THE ARTFUL MIND
LINDA H. POST THE RAVEN’S GIFT
Image Details - Sentinel 1, 2021. Unique archival aqueous ink digital print on canvas. 90" x 58"
For further information; www.christianeckart.com
Inquiries - McClain Gallery, Houston, TX, 713.520.9988
Wilding Cran Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, 213.553.9190
Trépanier Baer Gallery, Calgary, Canada, 403.244.2066
General Hardware Gallery, Toronto, Canada, 416.821.3060
THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2022 • 3
2022 TAKE OUT YOUR FAVORITE SCARF AND ENJOY THE AUTUMN AIR NELL IRVIN PAINTER Historian / Writer /Artist INTERVIEW BY H CANDEE 10 LINDA H. POST Visual Artist INTERVIEW BY H CANDEE 20 THE ARTFUL MIND VIRTUAL GALLERY ...36 LEV NATAN Taking A Stand for Life on Earth INTERVIEW BY H CANDEE 40 ASTROLOGY FOR CREATORS With Deanna Musgrave / October 2022 47 RICHARD BRITELL | FICTION SOMETHING FOR OVER THE COUCH— Why Is the Moon Round? CHAPTER 15 ...48 THE ARTFUL MIND Publisher Harryet Candee Copy Editor Marguerite Bride Third Eye Jeﬀ Bynack Advertising and Graphic Design Harryet Candee Contributing Writers Richard Britell Deanna Musgrave Contirbuting Photographers Edward Acker TasjaBobbyKeetmanMiller ADVERTISING RATES 413 ‐ 645 ‐ 4114 ARTartfulmind@yahoo.comissuu.com|InstagramFBOpenGroup:GALLERYforartfulmindsTheArtfulMind Box 985 Great Barrington, MA 01230 YFI: ©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. All photographs submitted for advertisers are the responsibility for advertiser to grant release permission before running image or photograph. 2 • OCTOBER 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND
THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2022 • 3
#1989 Dock at 6th Lake. 6-28-22 oil on canvas 14” x16” Prosaic Realism mattchinian.com
THE ARTFUL MIND ARTS CALENDAR
The Clark Museum ON THE HORIZON Art and Atmosphere in the 19th Century November 19 - February 12, 2023
IMAGE: GEORGE ROWE THE MALVERN HILLS FROM THE SUMMIT OF THE WORCESTERSHIRE BEACON c. 1832-52, Color lithograph on wove paper. Acquired by the Clark, 1976. The Clark Art Institute, 1976.40.
510 WARREN STREET GALLERY
510 WARREN ST, HUDSON NY
SEPT 30 - OCT 30: PAUL NEUCKEL: RECENT WORK
A.P.E. LTD. GALLERY 126 MAIN ST, NORTHAMPTON, MA
OCT 12 - NOV 6: SHADOW WORK. CURATED BY AJ ROMBACH. RECEPTION OCT 14, 5-8PM
ART ON MAIN
1854 TOWN HALL, WEST STOCKBRIDGE, MA
Artists show their work on display in what was the old Village Variety Package Store.
CARRIE HADDAD GALLERY 622 WARREN ST, HUDSON, NY
• O518-828-1915CT7-NOV27: BIG LITTLE COLOR: DONISE ENG LISH, GINA OCCHIGROSSO, VINCENT POMILIO, STEPHEN WALLING
CLARK ART INSTITUTE 225 SOUTH ST, WILLIAMSTOWN, MA
• Through413-458-2303Oct16: Tauba Auerbach and Yuji Age matsu: Meander
DAVIS ORTON GALLERY 114 WARREN ST, HUDSON, NY
• Octinfo@DavisOrtonGallery.com617-645-16168-Nov13,ReceptionOct 8, 5-8:30
Women Photographers Collective of The Hudson Valley
3 BEEKMAN ST, BEACON, NY
Long-term: Louise Bourgeois, Larry Bell, Donald Judd and more
1315 MASS MOCA WAY IN NORTH ADAMS, MA.
Through Oct 30: Jacqueline Bishop: Our Amer ica/Whose America?
327 WARREN ST, HUDSON,NY
WWW.HUDSONHALL.ORGThroughNov20:Enigmatic Artists of the Hudson Valley: Lois Guarino, Stan Lichens, Pete Mauney
BERKSHIRE ART ASSOCIATION
LICHTENSTEIN CENTER FOR THE ARTS PITTSFIELD, MA
Oct 7 - Nov 26: RE*Fresh Exhibit Reception will be held on Saturday, October 8, from 3-5 pm.
1040 MASS MOCA WAY
NORTH ADAMS, MA
• 413-622-2111 / INFO@MASSMOCA.ORG
June 19-Oct 31: Kelli Rae Adams: Forever in Your Dept; June 19-Jan 1, 2023: Amy Hauft: 700,000:1 | + Luna+ Sol; June 19-Jan 1, 2023: Marc Swanson: A Memorial to Ice at the Dead Deer Disco
NORMAN ROCKWELL MUSEUM
9 RTE 183, STOCKBRIDGE, MA / NRM.ORG
THROUGH OCT 30: IMPRINTED: ILLUSTRATING RACE: Examines the role of published images in shaping attitudes toward race and culture.
PAMELA SALISBURY GALLERY
362 1/2 WARREN ST, HUDSON, NY
• Octinfo@pamelasalisburygallery.com518-828-590729-Nov27:RebeccaPurdum,New Paintings
PLEASANT VALLEY WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 472 WEST MOUNTAIN RD, LENOX, MA
• Through413-637-0320Oct30: Visions of Nature: Carol Day nard, Pat Hogan, Nina Lipkowitz, Carolyn New berger, Scott Taylor and Theresa Terry
CONTEMPORARY GLASS ART 3 ELM ST, STOCKBRIDGE, STOCKBRIDGE, MA
• 413-298-3044 / SCHANTZGALLERIES.COM OPEN BY APPOINTMENT
SCULPTURENOW EXHIBITION 2022 THE MOUNT, 2 PLUNKETT ST., LENOX, MA
• 413-551-5111 / WWW EDITHWHARTON ORG/ Through Oct 19: 30 outdoor sculptures
SOHN FINE ART 69 CHURCH ST, LENOX, MA
• 413-551-7353 / INFO@SOHNFINEART COM Through Oct 24: Fluidity of Light: Jonathan Prince
SOUTHERN VERMONT ARTS CENTER
860 SVAC DRIVE / WEST RD., MANCHESTER, VT
• Through802-362-1405Nov27: Many Americas: Art Meets His tory; Member Artist Exhibition: Reception Nov 19, 2pm; Through Nov 6: Solo Exhibitions: Bar bara Ackerman, Justin Kenney, Evan McGlinn,
4 • OCTOBER 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center Theater: 14 Castle Street, MA 413-528-0100
SQUIRREL NOT ZIPPERS AND THE DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND
NOVEMBER 4, 8PM
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, pairs up with the Squirrel Nut Zippers and their multi-platinum blend of 1930s era jazz, swing and folk
Arnela Mahmutović, Julie Merwin, Heather Pale cek, Robert Ressler, Ron Vallario, Katrin Waite, and Ann Young
SUSAN ELEY FINE ART 433 WARREN ST, HUDSON, NY
• Through917-952-7641Nov13: “Ingrained”, a two-person ex hibition featuring recent work by Jared Abner and Rachel Burgess.
TIVOLI ARTISTS GALLERY 60 BROADWAY, TIVOLI, NY
• WWW845-757-2667TIVOLIARTISTSGALLERY COM
The Small Works Show, 30 artists working in a variety of mediums, methods and expression.
THE ARTFUL MIND ART EXHIBIT @FRONT STREET GALLERY 129 FRONT ST, HOUSATONIC, MA
• Oct413-645-41141-31:Opening Reception: Oct 15, 5 - 8pm. Meet The Artists Demos: Ghetta Hirsch: Oct 9, Noon; Matt Chinian: Oct 23, 12-2pm; Ilene Rich ard: Oct 29, 1 pm. (Free to the public)
Un/Spoken Passion / Eleven Artists: Matt Chin ian, Yana van Dycke, Ghetta Hirsch, Mark Dylan Hyde, Lonny Jarrett, Kate Knapp, Mark Mel linger, Carolyn Newberger, Bruce Panock, Ilene Richard, Mary Ann Yarmosky. (Thurs-Sun 10 - 5)
THE NEW GALLERY
610 WARREN ST, HUDSON NY
Through Oct 9: Jason Blue Lake Medicine Eagle Martinez; Oct: Niagara Detroit
WILLIAMS COLLEGE MUSEUM OF ART
15 LAWRENCE HALL DRIVE, WILLIAMSTOWN, MA
Zéphirin: Selected Works Zéphirin’s paintings document scenes of Haitian spiritual life both materially and metaphysically, a pictorial practice that has a long tradition in Hai tian art.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC MAHAIWE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER 14 CASTLE ST, GT BARRINGTON, MA
• CEWM ORG
Nov 6, 4pm-6pm: Grand Opening: Otherworldly Schubert and “One Earth”
327 WARREN ST, HUDSON,NY
WWW HUDSONHALL ORG
Oct 13, 7pm: Painted Skin: A Chamber Opera The US-China Music Institute of the Bard College Conservatory of Music
MAHAIWE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
14 CASTLE ST., GREAT BARRINGTON, MA
• 413-528-0100 / WWW MAHAIWE ORG/ Oct 28: 8pm-10pm: Pink Martini featuring China Forbes
PS21 CHATHAM, NY • INFO@PS21CHATHAM ORG
OCT 30, 7PM: PRE-PREMIERE: INSIDE SPACES Trumpeter, santur player, vocalist and composer Amir ElSaffar joins with electronics performer and composer Lorenzo Bianchi-Hoesch
THE STATIONARY FACTORY
63 FLANSBURG AVENUE, DALTON, MA
• 413-659-6299 / STATIONERY FACTORY COM
OCT 9: 7PM-9PM: An evening of big band jazz, with Grace Kelly and the UConn Jazz Ensemble
BARRINGTON STAGE COMPANY PITTSFIELD, MA • Throughinfo@barringtonstateco.org413-236-8888Oct9:AllofMe
MAHAIWE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
14 CASTLE ST, GT. BARRINGTON, MA
• Oct413-528-01008,7:30pm: Alliance For A Viable Future: Honoring Native America; Oct 10, 4pm: Corey Zink and Company; Oct 15: I’m Not A Come dian...I’m Lenny Bruce
SHAKESPEARE & COMPANY
70 KEMBLE ST, LENOX, MA
• 413-637-3353 / SHAKESPEARE ORG
Through Oct 30: Golden Leaf Ragtime Blues
Please send your upcoming events with images to
THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2022 • 5
6 • OCTOBER 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND From realism to abstraction, from the exquisite detail of a tiny mushroom beneath our feet to vast vistas in vibrant color CAROL DAYNARD PAT HOGAN NINA CAROLYNLIPKOWITZNEWBERGERSCOTTTAYLORTHERESATERRY September 17 - October 30 In person Reception - Friday, September 16, 5 - 7 pm Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, Massachusetts 413-637-0320 / massaudubon.org Hours: Friday, Saturday & Sunday 10 - 4 Visions of Nature
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
KATE KNAPP, SUMMER BOUQUET, OIL ON CANVAS, 30 X 30”
THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2022 • 7
Home Studio Visits by ghetta-hirsch.squarespace.com413.appointment:597.1716 “Liquid Fall” Oil on Canvas, 30 x 36 inches
Artist ELEANOR LORD See more of Eleanor’s art workwww.eleanorlord.comPORTRAITINPASTEL
8 • OCTOBER 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND firstname.lastname@example.org Art Exhibit: Oct 1 - 31: The Artful Mind@Front Street Gallery, Housatonic, MA Sally Tiska Rice Berkshire Rolling Hills Art Clock Tower • Studio 302, 3rd floor 75 South Church Street, Pittsfield, MA (413)-446-8469 email@example.com Maiani Reading in my Father’s Chair, charcoal, 26 x 20” BIRCH LEAVES, WATERCOLOR, 11 X 14” CAROLYN NEWBERGER Brassica, charcoal, 24 x36” Featured Artist on view at the Lee Bank 75 North St, Pittsfield, Mass. ( Near the Beacon Theatre)
THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2022 • 9 Eagle Building 3rd ﬂoor 75 South Church St Pittsfield MA 914. 260. 7413 firstname.lastname@example.org Paintings - Collage - Construction Pet Portraits by Sharon Guy Visitwww.sharonguyart.commywebsitetoordera colorful portrait of your beloved pet ANDREA JOYCE FELDMAN WATERCOLOR Visit: andreajoycefeldmanart.com Pretty Road, Watercolor, 11” x 14” Industrial Landscape. Acrylic on Canvas. 26" x 20" 2021 Mark Mellinger
NELL IRVIN PAINTER
HISTORIAN / WRITER / ARTIST
Interview by Harryet Candee Photographs Courtesy of the Artist
Nell Irvin Painter, the artist formerly known as an historian, author of The History of White People, Old in Art School, Sojourner Truth, A Life, A Symbol and Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over earned degrees in painting from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers and the Rhode Island School of Design after a Ph.D. in history from Harvard. When not writing essays and drawing self-portraits, she makes artist’s books that visualize people and history, often in various residencies. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2007. This past summer, Linda Mussman, Co-Founder of Time & Space Limited in Hudson, New York, introduced me to Nell at the TSL Gallery. It was there that I caught her in a very energized state of mind, busily sorting through and uncovering art work that was to be hung the same day for her opening“A Million Nells: Heedless Self Portraits Over the Years”. Nell’s work will be on view through October 9, 2022.
