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Berkshires artzine promoting and supporting the visual and performing arts since 1994


ANTHONY CAFRITZ Artist / Founder / Executive Director, Salem Art Works, Salem, New York

Photography by Benj Gleeksman

CAROLYN NEWBERGER www.carolynnewberger.com

617. 877. 5672

In Time, Watercolor and Collage, 22 x 30” This is an enigmatic image. In time for what? Troubling layers underlie this seemingly blissful surface. which, as a society, we are coming more fully to recognize. Watercolor painting, mixed media and a practice of drawing from life form the body of Newberger’s work. Drawing and painting in the natural world as well as in darkened concert halls, she captures life as it unfolds, with its rhythm, flow, and intensity. Newberger’s vision animates her essay series, “Illuminating the Hidden Forest,” and music and dance reviews in The Berkshire Edge www.theberkshireedge.com a publication of news, arts and ideas in Western Massachusetts.

Carolyn Newberger can be reached at 617-877-5672 and emailed at cnewberger@me.com

MATT CHINIAN “Gas Stations and Parking Lots, Paintings of the Pandemic”

Virtual Show up soon!

#1589 Bennington Plaza 4-12-20 16 x 18”

#1601 St. Joe’s Greenwich, NY 4-25-20 12 x 16”

mattchinian.com Studio open with social distancing by appointment email: mattchinian@gmail.com

#1578 BDP Industries Greenwich, NY 3-31-20 12 x 16”



THE ARTFUL MIND The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude. - Friedrich Nietzsche



JANET PUMPHREY / FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY INTERVIEW BY HARRYET CANDEE ...20 Arshile Gorky with Maro Gorky on his Shoulders and Andre Breton. Roxbury Connecticut April 1945 Collage, acrylic and pencil 2020 20" x 16"

100 North St Pittsfield Painting - Collage - Construction 914. 260. 7413 markmellinger680@gmail.com




RICHARD BRITELL / FICTION Jason & His Grandmother / Ch. 10 ...40

Publisher Harryet Candee Copy Editor

Marguerite Bride

Third Eye: Jeff Bynack Advertising and Graphic Design Harryet Candee Contributing Writer: Richard Britell Photographers: Edward Acker, Tasja Keetman

Painting by Kate Knapp

Painting classes on Monday and Wednesday mornings 10-1pm at the studio in Housatonic and Thursday mornings 10am - 1pm out in the field. Also available for private critiques. Open to all. Please come paint with us! Gallery hours: Open by chance and by appointment anytime 413. 274. 6607 (gallery) 413. 429. 7141 (cell) 413. 528. 9546 (home) www.kateknappartist.com

Front Street, Housatonic, MA 2 • JULY 2020 THE ARTFUL MIND

CALENDAR LISTINGS and ADVERTISING RATES, please call 413 - 645 - 4114 artfulmind@yahoo.com issuu.com instagram FB FYI: ©Copyright laws in effect throughout The Artful Mind for logo & all graphics including text material. Copyright laws for photographers and writers throughout The Artful Mind. Permission to reprint is required in all instances. In any case the issue does not appear on the stands as planned due to unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, advertisers will be compensated on a one to one basis. All commentaries by writers are not necessarily the opinion of the publisher and take no responsibility for their facts and opinions.


Red Lilly, Photography, 2020 Standing Still, Oil on Panel, 14 x 11”

SHARON GUY sharonguyart@gmail.com (941) 321-1218 https://www.sharonguyart.com

Larryfrankelphotography.com Larryfrankel@me.com Cell 914.419.8002

Equinox 15 x 30” Oil on Canvas framed in white washed wood 2017 View of the Vermont Equinox Mountain from Bennington Airport (900.)

Ghetta Hirsch website: ghetta-hirsch.squarespace.com instagram: @ghettahirschpaintings Text or call : 413. 281. 0626 THE ARTFUL MIND JULY 2020 • 3


Landscape, Reflections on The Berkshires, pastel



ALEX KAMAROFF Glendale Brook Studio 27 Church St. Lenox, MA 01240 413-551-7475 | 413-623-5081 glendalebrookstudio@gmail.com glendalebrookstudio.com


Welcome to the pages of The Artful Mind July 2020


Art is a sound investment and a lifetime of enjoyment...



Fifty Shades

Midas Touch

Spring Rhododendron Center Rain


cdalessandro26@gmail.com https://www.dalessandrophotography.com 413-717-1534



Ice Gems

Rain Rose Bluch

12 x 12 Prints on Aluminum with mount: $135 each 3 or more: $100 each


Red Lilly 2020 11 x 17”

Olive Tree 2020 11 x 17”



CONTACT: Larryfrankelphotography.com

Larryfrankel@me.com Cell 914-419-8002 Lillies and Butterflies 2020 11 x 17”

$750 THE ARTFUL MIND JULY 2020 • 7


Sea Hag 20 x 16” Oil on Panel $975

Standing Still 11 x 14” Oil on Panel $400

Strawberry Banke Home 14 x 11” Oil on Panel $400


sharonguyart@gmail.com https://www.sharonguyart.com 941-321-1218


Summer Afternoon 7 x 5” Oil on Panel $100


Full Moon 2020 6 X 6” Oil on 3/4” thick wood panel ready to hang $275

Ephemeral 2020 6 X 12” Oil and cold wax medium on 3/4” wood panel $300

Corona Sun 2020 6 X 6” Oil and cold wax medium on wood panel, framed in white wood. $375

Retreating 2020 20 x 20” Oil canvas $525


Ghetta-Hirsch.Squarespace.com Instagram@ghettahirschpaintings Crush Time 2020 8 X 8” oil and cold wax medium on wood panel, framed in white wood $350

Text 413-281-0626


John Houseman Earth Girls Are Easy

Gouache on illustration board 20 x 12” $975

John Houseman Colorado

John Houseman 1949 Buick, One Last Trip 10 • JULY 2020 THE ARTFUL MIND

Gouache on illustration board 20 x 14”

Gouache on illustration board 25 x 16” $2150




Shipping and Handling Gouache on illustration board 21 x 15” $2500

Rhino Chargin Ant Hill Gouache on illustration board 32 x 13” $850


john-houseman.artistwebsites.com Read more about John on page 34 in this issue! Papa Meets Metoo Gouache on illustration board 16 x 12” $2150 VIRTUAL GALLERY THE ARTFUL MIND JULY 2020 • 11


Untitled 2019 Acrylic and collage 20 x 16 $750 Chair Pastel on Cardboard 12 x 12


In Accordance Collage and counterfeit lithograph. 2018 $900

CONTACT:  markmellinger680@gmail.com 914-260-7413


Bottles acrylic 2019 24 x 18” $1100



Yuja Wang Plays Gershwin at Tanglewood, Graphite and pastel on toned paper, 11 x 17”, framed, 2016, Signed by Ms. Wang $1400

YoYo Ma, Emmanuel Ax and Leonidas Kavakos in Concert at Tanglewood, Ink and pastel on toned paper, 11 x 17”, 2015, signed by Mr. Ma and Mr. Ax $1600

CONTACT:  www.carolynnewberger.com cnewberger@me.com 617-877-5672 VIRTUAL GALLERY THE ARTFUL MIND JULY 2020 • 13


Branches and Grass

Abstract Leaves and Branches

Each image is part of a limited edition. There are several sizes available. Each piece is priced according to size. Images are unframed and printed on Hahnemuhle archival papers.

