THE ARTFUL MIND PROMOTING THE ARTS IN THE BERKSHIRES SINCE 1994
DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018
Photography byEDWARD ACKER
EDWARD ACKER PHOTOGRAPHER
Time Flies D Get Pictures EdwardAckerPhotographer.com 413-446-8348
Mary Carol Rudin
The Bridge A Lady’s Back - Red
Oil on Canvas, 36x36
FRONT ST. GALLERY
Painting classes on Monday and Wednesday mornings 10-1pm at the studio in Housatonic and Thursday mornings 10am - 1pm out in the field. Also available for private critiques. Open to all. Please come paint with us!
gallery hours: open by chance and by appointment anytime 413. 274. 6607 (gallery) 413. 429. 7141 (cell) 413. 528. 9546 (home)
Front Street, Housatonic, MA
THE ARTFUL MIND DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018 2018 • 1
THE ARTFUL MIND ARTZINE
DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018
PainT whaT yOu Think nOT whaT yOu see
VITA KAY Interview...Harryet Puritzman ...8
DENNIS WHEELER Cover and inside shots by Edward AckerInterview...Harryet Puritzman ...16 DOREEN RAPPAPORT Interview...Harryet Puritzman ...28 GREAT BARRINGTON ARTISTS MARKET Molly and Kris Interview...Harryet Puritzman...36 JOYCE SILVER The Voice of Joyce...42
FICTION Richard Britell...43 Grandma Becky’s Recipes Laura Pian ...45
Photo: Lynn Rothenberg
Remains of the Day 11/24/17 Judy and Carl Berg ... 46
JEAN-CLAUDE GOLDBERG Interview...Harryet Puritzman ...48
Paintin’ the Town
Photo: Torrey Oates
Contributing Writers and Monthly Columnists Richard Britell, Laura Pian, Joyce Silver, Carl and Judy Berg Photographers Edward Acker, Lee Everett, Jane Feldman Sabine von Falken, Alison Wedd Publisher Harryet Puritzman Intern Sydney Keyes Copy Editor Marguerite Bride Editorial Proofreading Kris Galli Advertising and Graphic Design Harryet Puritzman
email@example.com 413 854 4400
FYI: ©Copyright laws in effect throughout The Artful Mind for logo & all graphics including text material. Copyright laws for photographers and writers throughout The Artful Mind. Permission to reprint is required in all instances. In any case the issue does not appear on the stands as planned due to unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, advertisers will be compensated on a one to one basis. All commentaries by writers are not necessarily the opinion of the publisher and take no responsibility for their facts and opinions.
2 • DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND
"Takes Two to Tango" oil on canvas 32"x40"
THE ARTFUL MIND DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018 â&#x20AC;¢ 3
WINTER SEASON CALENDAR DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018
• 510-469-5468 firstname.lastname@example.org HOLIDAY ART BAZAAR- Shop for handmade gifts and unique artwork this holiday season! December through January 4th
510 WARREN STREET GALLERY 510 WARREN STREET, HUDSON, NY • 518-822-0510 email@example.com / 510warrenstreetgallery.com Into The Garden" 510 Warren St Gallery January 5- 28, 2018. Opening Reception Saturday January 6th 3-6pm. Friday & Saturday, 12 - 6, Sunday 12 - 5 or by appt.
LISA VOLLMER PHOTOGRAPHY NEW STUDIO + GALLERY 325 STOCKBRIDGE ROAD, GT. BARRINGTON • 413-429-6511 www.lisavollmer.com NEW SHOW : ARRIVAL opens Dec.2 -through February 15, 2018.The GALLERY represents Sabine Vollmer von Falken, Thatcher H. Cook, Carolina Palermo Schulze, Tom Zetterstrom and Lear Levin. The STUDIO specializes in commercial, editorial, and portrait photography.(Open Thursday- Monday 12-6 and by appointment)
ARDEN GALLERY 129 NEWBURY ST, BOSTON, MA • 617-247-0610 firstname.lastname@example.org MICHAEL FILMUS landscapes, Month of February
BERKSHIRE MUSEUM BERKSHIRE MUSEUM, 39 SOUTH ST., PITTSFIELD, MA • 413-443-7171 Morgan Bulkeley: Nature Culture Clash, thru Feb 4.
Paul Gauguin, study for La Ronde Des Petites Bretonnes, 1888
Pastel and charcoal with transparent and opaque watercolor on cream-colored laid paper Drawings to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection, February 3 - april 22, 2018 The Clark, 225 south street, williamstown,Ma
CLAIRE TEAGUE SENIOR CENTER 917 SOUTH MAIN ST., GT. BARRINGTON, MA • 413-528-l881 See the newly rehung permanent collection. Eunice Agar paintings. Regular Hours: MondayFriday, 8:00 AM - 3:30pm CLAUDIA D’ALESSANDRO PHOTOGRAPHY 9 Seekonk Rd, Gt Barrington, MA • 413-717-1534 email@example.com "Rightful Places," will take place from Noon to 5pm on December 9
DEB KOFFMAN’S ARTSPACE 137 FRONT ST, HOUSATONIC, MA • 413-274-1201 Sat: 10:30-12:45 class meets. No experience in drawing necessary, just a willingness to look deeply and watch your mind. This class is conducted in silence. Adult class. $10, please & call to register. DENISE B CHANDLER FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY & PHOTO ART 413-637-2344 or 413-281-8461 (leave message) *Lenox home studio & gallery appointments available. *Exhibiting and represented by Sohn Fine Art, Lenox, MA.
DIANA FELBER GALLERY 6 HARRIS ST., WEST STOCKBRIDGE, MA 413-854-7002dianafelbergallery.com
BOHEMIAN NATIONAL HALL, NEW YORK, NY New York Ceramics & Glass Fair, Jan 18-21
FRONT STREET GALLERY 129 FRONT ST, HOUSATONIC, MA • 413-274-6607 Kate Knapp oils and watercolors and classes open to all.
FITCHBURG MUSEUM 185 ELM ST, FITCHBURG, MA Dave Cole, Cynthia Consentino, Mohamad Hafez, Dinorá Justice, and Joo Lee Kang. Opening: February 11, 2018 1 - 3 pm
GOOD PURPOSE GALLERY 40 MAIN STREET, LEE, MA • 413-394-5045 A Beautiful World, Diane Cournoyer, Jessica Park, Teresa Bills, thru Jan 8. HOTCHKISS MOBILES 8 CENTER ST, WEST STOCKBRIDGE, MA • 413-2320200 / firstname.lastname@example.org Three new designs based on the Cardinal.
LAUREN CLARK FINE ART 325 STOCKBRIDGE RD, GT. BARRINGTON MA 413-528-0432 Lauren@LaurenClarkFineArt.com www.LaurenClarkFineArt.com Ongoing exhibitions and framing services
L’ATELIER BERKSHIRES 597 MAIN STREET, GREAT BARRINGTON, MASSACHUSETTS www.atelierberks.com. FERRIN GALLERY 4 • DECEMBER / JANUARY THE ARTFUL MIND
MASS MoCA 1040 MASSMOCA WAY, NORTH ADAMS, MA • 413-662-2111 Chris Domenick: 50 Days. On view now. Elizabeth King:Radical Small, thru Jan 22; The Metabolic Studio/Optics Division, Hoosic: The Beyond Place, thru 2018, much more to see, please see website.
MARGUERITE BRIDE Marguerite Bride Original Watercolors - Custom House Portraits 413-442-7718 or 413-841-1659 (c) Web: Margebride-paintings.com Email: Margebride@aol.com Twitter: MargeBrideArt Facebook: Marguerite Bride Watercolors
NORMAN ROCKWELL MUSEUM 9 GLENDALE RD, STOCKBRIDGE, MA • 413-298-4100 Never Abandon Imagination: The Fantastic Art of Tony DiTerlizzi ROBERT FORTE
SAINT FRANCIS GALLERY SOUTH LEE, MA Ongoing exhibit of art
SCHANTZ GALLERIES 3 ELM ST, STOCKBRIDGE, MA • 413-298-3044 schantzgalleries.com Autumn hours: Daily, 10:30 - 5. The gallery is open daily 10:30-5 during the Autumn months. A destination for those seeking premier artists working in glass
THE IRIS GALLERY OF FINE ART 220 EAST ST, THE BERKSHIRES & BOSTON, MA Photographers and painters, please see www.IrisGallery.net THE KINDERHOOK GROUP 137 NORTH ST, PITTSFIELD, MA Paintings by Rose Tanenbaum, Dec 1-Jan 30 (Pittsfield First Friday Walk)
VAULT GALLERY 322 MAIN ST, GT. BARRINGTON, MA • 413-644-0221 Marilyn Kalish at work and process on view, beautiful gallery and wonderful collection of paintings
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC MAHAIWE THEATRE, CASTLE ST, GREAT BARRINGTON, MA • 413-528-0100 A Mid-winter fireside concert features the “Voice of the Baroque”, A Close EnCountertenor, on Saturday, February 24, 6 PM at Saint James Place, 352 Main Street, Great Barrington, Massachusetts.
CLUB HELSINKI HUDSON 405 COLUMBIA ST., HUDSON, NY Club Helsinki Hudson • 518-828-4800
MASS MoCA 1040 MASSMOCA WAY, NORTH ADAMS, MA • 413-662-2111 Polica/Stargaze, Pop music disassembled, Feb 15, 8pm
WATERMEDIA Studio/Gallery “a working studio”
by Chance or Appointment (cell) 561-632-2017 413-528-2120
345 State Road Great Barrington, Massachusetts
THE ARTFUL MIND DECEMBER /JANUARY 2018 • 5
ROBERT FORTE DEPARTURE, OIL ON CANVAS, 40"X30"
EQUINE PHOTOGRAPHER LISA CUEMAN TOOK THIS
PHOTOGRAPH OF ONE OF THE WILD HORSES ON THE
OUTER BANKS AND IT’S TITLED, “WAVELENGTH”. SHE IS REPRESENTED BY THE IRIS GALLERY OF FINE ART AND TO SEE MORE OF HER IMAGES, GO TO WWW.IRISGALLERY.NET PRINT SIZE: 24” X 36” PRINTED ON HAHNEMUHLE FINE ART PEARL ARCHIVAL PAPER.
collins | editions
Opening in 2005, as Berkshire Digital, we did fine art printing mainly for artists represented by The Iris Gallery of Fine Art in Great Barrington before opening our doors to the public. We do color calibrated printing on archival papers. These archival prints, also known to many people as Giclée prints, can be made in different sizes from 5x7 to 42” x 80”. Photographers & artists also use us to create limited editions of their images. In addition to the printing services, collins | editions also offers accurate digital photoreproduction of paintings and illustrations for use in books, magazines, brochures, cards and websites. See a complete overview of services offered, along with pricing at www.collinseditions.com The owner, Fred Collins, has been a commercial and fine art photographer for over 30 years having had studios in Boston and Stamford. He offers over 20 years of experience with Photoshop™ enabling retouching, restoration and enhancement to prints and digital files. The studio is located in Mt Washington but drop-off and PU is also available through Frames On Wheels, located at 84 Railroad Street in Great Barrington, MA (413) 528-0997. collins | editions studio - (413) 644-9663 www.CollinsEditions.com or email, email@example.com.