Harryet Candee: Your earliest self-portraits be came exercises in how to depict a person with dark skin. Tell us the process you went through along the way to get to where you are now with your artwork?
Nell Irvin Painter: You’re right, Harryet, my self-portraits began as exercises in building my skills as a painter, not much deeper than a ques tion of technique. I knew I wanted to put people in my paintings, and I knew that most of them would be colored differently from people present in art history and as models in my studio classes, where my teachers could help me depict the people in front of my eyes.
Depicting people with dark skin isn’t just a ques
tion of how much alizarin crimson to add to burnt umber. Dark skin is very reflective, and there are more obviously different undertones and over tones in the appearance of dark skin than in light skin, which usually appears to be more matte. And this is just to speak in terms of verisimilitude, which isn’t necessarily where I wanted to end my quest. I knew I wanted more than making figures with dark skin look natural. I needed that first level skill before going on to my own means of expression, my own ways of making visual mean
we’re still at my starting point: how to paint people with dark skin. That would call for a lot of practice. But none of the models in my painting
classes at Mason Gross or RISD were dark skinned. I turned to the model I had always on hand: me. That’s where my self-portraits began, but there was more to it at the very beginning: skin color.
For me as a Black American, colorism and its cor ollaries also carry heavy baggage. I’m dark skinned, proudly dark skinned, so I didn’t want to depict myself as lighter than “I am.” But “I am” isn’t some crayon color captured unchangingly in wax. “I am” depends on the light, first of all, and also on the season of the year. “I am” markedly darker in August than in March. Add in the still current preferences inflected by colorism—when light skin appears more beautiful than dark skin—
Wise Woman Dyptic 2017
10 • OCTOBER 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND
I had to tiptoe around the “I am.” If I were to use another person as a model, there might be issues of lightness and darkness as expressions of beauty and personal value. Another reason, besides my always being on hand, to use myself as a model. I don’t care how I depict me.
As I practiced up using myself as model, I really enjoyed playing with color and composition, quite apart from capturing “I am.” And that’s what you see in the “heedless self-portraits from over the years.” The playfulness you see in those portraits reflect the freedom I feel with regard to personal appearance and its many meanings, meanings made by me, the creator, and meanings made by you, the viewer.
What mediums do you most favor using in cre ating your art work?
NIP: I work back and forth between my hand and my computer, manual + digital, which you see most clearly in the self-portraits I made in 2017. The earlier ones are mainly acrylic, ink, and col lage, made entirely by hand, though Self-Portrait Triptych, 2011, is 2/3 digital, the black and white panels, made off the matrix of the hand-made 1/3 in color.
I started working digitally while in graduate school at RISD, when I felt my eye to be visually cramped by discursive meaning—the kind of meaning we express in words. One of the great things about Photoshop is its mindlessness. Pho toshop’s pixels don’t care which pixels are beside them, and its sense of history ends when I turn off my computer. And then there are the accidents I can’t necessarily plan. All in all, a fine means of loosening up my eyes and my hand.
I still work manually and digitally, even when, as most recently, my art relates to my writing. I made several new works to go into my forthcoming essay collection I Just Keep Talking, from Dou bleday in late 2023 or early 2024.
In terms of scale, I have been moving around a great deal since 2019, meaning that my materials need to be portable. I’ve been working on 12” x 9” paper in graphite, ink, tusche, and collage, plus, of course, my computer. I want to return to acrylic on larger supports, say 24” x 20” paper, but that will mean staying put somewhere for some time.
Have your philosophies and thinking changed since becoming a visual artist?
NIP: Much has changed, so much that I dedicated
an entire chapter of my 2018 book Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over to the relation ship between history history (my old means of ex pression, in text) and art school (where I was learning and practicing new means of expression, in images.) To be succinct here about something I’ve dedicated several pages to, I can say that I now embrace fictional means of expression, whereas the historian in me writes nonfiction. My nonfiction writing these days is much looser than it used to be, I have to say.
From all the art you have created this far, what particular ones come to mind that have lead to an epiphany?
NIP: In the summer of 2010, between my 1st and 2nd years of art graduate school, I found my pro cess of working back and forth between the hand of the computer. I made a series of Plantain and Unfashion paintings in that new way that opened up my own path. Unfashion 9 even includes col lage from the manuscript of my then newly pub lished book The History of White People, which meant freeing myself from my art school teachers’ prohibition against text.
Continued on next page...
Plantains Solarized 2010
THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2022 • 11
My Unfashion and Plantain paintings opened the way for me to make digital collages, which I have continued to make to this day. Here’s a drawing I made this spring at Yaddo to go with my So journer Truth essay in my forthcoming essay col lection.
What part of your formal education do you believed mattered most in becoming who you are today?
NIP: My formal education exists in three parts: undergraduate education at the University of Cal ifornia-Berkeley in anthropology, graduate edu cation at UCLA in African history and in American history at Harvard, and my art school education at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers and the Rhode Island School of Design. Anthropology taught me the crucial distinction between culture and biology; African history taught me particulars of the various African peoples and their various histories; art school taught my hand to work with my eye and the dis tinction between visual meaning and the discur sive meaning of writing history. I needed it all. I should add the other absolutely essential part of my education, which was living abroad, first for my junior year of college in France then in Ghana
for two years after I graduated from Berkeley. I’ve often said that living in a racist society drives you crazy, and if I’m at all sane, it’s thanks to living elsewhere.
Nell, what do you enjoy doing in your leisure time?
NIP: I’ve been knitting since the 1980s, before I went to art school, even before Sojourner Truth taught me to look beyond words for meaning. I started knitting out of love of the textures and colors of yarn. I keep knitting for colors and tex tures and also for the soothing rhythm of hand work and the satisfying objects I make and, some times, share.
Nell, do you find that the ways in which you relay your messages as a visual artist are some times filled with familiar and uncertain chal lenges?
NIP: At first there weren’t many non-visual mes sages in my art. I was simply building my skills and learning what I could do through mark-mak ing. I did want to impart discursive meaning, which my art school teachers discouraged, per haps rightly. In any case, it has taken me a decade to pull the various meanings together in ways that
satisfy my eye and my thoughts. Abstraction and digital tools helped immeasurably.
Who has been a strong artistic force for you in becoming an artist?
NIP: Two painters, now both deceased, helped enormously: Denise Thomasos and Emma Amos. In addition, I knew from my own academic ex perience that in art school there would be other women, older women, who had already experi enced the frustrations, fought the battles, and learned techniques for survival, and who would help me navigate art schools’ terrain. I have al ways done the work and showed up on time. I knew those women would recognize my worth, even if at first I didn’t know them personally. I was right.
How has the tasks of marketing and promoting your art to the public been so far? Many artists do not like going to the public arena to promote their art even though there are so many ways of doing it these days.
NIP: I have been very fortunate in so many ways, two I can mention here. First, I was already well known as a person in the world, if not in the art world. I didn’t have to create a public persona
NELL IRVIN PAINTER HISTORIAN / ARTIST / WRITER 12 • OCTOBER 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND
Unfashion 9 2010
from scratch. Second, my art doesn’t have to sup port my life, so I don’t have to scramble for sales or try to meet external market needs. My art has sold steadily if modestly, which is satisfying. I’m on Instagram (regularly) and Facebook (spo radically) to let people know what I’m doing and making, as a writer as well as a visual artist. I especially enjoy Instagram as a means of staying in contact with old and new “friends” in a medium that encourages spontaneity.
In what ways have you experienced the simple joys of being an artist?
NIP: Last March I was in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in a short printmaking residency with the Brodsky Center. Coincidently the Historical Society of Pennsylva nia had asked me to comment on an object in its collection that was going into a coffee-table book commemorating HSP’s 200th anniversary. I chose William Still’s journals documenting the arrival of hundreds of people self-emancipating them selves from enslavement. The contents of the journal are riveting, as is the image of Still’s hand Wewriting.were still living in the Ironbound neighbor hood of Newark, with its heavy Portuguese in
fluences, including of food, including a wonder fully delicious melon that the local supermarket called, simply, “Portuguese melon.” The skin of this melon has a texture that entranced me. I used that pattern, along with images of William Still’s handwriting, in my William Still Triptych at the Brodsky Center. As we speak, the master printer, Justine Ditto, is pulling the prints of the third panel of the triptych. It’s not the one with Still’s handwriting, but it’s the only one I have access to right now.
Can you describe a time in your life that truly defines who you are?
NIP: Mid-20th century Oakland, California, my progressive family. My parents were good Lefties, and I still share their politics—pan-African, so cialist politics that took them and me to Kwame Nkrumah’s Ghana in the mid-1960s. In Ghana I learned to see beyond race, which is practically impossible, even now, in the USA. My essay about being Ghana is in my forthcoming essay collection.
When our compasses entice us to go on another adventure in life, it’s just telling us its never too late to do anything. Do you find this true?
NIP: I don’t think this is true, but you can do a lot later than you might assume. I went to Mason Gross in my mid-60s, which seemed pretty late for starting something that would take six years at a minimum. But I couldn’t start that six year undertaking now that I’m 80. I no longer have the strength and stamina to commute from Newark to New Brunswick five days a week for three years or to move to Rhode Island and paint standing up seven days a week for two years.
Sure, I can still write and paint and draw—after my essay collection, I have another book contract for a new personal biography of Sojourner Truth. But writing a new biography isn’t as strenuous as making big paintings and moving them around.
What books have you found to be really good?
NIP: In 2021 I chaired the nonfiction jury of the National Book Awards, starting with winnowing 670 books down to a long list of ten, then five fi nalists, and then one winner. There were a lot of really good books. The final winner was Tiya Miles’s All That She Carried: The Journey of Ash ley’s Sack, a Black Family’s Keepsake. The book is beautifully illustrated and written as history and as an account of women’s handicraft. In addition, Continued on next page...
Sojourner Truth Pink Green Tusche 2022
William Still Triptych 2022
THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2022 • 13
I can recommend any of the books on our long and short lists.
In terms of fiction, I’m now reading Alice Elliott Dark’s Fellowship Point on a family’s decisions about a beloved Maine place held in common. The protagonists are women my age facing issues I face, and the writing is insightful and satisfying.
Tell us about your closest loved one in your life?
NIP: Well, that’s easy. My closest loved one is my husband, Glenn Shafer, a historian of probability to whom I’ve been married for nearly 33 years. Glenn and I met as hotshot scholars at Stanford and bonded over being academic misfits. Glenn is smart—a lot of people are smart. But he’s also thoughtful, insightful, and emphatic. He perceives our country and our lives within it with deep un derstanding.
Tell us about the paintings that were selected for the TSL Gallery October show, “A Million Nells: Heedless Self Portraits Over the Years” ?
NIP: I decided to show a series of self-portraits out of vanity and sheer pleasure. I’ve enjoyed making self-portraits since art graduate school at
RISD more than a decade ago, but I’d never be fore had on opportunity to exhibit several together until the lovely invitation from TSL. Given the size of the TSL venue, I reckoned I needed largeformat prints. Then it was a question of the number and, considering the size of the space, we settled on 17. There was also how much large re productions would cost. Claudia Bruce supplied the very apt subtitle, Heedless Self-Portraits from Over the Years.
I wanted to show the range of my mediums, com positions, and palettes, then Linda, Claudia, and I curated the arrangement, so that kindred pieces worked together. The two distinct pieces, Blue Nell on Kaiser on Jacob Lawrence and Self-Por trait Skeleton, strike different notes, so they greet you as you enter the space.
Do you have a favorite music venue you enjoy listening to? Do you listen to music while you work?