CONTACT: www.panockphotography.com bruce@panockphotography.com 917-287-8589


Blue Azalea


Square 3, 2019 Oil on canvas 8 x 8”


Square 4, 2019 8 x 8” Oil on canvas


CONTACT:  https://www.instagram.com/jenniferpazienza/ https://www.facebook.com/jenniferpazienzaartstudio/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiqXBQdVAQ0

http://www.jenniferpazienza.com/contact/ VIRTUAL GALLERY THE ARTFUL MIND JULY 2020 • 15

Katrin Waite The Edge of Town

2017, 12x12” Mixed media, acrylic, oil & gold on gallery wrapped canvas $400

Katrin Waite First Sight

2019, 20x20” Mixed media, acrylic, copper & oxidized copper on gallery wrapped canvas, $850




Hidden 2020, 16x12” Acrylic, oil & oxidized copper on gallery wrapped canvas $400

Horizon 2017, 18x18” Mixed media, oil & gold on gallery wrapped canvas, $800

CONTACT: rigasvelns@gmail.com www.katrinwaite.com instagram: @katrinwaite Tel. 518-223 3069



ANTHONY CAFRITZ Artist / Founder + Executive Director of Salem Art Works / SAW Interview by Harryet Candee

Harryet Candee: Anthony, tell us how you manage to divide your time between directing Salem Art Works and time for your own artmaking. Do they overlap? Anthony Cafritz: They do not overlap. I have been fortunate in January to be invited to The University of North Carolina at Greensboro for a three week residency over the last five years. These three weeks have been essential for my practice. In the winter, I am usually able to create both paintings and sculptures. 18 • JULY 2020 THE ARTFUL MIND

Photography by Benj Gleeksman

How have you taken advantage of Massachusetts Covid 19 lock down time? We have been working on SAW’s infrastructure, both physically and administratively. This strange period in the world has afforded us the time to work on aspects of the organization that are hard to reach usually. We are working on our potential energy. When it is possible to reopen, SAW will be honed better than ever before. We are putting doors on the welding bay in order for it to be used in the winter. Also, we have put roofs on the tent platforms to enhance the experience of the people

who use them. The pond is being reclaimed to become a more verdant estuary. How has Covid 19 impacted your artistic ways and means? Was any of it frustrating and problematic? Seemingly you are a man of commitment and a solution visionary master, how were any of the pandemic challenges resolved for you personally and professionally? I am not sure if I would call myself a master or a visionary. I have a few things that I am trying to figure out. My time has been utilized to find an-

ANTHONY CAFRITZ Tombstone Blue 2014 mixed media

swers to personal questions and seminal concepts. I am aware of and at peace with the lack of external stimuli. I mean this only under the guise of my artistic practice and my responsibilities to the organization. Being the Founder and Executive Director of Salem Art Works, you must be aware of how many people miss being a part of the liveliness that is normal to this artistic community. Might it all be gearing up for late summer reopening? Mirroring the rest of the planet, we have no idea. It is now proven that to open up too early only exacerbates the first wave of the pandemic that has yet to crescendo. Conversely by not trying to jump start our global economies, people around the world are being greatly compromised. At SAW, we are optimists hoping for the best possible future for our Salem community and for the world. A Renaissance is rolling into play. The act of creating is bountiful! From your point of view, what are your thoughts on the signs of a Renaissance on the horizon? I truly believe as a compendium of cultures, we have the potential to evolve from this pandemic and from the current movement and outcry of the disparity between race, class, culture, gender, and ethnicity — a reaction and a deeply rekindled discussion, rooted in the aspiration for equality for

photo: courtesy of Salem Art Works

all people. A shift in culture or a renaissance can only occur if there is a majority or strong minority who can envision a developed way of being that evolves out of the ashes or damage of their present adverse immediacy. I have always lived with a deep sense of hope. Have you found new energy to your own art making? I think your abstract paintings and sculptures are beyond energetic and a wonderment to all that view your work. Tell us about your creations? Thank you. At 57 years old, I am becoming better at visually talking without added components, color, or decisions to justify the moment. This period of time is exciting. My use of color has become more facile. In some ways I am going back to the way I approached color in my teenage years, unencumbered. I have a lot more experiences to draw from which becomes alchemically easier to manifest through physical choices and painterly decisions. Tell us about the artist behind these creations? I love to experience and look at all artwork. I create work to communicate and to show states of being and the human condition.

art history classes during NYU days. I had wished I was an art student there, but that wasn’t possible. Can you tell us your take at this experimental college where artists such as R. Rauchenberg, the Albers, all sprouted from this school. Salem Art Works was founded on some of the same tenets of The Black Mountain School. SAW is built on a simple premise of a safe haven for artists to push beyond what they believed possible while being exposed to other passionate artists who seemingly are creating dissimilar work. It is through working in and around each other that cross-pollination and collaboration can exist. SAW is a place of chorded voices while championing the individual and their direction. How did Salem Art Works begin? My friend Ciaran Cooper and I, in my senior year in college, came up with the idea to create an art farm, a place for all artists. In my early forties, I started looking. I found an abandoned dairy farm and then went into major debt because I felt it was right. My gut felt clear about the decision, and I was not getting any younger. Now, SAW is 15 years old as an organization. Most people who been here have benefitted greatly. I am proud of this. Continued on next page...

I came across Black Mountain College in my THE ARTFUL MIND JULY 2020 • 19


On site at Salem Art Works: Fox and Smantha Rathbun demonstrate glass blowing techniques

ANTHONY CAFRITZ Puff of Smoke 2018 mixed media “Puff of Smoke” is a sculpture, a concrete barrel, and amphorachorded into the investigation of our current culture and democracy. It expresses a deep fear and pause of losing our independence and voice to fascism and Draconian law.

Wood-fired ceramics that have just been unloaded to cool

Artist and summer resident Richard Criddle with one of his pieces. Richard is head of installation at Mass MOCA


Peter Lundberg demonstrates the scale of one of his sculptures in the park. This piece weighs 70 tons and was cast in the earth.

ANTHONY CAFRITZ Dry Heave 2018 mixed media Photo: courtesy of Salem Art Works

ANTHONY CAFRITZ Gauloises 2013 mixed media Photo: courtesy of Salem Art Works

Anthony, tell us about your childhood? I was born in Washington, D.C. I was raised by people from all over the city and the world. I had the fortune to travel as a child. During my youth, I was exposed to and taught many things. I was very lucky to have had so many mentors. Every day, I hear their voices. I am the amalgamation of them all. And what propelled you into art? Or, rather who might have instigated your talent into taking it to a serious level? In my childhood, I was immersed in the arts and artmaking. My mother would take me to her friends’ studios before I could walk. My parents would take our family to openings and museums and other cultural events. My mother is a painter and my father studied art. It’s in my blood. Tell us about your relationship with music? It is great to learn new things. It is also amazing to evolve oneself. The more you do, the more you

see the relativeness in everything. I am also lucky to be able to write music and have sung in a band and for other projects. I have always loved music, all kinds of genres. There is nothing like a live show. When I am working in the studio or just thinking, music becomes the conduit for evolving the ideas in the air. Music also gives those hours a cadence to follow while clarifying the actions I take in real time. How do you create challenges for yourself in music so that you are in the position of always having something new to try and learn? I am learning how to play the harmonica. People must ask you how you manage to make things happen. What would you say are the insider’s golden rules to follow if they should like to succeed in creating a mission that benefits so many on all levels. What do they have to believe? Keep things very real. Keep things very simple.

