our daughters. of course I drive her crazy. I work too many hours, don't bring home enough money, ask work-related questions while she's cooking dinner. I'm married for twenty-five years now and have two daughters. one is a senior at mt. Holyoke, majoring in neuroscience. the older daughter graduated from umass Amherst with a degree in wildlife ecology. She works at magic Wings, a butterfly conservatory in deerfield, mA. She recently got engaged to a computer wiz. the family appreciates what I do to be able to live in the berkshires. I can take a break midday to go to a school function. I was class parent on several class trips when the girls were younger. I really love the furniture you produce with wrought iron. I am inspired, but it must take a huge amount of work, money and education to set up a home blacksmithing shop. Where would one learn these skills?
John F. Graney crew: L-R: Robin Graham. Frank Raczkowski. Brian Bastow. Standing: John Graney and Laurel Graney. Sheldon Victor Standing: Rich Wansor photo: Edward Acker
John: I started my business with a $5,000 loan from my uncle. I made him numerous objects as I learned and got better at the work. When I set upmy first shop in a barn, it had no electricity. I worked with a handoperated drill press, a giant metal floor shear, and a hand-cranked forge. After one month, I ran an extension cord from the milk house to get power for an electric motor for the forge and drill press. today, the skills are available thru various colleges that offer metal arts programs. Locally, taconic Votech has a welding program. one must be prepared for a lot of trying before getting good at this. over the door of a 15th century shop I visited was written in Latin, ”the life so short, the craft so long to learn.” It took me three years before I felt confident enough to hang my shingle out as a blacksmith.
Do you find blacksmithing to be a sexist field? Are there many women working as blacksmiths? Your thoughts? John: our perception of who can forge and who can't is a cultural idea. I've met many excellent women who forge for a living. there is even a pilot tV show coming out on the history channel about women who forge. I've been to many discussion groups about
forging and role models. no one should be told not to try. I'm a small person—five foot five. I've been a lot stronger in my youth, but it was never easy to pursue this trade. In retrospect, I'm not sure why I stuck with it. the rewards are not immediate, the challenges endless.
Have you ever had an interest in forging weaponry for decorative or functional use, or both? John: nope, I made one knife in my career, for a demonstration on how not to forge damascus (pattern welded) steel. the workshop was a challenge. We used junkyard steel, tire iron, hand file, hack saw blade, a stainless scrap of kitchen counter. We made the blade complete with a ladder pattern forged into it. I still have it. It looks odd, cuts sharp. You must have had some interesting experiences related to your line of work. John: I'm amazed at the variety of experiences I've had in this line of work. Going into homes that I would never be invited to in my life. I've shaken the hands of governors and CEos, stood up to bullies and thugs. made promises I couldn't keep. made
deadlines on time that I never thought I could.
What are your core beliefs about your work, something you can share with us? John: my core belief is honesty, integrity and compassion, all coming together in striving for quality craftsmanship. my peers and clients come to know this after working with me. If it's a bad idea, I say so. If it's a difficult job, I don't whitewash it.
What have you learned about life through your work? John: I'm only going around once. there is strength in community. I rely on many for the support and knowledge to get a job done. I'm not afraid to say I don't know. Knowing is about knowing the important questions to ask. I'm not afraid to try. Like Edison said, he didn't fail; rather, he discovered another way that won't work. Thank you! John F. Graney Metal Design is located at 1920 North Main St, Sheffield, MA. / graneymetaldesign.com H THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2017 • 33
FINE LINE MULTIMEDIA StInG PHotoGrAPH bY LEE EVErEtt
LIVE PErFormAnCE PHotoGrAPHY And VIdEo
Fine Line multimedia provides single or multi-camera video of music, dance and theater performances. Services KAtE KnAPP, tAnGErInES And CHAIr, 30 X 30”, oIL 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 Pastels, oils, acrylics and watercolors…..abstract audio/video performance production for the boston Symand representational…..landscapes, still lifes and por- phony orchestra at tanglewood, berkshire Performing Arts traits….a unique variety of painting technique and Center, national music Foundation, recording for the styles….you will be transported to another world and blind and dyslexic, united Way of the berkshires, Arlo see things in a way you never have before…. join us Guthrie, rising Son records, bobby Sweet, World moja, Phil Woods, Grace Kelly, Heather Fisch, opera nouveau, and experience something different. Painting classes continue on monday and Wednes- Ellen Sinopoli dance Company and many more. Fine Line was established in 1970 by Lee Everett in day mornings 10-1:30pm at the studio and thursday Lenox, massachusetts. Everett came to the berkshires after mornings out in the field. these classes are open to studying Advertising design and Visual Communications all...come to one or come again if it works for you. at Pratt Institute