NIP: I don’t tend to listen to music when I’m at leisure or when I make art, but every week Glenn and I listen to Afropop Worldwide and enjoy learning about music, usually new music, from around the African diaspora. I have worn out my
Abbey Lincoln and Tribalistas CDs, plus my lap tops don’t have CD readers any more.
When it’s time to settle down with a cup of tea in a comfy chair, what thoughts often cross your mind?
NIP: I think about my mother. She didn’t want to die; actually, she looked forward to being a widow. But congestive heart failure cut her down at 91, while my father lived to nearly 98. My mother started a new life as a writer at 65, and used the forbidden word old in the title of her sec ond book. Two gifts (of many) from her to me.
Can you introduce us to some of your ideas you have written down about the year of Great Up heaval 2020, and, what direction do you think the world is now heading in? Do you feel you have enough positive energy to spread to your followers?
NIP: Those words are on my website www.nell painter.com and will be in my forthcoming essay collection. Unlike many of my friends, I appreci ate our post-2020 times even though they’re scary. For the first time in my long life, I feel that my fellow Americans—those I’m in touch with, at
Black Nells with Fabric 2017
Self Portrait 2011
14 • OCTOBER 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND
NELL IRVIN PAINTER | HISTORIAN / ARTIST / WRITER
least—see the USA and its history pretty much as I have done forever. I no longer feel like an alien in my own country. For this sense of having a country, I look to the life sacrifices of George Floyd and so many others for spurring what has been called the “Great White Awakening.”
What initially gave you the interest to becoming a historian?
NIP: I was in Bordeaux, France, wondering about the city around me. In high school and college I knew the history I was being taught was—how shall I say?—partial, if not stud ded with crucial omissions and outright lies. I majored in anthropology as an undergrad uate and didn’t approach American history until around 1970, when the field had opened up considerably, and I felt I could contribute to it meaningfully.
Tell us about your essay you wrote in the Paris Review about black horseback riders in Black Lives Matter protests?
NIP: My parents were from Texas, my father from the small town (now a suburb of Hous
ton) of Spring. He grew up writing his horse, and when I was a girl, he and I rode horse back in San Pablo, then a purely rural part of the East Bay. I didn’t continue horseback rid ing after leaving home, so horses remain in my memory of my youth.
What are some of your upcoming chal lenges you see on the horizon?
NIP: I’m soon to return to air travel for the first time since the spring of 2020, when we got the last plane to anywhere from the Genoa, Italy, airport and the last flight to JFK from Paris. I’m going to Regina, Saskatche wan, Canada (my favorite country) for a group show my work is in. In October I’ll start my new biography of Sojourner Truth, working title of Sojourner Truth was a New Yorker, and She Didn’t Say That, in Ulster County. Once I get a decent draft of the bi ography, I’ll make new art to go into the book.
Thank you, Nell!
Blue Nell as Girl on Kaiser on Jacob Lawrence 2022
Triptyck #1, #2, #3 2011
THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2022 • 15
16 • OCTOBER 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND
TAKE THE BERKSHIRES HOME WITH YOU Lonny Jarrett Fine Art Photography Lonny@berkshirescenicphotography.comBerkshirescenicphotography.com4132984221 ••The Artful Mind Art Exhibit Front Street Gallery, Housatonic, MA. Oct 1 ‐ 31. THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2022 • 17
ilene Richard 978-621-4986 1 -
18 • OCTOBER 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND
A strong design, playful interplay of color and pattern and a narrative quality are what makes my work truly my own http://facebook.com/ilene.richard | www.ilenerichard.com | email@example.com |
Shows for 2022 The Artful Mind Art Exhibit - 129 Front Street Gallery, Housatonic - October
31 Meet the Artist Art Demo : Saturday, October 29th BAA Biennial RE: FRESH-Lichtenstein Center - October 7- November 26 Inquire about one-on-one personal critique sessions Commissions Available by Artist The Clock Tower, Studio 316CHIHUAHUA INDUSTRIAL CHIC Ellen Kaiden Painter of Metaphors Watercolor Artist Webpage-EllenKaiden@gmail.comwww.Ellenkaiden.com941-685-9900 Artist excepts commissions Please check out The Wit https:/www.thewitgallery.comGallerytoseemoreofmywork Into The Light From the Environmental series 40 x 30”
THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2022 • 19
LINDA H. POST VISUAL ARTIST
Interview by Harryet Candee Photography by Stephen Petegorsky and Geoffrey Post
Linda H. Post creates paintings of women, the sea, mysterious encounters and uncommon places. Her work can be described as occupying a cerebral, mythical landscape that is filled with reality and dreams. Linda's paintings, pastels and monotypes have been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the country and reside in many important public and private collections. She has taught numerous workshops in figurative drawing, pastel and printmaking. When she isn't in her studio, she works as Founding Director of the Paradise City Arts Festivals.
Harryet Candee: Where did you capture the moment for your painting, The Raven’s Gift, Linda? Was the Raven actually on her shoulder when you caught this image on cam era, the pre-requisite for the painting?
Linda H. Post: This raven is an invention and did not pose on the model’s shoulder! The composi tions for my paintings start with the women. “The Raven’s Gift” is the second painting that features this beautiful young woman I met at a party, Adri ana, who agreed to model for me and posed for a series of photographs. She is part Mexican, which triggered thoughts of one of my favorite artists, Frida Kahlo. The braided fabric wrapping Adri ana’s hair and the pose were inspired by an old photograph of Kahlo. As for the raven, birds have appeared in my paintings for decades. The woman in the painting is a collector of rings, brought to her by the raven. The raven in this painting is a
bearer of gifts. In mythology, the raven signifies magic, prophecy, and good luck - and is often the bearer of messages from the gods to the mortal world.
When you start a painting, Linda, what do you choose to depict that is closest to reality, and what part of the painting do you like to use your imagination? Can you give us a painting for us to examine more closely?
LHP: Each painting starts with a collage of unre lated images, using photographs I have taken of people and locations. By placing individual fig ures out of context, putting them in costumes, piecing together landscapes, seascapes, architec tural elements, water, and skies, I create a sense of uncertainty and mystery – is it real, or not? The photocollage is transferred to a prepared wood panel or canvas by making a full-sized line draw
ing. As I paint, I often change components; add or delete figures; simplify or intensify backgrounds; build light and shadow to provide a sense of real ity. In the past, my paintings were more overt rep resentations of surreal, dreamlike states. Now I am essentially orchestrating an altered reality –much like a very realistic dream. “Speaking the Language of Birds” is a good illustration of my process. It contains elements from memory and imagination. The two women, Hannah and Syd, are among my favorite models – I started painting and photographing them as young girls. They have never met each other, nor have they been to this imaginary place – a composite of many places I’ve been. The landscape and fence were taken from a horse farm I stayed at in Westport, MA. The water and the filmy drapes are from the Turks and Caicos. The carousel is from a snapshot I took many, many years ago of small traveling carnival
Speaking the Language of Birds, oil painting on linen. 75” x 48”
20 • OCTOBER 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND
in southwest France – one of numerous striped tent-like structures throughout my work. The talk ing seagull became a major character in this narra tive.
Can you show us your most loved recent paint ing, and why this one in particular connects with your core?
LHP:“The Procession of Hope and Feathers” is my most ambitious painting, in scale and in con cept. I started it right before Covid hit. It is eleven feet wide and because I had more studio time (that silver lining) it actually progressed more quickly than I thought it would. This painting is the cul mination of a series of large-scale oils and brings together many of the models from other works. It also has masks, sketched in before Covid. One of them is a plague doctor’s mask I brought back from Venice! The title is from an Emily Dickinson
poem, one that brings together some of the themes in my work.
After I completed “The Procession of Hope and Feathers”, I decided it was time to take a step away from these huge, time-consuming pieces and work on smaller paintings. I have completed a series of six 16” x 16” square paintings that I thoroughly enjoyed making. I began a new series on 24” x 24” square wood panels this past summer, so I guess I’m very slowly working up in size again.
Can you share with us some of your early memories growing up in New England and how it influenced you in becoming a visual art ist?
LHP: I grew up in Fall River, Massachusetts, less than half an hour from the ocean. The beach was my favorite place as a child, and summer has al
ways been my favorite season. I have always been a figurative artist. I was the kid in the back of the class who drew portraits of her classmates instead of taking notes. At the beginning, my work as a mature artist was mostly of female figures occu pying interiors. But the figures wanted to escape those rooms, and as they moved outdoors I had to teach myself how to make the landscapes as real as the people in them. I do love the clear light of the sea, so the landscapes eventually moved from the Connecticut River Valley (where I live) to the beaches of Cape Cod and the islands of the Ca ribbean (where I visit). And the original inspira tion for the mysterious striped tents in much of my work came from a photo of beach cabanas on Martha’s Vineyard.
The R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton Continued on next page...
Linda Post with The Procession of Hope and Feathers on display at R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, MA. oil painting on linen, 132” x 68” Photo: Geoffrey Post
Across the Sea of Time, oil painting on wood panel. 16” x 16”
THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2022 • 21
Fever Dream, oil painting on linen. 87” x 56”
The Willing Suspension of Disbelief, oil painting on linen. 72” x 53”
22 • OCTOBER 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND LINDA H. POST / VISUAL ARTIST
has represented your work for many years. Are there other galleries as well that represent your work? Do you hold open studios?
LHP: I have been represented by R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton since the early 80’s – I was one of the first artists they signed on when they opened, and I’ve had many solo shows there. In the past I have also been represented by gal leries in New York City, Boston, and Miami. I was recently juried in as a member of the National Association of Women Artists (NAWA), and I have work in upcoming NAWA exhibits in New York City this fall. I rarely hold open studios. My website is regularly updated with new work. It also has a place where one can sign up to receive notices of upcoming shows and my occasional enewsletters about what’s happening in my studio: www.LHPost.com
Over stocked in paintings, may not be an issue for you, but it is for so many artists. What to
do with our art that is in our studios collecting dust? Is this a reality for you, as well?
LHP: I am not at all a fast painter, so this isn’t as much of an issue for me. My large-scale paintings can take up to a year to complete. I have sold hun dreds of pieces of art over the years. Admittedly the smaller ones are easier to sell – they actually fit on the walls of normally-scaled homes. R. Mi chelson Galleries in Northampton has some of my work stored there, so they can give clients more choices and change their wall displays to keep things fresh. I do try to keep a good selection of recent work in my studio, so I can show it to col lectors and curators.
There are some pieces I consider seminal, and those I choose to keep in my personal collection. Of course, there are a few works that I kind of re gret selling - I wish I still had them!
What are some of the challenges you have en countered being an artist?
LHP: In recent years, my greatest artistic chal lenge has been time. My day job for more than 25 years has been director of Paradise City Arts Fes tivals, and it seems that I never have as much stu dio time as I would like. I have been slowly delegating some of that work, which affords me more time – but never really enough.
There comes a time in an artist’s life when we just cannot paint 24/7 but need to promote what we create to sustain us. Is this easy for you to do?
LHP: It is always hard for an artist to find time to market their work. Since my studio time is so pre cious, and I do so much publicity and marketing for Paradise City, my own art marketing does take a back seat. But not many of the shows and pub lications on my resume and bibliography have simply dropped into my lap. As an artist, you do have to put your work out there, look for oppor tunities. Cpntinued on next page...
Guanacaste, oil painting on wood panel. 16” x 16”
THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2022 • 23
I try to be realistic in my goals, not spending too much time spinning my wheels.
In today’s art world, so much is going on, and I often ask artists what they perceive as the going trend, or the direction art is being taken, thoughts?
LHP: I have never followed trends in art. I follow my heart and mind and imagination. That said, as a figurative artist my work has gone in and out of fashion so many times I’ve lost count.
Everyday interactions in your life with people is a great way to acquire ideas for new work to produce. Do you ever get ideas from a conver sation?
LHP: I don’t think my ideas ever come from con versations. Sometimes they come from dreams –I wake up with a vision in my head and have to make it work as a painting. Once in a while I’ll see a face, a sky, a structure, a stone wall, or even
those striped tents out of the corner of my eye and take a quick snapshot. I may use some version of that photograph in a future work. Also, I love words, and sometimes I find that a phrase in a book can inspire a painting – or help me title a finished painting.
How do you balance your time being out in the public and time in the studio?