Never give up. Work as hard as you can and then work harder. Work smartly and effectively. If you have any resources, regardless of what form they take, see them as aspects of energy. Honor them and be very careful how they are utilized. Do you also teach at SAW? I taught welding some years back. Gary Humphreys and Adam Sorrano now teach this workshop. They are strong mentors and do a great job. It is hard for me to take blocks of time off to teach during a season. Tell us about one of the most important moments in your life that you have had? What did you learn? What I see every day is preciously fleeting. I think trying to be in the moment is extremely important. Starting SAW is where I cultivated everything that I previously learned into a confluence. This foundation became the reservoir, the touchContinued on next page... THE ARTFUL MIND JULY 2020 • 21


Campers on the Cary Hill Sculpture Park during Festival of Fire, 2019. The sculpture in the background is called Double Decahedron by Mark di Suvero.

Workshop attendees construct a wood-fired ceramic kiln

SAW’s staff


ANTHONY CAFRITZ Dead Rabbit 1 2016 mixed media Photo: courtesy of Salem Art Works

point for my own personal growth both as an artist and a director. Leadership is one of the most challenging things that I know especially if you are trying to improve your voice and integrity in a group dynamic. Who have you underscored as an internship with that you might like to tell us about? Was it challenging to work with an established artist, like Mark di Suvero? Mark has taught me a lot. I have also had the privilege to have worked with many artists over the years. All of them have been inspiring and still are supportive. As for professors, many have been greatly influential. These teachers disseminated their influence and direction always very carefully. Collectively, they posed slow burning questions that still resonate even today.

ANTHONY CAFRITZ Siren 2018 mixed media Photo: courtesy of Salem Art Works

As far as traveling, have you had many exciting adventures? Like in my childhood, now I travel as much as possible. I have been able to really spend time in cultures around the world. All countries and cultures that I have experienced have taught me human nature is relatively the same and the world is a small place. Riding a bicycle through southern China right after high school changed my life. What was it for you, in life that helped you to achieve insightfulness, positivity and wisdom? Always experiencing while keeping an open mind. Work hard to maintain the agility of self and a very real sense of optimism. These things always need stewardship and respect. They must be constantly managed and fought for inside myself. Thank you, Anthony! Thank you, Benj! Salem Art Works is located at 19 Cary Lane, Salem, New York. 514-854-7674. www.salemartworks.org

ANTHONY CAFRITZ Ghost Army 2018 mixed media photo: courtesy of Salem Art Works




4 X 5”




MARK MELLINGER Sometimes a curse like this pandemic has small blessings attached. Freed from hours of commuting between work in NYC and homes in Yonkers and Pittsfield, I have time to do art. That said, I find the malaise taking away much of the energy needed to use that freedom. In the '60s, I went to Cooper Union Art School and then worked in commercial art and photography. Later I returned to college and careers in bio research and ultimately, psychology. While continuing my practice of psychoanalysis, I spend free moments in my Pittsfield studio. Free also from any dream of fame or fortune, at 75 I can indulge any curious whim in my artwork. I do, nonetheless, appreciate when someone can connect to it. Mark V. Mellinger, PhD - 100 North St. Room 404, Pittsfield MA 01201; markmellinger680@gmail.com / 914-260-7413


MARGUERITE BRIDE ALPHABET NURSERY PAINTING Are you looking for something special for that new baby in the family? How about a painting of the alphabet created with items that are specifically created to match the nursery theme, colors, and interest? There are many really fun details that you will be involved in choosing. These are “mixed media” as there is some acrylic as well as watercolor involved and are done on 16” x 20” or 18” x 24” stretched canvas and do not require framing. Each painting is done to your own specifications. See my website for all the details. Marguerite Bride – Home Studio at 46 Glory Drive, Pittsfield, Massachusetts by appointment only. Call 413-841-1659 or 413-442-7718; margebridepaintings.com; margebride@aol.com; Facebook: Marguerite Bride Watercolors.

In February 2020 Virginia was invited to St. Croix to be an Artist in Residence at the Caribbean Museum for the Arts in Frederiksted. She was immediately inspired by the lush landscape and its interplay with the ever-changing Caribbean Sea. Simultaneously Virginia watched huge cruise ships dock as the COVID pandemic emerged. During the residency she started 8 paintings inspired by St. Croix landscape and the emerging pandemic. The paintings traveled from St. Croix to her Winter studio in Puerto Rico, which was severely affected by the 6.4 earthquake and then back to her home in Western Massachusetts, where Covid-19 was in full swing. During this time she continued to work on all eight 20x20”paintings as a group. With the St. Croix series Virginia is inscribing all the physical and emotional happenings of this period deep into the complex layers of the canvas and thus transforms them into a meditative vision of this century defining time. www.virginiabradley.com


SHARON GUY CONNECTING WITH NATURE My purpose as an artist is to connect with the healing power of the natural world and to encourage others to do the same. Nature is alive and infused with spirit. I constantly seek to reconnect with this spirit of nature through creating art. While I quietly observe and study land, water, and skies, the ordinary world around me is transformed by light and shadow into the sublime. I enjoy painting the dramatic seascapes and clouds of the Gulf Coast and New England scenes. My work is in private collections in the United States and Canada. Sharon Guy - sharonguyart@gmail.com , 941321-1218, http://www.sharonguyart.com


FRONT ST. GALLERY Pastels, oils, acrylics and watercolors…abstract and representational…..landscapes, still lifes and portraits….a unique variety of painting technique and styles….you will be transported to another world and see things in a way you never have before…. join us and experience something different. Painting classes continue on Monday and Wednesday mornings 10-1:30pm at the studio and Thursday mornings out in the field. These classes are open to all...come to one or come again if it works for you. All levels and materials welcome. Private critiques available. Classes at Front Street are for those wishing to learn, those who just want to be involved in the pure enjoyment of art, and/or those who have some experience under their belt. Perfect if you are seeking fresh insight into watercolors, and other mediums. Front Street Gallery – Front Street, Housatonic, MA. Gallery open by appointment or chance anytime. 413-528-9546 at home or 413-429-7141 (cell) www.kateknappartist.com


BRUCE PANOCK PHOTOGRAPHY I have been a student of photography for more than 20 years, though most intently for the last five years. I am primarily a landscape photographer. Recently my photographic voice has migrated to the creation of work with reference to other art forms, notably encaustic painting and ancient Chinese and Japanese brush painting and woodblock art. My intention is to create with viewer a moment of pause and reflection; a moment to digest the image and find their own story in the art. Each image is part of a limited edition. There are several sizes available. Each piece is priced according to size. Images are unframed and printed on Hahnemuhle archival papers. Bruce Panock - bruce@panockphotography.com