and working for years as an Art director All levels and materials welcome. Private critiques in new York. He taught Art in local schools and began a full-service multimedia studio in Lenox specializing in the available. Classes at Front Street are for those wishing to Performing and Visual Arts and other business and industry. With Photography, Graphic design, Advertising, marlearn, those who just want to be involved in the pure enjoyment of art, and/or those who have some expe- keting, Audio/Video Production, Website, Social network rience under their belt. Perfect if you are seeking fresh Creation and Administration together under one roof, Fine Line can satisfy the artistic communications and promoinsight into watercolors, and other mediums. A tional needs of a wide range of clients. teacher for many years, Kate Knapp has a keen sense Please look at some examples from our portfolios of of each student’s artistic needs to take a step beyond. work on our website and use the contact information on the Perfect setting for setting up still lifes; lighting and site to get further information, to see more samples, photographs or video reels, for professional and client references space are excellent. Peek in to see! Front Street Gallery – Front Street, Housatonic, or for a free project consultation. Fine Line Multimedia - 66 Church Street, Lenox, MA; MA. Gallery open by appointment or chance anytime. 413-528-9546 at home or 413-429-7141 (cell). www.finelinelenox.com Contact: Lee Everett, 413-637-2020, firstname.lastname@example.org
FRONT STREET GALLERY
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LYNNE M. ANSTETT PHotoGrAPHEr ArtISt VISIon
Whether I’m traveling far from my native new England, hiking, or standing in my own back yard, I’m drawn to the endless variety of beautiful things outdoors. It is a hurried world. Photography, to me, is a way of paying visual attention and tribute to what is otherwise often missed or taken for granted – the quiet dignity of buildings, the magnificence of sky, water and land, the mystery of old things, and the countless daily proofs in nature that the world is made for our eyes. I aim to share what I see, by chance or by design, that is beautiful to me. the camera allows me to do that. most recently one of my photographs was selected as a finalist in Sohn Fine Art Gallery's 6th Annual Juried Exhibition to benefit the norman rockwell museum. the Exhibition was curated and judged by the museum's director and Curators. my photography has also been exhibited at maplebrook School - 30th Annual Kentucky derby Art Show, Amenia, nY; the imotIF Cultural Pittsfield 10 x 10 upstreet Arts Festival at the Sohn Fine Art Gallery, Lenox and Hotel on north, Pittsfield; Ethel Walker School bell Library, Simsbury, Ct; the Hitchcock Chair Showroom, riverton, Ct; Artisan Guild, norfolk, Ct; Whiting mills - open Studios, Winsted, Ct and the Gallery on the Green, Canton, Ct, where I am juried artist member. my work focuses on farms, environmental portraits, landscapes, structures and edibles. I like to explore beyond the traditional scenes and formats as well. I launched a project two years ago to photograph “the massachusetts’s berkshires and beyond”, taking a close look at the diverse beauty of neighborhoods including outdoor recreation, art, history, farms and more. my signature calendar is a wall and desk Art Poster format with the thought of bringing these images a little closer into view. Calendars can be found seasonally in artist shops, hotels, bookshops and museums throughout the berkshires. I’ve lived in Litchfield County, Ct all my life but in recent years have been residing part-time in the berkshires. ~ Lynne m. Anstett - Photography© υ Imagery Art Works ~ I aim to share what I see, by chance or by design, that is beautiful to me. the camera allows me to do that. ImageryArtWorks@hotmail.com υ 860-888-3672 http://www.gicleeone.com/Lynne-Anstett-Giclee-Photography https://www.facebook.com/LynnemAnstettPhotography/
THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2017 â&#x20AC;¢ 35
36 â&#x20AC;¢JUNE 2017 THE ARTFUL MIND
rutH KoLbErt, umPACHEnE FALLS, oIL on CAnVAS, 28” X 34”
rutH KoLbErt, umPACHEnE FALLS, drAWInG, 8 5. X 11”
I’ve been drawing and painting since I was a child. I was born in Karlsbad, Czechoslavakia. A place not much different than the berkshires, culturally as well as the surrounding countryside. I was fortunate to have studied with oskar Kokoschka ( a renowned German Expressionist) in Salzburg, Austria, and with nicolas Carone and Charles Cajori (new York Abstract Expressionists) as well as at the Art Students League in new York City. I have lived in the berkshires for 27 years and have shown in several galleries. most of my work is usually in brilliant color: oils, pastels, and surprisingly some in charcoal and graphite. Sometimes I will work from an “inner dialogue”, personal experiences, and imagination. For a long period, I was painting people, often life size, within their personal environment. At that time I was also painting “portraits” of barns and the landscapes surrounding them. during this last year, I have been diving back to some early paintings of mine and thoughts of nature and its quirks. I’ve been working on a series of drawings and paintings of Umpachene Falls and the hidden and mystic qualities this special place reveals to me. my paintings, drawings and pastels are in private collections. Some paintings have been commissioned work. I welcome you to a studio visit, by appointment. ruth Kolbert - email@example.com, 413-2290380.
THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2017 • 37
TAMMARA LEMINEN ArtISt
Interview by Harryet P. Candee
Harryet: Tammara, I’ve always liked collage, illustration and stories. It seems this is exactly what you create, all-in-one! Where do your initial ideas come from, before you start making the actual art? Tammara Leminen: I usually begin with a key concept or emotion I want to express, and I make a few sketches with some notes – but the finished art nEVEr looks exactly like the sketch, and sometimes it changes so much that I can still create a second piece based on the original sketch! tangled HeArt is a good example; in the original sketch it had big butterfly wings, but when I began to assemble the piece they clashed badly with the curly vines, and the vines were inherent to the message of the piece. After deciding not to use the wings, it began to make more sense to change the shape of the “heart” (in the original sketch, it’s actually shaped like a human heart) to a large box, with open doors spread farther apart— I really liked that symbolism. It tied in well to the entire concept of conflicting desires, and I kept the “heart” notion by collaging vintage anatomical illus38 • JUNE 2017 THE ARTFUL MIND
Photographs supplied by Tammara
trations of a human heart on each of the doors. (However, you can expect me to return to that “flying heart” idea in the future!) once the composition had been altered into squares and rectangles, adding the bricks around the exposed interior was a natural extension of the concept, as was reinforcing the idea of being pulled in two directions by designing one door in full color (an “adventurous” heart, displayed over a geographical map next to a hot air balloon) placed in opposition to a monotone design (a “logical,” literally black-and-white heart displayed over a background of script and next to a vintage line illustration of a stop watch), and connecting the doors with a flimsy-looking lacing of twine. And because the square interior now had more nooks than it would have had it been triangular, I combed through my enormous stash (multi-media artists have to be very organized pack rats!) and found items to augment the original found object arrangement. this is when I added the miniature china doll figures, and the little porcelain teapot sitting above the wood “couple” with the bottle of wishbones between them. the first
time I showed this piece, the reaction I got over the course of the evening from the well-attended reception made it apparent to me that it spoke very deeply to women in particular. And I think it was the final touches like the teapot that make tangled HeArt such a female piece of art. only a small handful of my pieces express gender-specific emotions, and I didn’t originally intend for this to be one of them. but once I started visually juxtaposing loss and hope with the concept of opposing passions, the piece began to reflect feelings I have, which are very much tied to the fact that I’m a woman who put my art career on hold to raise a family. And now I’m in the bittersweet process of blossoming into a whole new life, out of my sadly empty nest. Your art offers so much for the viewer to look at, as if it’s a puzzle, a game, a piece of someone’s life, their history! How were you able to express these ideas in your earlier media, and did you move to mixed-media because it freed up your creativity? Tammara: Yes! I spent a big chunk of my adulthood
Tammara Leminen Birdcage
honing my art skills by painting from nature—birds and flowers and insects and seashells—aiming for realism while expressing more complex emotions writing poetry, increasingly long stories and eventually two novels. but then I discovered Photoshop, and I realized that art can be another form of telling stories, and stories have always been one of my great loves. multi-media collage allows me to use images, surfaces and found objects as another form of language, reliant on iconography and symbolism (and often whimsy, almost to the point of qualifying as “dreaming on paper”).
If someone asked you to explain a piece like Birdcage, for example, would you see yourself talking on and on and verbalizing a story for them to explain, or, do you kinda lay back and let them come up with a simple explanation—whatever they interpret on their own is fine? Tammara: open interpretation, absolutely—each viewer is going to connect to the piece in their own
way. that’s unavoidable with the kind of art I make (I guess multi-media collage falls loosely under the umbrella of surrealism), so for me the best tactic is to encourage that. I do suggest a story with visual imagery and try to express specific emotions, but ultimately the viewer will interpret all the visual clues in their own way, applying their own experiences and their very individual mental connections with the symbols, colors, and ideas I put into each piece. birdcage, for example, could speak to one viewer as a defiant protest, while another might primarily react to the concept of being trapped; yet both would understand that the piece expresses the story of a woman who has experienced male-dominated societal boundaries and seeks to transcend them. I understand you love fantasy, and you’ve read pop culture graphic novels such as Game of Thrones. Have you read any of Neil Gaiman’s works? He’s very much into sci-fi and unexplainable earthly situations.