Robert Forte's paintings continue to explore themes and ideas drawn from experiences in his life and in the world around him. The canvas used as a vehicle of expression as opposed to representation provides Forte with the excitement that makes painting an ongoing adventure and a source of limitless possibilities. Antecedent artists that inspire are the great expressionists Soutine and Schiele, Beckmann, Kirchner and Kokoschka. Forte also enjoys the minimalism of contemporary artists such as Alex Katz and the unique imagery of Bacon, Guston and Kitaj. The politically catastrophic events now in progress in this country, and the social upheavals worldwide have reinforced Forte's need to give vigorous expression to ideas and emotions that resonate both personally and universally. The anticipated assault on human rights and dignity make it all the more imperative to use the canvas forcefully, both as a reaffirmation of oneself and a reaching out to others. There are many ways and media with which to achieve this, but Forte has concentrated his work on oils, adding acrylics for their adaptability to rapid brushstrokes. Forte recently concluded his first solo show in New York City, titled "Paint, Passion, Perception". Currently, he is preparing for a group show at Atlantic Gallery in New York City on the theme of "arrivals and departures". He also has begun a new body of work in preparation for solo shows at two New York City galleries in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Forte is now an Affiliate of the Circle Foundation for the Arts. Robert Forte - www.robertforte.com
Dance is of all things the most concentrated expression of happiness and everyone needs to find happiness, to search for an ideal escape.
MORGAN BULKELEY, BEAK MORPHOLOGY, 2000, OIL ON 64” X 56”, COLLECTION OF BERKSHIRE MUSEUM
NATURE CULTURE CLASH
Morgan Bulkeley: Nature Culture Clash, a solo exhibition by Berkshire-based artist Morgan Bulkeley, will be on view at the Berkshire Museum from September 29, 2017, through February 4, 2018. Humorous and ominous at the same time, Bulkeley’s vivid images offer compelling scenarios where humans are pitted against nature, with nature holding the advantage. Morgan Bulkeley: Nature Culture Clash is a significant career retrospective covering five decades of work, from drawings created in 1967 to a recent series of paintings depicting a vibrant array of birds. The exhibition encompasses carved and painted wood masks and panels, paintings, sculpture, and a sitespecific installation. Geoffrey Young, of the Geoffrey Young Gallery in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, is the guest curator. Morgan Bulkeley, born in the Berkshires in 1944, was raised in Mount Washington, where his parents, both naturalists, cared for many wild animals. He graduated from Yale University in 1966 with a B.A. in English literature. After a stint in the Coast Guard, he spent a year in Newark, New Jersey, and then 14 years in Cambridge, Massachusetts, painting and sculpting. In 1985 he returned to his childhood home where he lives with his wife, environmentalist Eleanor Tillinghast. Bulkeley has had solo shows at the Danforth Museum in Framingham, Mass., the Bachelier-Cardonsky Gallery in Kent, Conn., the Carone Gallery in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and the deCordova Museum in Lincoln, Mass., among others. Bulkeley has had eleven solo shows with the Howard Yezerski Gallery in Boston, Mass. Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield, Massachusetts. For more information, visit berkshiremuseum.org or call 413-443-7171.
-Violette Verdy 6 • DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018
HAPPY NEW YEARS YA’LL PEEPS!!! THE ARTFUL MIND
THE GOOD PURPOSE GALLERY A BEAUTIFUL WORLD
The Good Purpose Gallery presents A Beautiful World, bringing together three very unique artists whose styles are highly individual. Jessica Park is a nationally recognized, self-taught artist with autism whose passionate renderings of bridges, buildings, houses and churches have a distinctive pop art quality. Diane Cournoyer has studied her craft at the Swain School of Design and Parsons School of Design and draws inspiration from the nature around her. Teresa Bills has long worked on traditional quilting, and only recently started exploring art quilts but her designs are remarkable. The exhibition runs through January 8, 2018. Jessica Park has been featured in publications such as Time Magazine and The New Yorker and is the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in 2003. Diane Cournoyer was a founding member of Gallery X in New Bedford, MA, and shows regularly at Studio Hop in Providence, RI. She continued her studies at the Vermont Studio School and The Studio School of the Aegean in Greece. Teresa Bills works from photographs, drafting a drawing and then creating a template to follow with the fabric and thread. She quilts her pieces using a free motion technique that is much like drawing with thread. Bills found her passion for pieced art quilts while attending a workshop with Ruth McDowell in 2008 and discovered she could express the beauty of the world around her better through fabric.The Gallery is honored to host this extraordinary exhibition of three fantastic artists. Good Purpose Gallery - 40 Main Street, Lee, Massachusetts. 413-394-5045; firstname.lastname@example.org. Gallery hours: 10am – 4pm daily. For more information on the Gallery, visit our website: Goodpurpose.org or follow us on Facebook and Instagram or email us at email@example.com for more information.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC ARYEH NUSSBAUM COHEN, COUNTERTENOR
VOICE OF THE BAROQUE
A Mid-winter fireside concert features the “Voice of the Baroque”, A Close EnCountertenor, on Saturday, February 24, 6 PM at Saint James Place, 352 Main Street, Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Seldom has there been such a merging of intellectual rigor and emotion as in Johann Sebastian Bach’s Gamba Sonatas. The slow movements reach remarkable spiritual height and the outer movements are bursting with joy. Yehuda Hanani’s legendary musicianship and artistic probing will enrich these challenging sonatas. We also introduce American countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen in selections of English song from Dowland, Purcell and Handel. Identified as one of opera's most promising rising stars, in 2017 he received a Richard Tucker Music Foundation grant, made his European debut at the Theater an der Wien and was named a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition. “…There was only one complete artist. At just 23, Cohen, a baby-faced countertenor from Brooklyn, already possesses a remarkable gift for intimate communication…Expressive yet dignified, his phrasing confident and his ornamentation stylishly discreet, he brought tears to my eyes.”—The New York Times Tickets: $38 Limited tickets available (open seating) at the box office. Main Street entrance starting at 5:00 pm or buy ahead (call or via website). This concert is included in a season subscription purchase! Subscriptions are still available at prorated prices. Close Encounters With Music www.cewm.org or 800-843-0778.
HOLIDAY ART BAZAAR
L’ATELIER BERKSHIRES GALLERY
Shop for the Holidays at L’Atelier Berkshire’s HOLIDAY ART BAZAAR featuring glass jewelry, handmade toys, ceramics and original art pieces. Find something unique, locally made and special for your loved ones this holiday season and support the arts! The Holiday Art Bazaar starts December 14 and runs through January 4. The Gallery is open Thursday- Sunday 126pm and happily, by appointment. L’Atelier Berkshires Gallery, 597 Main Street, Great Barrington, Massachusetts; www.atelierberks.com Contact: Natalie Tyler at 510-469-5468, firstname.lastname@example.org
THE ARTFUL MIND DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018 • 7
VITA KAY Celebrating Life through
Song & Spirituality
Harryet Puritzman: Vita, you have many talents. Your photographs are insightful, and your voice is beautiful! Can you describe your voice, and where your passion for singing comes from? Vita Kay: I’ve been told I remind people of Astrud Gilberto and Karen Carpenter... For many of us, there are only a few things we have love, passion and desire for. Music and singing is my primary passion. Brazilian and traditional Indian music seem to attract me more then any other, perhaps a passion that I carried from my previous life…
8 • DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND
At what point in your life did you discover music and singing, and how did it help you to develop your social skills, being the shy youngster that you say you were? Vita: My mother is a good singer, as was her mother… she must have sung to her stomach when I was in it. She told me I would smile and shake my booty in my crib at just a few months old, when I heard someone sing or heard music played. My own first memory of singing (and dancing) is while at kindergarten. I remember being shy yet popular among children andparents, perhaps because of these abilities. Starting to learn piano at the age of six was a natural progression of growing up… a lot of my schoolmates would go learn something after a school day, be it a musical instrument, dancing or playing sport—it was a norm in the Soviet, and very affordable to all. My mother would sing while doing house chores and I would often join in with harmonies. She would encourage me to organize a performance involving my peers for all of my birthdays, until my teens, as well as summer concerts on a
Photo: Bret Cohen @ Three Jewels NYC
First love, first heartbreak, first perm RiTa kay playground organized by the children from our neighboring buildings. I liked most of the subjects in my music school, especially singing—it was the easiest andmost fun for me. I was always in a choir, so I didn’t have to fight my shyness… and when I was asked to take a solo on occasion, it was brief. With playing the piano it was different. Iwould get selected to play a competition and go on stage frozen with stage fright. There were three musical pieces to play each competition and my nerves would calm down a little towards the middle of a second piece, but I remember still trembling as I’d get off stage. I guess I got less inhibited when I left home and moved to St. Petersburg, Russia. I changed one letter in my name, from Vika (short for Victoria in Russian) to Vita… I have a k in my last name and decided there were too many k’s… it sounded nicer to me also. Only few years ago, while learning Sanskrit in university in London, I found out that Vita means “freed” in Sanskrit (it’s mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita, apparently) and then it all made sense: by moving away and changing my name, I freed myself of my mother, who was very controlling. She also had told me, when I said I wanted to be a singer and not a pianist, that I will not make it because my voice was not strong enough. But that was what I wanted to do most, so I sang whenever I went, and as time passed I got more confident about myself and my singing abilities. Friends' and strangers' complements and encouragement played a big role in that, as well as discovering that every-
thing in this world is a projection of one's own state of mind… I now feel more joy than fear when singing in front of people, but I do keep my eyes closed, so I don’t get distracted by what's going on around me and get self-conscious.
What other kinds of opportunities were you given to enhance your musical education and abilities? Vita: At college in St. Petersburg, while studying choir conducting, we had a weekly classical choir practice during which they used to place me next to those who found it difficult to hold the part, because I had good ear… I remember that was flattering, and it boosted my self-esteem. I learned from my ex-husband, who is a prolific singer-songwriter and a wonderful guitar player. He introduced me to many jazz, soul and funk artists (as well as Star Trek and many classic British sitcoms!) When I start singing Bossa Nova tunes, I’d have people come up and tell me about their favorite Brazilian singers, and I'd go listen to them and learn the tunes from their repertoire that I liked. I attended a year-long, part-time jazz improvisation course at Goldsmith University in London, where I met fantastic musicians and got my first solo gig by singing my interpretation of Autumn Leaves at the finals—a lady from the audience booked me to play at her wedding… There was also a live performance on the legendary Bob Harris show at BBC2 in London.
Afriend who was a singer-songwriter ask me to sing one of his songs for an album he was recording. When released, the album made the UK charts, and Golden Boy (the song I sang on it) was picked up by Bob to play on his show. I feel I learn from every performance… as well as every situation life presents. I think studying music can be intense, and one needs to have a strong focus if one plans on achieving and understanding this art form. Were there times when it was difficult for you to study? Were you drawn away from music at any point, or did you stick with it through all the challenges you encountered? Vita: During the last couple of years at music school I was somewhat a rebellious teenager—as rebellious as one could be around a very strict parent. I skipped from school on occasion and wouldn't practice the piano as much as it was required. My mom threatened to stop paying music school fees, but my piano teacher and the school director had a talk with her (and with me later) to discourage her from making “such a mistake,” since I was one of the best students and they predicted my taking the piano studies further. I did manage to graduate with good marks. When I was with my ex-husband, I felt at times I wasn't a real musician: a musician must “live music,” just like he did… he would wake up and make up a new song and practice his guitar every day. I just had never done that, perhaps because it Continued on next page...