LHP: As a Founding Director of Paradise City Arts Festivals, a good part of my life is “out in the public”. I have done scores of television inter views, radio interviews (a couple with Rachel Maddow when she still worked for WRSI in Northampton!) and I’m always out on floor at shows talking to artists and the public. As an artist myself, I’ve had lots of gallery openings (which, honestly, are not my favorite thing) and inter views. I am a natural introvert, so I have had to reinvent my persona to conform to all these “ex trovert” activities. Having to stay in my house, my
studio, and my garden with just my husband for company when everything came to a sudden stop was actually kind of calming and restful. But I’m not really anti-social, so I try to have a good bal ance of me-time and out-in-the-world time.
Do you listen to music while you paint?
LHP: I do work to music – in fact, it’s hard to work without it. It can be jazz, world music, clas sical, or new age; the tempo of the music is often determined by whether the brushwork I’m doing is broad and fast or very detailed. Rarely do I work to music with words. It’s a left brain / right brain thing. I have found that I can work to vocals if they are in a language I don’t understand, like Cesária Évora or King Sunny Ade.
How does your life partner and family members encourage and give you motivation with all of your artistic visions?
LHP: My husband, Geoff, and I met when we
Dance of the Pelicans, oil painting on wood panel. 16” x 16”
24 • OCTOBER THE ARTFUL MIND LINDA H. POST / VISUAL ARTIST
were in college and married very young. He has had my back as an artist since we first met. He also has a great eye. When I have solidified a con cept for a painting, I always show him the idea and appreciate his feedback. I have never had an issue, like some artists do, of showing friends and family works in progress. A lot of my friends are visual artists and I take their criticism and sugges tions seriously. Geoff and I don’t have kids, but my niece Hannah has modeled for me since she was sixteen.
Share with us your favorite artists supplies, please.
LHP: My large paintings are done on Claessens oil primed linen, tacked to my studio wall, and stretched afterwards. I order custom museumgrade stretchers from Twin Brooks in Maine. I use oil paints from a lot of different sources, but my chosen mediums are Galkyd and Galkyd Lite. I also like working on primed panels. I use Amper
sand cradled Gessobord and sometimes I have cradled wood panels custom made for me. When I work in pastels, I usually use a heavy printmak ing paper, like Arches, BFK Rives, or Stonehenge. My favorite soft pastel color is a Sennelier red –when I used to teach pastel workshops, my stu dents and I called it “magic red”.
If you were to go from pastel to oil, what ma terials would you be going from and to, and what would you say is the biggest learning curve and ways one might have to adjust?
LHP: My original medium was intaglio printmak ing. I started experimenting with the spontaneity, texture, and color of monotypes and became hooked. My first NYC solo show was of my monotypes. Then I began using soft pastels over the ghost images of my monotypes, and pastels became my primary passion for about 15 years. As my work got larger, the type of framing and glass that soft pastels require was an issue, as was
the ever-present chalk dust. When I built a new studio, with a big painting wall, great light, and high ceilings, it seemed the right time to switch to oils. The transition did involve a learning curve, but my pastels were often mistaken for oil paint ings – they were dense and layered in much the same way one works with paint.
What’s new in your life since Covid?
LHP: It’s not new, but I will say my garden has never looked as good or been as productive as it was during the height of Covid! And I love to cook, so I experimented with a lot of new recipes – since I was cooking three meals a day and didn’t want to get bored. Of course, I also love to throw dinner parties, which wasn’t possible. But now I have some new dishes to serve my friends!
Thank you, Linda!
Sirens, oil painting on linen. 84” x 72”
THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2022 • 25
My love for the painting of landscapes comes from my own passion and understanding of gar dening, which has only deepened as I mark my 15th year as a resident of rural New England. I can relate to growing plants for food and healing, but I also view nature as an essential element in our collective physical and mental well-being.
Agricultural fields, meadows, hills, rock for mations, trees and forests bring me peace and ser enity and I hope to share these feelings with others. I call my work “Abstract Realism” as I focus on patterns and colors in landscapes. I like painting with oils on canvas or wood. I highlight pathways of colors or symmetry in the way water mirrors the land or sky. I also notice seasonal changes or suggest atmospheric influences around us.
Finally, I focus on the horizon as I like land scapes that offer a sense of the vastness and mys tery of our world. I will visit the same spot many times before I sketch or paint. Photos taken on location help me finish the painting in my home studio, allowing me to relive the experience of the moment. Color and texture are at the forefront of the process, but how the edges of each color melt together in harmonious tones is what challenges
is a visual appreciation of nature for me, but the meditative component adds to the emotions that sometimes transpire.
Ghetta Hirsch - Ghetta-hirsch.squarespace.com, studio visits: text or call 413-597-1716, email firstname.lastname@example.org
YANA VAN DYKE
Playing at the intersection of art & science, van Dyke creates works of art on paper and parchment with a deep-rooted understanding of traditional materials and techniques from the microscopic to the macroscopic. For more than thirty years she has been studying and practicing the art of inta glio printmaking, with copper as the matrix. Her experimental printmaking & painting techniques weave imagery born out of a naturalist, symbolist, alchemist; charged and characterized by their ani misticYanaatmospheres.vanDykeholds a MS from the Winter thur/University of DE Program in Art Conserva tion, is a recognized Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation of His toric and Artistic Works, a member of the Inter national Council of Museums Committee for Conservation, the Society of Winterthur Fel lows, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and the Institute of Paper Historians. Yana van Dyke –
MARK DYLAN HYDE
Mark Dylan Hyde is a painter, sculptor, writer, two-bit actor, booze-shlepper, tour-guide, farmer, and storyteller who lives in West Stockbridge with his wife Sarah, two cats, and a squirrel named Pepe. He went to school somewhere and has lived in Dublin, Ireland, as well as in London, Paris, Atlanta, NYC and in both Edmonton, and Calgary, Alberta.
He has exhibited his work in Dublin and Bel fast (where his career began), in London, Toronto, Atlanta, Chicago, NY, Los Angeles, and South Lee, Massachusetts. Works can be found in nu merous private collections including that of Elton John and Bono.
His mixed-media art incorporates oil painting, charcoal-drawing, and found objects such as old doors, various burned and unearthed material, string, wire, broken glass, wooden ships, religious artifacts, rusted metal, photography, writtenwords, animal bones, you name it. If it can be af fixed to a surface any material is fair game. Even things that cannot be properly affixed are fair game.His imagery dredges up the remembering of journeys both taken or failed, it stirs up the ghosts of the lost and stumbles like a drunk down the marble steps of dusk and mortality. It roams around the frayed edges of the soul, stumbling in and out of history and insomnia, in and out of exile and redemption. He is most comfortable in graveyards, forgotten places, or a decrepit pub full of reprobates. He is drawn to the visual lan guage of memory, of dreams and of childhood. Because the stories that come from those places have no beginning and no end; no reason to be explained. I’ve already said too much.
Mark’s work can be seen this October 1 -31 at The Artful Mind Art Exhibit, 129 Front St, Hou satonic, MA. Hours: Thurs - Sun 10-4 and by ap pointment. Reception for Artists: Oct 15, 5 - 8pm.
THE GOD SHIPS, 2022 MIXED MEDIA ON CANVAS 48" X 30"
SNOWY EDGE, OIL ON CANVAS, 12”X 16”
26 • OCTOBER 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND
ARTFULMIND@YAHOO.COM Join us ! Promote your art here!
The core of my work is landscape. But it is only the beginning. I use the landscape to help me share how I see what is around me. My work in corporates my dreams, how I see the social con flict that is part of our lives today, how I see what we are doing to our earth.
Though due to my health I am relegated to the digital darkroom, I refer to the photographers and methods used in the past, whether film photogra phy, wet plate methods, or such other methods as were used. Among the photographers who have inspired me are Anne Brigman, John Gossage, Jerry Uelsmann, Dorothea Lange, and Sally Mann.Ialso refer heavily to Japanese Brush Painting, and the Abstract Expressionists. Bruce Panock917-287-8589 email@example.com
Practicing art for 60 years and psychoanalysis for 40, Dr. Mellinger’s careers concern language, spoken and unspoken, and what transcends lan guage. In painting, collage and constructions of wood and iron, he is drawn to the physicality of materials.Avoiding predictability through adherence to a style, Mellinger explores the possibilities of media. While our lives and our world are dissolv ing we must hold creativity, beauty and love sacred.I’vemoved my studio into an exciting new art ist’s collective in the Berkshire Eagle Build ing, 75 South Church St, 3rd floor, Pittsfield. Mark Mellingermarkmellinger680@gmail.com914-260-7413
#1918 GLENS FALLS PRODUCE 1-20-22 14”X16”
MATT CHINIAN PROSAIC REALISM
I am a prosaic realist. That means I paint what I see and depict places and objects without sen timent or romance. My subjects are taken from daily life, things I see in passing, things I’m drawn to; they are mundane and often overlooked. I un lock patterns and relationships and do not judge. I practice ruthless honesty, and let the paint be paint.
Matt Chinianmattchinian.com https://www.instagram.com/mattchinian//
GRANDMA'S HOUSE 2020 ACRYLIC AND COLLAGE
RED LEAF PHOTOGRAPH
THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2022 • 27
My initial memory of awakening to the cre ative impulse was hearing the first chord of the Beatle’s, Hard Day’s Night when I was six years old. At that moment I knew something big was happening and I had to get on board! I began stu dying at the Guitar Workshop, the first guitar school in America. I’ve performed music most of my life and currently play jazz fusion with my band
MyRedshift.interest in photography blossomed as an electron-microscopist publishing neuro- and mo lecular- biological research out of UMASS/Am herst and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx in my early 20s.
As a life-long meditator, martial artist, mu sician, and photographer everything I engage with comes from the same unified intention toward en gendering the true, the good, and the beautiful. In my landscape and nature photography I endeavor to capture the light that seeps through everything.
Lonny JarrettCommunity: Nourishingdestiny.com
Watercolor painting, mixed media, and a prac tice of drawing from life form the body of Carolyn Newberger’s work, with an emphasis on human connections and experience.
Whether working in the performance hall, the studio, or a café table, Carolyn captures personal character and the spark, rhythm and flow of our human endeavors.
An avid and award-winning artist in her youth, Carolyn returned to art after an academic career in psychology at Harvard Medical School. Her work has received many awards, including from the Danforth Museum of Art, the Cambridge Art Association, Watercolor Magazine, and the New England Watercolor Society, of which she is a sig nature
Manymember.ofCarolyn’s performance drawings and plein air paintings accompany reviews and essays she writes, often in collaboration with her hus band, Eli, for “The Berkshire Edge,” a publication of news, arts and ideas in Western Massachusetts.
Carolyn Newbergercnewberger@me.comwww.carolynnewberger.com / 617-877-5672.
I have been studying painting seriously for over fifty years. Provincetown Massachusetts was where I began painting full time at the Impres sionist Cape School of Art with Henry Hensche.
The world of color and light was opened to me at that point and continues to be at the heart of my work. Over the years I have become more inter ested in the Expressionist outlook and try to com municate through my work how I feel about the subject I am painting. I try to paint from my heart, as it were, not so much from my head.
I am very inspired by the work of Soutine and Charles Burchfield, to name a few. Both artists are well known for their personal interpretations of the world around them. Robert Henri is also an ongoing inspiration. His ideas set forth in his book “The Art Spirit” ever remind me how important it is to have an honest relationship with whatever it is I am trying to paint.
By that I mean, be true to myself and stay as connected to my heart-felt feelings about the sub ject before me as is possible. Landscapes, portrait or still lifes are all of interest to me. Wherever I go, my eye is in love, and I am very grateful to have this life of painting to share with you.
Kate Knapp - firstname.lastname@example.org, 413-274-6607. More info also available at www.jessieedwardsgallery.com
BRASSICA, CHARCOAL, 24”X 36”
LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPH BY LONNY JARRETT
SUMMER BOUQUET, OIL ON CANVAS, 30” X 30”
28 • OCTOBER 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND
Conversational Spanish Learn the fundamentals and conversational Spanish the fun way! All levels. Via: Zoom, Skype, Whatsapp video call, & Facebook Messenger: Esteban Valdés Author of the acclaimed book: Con Permisito Dijo Monchito (Amazon.com) References available 15 dollars per hour.
From the moment we are born we long for a way to be heard. For some words suffice, for others there needs to be a deeper form of expres sion.That is how artists are born. Where one might send their message through an instrument in the form of music, another might write poetry or prose. Still others speak in something more tan gible through painting, photography, pottery, or sculpting. Words only bring us so far…art is the language of longing…a longing that is never ful filled.Ihave
always found expression through art. At the age of five I began speaking through the piano that sat waiting expectantly in our den, an instru ment that brought me peace throughout the years. Later I took to creating through fashion design, dreaming up and constructing costumes for the Boston Opera Company and outfits for the fash ionable elite of Newport, Rhode Island. From there my path took many twists and turns as I lived a life as a wife, mother, caretaker and pur suant of a professional career.