Tammara: Gaiman is one of my favorite authors! I discovered him almost twenty years ago through his 1990s graphic novel series the Sandman, and I’ve since gone on to follow him almost religiously. I introduced him to my kids through Coraline and mirrormask, two of the superb children’s books he’s written. then I had them read his adult novels when they hit 15, starting with Good omens and eventually getting up to American Gods. So Gaiman is a familial addiction (as is Game of thrones—I hounded my oldest daughter Katrina into watching it, and she and her husband rodger got so hooked that one year rodger threw Katrina a “Game of thrones” themed mother’s day!). Five years ago, I took my youngest daughter Kirsi to hear Gaiman read at a book promotion in Saratoga, as a present for her 17th birthday, and the guy known primarily for dark, mysterious sci-fi cracked us up performing Fortunately, the milk. He was wickedly witty, sweetly humble, kind and gracious, and he managed the particularly british Continued on next page... THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2017 • 39
Tammara Leminen Hit The Road, Jack
trick of being simultaneously polite and a bit mischievous. Kirsi and I were both impressed by him as a person, in addition to his being an extremely gifted and versatile author. my autographed copy of the ocean at the End of the Lane is a prized possession.
How does reading books like this this stimulate your imagination, to the point where you have material you want to get on paper? And would it always be in a collage format? Tammara: of all the books I love, I think Gaiman’s work on the Sandman has influenced my own art the most. I’m currently working on a four-part graphic novel of my own, loosely based on my childhood and my extremely colorful parents. the work I have already created is online at www.growingupwilde.smugmug.com , and those pieces are done in a combination of compositing, image alteration, and digital collage. but I intend to sandwich flash-forward scenes that will be handdrawn and water-colored between each of the four main sections of the story. Part three will combine the style from the first two parts with sections pre40 •JUNE 2017 THE ARTFUL MIND
sented as pages from tazmin’s art-journal, and this will continue into Part Four. but as tazmin grows older, the style of her art-journaling will change radically, reflecting the vast difference in the perspective of a twelve-year-old girl in the bahamas and a sixteen-year-old girl living in a European city. Gaiman purposely used dramatically different artists at various points of the Sandman,and I’m employing the same idea, but to different ends and with specific rules about the style changes. Can you explain how your art education in Switzerland altered and developed your ways of seeing and making art? I know there is a fire burning under your seat on this topic! Your situation in Switzerland is probably like none you would find here in New England. Tammara: my father was Swiss, and when I was 13 we moved from the bahamas to Switzerland. So I finished high school in basel, and then I was accepted into the baseler Kunstgewerbeschul in 1977. It was (and is) a very selective school and quite highly regarded; I was fortunate to have been chosen to at-
tend… and I HAtEd it there. Switzerland is a fairly xenophobic country, and my classmates in art school teased me mercilessly about my accented German, but the worst behavior was reserved for my professors. they were rude and bossy—their idea of constructive criticism was, “What, are you f***ing bLInd?!?!” And while they treated all the students that way, I was also subject to comments like, “I suppose we can only expect so much sophistication from you, since you are, after all, an American.” not to mention that most of them were still pretty irritated that after the 1975 Amendment to the Swiss Constitution giving Swiss women the right to vote (yes, I said 1975, that’s not a typo!), the school was committing the atrocity of admitting females into the hallowed halls of the Kunstgewerbeschul. there were five of us in the fine art department in 1977, and I’m pretty sure that by the time we graduated in 1980, all five of us had developed some kind of eating disorder. Although you disliked it there, if you could do it all again, would you? What would you have done instead, if you had the choice?
Tammara Leminen Man In The Moon
Tammara: As hard as it was, I learned a Lot at the Kunstgewerbeschul. the curriculum focused heavily on realism in drawing and in painting, while the professors encouraged us (well, ordered us) to strive for developing modernism into that realistic style. they wanted surreal, but they didn’t know what to do with girly surreal; I had already established a distinctive artistic voice, but my love of colors and wings and things romantic and Victorian earned me sneers from my Swiss professors. And as if I didn’t already have enough problems, the convention center where they held Art basel was right across from the Kunstgewerbeschul campus, and the hit of that year’s show was H.r. Giger’s exhibit necronomicon, which went on to inspire ridley Scott’s movie Alien. thatwas the kind of artwork my professors approved of, and it was obviously light years on the other side of the spectrum from my own style. I say this with admiration; H.r. was a hometown boy to the end, and he kept his main address in Switzerland even after he started working with Hollywood. For the rest of his life he had rock-star status there. He
opened not one but two Alien-themed Swiss nightclubs, designed record albums for musicians as diverse as Emerson, Lake and Palmer, deborah Harry, and the dead Kennedys, and was just generally way cooler than anyone whose given name was Hans ruedi had any right to be. Even when I managed to get one of my snooty professors to like me (a victory in itself of sorts), his advice was well-meant but particularly colored by the male-dominated European outlook in which he’d been born and raised; he pulled me aside, expressed concern about the level of negativity saturating the experiences of all the girls in the program and pointed out that he was aware that my own problems were compounded by my nationality. And then he told me (in his best father-figure voice), “If you like art so much, why don’t you just marry a nice architect?” So yes, I would have never encountered that kind of gender bias in new England. but, in spite of the lack of support from the faculty, my bend toward surrealism stems from my time in basel, and almost everything I know about painting and drawing was influenced
by my time there. And while I hated art school, I loved Switzerland—how could you not love a country that not only has one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world, but can boast of metropolitan cities with intact thirteenth-century medieval quarters, And has two Alien-themed nightclubs?!?! Didn’t you recently finish more art schooling? You love learning! Tammara: I just returned from taking some seriously intense classes at the Savannah College of Art and design. the quality of the education I received there was phenomenal; I had enrolled in the computer animation program and I expected to be taught to use 3d computer software, but SCAd makes you train in every aspect of animation, including stop-motion and Claymation. So you start by going back to the basics—hand drawn animation. I found myself drawing twelve to fourteen hours a day, seven days a week. SCAd crams fifteen credits into ten-week Continued on next page...
THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE • 41
Tammara Leminen I’m Not Trapped, I’m Just Drawn That Way
“quarters,” so it’s basically art boot camp! but all that hard work really pays off; the improvement in my draftsmanship was visible by the middle of the first quarter. And my professors there were both talented artists in their own right and very gifted teachers. my Action Analysis professor, nathan Asquith, had drawn for a madison Avenue advertising firm for ten years, and my 2d Animation professor John Webber drew for disney for almost twenty years before coming to teach at SCAd. they were both warm, caring, extraordinarily patient teachers, and I was So fortunate to have had the privilege of working closely with each of them. they are some of the best creatives in the business. SCAd was such an amazing experience, and I really grew as an artist there. my work with nathan and John has greatly influenced the development of my graphic novel—it was there that I decided to juxtapose different styles of illustration to convey the passage of time and the shift in viewpoint, and the hand-drawn sections in particular will really reflect everything I learned from them. Formal art in-
42 • JUNE THE ARTFUL MIND
struction is alwaysworth it, but when you are lucky enough to have a professor you can connect with, it’s a far deeper and more rewarding experience.
Sometimes it’s good to make art JUST for yourself. A therapy of sorts. How did you transition from private to public? Tammara: Shortly after I discovered Photoshop, I also discovered a wonderful online community of women (most of whom were stay-at-home moms like me) making digital collages. I did that for about a year, posting on my own blog, sharing techniques and learning from other artists I “met” by participating in weekly challenges on other blogs. I learned a lot from my first digital design guru, the super-talented nancy baumiller, who ran Crowabout. She is a really fun person, and she would post a new image sheet every Wednesday on her wonderfully whimsical blog (www.crowaboutgroup.blogspot.com). All of us would post the artwork we created incorporating some of those images, commenting on each
other’s work and following each other’s blogs. nancy has gone on to market her creations online at www.mischiefcircus.com, while I went back to college to learn to use Photoshop professionally. I was blessed to have the support, both financially and emotionally, of my beloved late husband and soulmate Will, and I was further blessed with two fantastic professors. First, I studied digital design under rosemary Wessel for a year, and then I spent the next six years studying fine art at berkshire Community College with Lisa Griffith. they are both nurturing, artistically adventurous, sensitive and compassionate teachers, and very skilled artists themselves. Each of them has a distinct and unique artistic voice, and each of them encouraged me to explore and develop my own. It was while I was studying with Lisa that I began to print out pieces of my digital work, cut them out, and arrange them on canvases. that quickly developed a 3d aspect, which has led to some fullblown assemblages and the incorporation of found objects and unexpected materials (like the felt leaves
Tammara Leminen Night Swimming
and handmade polymer clay figures in tangled HeArt). Currently, I’m finding my time at SCAd is leading me to try to incorporate some of the nature painting I used to do into my collages, too. It’s really exciting when you can see that your work is evolving. It really has been WorK, but growing as an artist is a profoundly gratifying experience.
Do you think your soul mate, the man you were married to, was a big influence in your art-making? How? Tammara: Will marsele was the best man in the world, and for ten years he was mine. He was a real old-world gentleman, loyal and loving and unfailingly amiable; I used to tell him that he should give all the other men in the world lessons. He took the “to have and to hold” part of our vows literally; everywhere we went, he held my hand, held the door, held my coat. In addition to treating me like a queen and telling everyone who would listen how wonderful I was, Will persuaded me to go back to school to
study art again. And because he believed in me, heart and soul, I found the ability to believe in myself. He was the great love of my life. We found each other late and then he died young, but the decade we shared were the happiest years of my life. If you are fortunate enough to find someone you not only dearly love but who is also the best friend you’ve ever had – someone you truly share your life and dreams and deepest fears with – if you are fortunate enough to find your soul mate, it changes you. If you are fortunate enough to find that kind of bottomless and unconditional love, it makes you a different person. It makes you a better person. And if you are also a creative, being a better person makes you a better artist. It was in large part because of his unfaltering faith in my creativity that I stopped making art just to decorate my house and I started using my artistic voice to tell visual stories, and the change in my work, before and after Will, isn’t just visible, it’s dramatic. You are going to have a show at the Whit this July.