THE ARTFUL MIND DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018 • 9
Rita and a Brizilian guitarist Afranio Guimaraes in London
seemingly had always come easily to me—the education, the ability, the recognition… He, on the other hand, was self-taught and seemed to struggle to make a career out of it. Music was his life. I guess I always subconsciously remembered my mother saying I will not make it as a singer, so I didn’t try to make it into a career until recently, when I finally started believing all the compliments and the encouragement to do what I love and the rest will take care of itself. I realized it’s not that important to me to understand or to know (do we really understand or know?), but to feel, express and enjoy the process.
What is it about music and singing that you wished to share with others? Vita: I feel it’s a great way to communicate, connect and get high. I feel music unites people… even without words, it brings up emotions, often suppressed. Singing, of course, unites also. Irecall attending Deva Premal and Miten's open-air concert, which they gave free of charge to express gratitude to the locals in Corfu. The concert was concluded with Gayatri mantra, which is one of the main Vedic mantras (devotional chants). There was something magical about singing together on the open-air platform, surrounded by olive groves that looked down
on the ocean lit by the full moon... I think everyone should sing as much as possible, regardless of what they or others think about their ability. Just like movement and dance, it’s a wonderful way of expression and release.
How did you explore your rebellious side? Vita: In a most subtle way. I was blessed to have a strict, controlling, authoritarian person for a mother. My dad was of opposite character to her, but sadly I didn’t have him in my life long enough to get to know. My mom chose to bring me up by herself, and I remember many occasions of being hurt by the blame I felt was unjust, and learning to lie in order to avoid aggravation. As I was growing up, I couldn't wait to leave home. I did, as soon as I graduated from high school, and never looked back. For many years I blamed my mother for many things… only when I started exploring non-duality did I understand everything happens for a reason and is, in a way, a lesson… and that she did the best she could. In different circumstances I, like many of my schoolmates, might have stayed in my small town in Kazakhstan, had a day job and a family, and might have never found my true self. I landed in St. Petersburg in late 80s—Pere-
10 • DECEMBER /JANUARY 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND
RiTa kay photography
stroika years—the whole country was rebelling. Old communist values, which were my mother's values, stopped making sense to a lot of people, so I felt I was in the right place at the right time. The 80s and the 90s brought out so much exciting art, music and speech! I was still shy and quiet, but loved being in the midst of it all. In St. Petersburg I learned about the esoteric teachings and eastern philosophies that I continued to explore when I moved to the UK a few years later. I liked that they encouraged us to question opinions rather than blindly take them as ultimate truth. In A Course In Miracles it says: “We give everything all the meaning it has for us.”
How did you end up living here in the Berkshires? I find it interesting that you were so independent most of the time, and had a taste for finding out who you were and what you could do with your life. Vita: I grew up in Kazakhstan, the second largest republic in the former Union of fifteen Soviet Socialist Republics (Russia being the largest). As I mentioned earlier, I moved to St. Petersburg and a few years later, to Cambridge, UK and then London, where I spent many years continuing to discover how the world works.
In late spring of 2013, one of my massage clients invited me to give her treatments in her holiday home in Bodrum, in southern Turkey. I loved it there and decided to stay for the summer. One of the holiday resorts offered me a job as a therapeutic body worker. However, shortly after that the demonstrations began in Istanbul and temporarily disrupted the tourist industry. I decided to explore another option of a working holiday on the Mediterranean, and found myself in Corfu, an island between Greece and Italy, where a friend was working at a holiday resort. I spent the summer at the resort, offering massage and reflexology, teaching yoga, making flower arrangements and singing. The latter was, I feel, the furthest I’d been out of my comfort zone in a long while: I sang by myself, accompanying myself on keyboards, which I’d never before done in public, and it helped my confidence grow dramatically. I met a Corfiot guitarist who lived in New York, we fell in love and he invited me to stay with him in the winter. I came and started exploring the city, found a yoga studio to volunteer at, jazz musicians to play with and a local Course In Miracles study group to attend (I started attending one in London shortly before then). And the rest, as they say, is history. I spent the following two years between New York, London and Corfu and was introduced to the Berkshires by my dear friend Eric Smith of “Eric's Great Gardens,” whom I met at the Course study group that I mentioned—he used to have it at his Hell's Kitchen apartment. He’s been coming to the Berkshires for many years for work and pleasure, and talked often about forward-thinking people, beautiful landscapes, Tanglewood and the Artful Mind magazine, which he loves by the way… We were in Great Barrington one January evening visiting Eric's friend, who is an experienced pet-sitter, when he received a phone call from someone asking him to dog-sit. He said he was double-booked, but would ask around. I jumped in, since I love animals, have looked after friends’ dogs in the past and wanted to seize an opportunity of exploring the area. The people wanting the dog-sitter turned out to be Kripalu's current CEO and her
RITA KAY singing and below photograph taken by Rita
husband,and I spent the following few months be- Is the Berkshires your final destination? tween NYC and their beautiful home on the hill. Is- Vita: Who knows? For now I am quite smitten and tarted meeting people, making friends and am looking forward to performing outdoors next attending events, including Generosity Economy summer. I go to stay in New York often, but love Circle, Quaker Meeting and Pot-Luck dinners at coming back to the peaceful sanctuary that the Co-House. I was glad to find out Eric was so right Berkshires is for me. Continued on next page.... about the Berkshires and its people. THE ARTFUL MIND DECEMBER /JANUARY 2018 • 11
photograph by Rita of friends from Corfu How do you make a living here? Do you, like so many artists and musicians, wear more than one hat? Vita: I do indeed. In London I got certified in Indian Head and Back Massage, Ayurvedic Massage, Reflexology, Reiki and Reconnective Healing, and have been practicing for nine years. I helped one of my clients give birth, and am thinking of taking a doula training course, on Heather Fisch’s suggestion. I also offer wellness advice, share my hatha yoga practice, help to organize personal space— physical and mental. I have a flare for making and adjusting clothes and working with fabric and other textures using my hands. I often assist Eric with his work. He lives in New York and has a few clients in the Berkshires. Earlier this year he decided to add some colorful plants to the tree pits on Main Street, and last week we planted some ground cover and daffodil bulbs. I also love taking photos and am looking to do it professionally.
Anyone in particular that you are close to in the music and art world, who has helped broaden your vision as a musician? Vita: There is no one in particular, but at the same time so many! I’ve been surrounded by artists and musicians most of my life, and feel that art is everywhere and everything is art. There are many people, including those mentioned here, that I'm grateful to for where I am as a musician and as a human. I also have friends who are not in art world per se, who have greatly influenced my vision of myself and, therefore, everything I do.
What public venues do you love to sing at? Do you feel the audience is especially appreciative of your talents. Vita: Although I’m still most comfortable performing when I’m not the center of attention—restaurants, public events etc.—I’ve been getting used to more intimate settings as of late. The very first time I played the Dixon Place Theatre lounge with my NYC guitarist, it was petrifying to start with. The venue is small, with not much of a distance between the stage and the audience, but by the middle of the third tune, after a little banter and a glass of cabernet, I seemed to ease into it. The audience was very supportive and appreciative, which also helped me to get more comfortable. So during our comeback gig a few months later, I found myself enjoying the experience much more. My first Berkshire solo performance was at Down Country Social Club in Race Brook Lodge in Sheffield. I’d attended a few music nights there prior to my night and love that venue. Mike Junkins, who played guitar for me that night—and who is one of the best jazz guitarists in the Berkshires, in my opinion—brought in Eileen Markland on violin. I’d never played with a violin before and was a little apprehensive at first, especially since we only had one very brief rehearsal. However, Eileen turned out to be fantastic and the performance was one of the most enjoyable I've ever had. The audience too seemed to love it. David Rothstein, the owner of Race Brook Lodge, came up to say he loved us and hoped we would come back to play there soon.
12 •DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND
What music in particular is most challenging, and arouses great passion for you? Vita: Indian classical ragas. They seem so intricate, so expressive… I’ve not yet attempted to learn them, but am looking forward to the time I do. One summer in Corfu, I attended a raga workshop given by an English raga singer. We sang midnight raga and she used tambura to accompany herself. It was divine! I’ve been wanting to get a tambura ever since. I would also love to explore more genres of Brazilian music, which is so enormously rich. Have you also experimented with inter-disciplinary arts? Do you have any artistic plans for the near future? Vita: In kindergarten and school I loved drawing and painting. My first boyfriend was an artist from Syria studying architecture in St. Petersburg (he is the one whom I followed when he was offered a job teaching in Cambridge, UK). From him I learned a lot about the art world and got inspired to create. With him I would draw and paint, but never for show in public. He taught me to pay attention to detail and about color, space and composition. I feel it also influenced the way I use clothes, accessories, decorate interiors or take photos. I love taking photos. One of my favorite quotes is Einstein's: “There are only two ways to live your life: as though nothing is a miracle, or as though everything is a miracle.” I take photos everywhere I go—textures, colors, shapes... What languages are you fluent in? What’s next on your list of ones you’d like to learn?
RiTa kay on beach
Vita: Only Russian and English. After I spent three consequent summers on Corfu, I could converse in very basic Greek. It is easier for Russian speakers because we have a few letters that are the same in the Cyrillic alphabet. My favorite language is French, and I took a short “French for Beginners” course a few years ago in London. I sing a few songs in French and would love to learn it properly. And of course I love Portuguese! In a different way than Greek, it also has some similarities with Russian… for example, there are a few sounds, like 'sh' and 'zh,’ that are also present in Russian and that many other European languages don’t seem to have. I love the musicality of Portuguese, especially Brazilian, and the way it effortlessly fits the melody, or the other way around. It also sounds so expressive and passionate! I started singing in Sanskrit while attending Kirtan sessions in London. Kirtan is a traditional Indian devotional call-and-response style of singing. I love the fact that the audience participates in singing and that the singing is addressed to and is about the Divine. I learned a little Sanskrit when briefly attending a course in Ayurvedic medicine at Middlesex University. It is a fascinating language, one of the oldest in the human history. It’s all about non-duality: God, Guru, Self is One. There are such sentences in ancient scriptures as (I'm paraphrasing here) “Divine in the form of a boy was riding the Divine in the form of horse down the Divine in the form of the road.” And I love the name for the Sanskrit alphabet, “devanagari,” and the beautiful way
photograph by Rita
the letters intertwine with each other. Interestingly, Russian took some words from Sanskrit also.
What do you do in your spare time, I wonder. And what in life is important to you now more than ever? Vita: I love spending time on my own. I find it comforting and necessary. It gives me space—physical and mental. I try to practice yoga every morning… I like walking and cycling, spending time in nature, watching Frasier on Netflix and sewing, sitting in silence with a group of people and having spiritual discussions. I don’t remember ever being very ambitious, although I did spent most of my life trying to achieve or improve. Learning from experience with many paths, teachings and teachers, from A Course In Miracles to Buddhism, Advaita and Zen, I came to realize that life for me is not about struggle and achieving, but about surrender, joy and peace of mind. Wise men say that unhappiness is caused by the desire to make things different than what they are. I do indeed find the more I resist and try to change people or situations, the less time is left for me to experience them and myself. Like many of us, I used to identify with my emotions, feelings, suffering, drama… however, since I learned that one is, in essence, not one's thoughts, emotions or feelings and that those only occur in direct relation to one's conditioning, I tend to take everything in life less seriously. Staying aware and awake to whatever I’m doing is a beautiful and ease-full way of living.