It was when my youngest son passed away un expectedly several years ago that my longing to be heard returned with a vengeance. Words did not suffice. There are no words to express that kind of grief and longing for what is lost. On that journey of anguish, I met other women who had or were experiencing their own kind of pain. I marveled at their resilience and ability to go on despite different kinds of loss or simply dealing with the uphill complexities of life’s challenges. Through paint and a bit of canvas I began to re cover my voice, but it’s not just my voice. The women I create in paint are a composite of the many amazing women I have met and continue to meet. I paint their humor, their joy and their hid den heartbreak and longing. These women do not exist except on canvas and their stories are yours to imagine. Hear them.
Mary Ann Yarmoskymaryannyarmoskyeclecticart.com
A friend “did my colors” a few years ago and I learned that I’m an “autumn”. The thought of fall, my favorite season, triggers a stream of im ages. These include driving upstate to see the changing foliage and stopping to buy a paper tote filled with apples. I mourn my collection of ‘in between’ jackets, scarves (indoor and outdoor), and various weight hoodies that are no longer needed. I still chuckle when I tell someone that they always hold a parade for my birthday (it al ways falls on Columbus Day).
Here in Florida, you can hardly tell there’s a change in seasons, although we do change the clocks to “fall back”. The only change in a palm tree’s color, is from green to withered. We need rain badly. On occasion, I do get to wear a light hoodie. Some places really blast the A/C.
Andrea Joyce FeldmanAndreajoycefeldmanart.com / 413-655-7766.
Ilene is an established fine art figurative painter. She is known for her expressive and colorful paintings, as well as her use of line which has be come a signature style of her work. Ilene’s work is highly consistent and recognizable. Having worked as a published children’s book illustrator for many years has helped Ilene create a narrative with her work, which often features people in whimsical and fantastical situations.
Ilene is a Past Board Member of the National Association of Women Artists and artist member of Rockport Artist Association and Museum.
Ilene Richard – 978-621-4986, email@example.com,, Painter/109216825770985book.com/pages/Ilene-Richard-Illustratorhttp://www.face .
AUTUMN RIVER, WATERCOLOR, 11” x 14”
THE MERMAID, MIXED MEDIA ON BOARD, FRAMED
THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2022 • 29
Mary Davidson has been painting on a regular basis for the last 16 years. Davidson’s paintings are a two-dimensional decorative visualization of line, color, design, shape, patterns, and stamping. As you begin to study the paintings, you will find the foreground and background tend to merge, with overlaid patterns. “I love the intense com plexity and ambiguity of space and dimension.”. The effect can be startling: the longer you look at the piece, the more you see.
Davidson’s New Hat series consist of 70 paint ings. “I start with a basic drawing, building with color and shape, coming to life with gesture and flow. As the title suggests, the hats are important, and the millinery designs emerge. There is much joy in their creation and my passion for playful designs is reinforced by their bright colors, linear rhythms and patterns leading our eyes around and through the painting. My newest series is even more abstract, with an even stronger emphasis on design. I do like to use stamping, along with painting, because I love the result. When I finish with a painting, I adhere the canvas with mat gel to gator board, creating a nice tight surface. My paintings are always framed.”
Mary Davidson - PO Box 697, South Egremont, Massachusetts; 413-528-6945 / 413-717-2332;
SUSAN ELEY FINE ART INGRAINED
Susan Eley Fine Art is pleased to present “Ingrained”, a two-person exhibition featuring recent work by Jared Abner and Rachel Burgess. The exhibition is on view from September 22 to November 13 at the Gallery’s Upstate location in downtown Hudson, New York.
The exhibition title Ingrained references the materials and the processes of both artists. Abner works in wood, carving and combining the unique natural material to create sculptures that are intuitive and expressive. Burgess produces monotypes on paper—a substance also generated from trees. Her prints of landscapes literally ingrain the ink, thus the images, into the paper via the pressure of the printing press. Both artists rely on the tree—the trunk, the bark, the pulp—and activate its particular formal and textural properties.Currently based near Boston, Massachusetts, Abner is a recent graduate and has embraced the tactile potentials of woodworking since his childhood with saw and chisel in hand. Ingrained will feature two large-scale floor sculptures, one at seven feet tall, standing as the focal point for visitors upon entering SEFA. Additionally, the exhibition will highlight intimately scaled works that are posed on ledges and shelves throughout the Gallery. They twist and morph into shapes that can be read as organic and fantastical; as prehistoric and modern.
I often hear “Oh Flowers”….sometimes in a naive and condescending way. I choose to paint flowers because they are a perfect vehicle for me to convey my emotions and tell a story. I was trained in all mediums of painting I chose water color because of its uncontrollable vitreous na ture. I love being able to capture movement in water and am able to get extraordinary depth and color saturation. I work in a technique called “wet on wet” in a style that I call “Idealized Realism”. Katharine Bernhardt, from CAS in Chicago said, “Ellen Kaiden is to watercolor what Chihuly is to blownMyglass.”favorite subjects are flowers, sunflowers and roses especially, oh well maybe poppies and peonies too. I love the architecture, geometry, and innate sensuality of my chosen subjects. To me, watercolor is vastly underestimated as a medium because of its unforgiving nature.
Flowers like sunflowers and roses, I believe, can show every emotion possible. When Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court, the painting “Feminine Fury” came pouring out of me. Each petal represents 100,000 underserved
“Jim said that bees won’t sting idiots, but I didn’t believe that, because I tried them lots of times myself and they wouldn’t sting me.”
– Mark Twain
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Rachel Burgess is a master of the monotype medium—her preferred method of translating landscapes to paper. Ingrained will feature largescale monotypes including diptychs and triptychs. Her vivid and pastel palettes employ the medium to record fleeting natural scenes—sunsets, tides, coastal plains. Burgess seeks to capture memory, nostalgia, and environmental change through gestural, abstracted marks. To create her monotypes, she paints with oil-based pigments on plexiglass; once pulled through the press, the image can never be repeated or replicated, endowing them with a poignant singularity.
Susan Eley Fine Art - 433 Warren Street, Hudson, New York. Gallery Hours: Thursday— Monday, 11AM-5PM.
women.Idon’t just paint pretty flowers. My paintings are metaphors. I hope they touch you the way they were intended to. For the last two pandemic years, and the death of a husband, painting is truly my meditation. If you want to learn more about me as an artist, please go to my website visit my stu dio in Lee, Massachusetts.
In her work the “final flower”, Patti Smith the Rocker, wrote about Robert Mapplethorpe’s pho tos…. “He came in time, to embrace the flower as the embodiment of all the contradictions rev eling within. Their sleekness. Humble Narcissus. Passionate Zen”.
Ellen Kaiden - www.Ellenkaiden.com Please check out The Wit Gallery / https:/www.thewitgallery.com to see more of my work
LISTEN TO THE WIND, WATERCOLOR, 23 X 29” PART OF KAIDEN’S ENVIRONMENTAL SERIES
MY NEW HAT SERIES #5
JARED ABNER, CARVED INVESTIGATION NINE (2022) BASS WOOD, 10 X 7 X 4”
RACHEL BURGESS, EIGHT POSTS (2022) MONOTYPE ON PAPER, 27 X 27”
IMAGES COURTESY THE ARTIST AND SUSAN ELEY FINE ART, HUDSON, NY
30 • OCTOBER 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND
Today I am sharing with you some Fall paint ings. October will be rich and colorful as usual and I am inviting you to visit Williamstown as this painting will be exhibited at The Spring Street Cafe while its Banner Reproduction will be flying high in the streets of Williamstown. What fun! This banner, part of a series of artists' banners shown during EYES ON ART TOWN will be dis played from Labor Day to November 1st, so you have plenty of time to visit. The foliage also de picted in my other painting "Liquid Fall" in this magazine will be enough to attract all of you for an outing to our part of New England. It will be perhaps some of the last times we can enjoy these tones before the snow appears.
Be ready though to see more of my snowy land scapes at the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester starting in November!
The Reception for the Member Artist Exhibit will be on November the 19th at 2pm. Info @ https://www.svac.orgIfyoudriveinN.Y.
State on the 9th and 10th of October go and visit the 21st annual Land scapes for Landsake Art Sale and Exhibition where I will also be represented. For more infor mation see : www.agstewardship.org
Finally do not missThe Artful Mind Art Exhibit "Un/Spoken Passion" from October 1 to 31, 129 Front Street, Housatonic, MA. The Artists Recep tion is on October 15 from 5-8pm. Gallery open Thursdays through Mondays 10-4 and by appoint ment/ firstname.lastname@example.org I wish you a happy Fall Season!
Finally, do not miss The Artful Mind Art Ex hibit “Un/Spoken Passion” from October 1 to 31, 129 Front St., Housatonic, MA.
The artist’s reception is on Saturday, October 15 from 5-8pm. Gallery open Thursdays through Sundays 10-4 and by email@example.com—
Ghetta Hirsch - Ghetta-hirsch.squarespace.com, studio visits: text or call 413-597-1716, email firstname.lastname@example.org Meet The Artist Ghetta Hirsch ART DEMO: Sunday, October 9th, 12:00 Noon, 129 Front Street, Housatonic, MASS
For almost 40 years I’ve been producing hybrid painting/sculpture objects either mechanically or, more recently, digitally. My goal has been to articulate a hyper-object relative to the arthistorical notion of The Sublime. Through the deployment of multiple series, I’ve attempted to approach and illuminate the contours of the ineffable while re-framing Western artistic praxis in general as proceeding from a Judeo-Christian heritage predicated upon the manufacture of sacred and ritual artifacts.
As much as possible I’ve attempted to prioritize the “presentational” over the “representational” to objectify and enhance the present and presence. It’s my belief that “art” is the product of an interaction between a viewer and some kind of construct, most often in a specified and/or rarefied context, that demands deeper than normal engagement and attention.
My practice is conceptual insofar as it is located at a point where “painting” intersects with the concept “art” although it’s based, ultimately, upon generating objects/experiences that project properties such as beauty, pleasure, grace, reverie, rigor, and solemnity.
Christian Eckart, www.christianeckart.com 713-373-1240, email@example.com Instagram:@christian_eckart
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 PDN magazine in an article about fine art printing. See the entire article on the BerkshireDigital.com website.Berkshire Digital does accurate hi-res photo-re productions of paintings and illustrations that can be used for Giclée prints, books, magazines, bro chures, cards and websites.
“Fred Collins couldn’t have been more profes sional or more enjoyable to work with. He did a beautiful job in photographing paintings carefully, efficiently, and so accurately. It’s such a great feel ing to know I have these beautiful, useful files on hand anytime I need them. I wish I’d called Fred years ago.” - Ann Getsinger
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
The owner, Fred Collins, has been a commercial and fine art photographer for over 30 years having had studios in Boston, Stamford and the Berk shires. 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 drop-off 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, www.BerkshireDigital.com
THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2022 • 31
FALL ENCLOSED, 2019 OIL ON CANVAS, 30”X36”
CLOUDROOM FIELD, 2022." DICHROIC GLASS, STAINLESS STEEL, SPRING STEEL AND ALUMINUM 48" X 24" X 8" OVERALL
Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do. Make good art.
ARTFULMIND @ YAHOO . COM Follow, share, participate, be seen, comment, love
32 • OCTOBER 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND the art of mary ann yarmosky maryannyarmoskyeclecticart.com My Body My CHOICE series MARY DAVIDSON www.davidsondesigncompany.net Studio appointments, please call 413-528-6945 Keith and Mary Original Artwork for Sale Studio/gallery, South Egremont, MA Abstract Flower Arrangement #5 20 x 16 inches
Deirdre Flynn Sullivan
Listening to the prayer of my soul, I let the vampire seduce me. Blood comingling in mystical communion I thought he was glad to find me again, But no, he pulled me out of my sanctuary Coldly laughing and splattering our blood All over my face and hair.
The Vampire's Lover ~ Deirdre Flynn Sullivan, 10/15/20
THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2022 • 33
34 • OCTOBER 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND
SALLY TISKA RICE
Sally Tiska Rice was born and raised in the beautiful Berkshires. She is the youngest of four children. Sally lives in a rural town with her hus band, and pets, where she is inspired by her sur roundings.Asayoung girl she would sit with her father as he designed and drew many blueprints. This was the start of her love for art in all its forms. While painting and drawing she feels spiritually gratified and relaxed. She is a spine injury survi vor that finds her creative nature healing.