Harryet Candee: It’s so exciting to hear you are opening a working space / photography gallery! Well, how best would you describe this new venture? Janet Pumphrey: This new venture is simultaneously exciting and terrifying. Who opens a new business in this economic environment – a new business which might need to again shut down? But having my own gallery is something that I have always wanted to do, and 17 Housastonic Street is, in my opinion, the most beautiful building in Lenox. I’ve been at the 510 Warren Street Gallery in Hudson for two years and at other venues in the Berkshires for six or seven years. The opportunity to open a gallery in this beautiful space suddenly arose when photographer Scott Barrow 26 • JULY 2020 THE ARTFUL MIND

vacated the space for an on-line presence, so I decided to jump in. Do you think you will have to pump up your photography portfolio now that people can come in and buy art on the spot? I have plenty of inventory, but I am trying to fill in missing pieces now, even as unframed prints in bins. Tell me Janet, what is most magical for you, in the experience of the shoot, the discovery, the outcome? As much as I love shooting, the most magical experience for me is the post-processing of the photograph. I think that that’s where the real creativity

comes in. Some great photographers of the past – Ansel Adams, Edward Weston – talked about the importance of “pre-visualization” in their photography. They had a fixed sense of what they wanted to get out of an image in advance and then used extraordinary skill, experience, and technique to put that image onto film. However, they were operating at a time before computer-assisted postprocessing. They essentially had to get it right on the negative to some significant degree. I have so many tools available to me in 2020 that the creativity extends far beyond capturing the initial image. I don’t even always know for sure when I capture an image where I’m headed with it. I just know that if I can capture interesting color, graphics, shapes, textures or gestures, magic might

From Impressionist Flowers Series by Janet Pumphrey

happen in my “lightroom.” I try to think more along the lines of Michelangelo who was fond of saying that every stone has a sculpture inside, and it’s up to me to release it. I think I approach my images that way – I want to release the magical photograph hidden inside the images that I capture in the field. I really enjoy your photo collages, Janet. Tell us how you create these images. Many of my photographs are collages of layered multiple exposures. This is the part of creating the finished photograph that turns it from a realistic photograph which captures an image precisely as seen to a creative work of art. For this process, I use Photoshop, and I take several photographs and layer them on top of each other. Sometimes I use an image and layer it on top of itself; sometimes I layer textures on top of the image, and sometimes I layer other photographs on top of the image. I collect texture images, which can be the pattern on fabric, a unique wall, stonework, colors. I have more than 2,000 textures. They range from grunge to vintage to ethereal to geometrics – the possibilities are endless. Much of my multiple exposure work is painterly, impressionistic, or abstract.

At this time, have you discovered anything new in the ways and subject matter that you shoot? In the last couple of years, I have discovered intentional camera movement and also Lens Baby lenses, both of which create soft, painterly images in camera. Intentional camera movement involves a very slow shutter speed and purposeful camera motion during the shot. The Lens Baby lens captures shots with a drastically reduced depth of field, so that only a small portion of the image is actually in focus. The Lens Baby is an amazing tool with macro shots. What to you is most important when it comes to selecting a subject in terms of a composition? In selecting a subject, the most important thing is uniqueness. The magic of the Berkshires is that it offers endless opportunities right at home. I believe that the composition takes care of itself, and I’m a strong believer in breaking the Rule of Thirds, which prescribes exactly where a photographer should place the subject. Do you enjoy the process of the photograph being printed upon aluminum and glass? I really enjoy the birch trees and nature scenes on this medium.

Yes, I often print on aluminum and glass, and I work with a couple of printing labs that do excellent work. Aluminum and glass are not appropriate for all photographs, and many work better on various kinds of paper. I especially like aluminum and glass for my brighter, more abstract images, like my Imagined Cities series (of multiple exposure cityscapes) and Chrome (of vintage sports cars). Tell us about your Painting Picture series, please? All That Glitters is Gold, one that I am attracted to becuase of the gold and blue contrasting colors and shapes. What is involved? How much time does it take from start to finish? The Painting Pictures series includes my abstract photographs. All that Glitters is Gold is a photograph of an interior window at Spoleto Castle which is in Perugia in central Italy. There is a stark staircase leading up to the window, and the walls and stairs are white stucco. I added a completely different photograph as a layer inside the window frame, and then I worked with textures to give it the gold cast. I love working with gold, and I purposefully take photographs for the sole purpose of creating gold textures. Continued on next page... THE ARTFUL MIND JULY 2020 • 27


All That Glitters Is Gold Janet Pumphrey

Penitentiary Blossoms Janet Pumphrey

I have also added gold leaf paint and gold leaf sheets directly to photographs. I especially like working with both of those processes. Where in the Berkshires do you find a good shoot? How would you compare the bountifulness here as opposed to when you are on your travels out in the world? You can enjoy a good shoot anywhere in the Berkshires. My husband and I travel a lot, and when we return home, we are always so thankful that the place where we live is more beautiful than where we’ve been. What do you think you have captured in the lens that you would say is unique and you might say: “That is a Janet Pumphrey photograph!!” People have definitely said, “That’s a Janet photograph!” I think it describes the post-process work that I do rather than the image as captured by the 28 • JULY 2020 THE ARTFUL MIND

lens. For example, I have a series called White on White, which are photographs created by layering white flowers on top of white flowers on top of white flowers, with textures on top. Those have been described as “a Janet photograph.” They are soft, they are impressionistic, and they are usually printed on water color paper. This summer, I am also in the Hoadley Gallery in Lenox, and they are showing several of my painterly photographs. What to you is the most challenging part of the photography process? Much of the work with layering photographs is trial and error, so that can be very challenging when sometimes your processes just don’t work. Re-working the layering can be very time consuming. Janet, tell us about your life! I am always interested in the artist behind the scene, and I am

sure others are as well. My “day job” is as a lawyer who specializes in post-judgment litigation – appeals. My cases are mostly murders from other parts of Massachusetts. So, my work involves almost exclusively research and writing, which I love. It’s very cerebral, and very different from the creativity involved in photography. I’m married to Albert Harper, who is a forensic science consultant in high profile cases across the country. I have two wonderful daughters who live in eastern Massachusetts, and Albert has a son in McLean, Virginia. Between us, we have five beautiful grandchildren. Discovering photography must have been really a special time for you. When and how did it all begin for you? I discovered photography in college. I went to Newcomb College, which at that time was the women’s college of Tulane University, and it had