Please give us an excerpt of your favorite song lyric, in its own language, then translate the meaning for us. Vita: It’s from Jacques Brel's Ne Me Quitté Pas. I sing Dusty Springfield's version, with one verse in English and one in French. I couldn’t find these exact lines in Brel's lyrics, but feel Rod McKuen's translation is just exquisite. But if you stay I'll make you a night like no night has been or will be again I'll sail on your smile I'll ride on your touch I'll talk to your eyes That I love so much Then if you go I'll understand Leave me just enough love to hold up my hand If you go away If you go away If you go away
What are your aspirations and dreams? Vita: To keep following what I love, have passion and desire for. Thank you Vita!
THE ARTFUL MIND DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018• 13
JENNIFER PAZIENZA Detail of October-November Ridge, WIP, 2017
When, nearly twenty-five years ago, I began painting on and from Keswick Ridge and the Saint John River valley in New Brunswick, eastern Canada my paintings often referenced my coming to terms with the extraordinary long views I would see from my windows; miles and miles, acres and acres of apple orchards, forest and fields, clear cuts and road development. They were much like this one from 1994 simply titled, September.
September, Oil on canvas, 14 x 84 inches
COOL CAT PHOTOGRAPH CLAUDIA D’ALESSANDRO
The detail depicted here, a piece of the full painting found later in this issue of The Artful Mind, from the sixth painting in this current series, finds me taking a closer look at the land I can easily see near and around my studio windows. Of course, as has always been the case in my practice, the paintings are filters for lived experiences. The earth, air, light and life that surround the studio grant endless possibilities for me to make sense of things, at once personal, social, cultural, spiritual, political and so on and I am ever grateful. They are a poetics of space. There is much about making and experiencing of paintings that cannot be said. Words simply fall short, or worse get it wrong. With little correspondence to literal patches of land, my paintings may begin with marks made about branch and brush, but their sensibility betrays colour and sound and emerges in the course of painting—in the dance between seeing and marking, marking and seeing—in paint on, paint off. Between ability and inability, knowledge and ignorance. My work is held in Public and Corporate Collections in Canada and in numerous private collections throughout the US, Canada, the UK and Italy. Although my primary residence is in eastern Canada, I regularly exhibit in the Berkshires with shows in St. Francis Gallery, Good Purpose Gallery, Diana Felber Gallery and 510 Warren Street Gallery. Designs by Jennifer Owen, Great Barrington also represents my work. To learn more about my paintings, or for inquiries please visit my Website & Blog. Jennifer Pazienza - http://jenniferpazienza.com/, email email@example.com
When the world seems too filled with dismay and worry, Nature stands steadfast as a powerful ally, offering respite and inspiration when we choose to engage her. The natural world offers a not-so-distant mirror of our experiences reflected in sky, water and earth. Great drama, intricate patterns, hidden faces, abstract shapes and a spectrum of colors abound in shifting light. But sometimes, they last only for an instant. I strive to artfully capture such quixotic moments and transform them into paper, canvas and metal prints that can ornament and inspire our living spaces. It is one of my life's joyful pleasures to share these images with others. Perhaps with you? Prints on photo paper, card stock, canvas and aluminum are available in a variety of sizes. Please visit me on Facebook at Claudia d'Alessandro, Photography, or at my website, Claudia d'Alessandro, Photography at: www.dalessandrophotography.com. My Blog, currently under construction, is a forum for my musings on nature with pairings of quotations by some of humanity's greatest authors, musicians, artists and thinkers. “Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” Henry David Thoreau, Walden Claudia d'Alessandro - firstname.lastname@example.org, www.dalessandrophotography.com.
“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live!” -Henry David Thoreau 14 • DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND
LYNNE M. ANSTETT DELICATE BALANCE
Whether I’m traveling far from my native New England, hiking, or standing in my own back yard, I’m drawn to the endless variety of beautiful things outdoors. It is a hurried world. Photography, to me, is a way of paying visual attention and tribute to what is otherwise often missed or taken for granted – the quiet dignity of buildings, the magnificence of sky, water and land, the mystery of old things, and the countless daily proofs in nature that the world is made for our eyes. I aim to share what I see, by chance or by design, that is beautiful to me. The camera allows me to do that. My work focuses on environmental portraits, landscapes, structures, outdoor creatures, farms and edibles. I like to explore beyond the traditional scenes and formats as well. One of my products, Picturesque Note Cards has just gone green by using environmentally friendly paper. Cards feature butterflies, birds, flowers, seascapes, landscapes and Berkshire scenes. I launched a project three years ago to pho-
tograph “The Massachusetts’s Berkshires and Beyond”, taking a close look at the diverse beauty of neighborhoods including Outdoor Recreation, History, Scenic Views, Art, Farms and more. My signature calendar is a wall and desk Art Poster format with the thought of bringing these images a little closer into view. Calendars can be found seasonally in artist shops, hotels, bookshops and museums throughout the Berkshires. Most recently one of my photographs was selected as a finalist in Sohn Fine Art Gallery's 6th Annual Juried Exhibition to benefit the Norman Rockwell Museum. The Exhibition was curated and judged by the Museum's Director and Curators. My photography has also been exhibited at the Maplebrook School - 30th Annual Kentucky Derby Art Show, Amenia, NY; the iMOTIF Cultural Pittsfield 10 x 10 Upstreet Arts Festival at the Sohn Fine Art Gallery, Lenox and Hotel on North, Pittsfield; Ethel Walker School Bell Library, Simsbury, CT; The Hitchcock Chair Showroom, Riverton, CT; Artisan Guild, Norfolk, CT; Whiting Mills - Open Studios, Winsted, CT, featured photograph on the A Closer Look at The Berkshires 2017 calendar and The Gallery on the Green, Canton, CT, where I am juried artist member. I’ve lived in Litchfield County, CT all my life and am now moving to the Berkshires. I aim to share what I see, by chance or by design, that is beautiful to me. The camera allows me to do that. Lynne M. Anstett – Photography, ImageryArtWorks@hotmail.com, 860-888-3672. ttps://squareup.com/store/imagery-art-works/; http://www.gicleeone.com/Lynne-Anstett-Gic l e e - P h o t o g r a p h y ; h t t p s : / / w w w. f a c e b o o k . c o m / Ly n n e MAnstettPhotography/
WILLIAMSTOWN LANDSCAPE, OIL ON CANVAS, 24 X 36”
A solo exhibition of Michael Filmus’ landscapes will be on view for the month of February at the Arden Gallery, Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts. Filmus is best known for his panoramic landscapes of the Berkshires and the surrounding countryside. The painting above, “Williamstown Landscape” was inspired by the view from Route 7, looking east, in Williamstown, Massachusetts. In New York, FIlmus has been represented by the Hirshl & Adler Galleries and David Findley Jr. Fine Art. In the Berkshires, he has shown work at Diana Felber Gallery and Lauren Clark Fine Art. In March, Filmus will have a solo exhibition at the Geoffrey Young Gallery on Railroad Street in Great Barrington. The opening of the exhibit will be March 3, 2018. Michael Filmus, Studio open by appointment, 413-528-5471, email@example.com, Michaelfilmus.com. Arden Gallery, 129 Newbury Street, Boston, MA. 617-247-0610 firstname.lastname@example.org
THE ARTFUL MIND DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018 • 15
DENNIS WHEELER Interview by Harryet Puritzman
Harryet Puritzman: Wow. I am totally impressed with your work. What is in your DNA?! Dennis Wheeler: My parents were very forthcoming in providing me with various toys, games and reading materials when I was in grade school, and I had a great affection for making models of trains, tanks, boats and planes. I always enjoyed building three-dimensional objects, as well as drawing and painting. When I was finished with a model or drawing, they would offer their enthusiasm and approval. They had no formal art training whatsoever, but I appreciated the fact that they were encouraging me by thinking that what I was doing was worthwhile, and if nothing else, keeping me quiet and happy. All that led
Photography by Edward Bride
to a more serious and enduring interest in art later on. During high school, I began to think that maybe it was possible to go on to study and learn about the art business.
Tell me, how are you able to translate your vision into a completed project? What kind of understanding is it that you have, which makes these corporations and magazines want you to design and market for them? Dennis: What you give out is usually the result of the things you take in, and I’ve always had a curiosity about history and current events. The ability to combine what you know about the past, recent or otherwise, along with the contemporary symbols and clichés that people recognize from past usages, are all used to de-
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velop a design. Essentially, I try to get people’s attention with whatever the concept is, and give them information in a way that will help them remember it, whether it’s in an ad or a logo or an exhibit. Once you begin to apply that process and recognize it, you just have to hope that the client has identified the right problem for you to solve. Sometimes the role of the art director is to help the client identify not only the problem, but also how strongly to provide an answer, because all these things are interpreted by the audience. Can you tell me how you merged your ideas with your knowledge of the situation at hand when you designed the TIME Magazine cover for Apollo 15: The Most Perilous
Journey. You may have to think back on this one. But do you remember trying to hit the nail on the head with a design that communicated what the publisher wanted? How much research did you have to do? Dennis: Actually, in 1969, several years before the Apollo 15 cover, I was working on a cover that became a special supplement for TIME magazine, called To the Moon, which I felt was a much more dramatic treatment of the journey to the moon than the Apollo 15 cover. The To the Moon cover included a number of concentric circles to represent the journey of man finally landing on the moon. Concerning the Apollo 15 cover, a common practice exists within news magazines about having some finished artwork readily available in case an accident occurred and these astronauts were lost, so we always had some artwork ready to go in case of a disaster. Honestly, I often tried to sidestep the research completely. The editors would give me folders full of information about the cover story that also included a one- or two-page synopsis of the topic. Sometimes I read the synopsis, but often the topic or just a headline would be enough for me to design artwork for the cover of TIME. My job was to present an eye-catching device to portray the story that would then unfold inside. Delving into all the accumulated facts of the story wasn’t really my job. I would often create several treatments of the same topic, and the editors would choose from them.
You attended Pratt Institute. Did you feel you came out with a great wealth of knowledge? Or was Pratt more like just a heaping helping of how to’s, and you basically knew how to get what you wanted out of it? Dennis: Pratt was a completely eye-opening experience, because my earlier education was centered on academic pursuits that focused on getting jobs in various fields unrelated to the creative business. The Foundation Year at Pratt became a metaphor for the rest of my working life. There were a lot of wonderful things going on within the intersection of the courses, not the least of which was illustration, art direction, and art history. It was very uplifting to learn the skills I learned at Pratt, especially concerning most of the work that I was going after, and subsequently getting. My classes at Pratt were full of variety involving nature study, figure study, two-dimensional design, and three-dimensional design. At the time, people reminded me that illustration was a field, but I really wasn’t an illustrator; I was an art director. Sometimes I think I should’ve taken industrial design. I hadn’t made up my mind on my program of study until the day it was necessary to do so. I chose the advertising design program, a necessary and fulfilling choice that included editorial design and packaging design. Interestingly, my
career began in industrial design, then lighting design and then logo design. I really liked the work, and so I did that for 20 years, on and off, as a freelance art director.