Sally focuses on blending and layering to achieve depth and dimension. She also experi ments with light and color to create a piece that will be enjoyed. Sally employs many different techniques into her paintings, using acrylic, wa tercolors, oil paints, pastels, as well as mixed media.Her love to travel has given Sally opportuni ties to further her understanding of art in all its forms. She has been able to visit many areas in the Northeast, ranging from the majestic moun tains to the scenic shores. Sally has enjoyed art abroad while in Italy, Greece, Spain and the Ca ribbean as well. These experiences have encour aged her knowledge and appreciation of the history of art throughout the world.
Sally uses spontaneity to compose artwork. She also creates many beautiful commission art pieces for customers internationally. Her commis sion pieces are usually created from one or more images that the customer has chosen to blend to gether to form a one of a kind piece of art. Sally also has many customers that have purchased fine art prints.
Call to set up a studio appointment at the Clock Tower Business Center, 75 South Church Street, 3rd floor, studio 302, Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Sally Tiska Rice - 413-446-8469https://pixels.com/profiles/sally-ricehttps://www.instagram.com/sallytiskarice/5230777a/https://www.linkedin.com/in/sally-tiska-rice-cpo-https://mobile.twitter.com/RiceTiskahttps://www.facebook.com/sally.t.ricehttp://sallytiskarice.com/STR/The_Artist.htmlhttp://www.sallytiskarice.com,,,,,LUSSIERHOMEPORTRAIT,16”X20”COMMISSIONHOME,CHURCHANDPETPORTRAITSFROMSENTIMENTALPHOTOS
BOBBY MILLER PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER
GREAT BARRINGTON STUDIO
My teacher, master photographer Lisette Model, taught me that the secret behind a great portrait is the relationship between the photogra pher and his subject and the artistic capture of the moment. In my studio in Great Barrington, I do hair, make-up, styling, lighting and photography, thereby creating a finished portrait that tells a story even in its simplicity. I believe in incorpo rating both the classic tools of the camera and newer technologies like Photoshop. In that way my portraits correct the small flaws that nature has bestowed on us. I create images that show us not only as who we are but who we can be as well. So, if you feel daring and inspired to have a portrait that defines you at your very best, I en courage you to come sit before my camera.
Bobby Miller Studio, 22 Elm St, Gt Barrington 508-237-9585. By Appointment Only.
SHARON GUY LAND, SEA, AND SKY
While I quietly observe and paint the land, water, and skies, the ordinary world around me is transformed by light and shadow into the sublime. My goal is to share my deep connection with na ture with those who take the time to stop and look.
I enjoy painting birds, animals, and scenes from the Gulf Coast to New England. My work is in private collections in the United States and Ca nada.
Sharon Guy - firstname.lastname@example.org, 941-321-1218, https://www.sharonguyart.com
THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2022 • 35
THE ARTFUL MIND VIRTUAL GALLERY 10.2022 CAROLYN NEWBERGER Carolyn Newberger: email@example.com www.carolynnewberger.com 36 • OCTOBER 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND In Time Watercolor and Collage, 22 x 30”
K. Brown, Gateskeeper, 11 x 9” At the Keyboard Pastel on toned paper, 9 x 12”
“It’s up to you to decide who my ladies are and what they are think ing. They only came to me with the first stroke of a brush and a little paint. I don’t know their stories or where they hale from. I only know that they now exist, and some will love them, and some will not. Such is the life of a woman.”
-Mary Ann Yarmosky
Lady of the Sea- Acrylic Canvas
Unfinished Portrait media 12.5”X19” framed
Mary Ann Yarmosky: 413-441-6963 firstname.lastname@example.org • Face Book Instagram maryannyarmoskyeclecticart.com MARY ANN YARMOSKY
THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2022 •37
Ilene RIchard: 978-621-4986 Versatile subject matter / distinct style • COMMISSIONS • STUDIO VISITS The Clock Tower Eagle Buidling, 3rd ﬂoor, 75 Church St, Pittsﬁeld, MA Studio 316 http://facebook.com/ilene.richard www.ilenerichard.com • email@example.com ILENE RICHARD 38 • OCTOBER 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND Shy Hello 27.50 x 30.50” Pink Bubbles 24 x 36” Just A Couple of Clowns 36 x 36” Just A Couple of Clowns 36 x 36”
Castration Anxiety 2020 of found objects 24"
Circles Collage, 12 x 12”
Dreaming of John Henry 2021 Acrylic on canvas 24” x 30”
Mark Mellinger : 914-260-7413 The Clock Tower . Eagle Building, 3rd floor, 75 South Church St, Pittsfield, MA firstname.lastname@example.org MARK MELLINGER
THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2022 • 39
Taking A Stand For Life on Earth
Interview by Harryet Candee
Photography by Ryan Nelling
Since 2010, Lev Natan has been coaching organizational & community leaders who work for the common good in these poignant times of accelerated complexity. He is the Founder & Executive Director of Alliance For A Viable Future and organizer of Indigenous People’s Day - Berkshires
Harryet Candee: What is Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the Berkshires exactly mean for us?
LEV NATAN: Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the Berkshires is an opportunity for us to take a stand for the kind of community we are and aspire to be. I see it as a responsibility to stand in solidarity with Native American people; which is actually a paradigm shift from the last four hundred years of American history. It’s actually a privilege for us to “flip the script” and initiate community-based practices that acknowledge the truth, give honor and pay our respect to native people. This is the kind of culture that I want my son to grow up in, and I sense that more and more people in our com munity feel the same way.
If I wanted to participate, where would I begin? And, would I actually be making a difference?
LN: Begin, quite simply, by coming to the events
that we are organizing.
Saturday, Oct. 8, 7:30 p.m. Honoring Native America at the Mahaiwe PAC, Great Barrington, Admission: $25
Sunday, Oct. 9, 7:30 p.m., Indigenous Voices Panel, Kripalu, Lenox.
Indigenous People’s Day, Monday, Oct. 10, 11 a.m., Ceremonial Walk, 334 Main St., Great Bar
Wouldringtonyou be making a difference if you came to the events? Absolutely If a friend of yours says something to you that hurts your feelings, does it make a difference if they say “I’m sorry. I made a mistake. I respect you. I care about you.” Well, that’s what you are doing by showing up for these events. Showing up is a simple, but very power ful, first step.
What you receive by opening yourself up, and ac tually listening to the songs, stories and words of wisdom and guidance, will take you on a journey
of learning and discovery. From there, it’s up to you if you choose to do more and become more involved. This is just the beginning. But, without the beginning, nothing else happens. So, it’s a very important step to show up for the 15 Tribal Nations, and their representatives, who have taken the time to share themselves with us.
I get the impression Lev, you really love life and take it seriously enough to have developed the organization called, Alliance For A Viable Future. Can you briefly explain what your mis sion is, and how it has grown and developed thus far?
LN: The mission of Alliance for a Viable Future is to develop leadership for bioregional climate solutions and intercultural peacemaking through council-based programs and community events. This mission has been evolving for twenty years of research, training and practice. Our goal is to
Lev Natan Speaking at IPD, 2021
40 • OCTOBER 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND
build a network of bioregional climate leadership councils throughout the Northeast, that are rooted in a deep respect for indigenous principles of community and environmental stewardship. The purpose of these councils is to generate practical climate solutions in a way that doesn’t alienate people but invites our communities to establish a culture of peacemaking. Ultimately, it is a simple care for our children’s future, to make sure that life is good for them, that will empower us to rise to the challenge and do what needs to be done. We can do it, and we will do it.
Tell us about the people involved in the Alli ance For A Viable Future. How do these team mates’ artistic visions and creative solutions light up and fuse as a whole?
LN: Orion Kriegman is the Founder of the Boston Food Forest Coalition He is an old friend from college, and past client who participated in a council-based leadership program that I facili tated. Through consistent individual and group coaching support over two years, he was able to create food forests stewarded by local com munities, for green space equity and climate re silience; through determination and staying committed to relationships he was able to grow this dream into a thriving nonprofit. Michael and Susan Johnson are precious elders in the Berkshire community, with a long-term con nection to Kripalu. Ever since I met them, they have offered their support and love to me and my family. Our shared commitment to honoring the
ancestors of this land and to Native American people, as a whole, brings us to do this work to Aftergether.the first Indigenous Peoples’ Day event that I organized in 2020, Michael introduced me to Shawn Stevens, a Stockbridge-Munsee cultural educator, who has been teaching in the Berk shires, at places like Kripalu and Flying Deer for many years. His powwow drum group was at the first powwow in the area, Rock, Rattle & Drum, in Susan2006.Jameson organized that first powwow, and continued to organize it for twelve years, until she took a break for a few years and then started to get involved in organizing Indigenous Peoples’ MatthewDay. McCormick is a new intern who just graduated from college, where he studied Native American social movements and sociology. I met him and his father almost ten years ago, and he just gets it. This is simply work he was born to do, and it is humbling to be able to play a role in supporting him to develop professionally. I could go on and on.
What are the most concerning issues at hand?
LN: My deep reflection on this question is that we don’t have a coordinated effort to respond intelli gently to the systemic stressors related to climate change. For this reason, Alliance for a Viable Fu ture will be launching the Berkshires Climate Leadership Council in 2023, in order to bring to gether business and organizational leaders who
share a commitment to climate preparedness for the Berkshires. We will be inviting folks to step forth over the winter.
Lev, your background notes that you have in terest in the mystical tradition of the Kabba lah. Is that true? Can you tell us what you find interesting about Kabbalah?
LN: I grew up in a Jewish household. My greatgrandparents were immigrants from the Ukraine. They fled the anti-sematic pogroms. When I was a child, my father read stories about the legendary Hasidic Masters, who lived in the Ukraine in the 17 to 1800s - the Baal Shem Tov and Rebbe Nachman, in particular. Through those stories, my curiosity and thirst to learn more, grew. One of the most powerful gifts that come from the Kabbalah, is the teaching of Tikkun Olam, which literally translates to “to re-weave or restitch the world back together.”
Rabbi Isaac Luria, from the 1500s, shared a vision of the “shattering of the vessels,” which goes like this: at the beginning of creation, the creative energy was so powerful and intense, that it shat tered the world into an infinite amount of sparks. Those sparks were then covered by husks. The teaching says that we each carry one of these orig inal sparks of creation inside of us. By revealing this hidden spark within us, and supporting others to do the same, we are doing the work of Tikkun Olam, of reweaving the world back together.
Continued on next page...
Chief Jake Singer walking with his Traditional Warrior Staff Photo by Ryan Nelling
THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2022 • 41
What actual experiences did you have that confirmed your mind was set to healing arts and coaching, and more?
LN: I had the great blessing of being part of an undergraduate program called Rethinking Glob alization, through the International Honors Pro gram with Boston University. We traveled to England, Tanzania, India, New Zealand and Mex ico; and met a global network of thinkers, edu cators, activists, and indigenous healers who connected me with a living experience that another world is possible. And, not only is it pos sible, but there is a movement of intelligent, or ganized, caring people who are committed and
Duringengaged.that trip, I lived with the Maasai people, in Northern Tanzania, and experienced a quiet mind, what I later realized was my first taste of meditation. Living in their community, just for a few days, connected me with a lived experience of the deep wisdom of indigenous people and communities. It impacted me so profoundly, that I wanted to not only learn more, but participate. For the last twenty years, I have done just that. Another transformative experience for me was a healing crisis with Lyme disease that I endured about eight years ago. My coaching business and marriage almost fell apart, and I was suicidal at times. The illness catalyzed my deepest fears of hopelessness and despair - simultaneously about
my own capacity to live my purpose and human ity’s capacity to get through this collective crisis that we are in. It was my connection to indige nous ceremonies - sweat lodge and vision questthat pulled me through; and many other supports as well.
“Change flows through relationships, at the speed of trust”, means exactly what, Lev? How did you come up with this, and what examples can you cite that lead you to this particular realization?
LN: Dr. Kathleen Allen, the author of Leading From the Roots, is an organizational consultant, and one of the mentors who helped me give shape to the Alliance. We discussed this idea together quite a bit. Trust is at the heart of real change. The Northeast Council that is convening at Kri palu in October, is coming together through a net work of relationships that are built on trust. Every single person who is coming either knows me, and trusts me, or knows someone else who is coming, and trusts them, or both. Folks wouldn’t take the risk of traveling for four days, to be a part of this Council, if they didn’t trust each other. Through those relationships, built on trust, we are able to bring our hearts and minds together, and create plans for change - within our community and Throughbioregion.thecouncil process, we deepen the trust
we have in each other. We are able to “lean in” and think to ourselves, “not only do these people care about what I care about, but they are reliable - they will show up and do what needs to be done.” From this foundation of relationship, we are able to invest ourselves in working together on future projects and initiatives.