Shack Up Inn, Clarksburg Janet Pumphrey

an excellent art department. After that first photography class, I set up a dark room in the walk-in closet of my tiny New Orleans apartment, and I took and printed black and white photographs. After graduation, a friend and I decided that we were going to open a gallery/kiosk in the French Quarter and sell our photographs, like so many other artists. We went to get the necessary permit, and we were told that you can’t sell photographs on the streets of New Orleans because they might be pornography. The irony of this rule is that Bourbon Street at time was lined with sleazy strip clubs! As opposed, to say, any other artistic venue you have tried, what made photography become your mainstay? Or, has it always just been photography? It has always been photography. Years ago, when I lived in Manhattan, I took classes in Japanese brush painting, and I like to bring an Asian dimension to my photography, but I prefer photography to painting. As far as photographers you know and love, whom would you say might be your all time favorite and why? What influence might they have had on your own work as a photographer? I have studied with amazing photographers. My

all-time favorite is definitely Valda Bailey, and I have taken several multi-day workshops with her. She is so creative, and she has influenced my work much more than any other photographer. She says that her “objective is to bring an emotion element and an aesthetic balance” to her work. I was lucky last summer to be able to visit her in her East Sussex, England studio, and in the fall, I plan to take her week long workshop in Manhattan. From a photographer’s point of view, Janet, from your experiences, how do you describe in words the world in which we live? The world in which we live has become a frighteningly dystopian place. From a photographer’s point of view, in my street photography, and I take the good, the bad, and the ugly. On my website, the page called Smiling Faces Sometimes depicts some of the abject poverty as well as the anger that I’ve seen in India, in southwestern China, and in this country. And the page called Ruins and Abandoned places depicts places that my husband calls my “ruins porn” – the abandoned Eastern States Penitentiary, the Catskills Game Farm, and the deep south. What’s the most fun-est part of photography for you? The fun-est part of photography for me is planning

a great location for a photo shoot, being there when the light is perfect, taking the right lenses, and capturing terrific images. In 2018, my husband and I did a two week driving trip through eastern Europe (six counties, six languages, five currencies). With hugely enlarged Google maps and hand-drawn maps of dirt roads, I planned a photography shoot at sunset and again at sunrise in the South Moravian Hills in the Czech Republic. My husband, who is a “trooper,” drove me to all these obscure locations to capture the fleeting light. You can see the South Moravian Hills series on the Eastern Europe page of my website. Another such trip that we planned is depicted on my website as Highway 61 Re-Revisited, which followed American music from its roots in the jazz of New Orleans, capturing blues juke joints on Highway 61 through the Mississippi Delta Country, to Memphis where blues turned into rock-and-roll, and finally to Nashville and country western music. I shot photographs of juke joints and their owners, all different types of American music musicians, Sun Studio, crop dusters, and abandoned plantation ruins. You also document history through the lens. That is an important part of being an artist, and being honest and capturing the moment, all this will help the world in the future. What is it you Continued on next page... THE ARTFUL MIND JULY 2020 • 29


South Moravian HIlls Janet Pumphrey

White on White Janet Pumphrey


Lost In A World Janet Pumphrey

want to document that you think would most benefit us down the line? In this tumultuous world, I would love to capture more of the in-your-face chaos that, unfortunately, is our current state of affairs. I love street photography and photojournalism. Our local National Geographic photographer, John Stanmeyer, is the best in this regard, and he has been so very supportive of other local photographers. From personal experience in your life, has photography been at all a therapeutic? Does it cross over into your other profession? Photography has crossed into my criminal defense work because there are times when crime scene photographs are blurry and shot from great distances. With Adobe Lightroom, I can – while staying faithfully true to the image – enhance a crime scene photograph to make it sharper, larger, and lighten the shadows. I have provided this service for other criminal defense attorneys as well. Has there been something you missed capturing through the lens that you may never get another chance at getting? What was your reaction when that happened? Often, there are missed images, and, unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about it because the

moment is fleeting. The one good thing, however is that we always have our cell phone cameras with us. I’ve taught cell phone photography, and I’ve told my students that a famous, unnamed photographer -- when asked what is the best camera -- answered: it’s the one you have with you. What subject is the least interesting to you to shoot? I would not say that these subjects are the least interesting to shoot, but I do not think I am a particularly good portrait photographer or wedding/event photographer. I would leave that to Edward Acker, who has taken the most extraordinary portraits and wedding photographs of my daughters for their whole lives.

Janet, what in life are you grateful for having, and what is it you wish to attain within the next five years? In the next five years, I hope to be doing exactly what I am doing right now – hopefully without Covid-19 fears. I am grateful that I have a “day job” that I enjoy and that allows me to risk opening a photography gallery. And I am perpetually grateful that I have a husband who loves to explore the strange and unusual photo op spots where I drag him! Thank you Janet and good luck with your new gallery space in Lenox! www.JanetPumphrey.com

Our world is not just black and white. But shades of grey. What have you worked on that gave you satisfaction that was just in the traditional black and white that you shot? What made it important not to be in color, since you probably had a choice? From my dark room beginnings, I learned to love working in black and white. My favorite use of black and white is in street photography of people. Black and white captures the starkness, the contrasts, the simplicity of all walks of people. THE ARTFUL MIND JULY 2020 • 31



BERKSHIRE DIGITAL Since opening in 2005, Berkshire Digital has done fine art printing for artists and photographers. Giclée prints can be made in many different sizes from 5”x7” to 42”x 80” on a variety of archival paper choices. Berkshire Digital was featured in last Summer’s issue of PDN magazine in an article about fine art printing. See the entire article on the BerkshireDigital.com website. In addition to the printing services, Berkshire Digital does accurate photo-reproductions of paintings and illustrations that can be used in books, magazines, brochures, cards and websites. We also offer restoration and repair of damaged or faded photographs. A complete overview of services offered, along with pricing, can be seen on the web at BerkshireDigital.com Another service offered is portraits of artists in their studios, or wherever they would like, for use in magazines, as the author’s picture in a book, websites or cards. See samples of artist portraits on our website. 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 25 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 available through Frames On Wheels, 84 Railroad Street in Great Barrington, MA (413) 528-0997 and Gilded Moon Framing, 17 John Street in Millerton, NY (518) 789-3428. Berkshire Digital - 413 644-9663, or go online to www.BerkshireDigital.com

We are now halfway into 2020 and most likely everyone on the planet has faced more intense challenges than ever before. A global pandemic confronts us with our mortality, which for most, is not a very comfortable thought, and yet, is there an opportunity? The reflections are endless…if there is mortality, does the possibility for immortality exist, and if so, how does one attain it? Sadly, in general, western culture, western “mind”, western lifestyle leave little time to ponder such things and many other things concerning the purpose and meaning of life. When the reports of a worldwide state of emergency and rising numbers of deaths were being reported, followed by major shut down of all but essential businesses, and people were advised to stay home, time became a surreal concept. People began joking about not knowing what day it was, staying in their pajamas all day, staying up all night, feeling that their lives were upside down, eating copious amounts of comfort food, spending days on their computers or televisions trying to make sense of the chaotic and confusing media coverage. Fear became a prominent emotion in the masses. Fear of contracting the virus, fear of dying or losing someone to the virus, fear of the economic collapse, fear of food shortages, fear of being separated from loved one. Fear is a natural reaction and tool for when we are endangered, to aid our survival, but sustained fear can be crippling. Science tells us that fear depletes our stress buffers, burns out our adrenal glands, and lowers our immune systems leaving us vulnerable to myriad illnesses, which is the worst place to be during this intense time. It is the immune system that I would like to discuss here today. Before I continue on that though, I would first like to acknowledge my respect and gratitude for all of the people who were and may still be working in extreme situations to help others who were/are affected by the complications of this illness.I also offer my deepest condolences for everyone who is grieving the loss of someone dear during this. Beyond that, there are still so many who have been adversely affected on other fronts, especially isolation. We are social beings and this isolation has taken a toll. I am hoping that we will all continue to work together as a compassionate community to heal and rebuild as best we can over time. Strangely, pain and suffering can be catalysts