How does a graphic designer get a job making covers for TIME? What do you think they were looking for that you happened to have? Dennis: The first time my art was on the cover of TIME magazine, I had already been doing a lot of graphic design, sales presentations, exhibits, and some industrial movies for the magazine. I was someone who could work very well within a budget and within the given time limits. A mentor of mine, the director of sales promotion at the time, told me he wasn’t particularly fond of some of the recent covers, and he suggested that I offer my treatment of a cover story to the editors. I was on staff and it was easy for me to do, so I gave it a shot. I realize that now there are any number of ways to get one’s work in front of the editors, though I don’t suppose I’m up on the contemporary ways to do that. Finding the name of some editor or assistant editor who would take
a look at a person’s artwork, who then might offer suggestions about using certain approaches, would probably be the way to do it now.
Are you interested in politics? It seems like you’d have to be, to be able to create these strong statements with images and just a few words. Dennis: It’s true, I’m interested in politics. But at the time, showing my artwork to the assistant editor coincided with the magazine getting itself a new editor, one who wanted to change the storytelling philosophy of the cover of TIME. I would often create three different examples of artwork to address the cover story. I demonstrated that I could create images to address single concepts just as well as more complex topics that included three, four or five different photographs in a composition. That seemed to be valuable to the editors, so I became someone who could address their concerns in a way that looked different than what had been on the cover previously, which was a traditional line drawing or photo Continued on next page...
THE ARTFUL MIND DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018 • 17
dle; if I made a small adjustment, changed one thing a little bit, a final image would be created. There was often some homework when I worked this way. There are no narratives in my own work. Abstract art has the capability to encourage and enable the viewer to finish the images and put some of their own questions into the work, when it’s done right, as opposed to when an artist is working to solve someone else’s problem. By comparison, that’s easier than solving your own problems with your own answers.
of one person who was associated with the cover story. As a result of my own interests in the topics chosen by the editors, I became much more sensitive to why different topics were urgent and why something became a cover. I still retain those ideas and feelings about politics and print media. What was it about the 60s that interested you most? You did ad and communication work related to this historical time period…. how did you involve yourself in the movement and perhaps the Vietnam war?
Dennis: It was a time of tragedy and rediscovering ourselves; one could hardly help but be immersed in all the special reports and news items. At TIME, I became noted for creating artwork in a very short amount of time. Because the news often changed overnight, the usual time given to artists for creating concepts became much shorter than before. This “fireman capacity” forced me into knowing about many categories of the news of the
1960s, including the Vietnam War, Lyndon Johnson, etc. It was a busy news time, and I think news people would agree. But it is by no means equal to current times.
So, how do you describe the bridge from your commercial work to your personal art? Are there similarities in these ways of expressing yourself? Dennis: My method of working to produce a magazine cover was to produce an image of a single concept that would make the maximum number of readers to feel more curious about the topic. In some cases, I used very simple materials and finishes to create the work, sometimes with dramatic results. I had at my disposal the huge photo library at TIME if I needed a specific realistic image, but mostly the combination of these photos and simple materials is what was appreciated most about the collages. The artwork would be discussed by the editors, and different versions were sometimes combined. Eventually, there would be a point somewhere in the mid-
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How was your experience showing your art at Saint Francis Gallery? Phil is such a wonderful and clear-visioned gallerist, and your art is so vivid and full of conversation. Where else have you shown your work, locally? Dennis: Well, Phil is a supreme gallerist. He knows about history and about painting, and he knows himself. I like him because he works the way I work. The fact that he continually mounts the shows he does is a real tribute. I'm delighted to have, on several occasions, had some of my images on his walls. I had a show at the Warren Family Gallery at Berkshire School last year as a part of their visiting artist program, and had the pleasure of making a new friend, Paul Banevicius. I learned a great deal from his students when they came to visit my gallery here in Craryville, NY. I also had a show this past summer at L’Atelier Berkshires in Great Barrington, which included the artwork of my grown six children. I have my own gallery on the second floor of my studio here in Craryville. It enables me to look at my own work, which is something I found out too late in life was a real pleasure. When viewing your own work, you gain an ability to not only select different and new content, but also learn to suppress going back and changing images based on what you’ve learned recently. The aspect of looking at one’s own work has always been undersold; it turns out that it’s much more important than one would think. It’s nice when we can make art for art’s sake. Do you agree? Dennis: I think that art for art’s sake is perfectly fine. Any kind of art is fine. “Art is art and everything else is everything else,” is the way Adolf Reinhardt put it.
What are some personal interests that you enjoy? Dennis: Living here in Columbia County affords everyone the chance to get out to see various museums, not the least of which would be the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, the Firefighter’s Museum in Hudson, the museum at Williams College, and the Clark Art Institute, all of which are a very pleasant drive
away, even on rainy or snowy days here in the Berkshires. Then when you’re done, you get the joy of discussing what you’ve just seen. That’s what I do for personal enjoyment.
When the turning point from paste-up and mechanicals gave way to the computer era, how did your work change? Dennis: My work hasn’t changed. I don’t enjoy the current technology. The new tools of the trade move by pretty quickly nowadays. A lot of people are very good at using them, and I wish them well, but I don’t think there’s much of a substitute for the pencil on the newsprint, the paint on paper, or the clay in the hand. There are people who can do the various technical manufacturing aspects of a project better than I can, so it’s best to leave them to make that contribution. So much goes by in the way of news and data nowadays that it’s impossible to identify some of the causes of why people form their opinions. What are your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to visual communication? Dennis: I can design anything that anyone puts in front of me. I’m pretty good at identifying and contributing to answers for the projects of others. I wish I were better at doing that for things that I want to work on.
Have you had the opportunity to work on TV commercials? Dennis: I've had opportunities to work on television commercials, and it didn't take me long to realize that television production was such a collaborative activity that it wasn't going to be for me. I knew I had a pretty good eye, so why wouldn’t I become a photographer? I could tell that making pictures was for me and felt the need to further that. Were there any books and authors in particular that were a driving force in your life? The following books have all contributed to my understanding of life: The Arts and the Art of Criticism by Theodore Meyer Greene The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy The Wright Brothers by David McCullough The Spectacle of Skill by Robert Hughes
What elements are needed to design a good advertisement? Dennis: Certainly the first thing about designing a good advertisement is to discover the intention of the ad for the reader. Then it's the same story about knowing what sort of media will run the ad, how many ads will run and, of course, the budget. The element of surprise and a sense of integrity delivered in a direct way are good.
Do you have a favorite commercial? Dennis: I do have a favorite commercial. It drove me so crazy when I first heard it that I had to stop and laugh and take another puff on my cigar. I’m talking about Billy Fuccillo’s series of car ads, to whom most things are “HUGEAAAHH.” I was wondering what on earth this Continued on next page...
THE ARTFUL MIND DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018 • 19
Dennis wheeLeR Pasture mixed media
person was doing in this format until I watched maybe my fifteenth one. I haven’t figured out why I watch them, but I must like them, perhaps because I appreciate the fact that he’s a local guy who must be an economic force in the Albany area. He’s got guts and probably does a lot of good. He’s HUUUGEAAAHHHH.
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Tell us about your venture with Transportation Displays Inc. and their display systems for Logan International Airport? Dennis: At the beginning of my forays into freelance work, I had a number of clients who I retained from my tenure at TIME Inc., one of them being Transportation Displays Incorporated (TDI). I had done a series of over 100 posters for LIFE magazine that ran for several years. TDI was involved with helping advertisers create posters that were displayed on all the commuter trains and in the airports in all the major markets of the United States. My initial suggestion was to make the directional signs more uniform and more informative, and per-
haps consider combining some of the informational signs with advertisements. Most importantly, I saw the need to place information more strategically in order to reduce the tension for the traveler. The first opportunity we got was to redesign the Eastern Airlines facility at Logan Airport in Boston in the early 60s. At that time, there were mechanical devices to display airline information, and to make a long story short, it occurred to me that we should clear up some of the craziness of what was on the walls in the airport. Of course, now that information is all on your iPhone. During that time, I made a formal presentation in Michigan to an audience that included Minoru Yamasaki, the designer of the World Trade Center. I was concerned with the flow of information for the traveler by putting the directional signs in the right places. I was introduced to the digital sign system. Basically it allowed digital instant messages, all arrival and departing messages to be anywhere in the airport. Goodbye closed circuit
Dennis Wheeler looks over his work in progress Photo: Edward Acker
and flap systems. Yamasaki conveyed that it was a very good idea and he’d be interested in including this concept in a new project he was working on. Yamasaki spoke little English at the time, but he motioned for me to follow him into the next room. There on a table was a model of the World Trade Center. Above the model, several ceiling tiles had been removed in order for it to fit. We were able to put in several units in Boston, but our enthusiasm and hopes of getting to work on the World Trade Center was reduced because of several things, not the least of which I imagine werewonderfully political.
What were your responsibilities as an art director? Is it hard work? Dennis: The responsibilities of an art director who is employed at a full-time job in some respects is very different than when one is a selfemployed art director. The art director is the guardian of all the forces mustered to see a goal realized. The art director is the one responsible for keeping all the players doing their best work while also being flexible. If something needs to be changed in order to make it better, there must be a willingness to do so. Today those same ingredients hold true, but it is done through email with JPEG’s etc. The job of an art director with some ability can be easy or difficult, but it is usually about getting the best work from people. The art direc-
tor is the leader who can get excellent results from others, but who can also appreciate someone else’s standpoint.
What was one of your most rewarding experiences as an art director? Dennis: I was working for the LIFE magazine promotion department where we designed campaigns, posters and exhibits to build readership for the magazine. I developed a series of posters using the existing LIFE logo. L-I-F-E seemed simple enough. With the introduction of a background, the red box and white letters could be cut up into a number of different silhouettes and still be able to be read. These posters were produced in two sizes, 3’ x 5’ and something like 20’ x 30’ for train cars and all those commuter train platforms. I created the graphic, but couldn’t create the text. So a friend, a terrific writer in our department, created the one line of text for the posters. I suppose we created maybe 150 of these, seven of which are in the Architecture and Design collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). It was nice to walk in and see your work hanging in the museum. MOMA presented me with a letter stating that
mixed media collage 23 x 37
I had a lifetime membership.
Do you have strong drawing skills? Dennis: It would be impossible to do the cross-section of the work I've done without being able to draw. I've drawn all my life, and the more I begin to think about it, I wonder if maybe I should have stayed with drawing, mostly because it does have a way of simpliContinued on next page...
THE ARTFUL MIND DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018 • 21
DENNIS WHEELER View mixed media collage
fying everything. When you’ve worked with mixed media long enough, sometimes you realize the pictures have become more complicated than they need to be. Drawing simplifies, and I think that helps the viewer.
Tell us, how do you begin to design a business’s logo? It must be difficult, unless you know them well enough to pinpoint what they stand for and are able to create an image they want to live with for a long time. Dennis: A start-up opportunity is always different than modifying an existing logo. I'm not a big fan of changing things for the sake of change. A new business will need to know their audience and what the business wants to become. Do they know where the logo is going to be used and how often? Will it be used on a lot of different things? You will need to acquire good knowledge of their business plan. Are they planning to stay with the audience they have or will they grow or diversify? In the old days, the logo making it to television was half the requirement, because television was the electronic paper of the day. Now, with iPhone technology and the added dimension of movement, logos must work to get your attention. One concept would be to create a logo consisting of mostly white, which would create a visual hole in the busy landscape of screens. Your eye would note and remember the stark absence of color as compared to all the other busy and colorful logos.