Lev, can you tell us about those certain people in your life that were great mentors whom have guided you by the hand in helping you soak up all you desire to understand about the Life?
LN: There is a lineage of thinkers/authors who have inspired this work - Lao Tzu, Ken Carey, and Jose Arguelles, among many others. My parents have been role models for me, in their care for others and their devotion to social justice. My adopted granddad, Jake Singer, a Dne Navajo Sundance Chief and Vietnam Veteran (who will be attending Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and did so last year), gave me the opportunity to strengthen myself through traditional ceremonies - sweat lodge, vision quest and the sundance. My teachers in the graduate program in Organiza tional Leadership, Mel Toomey and Al Bhatt, taught me that leadership doesn’t actually mean knowing what to do; leadership means declaring a future, moving towards it, and inviting others to join me. They freed me up to go for it. Jenny
Pow-wow Drummers with Aaron Athey in the Ceremonial Walk Photo by Ryan Nelling
42 • OCTOBER 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND
LEV NATAN / TAKING A STAND FOR LIFE ON EARTH
Oser introduced me to community organizing, way back in high school. Professor John Hart, at Boston University gave me The Great Work by Thomas Berry. I met Hawksbrother, an Algon quin traditional healer and martial artist who opened me to a deeper understanding of healing, the possibility of social transformation, and the importance of digging in, and staying com mitted.
What blessings can you be grateful for in your life?
LN: Gratitude is the foundation of all the teach ings that I’ve received from indigenous elders. The Thanksgiving Address is the core document recited before council meetings in the Haudena saunee Confederacy. Joanna Macy speaks about
gratitude as inherently subversive because being grateful opens the doorway to sufficiency, enoughness; which is the opposite of the consum erist idea that says “I’m not enough” or “I don’t have enough” unless I get the next thing on ama Mostzon. of all, I’m grateful to my wife, Sarah, and my son, Emet, for their love and support. Family is so important. It’s really everything. When I feel love and harmony in my family, it lifts my spirits and I feel all of that momentum carrying me forward in my work. If I’m facing challenges at home, it makes everything else twice as hard. I am so grateful for the love and commitment that I share with Sarah. And, I’m deeply grateful to my parents for their love and support. Also, my weekly men’s group, where I’m able to be real
and supported by real friends. Without my family and community, I would never have even made it this Lastly,far.I’m simply grateful for my life. As I men tioned before, I didn’t always think I would make it. There’s a power that has emerged since facing my own death, facing my deepest fears. While I do still get scared, I don’t let that stop me any more. I am able to do what needs to be done be cause I’m a father, a husband, a community member, a protector of life and our beautiful mother earth.
Do you ever delve into your family’s ancestry? What do you now know that has surfaced that you may not have known about if not for your Continued on next page...
Lev pours the offering into the Housatonic River Photo by Ryan Nelling
A bond is formed amongst the people on this wonderful day Photo by Ryan Nelling
THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2022 • 43
primary interest and ongoing work with people?
LN: My father’s family is from Kiev and my mother’s family is from Odessa. I’m a fourth gen eration Ukranian born in the United States. I’ve realized that my deep resonance with the experi ence of Native American people has a lot to do with my ancestral trauma around the pogroms. My people were also persecuted for their reli gious, spiritual and cultural identity. While I don’t act like I know what it’s like to be Native Ameri can, I feel a sense of shared experience, and there fore feel the profound importance and potential for healing this deep shadow in American history. And, I have a deep sense that this social healing
goes hand-in-hand with the process of healing our relationship with the earth and preparing our selves for the future.
In what ways is it actually possible to merge cultures in today’s world?
LN: Everyone has their place. My adopted grand dad, Jake Singer, and Chief Keith Horselooking, my sundance chief, have opened their ceremonies to white folks, like myself. Not all native people have done that, and that’s okay.
Reb Zalman, the founder of the Jewish Renewal Movement, taught that the different cultures and nations of the world are like the different organs of the body. The liver, kidneys, heart and lungs
don’t fight amongst themselves or else the body would die - that’s called an autoimmune disease. As a human family, we are collectively deciding whether we are able to stop fighting and work to gether, so that we can do what needs to be done to take care of the children of our species, and to be stewards of all living beings on earth. That is our responsibility as humans. It’s our role. It’s actually quite simple. But simple is not easy
Do you ever get negative criticism, skeptical comments, from people on the work you are doing? You are very brave to have this direc tion in life, but I wonder if people might try to bring you down in all you are trying to do? So
Standing and dancing in unity, together, in a big circle Photo by Ryan Nelling
Local youth carry the sign on Main St. Photo by Ryan Nelling FOR ON EARTH
44 • OCTOBER 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND
LEV NATAN / TAKING A STAND
many challenges one has to deal with when they want to take on the world and make it better for the future.
LN: Yes, of course. The status quo does not want to change. Our collective lifestyle is actually that we are addicted to oil. When someone is add icted, it is very hard to change. In psychology, the term is cognitive dissonance—a mental conflict that occurs when a person’s beliefs don’t line up with what someone else is proposing. Change is hard and scary. It does take courage. As I continue in this work, my compassion is growing - for the suffering that we all feel as human beings. I don’t take it personally when folks challenge me. Many times, folks have a good point, I listen and do my best to integrate what they are saying into our principles or strategy. And, I’m grateful for the training that I’ve received - physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. This is the work of peacemaking - to not react but respond. The more that we can learn to take a breath and listen more deeply, when someone is critical, the more we will be able to find what we have in common, most importantly, what we are both committed to - our collective future. That’s a foundation that we can build from. It’s not easy, but it’s what is needed now - it’s the path of peace making and climate leadership.
Thank you, Lev for putting into perspective your thoughts and positive energy as we move along in our artistic and fulfilling journeys and quests, past, present and future….What are your final thoughts you would like to share with us?
LN: I’ve done my best to share transparently, the honest truth of my experience. I’m human. I as pire to be reliable to myself, my family, com munity and co-workers. And, I do make mistakes. I fall short. My understanding is that the most important aspect of leadership is actually to be able to admit when I have made a mistake, while not falling into shame; then, do my best to clean it up, and keep moving forward with the task at hand.
If you resonate with this approach to the work of building a viable future for our children, I urge you to reach out to me, get connected to the Alli ance. We can’t do it alone. It takes everyone who feels the call. We need all hands-on deck right now. There’s no time to waste.
How can we enlighten our children towards making our world a viable place to live?
LN: Our children are watching us - they hear our every word and see our every move. I am realiz ing with my son that he even senses my thoughts and feelings too. My son is my greatest teacher
and inspiration - he is my Chief Inspiration Of ficer. Children don’t want to be enlightened. They want to be inspired by us living our lives with courage, creativity and adventure. Our chil dren need to see us walking our talk. They need to see us leading by example.
When my son is forty years old, and I’m almost eighty, and he asks me what did I do to make sure that life would be good for him, and for his chil dren, I am determined to look him in the eye and tell him that I did everything in my power to make life good for him. I didn’t look away. I didn’t ig nore the reality that we are facing. I looked at it and did my best. That’s what our children need to see us doing.
Please give us the website for more information on the Indigenous People’s Day events, and the Alliance for a Viable Future?
Thank you, Lev!
Lev blesses all the children with sweatgrass Photo by Ryan Nelling
THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2022 • 45
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 be fore…. join us and experience something different.
Painting classes continue on Monday and Wed nesday 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.
Front Street, Housatonic, MA. Gallery open by appointment or chance anytime. 413-528-9546 at home or 413-429-7141 (cell)
MARGUERITE BRIDE WATERCOLORS
NOW is the time to make plans if you would like to commission a house portrait.
It’s a lot easier than you think to commission a house portrait (or any type of scene). The artist will visit the site and take photos (if local) and come up with some sketches that depicts the view you are looking for. Once agreement is met on the view and season, what is to be included and not included, and the size of the painting, then the painting process begins. It seldom takes more than 3 weeks from start to finish.
A custom house portrait is a personal and cher ished gift for any occasion. Most often adult chil dren commission a piece for their parents, other times it’s an anniversary, retirement, or holiday surprise gift, and sometimes it’s a gift for yourself because you love your home.
Whatever the occasion, it is always a happy process for everyone. Marge Bride would love to paint your home for you!
“Visit my website to see many of the homes I have painted. You will find plenty of ideas to in spire you, and answers to all your questions. It is such a pleasurable journey for the gift recipients and for me as well.”
Also, Marguerite Bride will be exhibiting 2 pieces in the Berkshire Art Association’s RE*Fresh Exhibit to be held October 7 - No vember 26 at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts in Pittsfield. Reception will be held on Saturday, October 8, from 3-5 pm.
Marguerite Bride – Home Studio at 46 Glory Drive, Pittsfield, Massachusetts by appointment only. Call/text 413-841-1659; margebride-paintings.com; email@example.com; Facebook: Marguerite Bride Watercolors
The 31st Season opens on November 6 with the long-awaited world premiere of “One Earth”, then continues with a gallery of image-conjuring works in “Pictures at and Exhibition”, Copland’s “Appa lachian Spring”, the return of Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Yekwon Sunwoo, and much more.
Israeli-American composer Tamar Muskal’s “One Earth,” a new a work for string quintet, women’s chorus, rapper and Indian tabla player, receives its world premiere on Sunday, November 6, 4 PM at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center after two years of Covid delays. In the words of the composer, it “calls all people to positive ac tion, to love, to beauty, and anything that protects the planet and humanity.” Muskal’s works are in herently theatrical, and she has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. The opening concert also fea tures Schubert’s transcendent String Quintet, one of the most beloved pieces in the chamber music repertoire. Performers are the Borromeo String Quartet, hailed for its “edge of the seat perform ances” by the Boston Globe, which called it “simply the best.” They are joined by inter nationally renowned cellist Yehuda Hanani.
Artistic director Yehuda Hanani is welcoming audience members new to the Berkshires as well as long-time residents to join for intimate pro grams with outsize talent, in the beautiful land mark Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center “to regain a sense of Community through the inspiring and healing effects of the best music ever penned. The great melodists Dvorak, Mendelssohn and Tchai kovsky touch us in the deepest recesses of our souls. Copland helps restore our confidence in the success of the American experiment; Schubert opens the gates of Heaven; Beethoven reminds us what it is to be human; and our adorable rapper, Christylez Bacon, puts us in touch with the joyful, the playful and the light.”
Close Encounters With Music - PO Box 34, Great Barrington, MA 01230; Web: cewm.org; firstname.lastname@example.org;e-mail: Twitter:@CEWMusic; Facebook: @closeencounterswithmusic; Instagram:@closeencounterswithmusic
HOUSE PORCH VIEW OIL, 30”X30"
HOUSE PORTRAIT IN WATERCOLOR
46 • OCTOBER 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND
COMMUNITY GREAT BARRINGTON SEEKS FEMALE ACTORS TO AUDITION FOR A PLAY TO BE PUT ON THIS SPRING 2023. IF YOU WANT TO ACT, THIS IS A FUN OPPORTUNITY EXPERIENCE WITH ACTING A PLUS. NON-EQUITY ONLY Please call to set up audition: 413-645-4114
with Deanna Musgrave October 2022
Things are currently building towards a “grand fi nale” of this year’s issues and it’s going to start escalating in late October. It may be chaotic at times with world events in late October into No vember but, I also feel there will be opportunities for creators if we focus our attention to utilize the planetary energies towards our creativity in the right ways. As a visual artist, I am specifically fo cusing my attention on how to work with the Mer cury and Mars Retrograde in October.
First off, what is a planetary Retrograde? People often falsely assume that astrologers think that the planets move backwards when there is a Retro grade but, this is impossible. A Retrograde is an illusion that makes it appear that the planet is re versing when closest to earth in orbit. My concern is that this proximity intensifies the energy, and it becomes chaotic.