for transformation and growth. May we support each other and be given the strength to endure, navigate, and emerge through all of this. This brings us back to the matter of the immune system. The immune system is the number one essential component to our well-being and yes, survival. As complex beings there are many things that factor in to building and maintaining a strong, robust immunity. What we take into our bodies is of utmost importance as this is what creates the foundation upon which everything else is built. Organic food is an absolute because if we are taking in foods with chemicals, our bodies must work very hard to get those toxins out before we can even begin building. Other things that stress the immune system are refined sugar, refined flours, deep fried and other unhealthy fats, and caffeine in excess. When we eat a mainly plant based, nutrient rich diet, all systems begin to restore to their highest functioning. We get a deeper sleep, reduced inflammation so aches & pains decrease, we have more energy for tasks and for exercising which in turn helps our bone density, heart rate and muscle tone and we begin to experience more clarity in our thinking. This is how we are all meant to be, in a state of wellness. So, this is why I opened Elixir almost 6 years ago, to assist people in achieving that birth rite of well-being, by serving delicious, organic, nutrient rich, immune boosting foods and elixirs in an atmosphere that allows people to pause and reestablish right relationship to food as the nurturing, nourishing ally that it was always meant to be. We are excited to be reopening and look forward to seeing our friends again soon. In addition to our walk-in menu, we are offering a takeout menu for people on the move and a take prepared foods menu for people who prefer to have this food available in their homes. To view these menus, find our hours, make reservations, check out our 21-day cleanse and other cleanse options, find out about becoming a friend of Elixir, learn about our newest endeavor, Visit us at Elixir Gardens at Konkapot Cottage, and to view all the photos of our dishes, visit our website. Elixir - www.elixirgb.com, facebook: elixir; instagram: elixir tearoom; 413-644-8999.



CAROLYN NEWBERGER Carolyn Newberger is an artist, musician and writer who came to art after an academic and clinical career in psychology at Harvard Medical School. A recipient of awards from Watercolor Magazine, the Danforth Museum, the New England Watercolor Society and Cambridge Art Association, she writes and illustrates music and dance reviews in The Berkshire Edge, a publication of news and ideas in Western Massachusetts, often in collaboration with her husband, Eli Newberger. Her most recent project is an illustrated book of essays, “Illuminating the Hidden Forest,” which is being serialized in The Berkshire Edge. www.carolynnewberger.com

"Are You Mine?" By Bohème


Gotta Minute? Great! Because every Monday I introduce you to one of New Brunswick Canada’s finest artists! Just mosey on over to Instagram or Facebook and check us out! Remember, if you like what you hear and see, leave a comment and share the post! Or, visit my YouTube page to easily find past episodes! —Thanks, Jennifer

https://www.instagram.com/jenniferpazienza/ https://www.facebook.com/jenniferpazienzaartstudio/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiqXBQdVAQ0 www.jenniferpazienza.com


Industrial Oversight


JOHN HOUSEMAN Interview by Harryet Candee

What is it about creating artwork you enjoy the most? John Houseman: First thing in the morning I go with fresh eyes to the art room to see the progress I made on the current work from last night. It’s also fun to visit someone who acquired a painting of mine and I haven’t seen it for a long time and it looks nice. How has life experiences directly influenced your artistic path? I figured out in kindergarten that I could draw and got a lot of positive feedback from grownups. When I was in junior high my uncle gave me a copy of Andrew Loomis’ book “Figure Drawing” which demonstrated his technique followed by many beautiful drawings of nude models. That helped What artists have you found to be profoundly 34 • JULY 2020 THE ARTFUL MIND

influential for you as an artist? How and why? It started with comic books back when they cost a dime. Then came Mad magazine with Mort Drucker, Kelly Freas, Don Martin, etc. Finally in the comic book realm came Robert Crumb the master! There is an illustrator Brad Holland who has been very influential His work doesn’t look anything like mine but his paintings give permission to go a little farther in the imagination. I’ve recently discovered Hana Hancova on Facebook. I love everything I’ve seen of hers. It’s dark, humorous, colorful, and it says to me, “you don’t need to have a death grip on that paintbrush”. Can you break down the different avenues of artistic exploration you have found satisfying? It was satisfying to make a living as a free lance illustrator in Chicago. Making pictures to describe stories is great fun. Also while in Chicago

I enjoyed inking cels toward the production of TV commercials for Captain Crunch, and other animation projects. Having done many pen and ink drawings I was good at this. Every successful painting or drawing I do is satisfying. How have you made a living being an artist? Product illustration, technical drawings for manufacturers, key line paste up work, logo development, creating clip art. In the 80’s I got some commissions to do paintings and drawings of people’s homes. Also starting in the 80’s I did many commissioned pieces of classic, exotic and souped up automobiles. I Still do this kind of work from time to time. Finally, I’ve sold about 20 percent of my inventory of personal paintings. Tell us about your music making and the art featuring portraits of musicians such as Ron Wood and Bob Dylan?

Sport Shoes John Houseman

Lucky me to grow up in the age of rock n’ roll. The fact that parents tried to suppress it made it all the more interesting. When I heard Duane Eddy play “Rebel Rouser” I became a guitar addict. (my father’s term) By age 10 I was on my way with a Stella, f hole, acoustic guitar. I play every day sometimes with others, mostly by myself at home. The portraits of rock stars were done on spec. Only Mick Jagger was sold. I still have all the others. Are you constantly seeking to find new meaning with art and music? I don’t know about meaning but yes, I think progressively when making music and art. I’m a grouchy camper playing in a cover band. Tell us about your paintings that you call surreal / whimsical? What do you try to keep consistent within this body of work?

In my teens I read a lot of horror and Sci-fi short stories. The paperback book covers always had wonderful, spooky art on them. Then I saw Dali’s stuff and I got it - the idea of altering reality into mystery, the unfamiliar. There’s a work of mine in the June issue of The Artful Mind called Hookah. I started out drawing a portrait of a friend from a photo but the pencil wouldn’t stop. The work became a study in perspective and weirdness. Usually my mind is blank when I start a surreal piece. I make shapes, erase them, redraw them, connect them, attach hoses and tubes to them, give them big, googly eyes until they look ready to paint. The painting technique is consistent in all of my gouache pieces. What do you think you can pursue that will make you a better artist? I’ll never be a better artist. Just an artist. I’ve done several crappy paintings lately and when I

look back at some works done long ago they look very fine. What is it that you primarily need and want to communicate to the world as an artist? I don’t think in those terms. I try to make pictures that please me. Most of my paintings are stacked up in the guest bedroom. Occasionally one will find its way to a show or somebody’s wall. What can you say are your biggest challenges being an artist? Dropping a brush full of dark brown paint on a work in progress which splatters on a section of the picture with a lot of detail. Gouache is very forgiving and I can usually repair the mess, but Damn It! Continued on next page...