Is abstract art-making a creative release for you, free-thinking and easy? Dennis: The making of abstract art is a language of its own. It’s necessary for me to work the way I work. I put various elements out in front of me and move them around until I find a position for them that’s pleasing. Finding the proper position is really worth the effort. Although it can be slow, it is of interest to me. There’s no scarcity of people doing quality narratives with the metaphorical and philosophic work in their paintings, but in my case I have glanced off that and found that I delight in the materials and elements that meet my needs. I’m sure I’m not the only one who said that if they knew what the end of the picture was going to be like they wouldn’t have started it. I keep going back to pieces. I partially complete some, then I start new ones, then I go back and work on ones I’ve already started. I may have half a dozen pieces going all the time, and that method of working enables me to see how an experiment in one picture may be applicable to another. In the end, when a piece is completed, hopefully it isn’t so complicated that people can’t embrace it. When did you start exploring the fine arts? Dennis: It’s safe to say that I have been making both forms of art, fine arts and commercial arts, for about 65 years. I’ve always made time for sketching and making visual notes about pictures that I’d like to do, and then gone back and finished them. I suppose you could say I
22 • DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND
started when I was about 10 or so, with school projects and posters, and then moved on to local art jobs and then into part-time freelance work, then full-time design work, all during which I’ve been making my pictures.
How did you end up living in Hillsdale, NY? Dennis: I knew a rural existence would be great for a variety of reasons for an artist, at least part-time, and if you have grown up and worked in the city you know that it can have a cumulative effect. It became time to find a new place to work. We had friends in Ancram who we visited often, to a point where they simply told us we really needed to get a place of our own. We found a marvelous real estate agent, a local gal who brought us here to this farmhouse with a barn that later became my studio and gallery. I recall that when we went to the closing we didn’t have enough money with us, but the former owner said that we looked like good people and that we could take care of the rest of the money in the next few days, and he gave us the key and that was that. How much of your time is spent now in your studio/gallery? Dennis: Most days I spend three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon. My commute, depending on the weather, is the time it takes me to go about 50 yards, from the house to the barn, which houses my studio and
the gallery. And it’s easy to bring things home with me, so I would say on the good days, it’s a six-hour workday, with lunch and Charlie Rose between my two work periods. Do you go to many art openings? Dennis: Not many. I barely go to my own.
Where do you like to go to see art? Dennis: I prefer museums. The Metropolitan Museum is my favorite, next would be the Williams College Museum, and then next, the new Whitney. I love the advertisements of the 50s and 60s. Do you find that you can learn a lot about our culture and history by studying the old advertisements? Do you ever use them as reference for new work? Dennis: I have a prejudicial view of advertising, at least concerning magazines and television. I know full well the necessity of having the income they provide for the media, but I think the criteria for originality is often so low that the management relies on the “let’s run it again and again” philosophy, dampening the consciousness of the reader or viewer.
What is your family life like? Are your kids involved in your art world? Dennis: It’s a fairly common place and fairly quiet, which is always good. My children are not involved directly in my art world, although they all have creative outlets. Fortunately, they have indirectly and prudently found other great examples of livelihood.
What do you want to finish that you started a long time ago? Dennis: I’d like to complete some construction work, combining my studio workshop and the gallery area here in the barn to try to demonstrate my fondness for new building materials.
What do you feel is important to teach the young about the workplace and developing a quality of life? Dennis: When several people have to work together, learning to be sensitive to the needs of others is important. It also helps when a person can offer help to create a more worthwhile project. Obviously, a job is not the definition of a life. There is the notion that a lot life happens in between several other things that are happening. Quality of life is a balance through the journey, and it involves the ability to work on things that have worth, while enabling others to do the best they can. What makes life worth living? Dennis: There may come a time when an artist feels it’s necessary to reevaluate the content of
their images and the methods they have been most involved with. I have reached a place where I think it's prudent to eliminate some old concepts and replace them with something newer in the hope that they are more suitable to my current mood. Rather than give them descriptions, it may boil down to what’s fun. Fun is just another way of saying that for all the reasons artists make pictures, nothing compares with doing it for all your own reasons. Fun follows rather quickly when one knows oneself. I have no complaints about my choices when it comes to why I made the pictures in my past. But now however, I have a desire to apply what I think of the best characteristics of past work to different opportunities. All fun. All different. Thank you!
THE ARTFUL MIND DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018 • 23
FINE LINE MULTIMEDIA
STING PHOTOGRAPH BY LEE EVERETT
MARY CAROL RUDIN THREE PEARLS, ACRYLIC AND OIL ON CANVAS 18 X 24”
FRONT ST. GALLERY KATE KNAPP
Pastels, oils, acrylics and watercolors… ..abstract and representational…..landscapes, still lifes and portraits….a unique variety of painting technique and styles….you will be transported to another world and see things in a way you never have before…. join us and experience something different. Painting classes continue on Monday and Wednesday mornings 10-1:30pm at the studio and Thursday mornings out in the field. These classes are open to all...come to one or come again if it works for you. All levels and materials welcome. Private critiques available. Classes at Front Street are for those wishing to learn, those who just want to be involved in the pure enjoyment of art, and/or those who have some experience under their belt. Perfect if you are seeking fresh insight into watercolors, and other mediums. A teacher for many years, Kate Knapp has a keen sense of each student’s artistic needs to take a step beyond. Perfect setting for setting up still lifes; lighting and space are excellent. Peek in to see! Front Street Gallery – Front Street, Housatonic, MA. Gallery open by appointment or chance anytime. 413-528-9546 at home or 413-429-7141 (cell).
I believe there is always something to learn from other artists and I spend a good deal of time looking at the work of others. I consider how they arrive at their personal interpretations. I consider what painting rules the artist followed and what rules are challenged or defied. I always learn something. My every experience brings me to think as a painter. I see most things as the possibility for a drawing or a painting. Every object, structure, creature, landscape, sky, water brings me to think about how to interpret it in art. Other times a metaphor, a symbol, a phrase, or a quip provokes an image. Then, using identifiable things, I hope to suggest a story to the viewer. It helps me think through the piece by drawing it first. Sometimes a small scale piece and then, generally, a full scale drawing the size the painting will be. As I work out the placements and the proportions I make changes and edit to try and focus on what I am hoping to say to the viewer. I also think of titles as I draw; hoping to give some information about the subject and leave some interpretation to the viewer. Some pieces suggest to me that color leads the way. Other images feel like they need a softer focus and less color to make the message come through. A hazy morning light provokes different feelings than a bright blue sky filled with clouds. I am working in oils as well as acrylics. For me both mediums offer particular challenges as well as pleasures. I have also used both mediums in a single work. Currently I am working on two pieces; a canvas as well as a wood panel. It helps me to have two pieces in progress. I can get distance from one piece as I work on the other. Moving back and forth between the two allows me to revisit each one with fresh eyes. Mary Carol Can be reached at: Rudinmcrudin123@gmail.com www.mcrudin.com
24 • DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND
LIVE PERFORMANCE PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO
Fine Line Multimedia provides single or multi-camera video of music, dance and theater performances. Services include: scripting and storyboard art, videography with professional high definition cameras, high quality audio recording, sensitive lighting design and creative editing with the latest non-linear editing system. For the past 45 years Fine Line Multimedia has provided audio/video performance production for The Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood, Berkshire Performing Arts Center, National Music Foundation, Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, United Way of the Berkshires, Arlo Guthrie, Rising Son Records, Bobby Sweet, World Moja, Phil Woods, Grace Kelly, Heather Fisch, Opera Nouveau, Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company and many more. Fine Line was established in 1970 by Lee Everett in Lenox, Massachusetts. Everett came to the Berkshires after studying Advertising Design and Visual Communications at Pratt Institute and working for years as an Art Director in New York. He taught Art in local schools and began a full-service multimedia studio in Lenox specializing in the Performing and Visual Arts and other business and industry. With Photography, Graphic Design, Advertising, Marketing, Audio/Video Production, Website, Social Network Creation and Administration together under one roof, Fine Line can satisfy the artistic communications and promotional needs of a wide range of clients. Please look at some examples from our portfolios of work on our website and use the contact information on the site to get further information, to see more samples, photographs or video reels, for professional and client references or for a free project consultation. Fine Line Multimedia - 66 Church Street, Lenox, MA; www.finelinelenox.com Contact: Lee Everett, 413-637-2020, email@example.com
Beautiful Massachusetts Berkshires and Beyond 2018 Art Poster Calendars
Twelve Monthly Posters – Available Sizes: 11x14 and 5x7, also 8.5x11 (traditional style) Featuring the diverse beauty of our neighborhoods including Outdoor Recreation, history, scenic Views, art and more…
2018 Art Poster Calendars are available at these establishments:
Williams & Sons Country Store – stockbridge, Bella Flora at Guido’s Fresh Marketplace – Pittsfield and Great Barrington, The Berkshire Carousel – Pittsfield, LOCAL – Lenox, Paperdilly – Lee, CIRCA – Pittsfield, The Store at Five Corners – south williamstown, The Bookloft – Great Barrington, Berkshire Museum – Pittsfield, Wild Oats Market Coop – williamstown, Sheffield Historical Society - sheffield, Cedar Chest – northampton, Berkshire Emporium & Antiques – north adams, Williamsburg Store – williamsburg, Art & Chocolate - Lenox, Farm Country Soup - southfield, Artisans Guild – norfolk, CT, Salisbury General Store - salisbury, CT, Unique Finds, Granby, CT and Gallery on the Green – Canton, CT
Lynne M. Anstett – Photography © I aim to share what I see by chance or by design, that is beautiful to me. The camera allows me to do that.