How exciting! Tell us what your body of art work is comprised of. Tammara: the work I plan on showing in the upcoming solo is so new it’s still in production! that sounds more rushed and stressful than it really is—I always have new canvases in batches. It’s just a natural consequence of my process to be working on as many as five pieces at the same time, because I build them in layers so each piece spends more time drying between steps than the amount of time I put into actually working on it. the ratio is usually about twenty minutes of work to three hours of dry time (but the assemblages can take as much as 24 hours between each step). So multi-tasking is a big component of my process. the show coming up July 7th at the Whitney will reflect that one of my more recent trends has been to go bigger (from the 18 x 24 canvas size I’ve been using since 2011, to 38 x 46 canvases), and some of the pieces will also explore territory that’s new for me. I’ve always avoided politics, but Continued on next page... THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2017 • 43
Tammara Leminen Heart of A Jealous Woman
I’ve also always used my art to vent, so a really fun piece that will be in the new show is called not Your Father’s republican Party.
What other ideas do you have to launch that can stir the interest ? How did these ideas surface? Tammara: When I was at SCAd, I told both nathan Asquith and John Webber, “I’m not just studying drawing with you, I’m also studying the way you teach.” So I’ll be offering Wine and design, a sixpart series of classes in multi-media collage starting in August. In separate weekly classes, we’ll cover materials, backgrounds, composition, incorporating found objects, and assemblage (that will be two classes, to accommodate dry time), and in the seventh and final class students will present a final project. the Whitney Center for the Arts, at 42 Wendell Ave. (kitty-corner from the library) will be hosting
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the classes, which are designed to be fun, friendly, social events, in addition to creative experiences. (Sign-up info will be posted on our Facebook page.) I’ve benefitted so much from all my educational opportunities, and it just feels fair and right to share some of that. After being a student, do you feel you are on professional ground with your work? Are you ready and confident to show your new work? Tammara: the first time I showed work professionally was in 2014’s respringenation group show, along with very established berkshire artists like Scott taylor and Peggy rivers (and even my former professor rosemary Wessel!), and I was very aware of having only shown as a student prior to that event. but I was welcomed into the berkshire art community with open arms and immediately accepted as an
equal. I feel very fortunate to have developed my art into a profession here in the berkshires, where the art world is filled with so many talented, wonderful, inspiring, people – and so many awesome, empowered women! It’s a very far cry from the male-dominated, Eurocentric world I first encountered at the Kunstgewerbeschul. So it’s ironic that my entry into the art community of Pittsfield was facilitated by a European male, Ghazi Kazmi, Executive director at the Whitney Center for the Arts. He couldn’t be more unlike my dour, pretentious professors back in the day. Ghazi is as much family as he is my boss, and he has a laid back, go-with-the-flow approach to juggling musicians, dance instructors, theater people and/or performing poets—all around a rotating cast of artists, and you know working with us alone can be like herding cats. that has been nothing short of inspirational. I first met him when he hosted re-
Tammara Leminen A Woman of Letters
springenation, and after including me in my first professional show, he gave me my first job curating in an art gallery, all within months of Will’s death in 2014. At a time when I needed it the most, first Ghazi and then the whole art community of the berkshires embraced me, and because everyone has treated me with such affection and respect, I’ve never again felt intimidated by the experience of showing my work with more established artists. In the spring of 2014 I was cowering in my boots, but by the middle of 2015 I was willing to don a Wonder Woman costume for the opening reception of reimagined! An International Show of Comic and Cartoon Art at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, and thrilled to have been invited by Lawrence Klein, founder of the museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (moCCA) in new York City, to show Women are the Wonders of the World, beside top-shelf artists like ricardo drummond, Juan
Cavia, Santiago Villa, Joe Staton and Henrik rehr.
Tell us what you think is most important when being a practicing artist? What is your deepest belief on this, one that you treasure and can share with us. Tammara: I don’t remember exactly when I started saying I’m an artist instead of I’m going to be an artist, but it happened before middle school. because it goes back so far, why I wanted to be an artist wasn’t a thing I even stopped to think about until I started showing my work up here in the berkshires and other people started asking me. before that, I just was an artist, the way the sky is blue and the grass is green and the sea is wet… and although I could actually explain why the sky is blue and why the grass is green, I was surprised to find myself uncertain if I could explain why I was an artist, or if I even knew
the answer myself. I really had to think about it! So here’s what I’ve come to believe: at least for me, art is language turned into visual form, and I use it to tell stories because I’ve always defined myself, and the world around me, through stories and their characters. Stories allow us to view the world through new perspectives, and that teaches us empathy. that’s always struck me as something noble, and I hope that I’m contributing to its cause. thank you! g
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Like many people, when I look at pictures in museums I am always most drawn to those works created before perspective was invented. It is as if the artist, unhampered by any rigid system, follows only their intuition and imagination. Granted, the towns they paint always look like an earthquake is going on, but to my mind, charm and naiveté completely make up for the lack of mathematics.