We will be finishing off a Mercury in Retrograde on October 2nd but, be aware that we will still be in its Post-Retrograde shadow period until Oc tober 16. We can still feel the effects of a Retro grade during a shadow period but they tend to be diminishing. Many assume that astrology is for a specific time, and it is true that events often happen on the exacting of a planetary aspect how ever, I see the energy more like waves with a fade in, peak and fade out. While exact dates and times matter, it is also important to consider the days be fore and leading up to a planetary movement or Youaspect.have
likely heard that Mercury Retrogrades cause chaos when it comes to communications and technology, however this experience is differ ent for everyone depending on your natal chart. If you are born in a Mercury Retrograde, it could af fect you in a positive way, according to astrology. If Mercury strongly influences your chart, you may feel the Retrograde in a more negative way. For instance, I’m a Virgo Rising so, Mercury rules my chart and Mercury Retrogrades are always chaotic with the most embarrassing email typos. I think the universe must have a sense of humour
to give me an offer to write my first astrology col umn for “The Artful Mind” right in the thick of a Mercury Retrograde but, you can’t allow it to con trol your life. Mercury Retrogrades should not be feared but, awareness is key. For someone like me, I need to check emails and contracts at least three times, as well as have some compassionate humour towards myself when I make a mistake. In an ideal world, I would shut down communi cation and use this time for introspection in my art studio. Retrogrades are powerful for creators if you know how to use them.
Others might think about the past weeks as a com pletely opposite experience to what I have just de scribed, and you wouldn’t be wrong. As I stated previously, the Mercury Retrograde will influence you differently depending on your chart. For in stance, if you were born in a Mercury Retrograde, you might find that those weeks give you a boost with communications. In that case, a Mercury Retrograde is a perfect time for you to start an art project or publicly debut it! So, which one are you? You can look this up in your natal chart or you can simply take note of how communications have been for you since September 9th, 2022 when the Retrograde started.
Knowing how Mercury Retrogrades impact you matters as an artist given that Mercury is the ruler of communications. While most astrologers at tribute artistic ability to Venus and Neptune, and often overlook the importance of Mercury, they are not always involved in the arts to know why it would be important. I am both an artist and an astrologer and I can tell you that Mercury also has a huge influence on visual arts! I attribute this to 20th century postmodernism where conceptual art took center stage and an idea (which is in the do main of Mercury) could be an artwork. I would go so far to say that Mercury can, in some cases, have even more influence than Venus and Nep tune on contemporary art. It is also important to consider the impact of writing ability, which is in the domain of Mercury, for gallery or grant appli
planetary motion I’m focusing on this month is when Mars goes into Retrograde in Gemini from October 30, 2022 to January 12, 2023 (with a pre-Retrograde shadow from Sep tember 3, 2022). I anticipate this Retrograde to be more pronounced as it is right in the middle of our next eclipse season with a Partial New Moon Solar Eclipse on October 25th in Scorpio and the Total Lunar Eclipse on November 8th in Taurus. Mars is another planet that astrologers don’t often connect with artists however, according to astrol ogy, it is our fire and passion! Mars moved into Gemini on August 20th, 2022 and will be there for an unusual seven months. How it will influence you will depend on which house Gemini rules in your chart however, you can simply take note of what became “fired up” around August 20th in your life. For me, Gemini is in my 10th house of public life and career which is interesting when you consider that I just had two major art shows
and multiple offers! When Mars goes Retrograde on the 30th, I expect this to shift and for that fire to turn into more internal reflection on my passion. Wouldn’t you know it but one of my shows comes down on October 24th and I expect to have a long reflection period to sort out my fu ture art projects! So, for you, whatever fired up on August 20th, expect it to shift around October 30th given that the Mars energy will go Retrograde and be more internal until January 12, 2023. Mars will move out of Gemini completely on March 25th, 2023.
As an artist, I am also paying attention to how world events may affect my art production. We are living in an unusually apocalyptic time, and I expect that the Mars Retrograde combined with the fall eclipses will create some intensity. Know ing what is coming can help artists to better pre pare. Mars in Gemini (August 20, 2022 to March 25th, 2023) will often create “your truth and my truth” battles. Gemini is symbolized by the twins and represents communication, conversations, op posites, and polarity. When Mars moved into Gemini, I expected there to be more passionate debate in the media about world events until it moves out of it in March 2023. If you are an artist who makes politically charged work, this might fire you up and inspire you however, for an em path like me, the intense polarization can be de bilitating at times and negatively affect art production. I carefully watch how my body re sponds when I watch the news. If I feel at all emo tionally dysregulated or ungrounded in my body, I take a break. I would advise having a grounding or protection ritual when you watch the news from now until Mars is out of Gemini. Know thy self as an artist and respect your boundaries with Mars in Gemini regarding debates. A positive way to use this energy is to figure out what Mars is fir ing up in your life and focus your attention on that one thing, especially when you need to take a break from the chaotic news. Gemini energy can also create a lot of distractions so, combined with Mars, it is like a fiery tornado that we could get swept up in. My advice is to choose one or two passions and hold onto them like a rope that is keeping you from getting swept up in the storm.
Venus and Neptune usually take center stage when talking about art, but all planets can have an impact on it. As you can see by my personal ex perience, Mars in my career house perfectly aligned with significant changes with my art. Knowing how to work with Retrogrades also has an impact on how to work with your artistic rhythms. If you want more specifics on how the planets will impact you in the coming year, you can book an online consultation with me.
Deanna Musgrave is an artist, astrologer, hypnot ist, energy worker and intuitive guide. You can contact her through her websites at: www.deannamusgrave.comwww.artisthehealer.com
Thank you, Deanna!
THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2022 • 47
Something For Over The Couch 15
“Why is The Moon Round”
Perhaps you are wondering how I felt, knowing that my father had been murdered. And what about the place it happened; in an apartment over a bar in a run down part of our town? But it will not be possible to explain what it was like, be cause It can’t be explained even to myself. Try to imagine what it is like to pedal your bike down the street, and under the windows of the place where your father died. Then imagine doing it over again hundreds of times. You look at the people going in and out, you try to remember the plate numbers of their cars, trying to solve a riddle, like a caveman might wonder about the moon.
Consider the moon just for a moment, why is it so round, not just almost round, but per fectly round? The earth, and all the planets are per fectly round. What does that say about the creator of the universe? The moon is perfect work, it is truly excellent craftsmanship. But try to find a nice perfectly round stone that nature made anywhere, and you will not have any luck. That was how I rea soned with myself about what had happened. The moon is perfectly round, and so is the earth, but you would never know it walking around and looking at things up close. Close up the earth is all crooked in explicable chaos, without order or reason, but from a distance it appears to be perfect. So, when seen from a distance the tragic disappearance of my father from the world will fit into some pattern, some stupid, pointless, perfect scheme, an arrange ment I know I will never see.
But I know what you are thinking. ‘What was the man doing in some rundown apartment in the slums over a bar in the first place? Probably he was up to no good,’ you think. That is the exact rea son my grandfather made haste to keep it a secret from everyone, because that is what everyone would have thought. But they wouldn’t know the simple and obvious explanation of what he might have been doing there, but I knew why full well. It was because he was an insurance salesman. An insurance sales man goes to all kinds of places, to bars and old apartments, expensive houses and the offices of cor porations. I went with him very often, and as a matter of fact I had even been in the bar above which he died. It was in the afternoon, and we had lunch there, because it was also a restaurant. The owner, Nena, liked my father and would sit with us. The place was always empty in the early afternoon, and she would serve us fried pepper sandwiches on Italian bread.
The other aspect of his work he did not care for was the responsibility to remind the clients to pay their bills when they were past due. I did not go with him for those calls as a rule, but sometimes I did. Often he would become involved in the prob lems of his customers. One poor man, I recall, had his car insurance suspended, and his license re voked, and yet Dad spent the afternoon helping him get his car running. We went to the car parts store for him, and purchased some carburetor parts, a little spring as I recall for fifty cents.
After the car was running, the guy drove off, no license and no registration. He was anxious to get to work. He was late and afraid he might get fired. He got about a block away and a policeman on a motorcycle pulled him over, because he was speeding. This upset my Dad because he felt respon sible. We got in the car and drove up to the scene of the crime. The motorcycle was parked behind the guy’s junk of a car, and I started examining the mo torcycle.
It was a monstrous Indian Motorcycle, the police department had just purchased five of them from Ember’s bicycle shop. I listen to my Dad talk ing quietly to the policeman, I don’t know what he said exactly, but he put away his pad, walked over to his bike and drove off. So, that was my Dad, al ways looking out for people, especially some guy down on his luck, and now he was dead, and it was a thing impossible to Fortunately,believe.untilrecently, I was the only person in the world who knew about the cause of his death, just me and my grandfather that is. Not my mom, and not my brother. Pops told only me, in his broken English, and made me understand the impor tance of the secret. He managed to keep the infor mation out of the papers and the news reports because he had a friend down at the paper. Then there was a detective, a family friend who rewrote the police report, as a favor to my mom, and my family. The victim’s name was withheld, because of the ongoing investigation.
It never even crossed my mind that there might be a person at the hospital that would know about the actual cause of his death. And now there was Hanna, my art teacher.
It might seem odd that my grandfather told me, and only me about the stabbing, and I won dered about it for a long time. But now I understand it perfectly and I will explain it to you also.
My grandfather lived alone in a small house in the Italian section, on Lansing Street. My grandmother having died, my mother got it into her head that I should go and visit him occasionally. It was 1957, and I was 13. I spent my days on my bi cycle, a bicycle on which I would investigate every corner of our town. Now, occasionally I would stop to look in on my grandfather. He would always be sitting on the porch looking out into the street. He always smoked stogies, the buts of which he would crush up, and smoke in a pipe. He always needed a shave, but never had a beard.
I would come up onto the porch, and he would turn his cheek for me to kiss him. To kiss my grandfather was exactly like giving a kiss to a wire brush suffused with stogie smoke. The memory of such a kiss is indelible, eternal.
Having kissed him, I would sit in the chair next to him and also stare out into the street. He never said anything to me, nor I to him. After about fifteen minutes I would get up, and again kiss his
sandpaper face, and then depart on my bicycle.
These visits were repeated about once a week, for a few months, but then I stopped going to see him. I thought to myself, ‘He never says a word to me.’
One day my mother said to me, “Why is it that you no longer visit your grandfather any more?”
“He never says anything to me,” was my reply.
“Go to see him, he looks forward to your visits more than anything,” she said.
So, I resumed my visits to my grandfather, and we would sit in silence looking out into the street.
During this time, since I was only thir teen, I never once attempted to imagine what might have been going on in his mind. My father had four brothers, but it was my father he loved the most, cal ling him every day at a time when he knew he would be home from work. I would pick up the phone and hear his gravel voice always pronounce the same words, “Lemme speak a you Fatch.”
Then I would hear a conversation in Ital ian lasting about five minutes. It seemed to me they were talking in a ‘real’ language, with words that had deeper meanings. To not know the meaning gave the words yet more significance, and I would say, “Teach me Italian,” and always the same reply, “It’s not really Italian, just a dialect, a southern di alect.”
I was discouraged from learning even a few words in that dialect, but I did learn to speak with the sound, gutteral, from the back of my throat, a sound like a gentlemanly and polite threat to mur der, a pretend Italian spoken to friends for a laugh, in immitation of those old men talking together at funerals, and in clouds of smoke, sitting at round tables at wedding receptions.
So it was grief, I realized, that prevented my grandfather from saying anything to me. It was fear of any conversation that might accidentally bring up the image of my father, standing in a door way, lighting a cigarette, pushing his chair away from the kitchen table and saying, “Get me paper and pencil, I’ll explain to you how a transmission works.” To touch on those images with words most certainly would have brought forth an uncontrol lable outburst of grief, the grief of women who throw themselves into open graves.
The relationship between Dad and Grandpa was intimate. For some of their conver sation that took place in the kitchen, I was sent out into the living room. What did they talk about? Dad was teaching him to read and write, and after that he corrected his arithmetic lessons. Their roles had become reversed and the old man became a child, that is the most intimate of familial relationships.
So , In conclusion, you must read a short story, “Grief,” by Chekhov. It is the story of a cabby who can find no one to hear the tale of the death of his son, so he tells his horse, the only being with the patience and the time to listen. So, I was told of the murder of my dad, and I was the horse, and Grand father was the cabby. Like the horse, I could not even begin to imagine the significance of the story.
PARTS 1 THROUGH 14, AT SPAZIFINEART COM
48 • OCTOBER 2022 THE ARTFUL MIND
EDWARDPHOTOGRAPHERACKER Time Flies • Get EdwardAckerPhotographer.comPictures413-446-8348
OCTOBER 1 - 31, 2022 129 FRONT STREET HOUSATONIC, MA 413. 645. 4114 / email@example.com HOURS: Thursday through Sunday 10 - 4 and by appointment UN / SPOKEN ASSIONP THE ARTFUL MIND art exhibit matt chinian yana van dyke ghetta hirsch mark dylan hyde lonny jarrett kate knapp mark maryilenebrucecarolynmellingernewbergerpanockrichardannyarmosky 11 ARTISTS RECEPTION : SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15, 5 - 8pm