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‘Resurrection S X M’ balancing rock sculpture series
ELEANORLORD.COM THE ARTFUL MIND DECEMBER/JANUARY 2018 • 25
Nature’s Mirror: Reality and Symbol in Belgium Landscape MCMULLEN MUSEUM OF ART, BOSTON COLLEGE
Nature’s Mirror: Reality and Symbol in Belgian Landscape, McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College. September 10–December 10, 2017 Art in the region of Belgium and the Netherlands has been known since the Renaissance for innovations in realistic representation of visual appearances and for an extraordinary fluency in symbolism. The development of landscape as an independent genre was fostered by new market forces and artistic concerns in Belgium in the sixteenth century, and landscape emerged as a major focus for nineteenth-century realist and symbolist artists. Nature’s Mirror: Reality and Symbol in Belgian Landscape traces these landmark developments with a rich array of seldom-seen works. “The McMullen Museum is pleased to present this fresh look at the development of landscape in Belgium and the Lowlands from the late Middle Ages to the early twentieth century,” said Netzer. “Curated by Boston College Professor Jeffery Howe in collaboration with other renowned Belgian and American scholars, this exhibition highlights rarely displayed works from one of the world’s finest private collections of Belgian art, assembled by Charles Hack for the Hearn Family Trust.” Illustrating the birth of landscape art, Nature’s Mirror opens with important master prints and drawings from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, by artists including Pieter Bruegel, Hieronymus Cock, Paul Brill, and Roelandt Savery. The next major concentration of works showcases mid-nineteenth-century realists, especially the School of Tervuren. Rare symbolist landscapes from the turn of the cen-
tury are another highlight, featuring such artists as Fernand Khnopff, William Degouve de Nuncques, George Minne, and Léon Spilliaert. “In this survey, we see how nature has been used to mirror social, political, spiritual, and psychological factors from the very beginning,” said curator Howe, a BC Professor of Art History. “Long seen as a kind of revelation or text, nature now was explored for its own interest. Shifting trends in economics, religion, and market forces led artists to specialize in this genre, and it became a powerful vehicle for personal reflection.” For a variety of reasons, these developments were centered in Belgium and the Lowlands. Science and psychology combined in the nineteenth century to encourage new interpretations. The spiritual dimension returned in romantic and symbolist art, even as concepts of science expanded, mirroring psychological concerns and modernist realities, Howe added. Displaying more than 120 works—most from the leading private collection of Belgian art in America, the Hearn Family Trust (more below)—Nature’s Mirror examines the wealth of artistic expression that bloomed in the regions of Belgium in an unprecedented fashion. Other lenders include the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design; Boston College’s John J. Burns Library; and numerous private collections. Organized by the McMullen Museum, Nature’s Mirror has been underwritten by Boston College with major support from the Patrons of the McMullen Museum and Mary Ann and Vincent Q. Giffuni. Charles Hack and the Hearn Family Trust Over the past forty
26 • JANUARY / DECEMBER 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND
years Charles Hack has built the premier assemblage of Belgian art in North America for the Hearn Family Trust—one of the world’s great private collections. It includes old master prints, many nineteenth-century paintings from the realist School of Tervuren, and outstanding Belgian symbolist works. Hack’s interest in Belgian art was sparked by pioneering art dealer Barry Friedman, who began showing it in his New York gallery in the 1970s, and brought Hack and Howe together given their shared passion for Belgian art. Many individual works in the collection have been loaned to exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and major museums in Brussels, Paris, London, and Toronto, but there has never been a broad exhibition showcasing his art prior to the McMullen Museum exhibition, which was proposed by Howe. Exhibition Catalogue Edited by Howe, Nature’s Mirror is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with essays by American and Belgian specialists Anne Adriaens-Pannier, Albert Alhadeff, Alison Hokanson, Howe, Catherine Labio, and Dominique Marechal. They examine artists such as Fernand Khnopff, Henri De Braekeleer, and Léon Spilliaert within the regional contexts that influenced them, the transition of Belgian realism to symbolism, George Minne’s poetic illustrations, and themes of industrialization and labor. Nature’s Mirror presents more than 120 paintings, prints, and drawings in chronological order, from the Renaissance through the First World War, illuminating the evolution of Belgian art in this fruitful period. K
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JANE FELDMAN
www.janefeldman.com JaneFeLDManPhOTO@GMaiL.COM 917-710-5546
"Set in an apocalyptic near future, the book catalogues the transformation of Tristia Vogel from a woman to a 'latter hybrid,' a harpy-like creature both fragile and primal, able to survive an imminent ecological tragedy. The hybrid narrative uses art, poetry, narration, museum curating, and apocryphal texts to examine the constraint and construction of women...[Tristia] emerges as a messianic figure for outcasts." Letitia Montgomery-Rodgers, Foreword Reviews
Author Kathline Carr
"Miraculum Monstrum's architecture, in its interplay of word and image, post-apocalyptic Ovidian myth, documentary fiction, feminist magical realism, taxonomy, and sensuousness, is a tour de force of hybrid poetics." ~ Shira Dentz, author of door of thin skins
Kathline Carrâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book can be purchased/ordered at: Local bookstores: The Book Store, Lenox Book Loft, Great Barrington
THE ARTFUL MIND DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018 â&#x20AC;˘ 27
“I use words from archives, letters, songs, poems,
memoirs, and court testimony – interwoven with my words – to trace the struggles, fears, hopes,
courage, dignity and celebrate
the triumphs of ‘extraordinary-
ordinary people’ whose names
many of us will never know.”
Harryet Puritzman: I wish I could be in one of your classes, Doreen, I know I would learn so much. I also hope to want to collect your fiction and non-fiction books to give to my kids, especially the books you’ve written about Holocaust acts of resistance. Your aim in teaching empowerment through biographies of people who changed history, and you retelling of folktales and myths and historical events, passes on vital lessons about how we can all find our voices and is for certain meant for all ages. Do you think you have personally benefited and enriched your life as a result from all of your studies, research and the process of educating others on historical events and the human spirit? How has this worked for you, may I ask? Doreen: My life has been blessed with learning about people who faced hardship and struggle and who found the strength to overcome their difficulties. That doesn’t meant they completely succeeded during their lifetimes, but they are models for all of us to con-
EDUCATOR / AUTHOR
front whatever we face and to find meaning in our lives. You know over 10,000 people— men, women, and children—went to Rochester, New York, to Susan B. Anthony’s grave on Election Day to thank her for her spearheading the struggle for women to get the vote, along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and numbers of other women who fought for 82 years to rectify the omission of women in the Constitution as voters.
What interested you from the start your desire to promote empowerment as your mission? Doreen: My experience working in the Southern civil rights movement in the 1960s and meeting black men, women, and children who were risking their lives to fight injustice, to actually to free all Americans from the scourge of racism and segregation, propelled me to want to relook at history and fill in the blanks of what courage and determination mean. In some ways, do you feel you are trying to
28 • DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND
protect the next generation’s future by giving them an education on what not should be repeated in history? Doreen: I hope I’m not sounding too pretentious, but that is what I hope might happen if children and young adults, and some adults read my books. For example, the research for my book, Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust, turned all my preconceptions upside down. Aside from knowing about the courageous Warsaw Uprising and the Escape from the Sobibor Death Camp, I knew almost nothing about the extraordinary amount of resistance of Jews during the Holocaust. There were 14 mass uprisings and nine mass escapes in concentration camps and ghettos and innumerable acts of defiance.
Who is your most loved and admired world leader past and present, and why? Doreen: My respect for Eleanor Roosevelt grows with the years. She had such a devastating childhood, losing her father at an early
age, and being so rejected by her mother, and shunted off to live with her grandmother. She had the luck to be sent to Europe and was educated by an extraordinary woman, Maria Souvestre, who opened her mind to the vastness of education and gave her confidence to speak up when she confronted injustice. This lesson was not lost on Eleanor who during her adult life was not silenced, even when Franklin became president. I’m just finishing up a book on Wilma Mankiller, the first woman chief of the Cherokee people, who died about eight years ago. She is my model of a leader; she listened and valued the ideas of her people. She saw their strengths and helped them use their strengths to better their lives. You posed the question about “world leaders”, but there are many other people, who are not celebrated, who I greatly admire and want people to learn about. In my book on the Holocaust I wrote about Jack Kagan, born Idel Kagan in Poland. This twelve-year-old boy, was one of the 250 Jews who dug a tunnel out of the Novogrudok labor camp in Poland, and escaped. One hundred seventy Jews survived and reached partisan encampments in the forest where they lived out the war. The rest were killed. After the war, when Jack learned that the Germans had had burned Franciszek Bobrowski and his wife alive because they had opened their home to serve as a way station for Jews escaping into the forest. Their daughter and son were sent off to a labor camp. Only the daughter survived. When Idel was settled in London and made a sufficient living, he didn’t forget the Bobrowskis and helped support their daughter. In 2006, he set up the Museum of Jewish Resistance in the building where the digging started, and the entrance to the tunnel was discovered. Jack Kagan recovered history. His contribution and his humanity are examples for all human beings.
Can I ask you your opinion of the removal of public statues that is one of our current controversial issues? Doreen: We Americans have to take a hard look at the “myths” that have been perpetuated in our society, myths that have been used to “falsify” history, myths that have been used to justify racism and sexism and homophobia. The statues of these Confederate “heroes” were put up to perpetuate the glorification of Southern life under slavery, to justify the South’s taking up of arms against the Union as a Continued on next page...
DR: When you escaped the first time and realized you had to go back, how did you feel?
Jack Kagan: When I learned that we had missed the partisan rendezvous and would have to wait three nights in the forest,I frankly did not give a lot of thought to my situation. I knew I wanted to survive.If I had fallenasleep in the forest, I would have frozen to death.
-Excerpt of conversation interview between Author Doreen Rappaport and Holocaust survivor Jack Kagan, from Doreen’s book, Beyond Courage THE ARTFUL MIND DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018• 29
"I want to write stories that
empower kids to know that other people
empowered themselves. If I have a mission, that's my mission!" - Doreen Rappaport
“glorious cause.” These statues are symbols that reinforce “Southern honor,” a truly distorted perception. I think they need to be removed.
What vital message can you share for 2018? Doreen: If you have a passion, stay with it, cultivate it, don’t be discouraged. Never give up on yourself. Listen to people who are different from you. Value others, even though you may disagree with them. They may have things to teach you. What time period and event in history is most meaningful to you, and why? Doreen: Oh, dear, they are all so important. As a woman, the 82-year fight for the vote is cru-
cial. As a Jew, the Holocaust remains a painful reminder of anti-Semitism that has unfortunately reared its ugly head again in our country. I do love the abolitionists.
Can you describe what your growing up years were like? And were there any particular influences or mentors that have given you meaning in your life today? Doreen: My parents were in show business. I moved in a multicultural world with their talented friends and learned at an early age, that difference was to be cherished, not feared. Your husband, Robert, is a sculptor, and I know you both have a very good relationship. What similarities and differences be-
30 • DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND
tween the two of you make relationship work and when do the differences possibly help or hinder the pathways to personal growth? Doreen: I write a lot of picture books and work with some of the finest children’s book artists in the business. When I get the sketches of their work, Bob looks them over with me, not as a critic, but as a friend to the artist. I think their work stimulates his work, even though his sculptures are completely different. What kind of music suits you most that you listen to? Doreen: Oh dear, I’m not up-to-date with the newest popular music by any means. I’m still a huge Beatles fan; they were revolutionary.
My attachment to their music led me to write John’s Secret Dreams: The Life of John Lennon. I also wanted kids (and adults) to see his transformation from his parochial life in Liverpool to his becoming world-famous and using that fame to educate all people about peace and love. You can see from the pictorial excerpt that I combined my narration with lyrics of Lennon’s music, but that I was so fortunate to have Bryan Collier illustrate this book with his artistic brilliance and perception. I still love Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding and the Lovin’ Spoonfuls. And of course, my many years studying the piano has grounded me in the works of Bach, Beethoven, etc. but I never listen to music as a background. When I listen to music, I am concentrating on that music.
You have written and studied the life of Helen Keller. In your book, what interesting facts did you write about that most people are not aware of about her remarkable mission in life? Doreen: It wasn’t just Helen who was so ex-
traordinary. I didn’t know how much her teacher, Annie Sullivan, sacrificed in educating Helen. Annie was legally blind and had had a number of operations to make her sight better. When Helen went to college, Annie went with her, and in those days, most of the books Helen needed to read in college were not available in Braille or on Talking Records, so Annie read those books to Helen. It had to be a great strain on her eyes. I also didn’t realize the scope of Helen’s concerns. I knew that she was a symbol for blind and hearingimpaired people, but I didn’t know that she was involved in other causes—like unions, child labor.