Old Town Without Spectacles Richard Britell
Spectacles in this case does not refer to dramatic events but to eyeglasses. Eyeglasses were invented during the Renaissance as a result of the invention of the lens, and the telescope. It was the invention of the lens than finally allowed artists and scientists to understand and explain the opti-
cal system of perspective because with a lens you can cast an image of a scene onto a wall or a piece of paper.
Once the system of perspective was understood all paintings and drawings from that point began to show its influence. Looking through an art history book it in easy to find the dividing line somewhere in the fifteenth century, after which everything changes from fantasy, magic, and spatial confusion, to a kind of mathematical, logical order.
So, this is my town, drawn without the use of perspective. A lot is going on here, and I can’t explain everything, so I will just point out a few of the details. At the bottom right there is a ladder leaning against the wall. This ladder belongs to a mason who has started to repair a crack in the topmost stone of the wall. It is the first thing in the morning and having set everything up to work, he doesn’t start working, but goes off to have a cup of coffee instead. I can understand this because I do the same thing myself all the time. You can see him on the porch there just to the left of the wall and the ladder.
This mason showed me a very interesting thing. Can you see the little square like a bandage on the crack in the stone just to the left of the ladder? That is a little piece of glass, cemented across a crack in the stone. He places it there because if the glass breaks over time, then he will know that the crack is getting worse. But if the glass doesn’t crack it means that he doesn’t need to repair the wall yet. It is like the expression, “If it’s not broken don’t fix it,” But in this case it would be, “If it’s not getting worse don’t fix it."
Since it is first thing in the morning and the light is coming from the left, then we must be looking toward the south, that’s right isn’t it ~ Richard Britell
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JANE FELDMAN
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Mary Carol Rudin
"The Lady's Back, Red", oil on canvas, 18x24
Signed, limited edition, Giclée prints available
View Mary Carol’s website for paintings on people, still life, landscapes, skyscapes, abstract and more...
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Give a look....
Authentic old World Recipes by Laura Pian
As we ﬁnd ourselves amidst the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, dairy dishes come to mind. Despite the fact that my family did not strictly part-take in this less-familiar holiday, I do know that dairy dishes are key during Shavuot. When thinking of dairy dishes, one of my childhood, family favorites was Grandma Becky’s “lokshen kugel” (noodle pudding), ideal for Shavuot. Both my Grandma and my Mom (Goldy) frequently prepared a lokshen kugel with our dinners, as it was certainly everyone’s most-loved, year-round side dish. We did not keep a kosher kitchen in my childhood home, however, my Mother grew up in one. Typically our lokshen kugels were served up as a side dish with a meat dinner, thereby always prepared “parev” (made with neither meat nor milk products). I have so many fond memories of my Mom in the kitchen opening the oven door and sliding out her masterpieces. Her lokshen kugel was magniﬁcent; delicate with golden, crispy noodle wisps all along the top surface. This was my favorite part. While Mom was busy in the dining room, I’d stand in the kitchen, pulling at the well-done noodles as a pre-dinner nosh. I’d then attempt to patch up the obvious holes I’d created before she’d notice. While still hot in the casserole dish, Mom would cut the kugel into individual squares to be served with a spatula. The “ooohs and aaahs” were always a guarantee! There are so many diﬀerent variations of this dish. Below you will ﬁnd our family’s very basic recipe. Feel free to improvise and sweeten yours up by adding rich ﬂavors to form a custard. Typical ingredients for a sweet, custardy kugel include sugar, cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, vanilla, raisins, or any smaller pieces of fruit. I’ve seen some kugels more recently with sautéed mushrooms and onions and a corn ﬂake topping. Be creative! It’s that dish which is always cooked to perfection, that contains an extra dash of love in it to make it taste like HOME.
GRANDMA BECKY’S & GOLDY’S LOKSHEN KUGEL Ingredients: Two 12 oz. bags broad noodles ¾ cup of cooking oil (any type is fine such as olive (1/2 cup), canola, vegetable, or Crisco) 4 eggs Salt & Pepper to taste
Directions: Add noodles to boiling water, and cook 8-10 minutes. I prefer mine al dente, as they will cook some more in the oven. Drain well and place into a large bowl. Add ¾ cup oil and mix together with the noodles. Beat eggs separately until very light and add to the noodles. Add lots of salt and pepper to taste and gently mix well. Pour mixture into a well-greased iron pot or rectangular casserole dish. Bake on 325 for approximately 1 hour until top noodles are golden. Enjoy, and “esn gezunt!” (eat in good health!)
I’d love to hear from you. Please share your ideas with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Perhaps yours will be featured in an upcoming “Grandma Becky’s Recipes” column!