Vowels John Houseman

New World Order John Houseman


Stormy John Houseman

Rice Crispy to Asphalt Conversion Vehicle John Houseman

What gives your life meaning and purpose? Controversy. How do you make the best of modern technology? What old world tools do you work with? I post my pictures on Facebook. I have no interest in art software. About old world tools? The paint brush is about it materially. I use vanishing points often. It’s a hoot to look at the ancient, religious paintings before they figured out how perspective works and see buildings, rivers, roads, etc out of whack but the painting is beautiful anyway. If you were to share with us a most valued theory you have, what would you tell us?

Jeffrey Epstein didn’t commit suicide. Please tell us a a good story, John. In 1990 I learned that Jay Leno had acquired a 25th Anniversary Lamborghini Countach. I had just finished a commissioned painting of that very car and sent a print of it to Jay with my address and phone number. I found his address in the Classic Car Club of America member directory. A few nights later I was hanging out with a friend at my apartment when I noticed the blinking light on my answering machine. My friend left about an hour later and I hit the play button to hear a message from Jay thanking me for the print. He gave his home phone number and said to give him a call when I was in LA. My sister

lives in LA and we were past due for a visit. Upon arrival at my sister’s I called Jay and he picked me up in a dark blue Bentley. I spent the better part of the afternoon with him. He took me to his home to show his car and motorcycle collection but unfortunately wasn’t interested in commissioning any auto art. He did invite me to be in the audience of the Tonight Show that afternoon and afterwards introduced me to David Lynch and Shirley McLaine. He was very easy to be with. Thank you!





LARRY FRANKEL HOW BAD IS CLIMATE CHANGE NOW? IS WHAT I DO IMPORTANT? The growing issue of Global Warming became the inspiration and impetus to create these new images. My imagination transformed Flora and Fauna into a future representation of a newly created landscape. My newly created world consists of constructed photos using combinations of various imagery I have taken and have in my inventory. Shifted colors become my new reality in which to view our environment. Larryfrankelphotography.com / Larryfrankel@me.com / Cell 914-419-8002


GHETTA HIRSCH I am not painting our Berkshires landscapes these days as my mind and heart are reacting to the pain and prejudice around us. Even though we are told that Covid 19 is on a down curve, I read the news and my eyes are opened to reality. My work is processing this pandemic and the social unrest. Yes, Black Life Matters, the black background of this painting is an image of the prejudice suffered by Blacks for centuries. The veil envelops the black color as Covid 19 was more dangerous and disastrous for our Black population. Covid 19 looks like little flowers as it has brought good and bad. The virus is still spreading and feared, but the suffering that comes with this illness has brought us closer to our humanity. The connection that all humans share whatever the color of our skins is present in our manifestations in the streets. I am hoping that change will happen and eliminate once and for all the racism that still surrounds us. Let this veil lift quickly and bring peace and health to us all. People have been coming to my studio and looking at specific paintings on my front porch. I am touched that you have bought art pieces in this difficult economic time. on Ghetta Hirsch - GhettaHirsch.squarespace.com. Instagram@ghettahirschpaintings. Call or text 413-281-0626.


KATRIN WAITE TREASURED MEMORY Memory never comes as a whole. Right from the moment of its origin it is broken. Then it chooses its own path. The Japanese tradition of kintsugi combines broken treasures with gold. Once broken, items carry more values. They reflect a history. Memory. Once broken and fixed with gold they are unique. The traces the precious metal leaves in patina and rust are pure beauty. My art strives to capture the fragile nature of memory in its endless facets. In the course of the ongoing pandemic, time took its own space. We don’t have time. Time has us. Memories turn their faces and get a transformation in a period when our time seems to run faster and slower at once every moment. In my artwork memory always had a special place. No matter what theme moved me to make it visual when filling a space with abstract texture, shapes and colors, I always transformed my own memories. It opens doors for interaction. The abstract form offers the viewer an open invitation to join with his/her own memories. Metal and rust are the medium that extends such a path. Time demands eternal change. It does not necessarily mean to let go. Whenever we pass a painful transformation in history we take our memories and own stories with us. They just turn into what remains and that makes them valuable. I myself only am starting to understand the deep impact memory, time and history has on my art. It is more than a theme, it is a challenge to myself. I confront each artwork that evolves with the history that leads to it. rigasvelns@gmail.com / www.katrinwaite.com instagram: @katrinwaite Tel. 518-223 3069






CLAUDIA D'ALESSANDRO PHOTOGRAPHY "Claudia's photography touches our souls with deep joy!" ~ CHR Like John Burroughs, “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” Through my lens, I can capture moments otherwise gone in an instant -- in prints on canvas, aluminum and photo paper -- and keep close the scenes of the beauty and mystery that exist all around. "She sees with her eyes and feels with her heart." ~ DKAH The Berkshires is a changing, moving and exciting palette with a seasonal and topographical backdrop that has made this region a destination for generations of people seeking a beautiful place just to 'be.' I have been a 'here, gone, and now back' resident here since 1965, and have come to realize that there is no place that I would rather be. In hills, skies, streams, lakes and brooks, valleys and woods, and from the tops of our mountains, there is everything I need to soothe my spirits and enliven my soul. And there is little that I enjoy as much as catching a tiny bit of that beauty and preserving it for all to see. To order prints or inquire about pricing, email me and mention the Artful Mind for Preferred Customer pricing. The Berkshires truly shine in summer. And I enjoy trying to catch and preserve as many moments of it as I can, through my lens. Cheers to all for a beautiful Berkshires summer! Claudia D’alessandro https://www.dalessandrophotography.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cdalessandrophotography/ and on Instagram as: dalessandronatura. Email: cdalessandro26@gmail.com.

Artist, advocate and solitaire, Bohème Zed, announces the launch of nohomenohope.com, a website dedicated to connecting volunteers to organizations that help the homeless. Though in its infancy, Bohème sees nohomenohope.com as a prototype for how all social relief organizations will find volunteers in the future. Zed describes the site as a “Craigslist for volunteerism, where social relief organizations advertise their needs so volunteers may more easily find them.” The site is simple, with a page describing NHNH’s mission, a page of listings, a listing form for organizations and a gallery. “The gallery contains pictures of homelessness, not the homeless. There are people in the photos, but there are no discernible faces. It's about respect and not exploiting the people you are trying to help.” she points out. Bohème continues, “nohomenohope.com is free for all for as long as I can keep it that way; hopefully forever.” nohomenohope.com - Bohème may be reached at: BohemeZed@gmail.com


JENNIFER PAZIENZA Jennifer Pazienza, born into an Italian American New Jersey family, has spent a lifetime making art. Beginning with her mother’s kitchen and backyard garden. Jennifer is currently working on a new series of paintings, Embracing the Square: Love Poems from the Ridge that continues her Keswick Ridge painting narrative and will be curated by Paul Edouard Bourque opening June 2021 in Moncton’s Capitol Theatre Art Gallery. She has an extensive exhibition record. Her work is held in significant Public, Private and Corporate Collections in Canada, the United States, Britain and Italy. A Jersey girl from an Italian-American family, Jennifer has painted, for nearly 30 years, from her beloved Keswick Ridge, New Brunswick in Atlantic Canada where she lives with husband Gerry Clarke and their dog Mela. Jennifer Pazienza - www.jenniferpazienza.com, @jenniferpazienza

Doggies by Marguerite Bride


began to arouse my curiosity. This particular Saturday I decided to say something, almost as an experiment.

word Italian she thinks of Al Capone and a machine gun.” That was his bewildering explanation.