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nInA LIPKoWItZ, SunSHInE CAmE SoFtLY II
NEW MARLBOROUGH MEETING HOUSE GALLERY HonEY SHArP, CubA StILtS
GEmmA dI GrAZIA, CIrCLE #12
A CHILd’S WorLd JunE 24 – JuLY 23
NINA LIPKOWITZ ALL THAT JAZZ nInA LIPKoWItZ, VIEW From tHE trAIn
"All that Jazz", all new work by nina Lipkowitz will be on display at 510 Warren Street Gallery, Hudson, nY. opening June 2 and running through June 25, there will be an artist reception on June 3, 3-6 pm. “the process of working for a new show is a bit like the birth process - It all begins with an act of creation which is nurtured in the womb of the artist until it is ready to come out into the world and stand on its own.” Each new piece is a “meditation, a work of improvisation. I hope that you can see them in person. You might find yourself transported into another time and space, as I was while creating them. I found this quote from the Zohar describing a mystical concept of creation. I think it informs this new body of my work: A blinding spark flashed within the concealed of the concealed From the mystery of the infinite a cluster of vapor in formlessness…. Under the impact of breaking through, one high and hidden point shone. Beyond the point nothing is known. So it is called “Beginning.”
nina Lipkowitz - ninalipkowitz.com
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A Child’s World is the subject of the meeting House Gallery’s first show this season. Artists working in both two and three dimensions are exploring their connections to their own childhood, or seeking to connect with the worldview of a contemporary young child. one may examine the bedtime stories and the classic tales handed down through the generations; another may seek to emulate the gaze of the youngster, including those of baby animals as well as humans; and still another may look into the unfettered imagination of the playful child. the show is an open invitation to the participating artists to reconnect with their own youthful hearts, and to represent those feelings by whatever means available, from abstract symbolism to photo-realistic representation. the artists appearing in this show are: diane barth, theresa bills, Eugene Cleary, Erika Crofut, Sally Eagle, Karina Fasset, Shawn Fields, robin Goldberg, nikki Hayes, Elizabeth Lombardi, Eleanor Lord, dan mead, olga Schwede, Honey Sharp, Larry Silk, Elizabeth torsay-Wilson, michele Waldman, and Winston Wilson. 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.
The way of the mystic and the way of the artist are very much alike, except that the mystic doesn’t have the craft. –Jean Erdman
L’ATELIER BERKSHIRES GALLERY GEmmA dI GrAZIA, CIrCLE #10
In bLoom & FAdInG FAunA EXHIbItIonS
“In bLoom” is a stunning exhibition of Gemma di Grazia soft pastel oil paintings, Claudia Alvarez ceramic sculpture and melanie Vote’s paintings. Walk inside a garden of art at L’Atelier berkshires Gallery and experience what it might feel like for an insect to search for pollen. di Grazia’s large scale paintings are dynamic in floral color and supple feel. Claudia Alvarez’s sculptural installations explore relationships of curiosity and nature, depicting children and flowers. melanie Vote’s paintings enchant and amaze. opening reception is Friday may 26 from 7pm-9pm. the “In bloom” exhibition will run until June 18. “FAdInG FAunA” Exhibition our wildlife today faces many dangers as their habitats disappear, climates change, animals are trafficked and poached. the extinction rate is higher than ever in recorded history. “FAdInG FAunA” is an exhibition of artworks by artists who believe in protecting our wildlife. Join us as art and science come together for wildlife conservation. Artwork by marshall Jones, John ryan, Eva Connell, natalie tyler and Creature Conserve artists will be on exhibition. opening reception June 23, starts with a talk by Scientist dr. Lucy Spelman from 6-7pm followed by a reception from 7-9pm. dr. Spelman will discuss the intersection of art and science to save species and her work with artists through Creature Conserve. Exhibition runs from June 23-July 26. L’Atelier berkshires - 597 Main Street, Great Barrington, Massachusetts. For more information contact: Natalie Tyler, 510-469-5468, email@example.com,
Paintinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; The Town!
by Natalie Tyler
The Opening Reception for Turn Park Art Space was Mother's Day June 14th. Turn Park combines a sculpture park with galleries and an outdoor theater. Founded by Igor Gomberg and Katya Brezgunova as a place of exploration and play for both adults and children. Turn Park Art Space does enchant as West Stockbridge's newest art venue addition!
Olivier Mesley, director of The Clark Art Institute and his wife, Laure de Margerie
Actors & musicians in floating tower group from new York & Boston, Chris Okawa & kieren Conner
Alyona Gomberg with her sculpture Red Megaphone made from paper mache and chicken wire
Grigori Fateyev, design architect for the Turner Park space
Heliograph 2 by Vadim kosmatschof
Adam Zamberletti with Rain by Nazar Bilyk
Turner Park Art Space, West Stockbridge, MA
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