In the middle of their discussion, I said, “It seems to me that both of you are engaged in buying and sells copper to make some money, and neither of you are plumbers, and neither of you has any use for those broken refrigerators or the aluminum siding from old houses. So aren’t you just like the men you say are parasites.”

“But Bluto,” I protested, “How could I be confused with Al Capone?” “That’s easy to explain,” he replied, “the criminal starts out as a juvenile delinquent, and that is what you are. Look at you with the Vaseline in your hair and your collar turned up, with your engineer boots and your belt with the buckle on the hip. All that is pure juvenile delinquent, there is no escaping it.

The two of them looked at me in disbelief but what I said did not seem to register with either of them. After a moment they continued talking as if I was not there, and as if anything I said was not worth responding to.

Jason And his Grandmother CHAPTER 10 Gangsters I followed Bluto into the office of the junkyard where we found a small prune-faced man who knew Bluto by name. The little prune-faced man could have been Mexican, or he could have been Chinese, it was impossible to tell. He spoke with an accent, but it could have been a speech impediment. The slab of concrete the truck was parked on turned out to be a gigantic scale that measured the weight of Bluto’s truck. The scale weighed the truck before and after the copper pipe was unloaded, in order to establish the weight of the copper. After the truck was unloaded and weighed Mr. Prune gave Bluto a sum of money in cash, so much per pound for the copper at such and such a rate. Bluto never knew how much he would get for the copper as the rate changed every day. When the rate was going up it made Bluto very happy, but when it was going down it was like the end of the world. After the transaction of business, Bluto and Mr. Prune got into a long discussion that, as far as I could ascertain, was about aspects of the scrap metal business from the point of view of the price of things like gold, silver, paper scrap, and copper. According to Mr. Prune, all the troubles of the world could be traced to a group of men he described as leeches, who went around buying up all the raw materials of the world, waiting a few days, and then selling them again. Sometimes when these men purchased gold or silver, or paper scrap they made money, and sometimes they lost money, but all the time they were trying to drive the price of their holdings up. They did this by spreading rumors to create fear and cause panics. If they could get prices to go up, they would unload their holdings and re-invest in some other commodity. What angered the Prune, and Bluto was the fact that these investors never had any use for the gold or silver they bought or sold and never even looked at the tons of paper scrap they owned for a number of days. Their only involvement was to make money on the transaction, and this struck the two men as an unforgivable sin. I often found myself standing for long periods of time, off to one side listening to Bluto engaged in these kinds of conversations, and at first I did not pay any attention, but over time the subjects, often economic or political


The crux of their conversation that Saturday was about a warehouse on Broad Street from which we had removed the copper pipe. At one time it belonged to an old man who ran a printing establishment. For some reason or other he had been arrested, tried and convicted for something or other, and went to prison. In prison he died and since he had no family his building became an orphan. For two years the mortgage and the taxes went unpaid and finally a bank assumed control of the property and prepared to list it for sale. At the time we were in the process of pillaging the building it had not yet been put up for sale because the paperwork for the transfer of the property was incomplete. In that situation there was nobody who knew the condition of the building, and nobody bothering to look after it. The situation of the building was simple enough for me to understand, but what mystified me was the degree of contempt with which Mr. Prune and Bluto spoke of the bank in question, and banks in general. They used the work ‘Bank,’ with contempt, as if the word was an obscenity. To Bluto and The Prune, banks were evil institutions, as evil as the Nazis, something akin to smallpox. What was so striking about their attitude though, was that to them the evil of the banks was something perfectly obvious and beyond dispute or discussion. And yet, never in my life had I heard anyone talk about the banks in that way. It struck me as inexplicable; as if someone was claiming that the Post Office, or the train station contained some evil force out to destroy the world and what we were apparently doing was robbing banks in a very round about way, taking advantage of the fact that they were ignorant of the conditions of the many buildings they had repossessed. And what about the banks? It seemed that they were institutions eminently deserving of being robbed. That was what Bluto and The Prune thought. After the economics lesson Bluto stopped the truck at the corner of my street to drop me off for the day. He had been unusually silent most of the day but before I got out of the truck I found out what was agitating his mind. It was my teacher Mrs. Hagner, she turned out to be as evil as the banks and the bankers in his mind. All day long, unbeknownst to me, he had been building up a raging hatred of my teacher, and before I got out of the truck I found out all about it. “There is a reason why she hates you” he said, “and singles you out for special punishments and abuse, and I can bet you have no idea what the reason is. She hates you because you are Italian, that is the reason.” “But I’m not Italian,” I said. Apparently Bluto, my teachers, and everybody else assumed that I was Italian. They must have thought this because I had a name that ended in a vowel. “When your teacher hears the word ‘Italian,’ she does not think of Galileo or Columbus, da Vinci and Michelangelo do not come to her mind. When she hears the

It was true and Bluto was correct, I looked exactly like a juvenile delinquent, but it was just a question of the style, it came from the movies and James Dean, but it didn’t actually mean anything. The next day in school I couldn’t help but look at my classmates and the actions of my teacher in a different light. Bluto’s explanations had the effect of a new pair of eyeglasses that suddenly seemed to show things I never knew existed. Just from the point of view of clothing it was obvious that all the good and obedient children had a peculiar way of dressing, very different from myself. When I say there were good and obedient children different from myself I do not mean to imply that I was not a good student, but there were subtle shades of good behavior, and those subtleties were hard to describe. One description, however, will have to suffice. When our class work was finished and all the room put in order for the close of the day we were expected to sit in our seats with our hands folded on our desks. When the final bell rang for dismissal we were not allowed to just get up and leave, but we waited patently for our teacher to dismiss us with her imperial gracious nod of her head. This sort of training looked exactly like, and indeed was no different from the training of a dog that is not allowed to eat some morsel of food on his nose, though he is starving. The very slightness of the nod of the master, the slightest raising of an eyebrow is sufficient to release the dog from his agony, and you can be sure the slightness of the command is a thing of great satisfaction to the master. There were a few of us unwilling to afford our teacher this gratification, and we found little ways to assert our independence. Our methods were very limited but basically consisted of sitting at our desks with our hands folded and our elbows also on the desk. To be specific, our forearms from the elbow to the clasped palms were in contact with the surface of the desk, as we waited to be dismissed. “What possible sign of rebellion could this way of sitting at one’s desk possible signify?” you ask. If you were able to see a film clip of our classroom and all the little children waiting at their desks for dismissal you would understand out rebellion in an instant. The entire class would be sitting with their arms rigid and forming a straight line from their shoulders down to their palms. Some of the more hysterically obedient children would actually be quivering and vibrating in their desire to be as rigid and upright as humanly possible. If you consider the relaxed posture we adopted as an act of rebellion, then I admit that I was a troublemaker in my grade school class, destined for certain to someday become a gangster.



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The Artful Mind July 2020 issue  

Anthony Cafritz, Janet Pumphrey, John Houseman and much more!

The Artful Mind July 2020 issue  

Anthony Cafritz, Janet Pumphrey, John Houseman and much more!