Doreen Rappaport is an award-winning author of fifty-seven non-fiction and books that celebrate multiculturalism, events in American and European history, the lives of world leaders, and stories of people she calls ‘notyet-celebrated.’ Her books have received critical acclaim for her unique ability to combine historical facts with intimate storytelling, and for finding
‘new’ ways to present the lives of well-known heroes‚’ like Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Frederick Douglass, and the Statue of Liberty. A dynamic writer-teacher-storyteller in the classroom, she is a frequent speaker at educational conferences, universities, libraries, historical societies, book fairs, and community centers. She has been a featured author at the National Portrait Gallery, National Book Festival, the Smithsonian Museum of American History and the White House. Along with numerous awards for her books, she is the recipient of The Washington Post Children’s Book Guild Award for Lifetime Achievement for the writing of non-fiction. This past September 2017 brought out her biography, 42 Is Not Just A Number: The Odyssey of Jackie Robinson, American Hero, from Candlewick Press. Spring 2018 will see the publication of a picture book biography, Walt’s Imagination: The Life of Walt Disney, from Hyperion Books for Children.
THE ARTFUL MIND DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018 • 31
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Eunice Agar sketches from Tanglewood Lenox Ma
Work in Progress, October-November, 2017
Oil on Canvas 54 x 54 inches
THE ARTFUL MIND DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018â&#x20AC;¢ 35
Molly and Aurélien de St André Moho Designs, Petit Pilou, and Berkshire Four Poster
Harryet Puritzman: How did you create GBAM? How did it all start? Molly de St André: The Great Barrington Arts Market was created by Molly de St André, of Moho Designs/Petit Pilou/Berkshire Four Poster, and Katie Burkle of KathrynBee Designs. We envisioned a way for local artists to have a direct line to their customers, without dealing with the wholesale/retail relationship. Great Barrington’s thriving farmer’s market and the presence of organizations like Berkshire Grown made it clear that the demographic here values and seeks to support local producers, which we knew would apply also to the local producers of art and fine craft. GBAM began as a summer market, alongside the GB Farmer’s Market, on a handful of Saturday mornings the first summer. GBAM is a 36 •DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018
juried show, and we felt strongly that vendors in the market should rotate and change so that no two Saturday mornings were alike. That first summer, the response from the community was overwhelmingly positive, so the following summer we doubled our weekends and created a winter market. GBAM has been thriving for five years now, and we’ve extended our summer season, which next year will most likely run from Memorial Day through Columbus Day alongside the Farmer’s Market downtown. We are hosting our third annual Delightful and Delectable Winter Market, this year for the first time at Saint James Place, and are really looking forward to the best lineup of artists we’ve ever had. Delightful and Delectable is a mix of fine art, craft, and locally made fine food products,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JEFF! THE ARTFUL MIND
a unique holiday sale featuring the best of the Berkshires’ handmade and delicious giftable treats.
Who is in GBAM, and can you tell us a little about each group of artists? Molly: GBAM is now an organization run by Molly de St André, Kris Kanter and Katie Norfleet. We work together to organize our weekly markets during the spring/summer/fall and to plan and run Delightful and Delectable, our large winter market in the winter. We also select and advise the jury, who decide which local artists are accepted into the markets. Molly de St André: Molly and Aurélien de St André are a husband and wife team of printmakers and graphic de-
Josh and Kris Kantor JK Custom Furniture & Design
signers, and the artists behind three lines of hand-printed products, Moho Designs, Petit Pilou, and Berkshire Four Poster. Moho Designs is known for our fresh, hand-printed textile and paper products including hand-printed women’s, children’s, and men’s apparel, and hand-printed linens and stationary. Moho Designs is well-known for our graphic design work, which includes graphic identity and branding for many local businesses including Fuel, North Plain Farm, Cricket Creek Farm, and many others. Moho is a locally-focused business, creating new designs specifically for the Berkshire marketplace. Petit Pilou is a brand of baby and children’s wear based in Great Barrington that is sold nationally. We create original patterns that are hand-silkscreened onto organic and sustain-
able fabrics, and we design and produce a line of baby and children’s clothing made from our original fabrics. Our patterns are unique and our focus is on comfortable, durable clothing that both kids and parents love. We’ve been able to scale up our production to retail nationally, while keeping every aspect of production within the state of Massachusetts. We continue to print all our fabric ourselves, and do the cutting for the garments in the Berkshires, and we work with sewers in Massachusetts who are paid fairly for their work. The focus is on a sustainable product that is unique in its design and decoration. So far, the response has been amazing! Berkshire Four Poster is a line of limitededition, hand screen-printed posters that reflect the beauty of the four seasons in the
Berkshires. Each year, we design four posters, one for each season in real time, handsilkscreen a limited run of 100 of each and offer them for sale within each season over the course of the year. We are currently working on our third set of posters, which reflect the leisure activities in the Berkshiresummer, fall, winter, and spring. Our mission is to keep our work affordable for the residents of the Berkshires, making these original pieces accessible to locals. The posters are often more than five silkscreened layers, and represent an enormous amount of work. Each series can be shown as a set, or theindividual posters stand just as well on their own. We offer a subscription to each series that many people buy after seeing the first poster—before the full set is Continued on next page...
THE ARTFUL MIND DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018 • 37
Mohodesign tea towel
Petit-Pilou number pants
released, and receive the remaining unreleased posters by mail (or dropped off locally) as they come out each season over the course of the year. This aspect of surprise thrills many of our customers, who know they are the first to see and own each of the new posters.
Kris Kanter: Josh & Kris Kanter are the husband and wife team behind JK Custom Furniture & Design. Sharing an education in fine arts, a love of design and a desire to establish a fine furniture and cabinetry company, we relocated to the Berkshires from Brooklyn in 2004. Working side-by-side in our Great Barrington studio,using a well-seasoned artistic eye, we create innovative, versatile furniture and functional homewares that add character and beauty to any home. Our furniture designs are based on an appreciation of beautiful, contemporary pieces that are meticulously handcrafted, and the homewares collection is made up of one-of-a-kind, heirloom-quality cutting, cheese and serving boards, often lauded for their organic beauty and custom-made, nontoxic finishes.
For each artist, what is your core mission and signature style, and your most-loved aspect of your work? Molly de St Andre: Our core mission is to be present in this community in our work and in
our daily lives. We love working with and working for small businesses; we love producing products that get bought and loved by Berkshire residents. Even though some of our products go far and wide, we think of our work as deeply rooted in the Berkshires, and know that especially our Berkshire posters reflect the Berkshire landscape, life and community. People buy them in order to take a little piece of this place home to wherever they live. Our style has also become iconic to the Berkshires, and we are proud whenever someone articulates that to us. People often tell us that our children’s clothing is like the Berkshire kids’ uniform—a pair of cactus pants is given at every baby shower. And we always spot our women’s clothing downtown, in the supermarket, at the farmer’s market, etc.
Kris Kanter: Our mission is to always be a company where craftsmanship and quality are paramount, and we hope each piece we create becomes a cherished heirloom. The furniture that we create is specifically tailored to our clients’ needs and style. In regard to our homewares collection, we strive to keep the organic nature of each piece, thus creating a one-of-akind product that many consider a small piece of art. We couldn’t think of a more fulfilling life than creating pieces that bring joy into another person’s life and home.
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What are the challenges of GBAM? We really want our markets to be consistent in the quality and caliber of the craft being shown, but at the same time we want the work to be accessible. Finding the right mix of artists is our challenge. Our most challenging project is the winter market, because it stands alone and we need to diligently advertise our presence and obviously compete with other winter events, as well as the weather. Our budget for renting our market site, and reaching and advertising to our audience, comes directly from booth fees we collect from participating artists and makers. This is always a balance to strike, as we feel strongly that the whole point of our work is to allow our vendors to reach their customers directly without high fees, and yet the cost of running and marketing an event of this size is substantial.
Molly and Kris, what is your educational background and where did you grow up? Molly de St André: I grew up in Boston, and came to the Berkshires for the first time as a student at Simon’s Rock. I fell in love with this area. I ended up transferring to Bennington College, where I received both my undergrad degree in ceramics and printmaking and a Masters in Arts and Teaching. I spent a few years in New Mexico, then in New York, and ended up traveling and working overseas, landing in Afghanistan and helping to run an
JK Custom Furniture & Design Cherry and Aluminum book cases / Cheese cutting board
arts organization in Kabul, working to help revive traditional Afghan art and architecture. That is where I met my husband, who is from France, and after spending two years in Istanbul, we relocated to the Berkshires and started Moho Designs. Petit Pilou and Berkshire Four Poster followed, and here we are. Our work has definitely been influenced by our travels, and we continue to have overseas adventures whenever possible,athough we now have two young children!
Kris Kanter: Josh and I grew up in the same neighborhood in Brooklyn. We met in high school because we shared the same circle of friends. The neighborhood we grew up in was a pretty close-knit community; you knew the families on your block and went to school with the same kids year after year. The friends we have to this day are the kids we knew in kindergarten and elementary school. While I stayed in Brooklyn, Josh left to attend Franklin Pierce University in NH, where he received his BA in Fine Arts with a concentration in painting. He eventually returned to NYC and worked building sets for the film and television industry. After many years of working retail and bartending at night, I returned to school and received my BA in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and focused my professional career on child abuse prevention and education. In 2004, my mother-in-law Linda Josephs opened a theatre in Great Barrington, and Josh had come up to help her with the ren-
ovations. I was in the process of leaving my job and decided to join him to use up some remaining vacation time. Next thing I knew, I was sewing all the drapery for the theatre and Josh and I were talking about moving to the Berkshires. Fast-forward to now and we can’t believe 13 years have gone by so fast, but we couldn’t be happier!
Can you describe the work ethic that is needed to make a successful business in the arts? Hustle, hustle, hustle! Molly de St André: We work all the time. Our hours are much longer and much more intense than the majority of our friends with “normal” jobs. Weekends, nights, all nighters… we continue to work like we are just out of college. It never ends, and although it can be grueling, we do love our work and enjoy the feeling of always producing. Since we really do almost every aspect of our production ourselves, we understand the value of the work. We’ve really hesitated to let go of that ownership, and it’s probably the biggest tension we experience— whether to scale up and stop being an integral part of production, or to keep the integrity of our process and continue to stay small and local. Kris Kanter: Hustle, hustle, hustle would have been my answer! Alongside integrity, honesty and a real ability to roll with the ups and downs of being self-employed. Like Molly said, we work all the time, at all hours of the day, and it is just Josh and I. Josh has always
been self-employed, and ran the company alone before I retired from my professional life in 2016. Although it has been a transition for me to adjust to the unconventional hours, I find the work extremely rewarding, and using my hands to create something that someone loves makes it all worth it.
Times are getting tougher each day for artists to thrive and feel their art is appreciated in such a crazy world. On the other hand, it may actually be a better place for artists now; there is a real sense of appreciation of the arts due to the hard times… like a sort of Renaissance. What is your opinion, and can you site a few examples of artists who are working through these days, when there is such upheaval and controversy all over the planet, and we all just want to sustain quality of life. We are connected to a community of friends from college and beyond who are working hard to sustain themselves as artists. I think there’s a kind of revolution at the moment, where so many people we know have broken out of the nine-to-five workplace and are busting into the creative economy. There’s a real freedom, but at the same time a chance to feel ownership over one’s time and effort. I am inspired by so many of my artist friends. Last year was a hard year for all of us. The election threw a huge wrench into people’s psyches, and no one was buying art. The energy is pickContinued on next page...
THE ARTFUL MIND DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018 • 39
the teacher telling my mother to buy me a sketchbook and let me draw whatever I wanted, and to show him what I did when the book was full. I am forever grateful to Mr. Bellenger for his mentoring and encouragement; I don’t think I would have found my love for painting and drawing without it.
Spalted maple and chestnut bench from the Vista collection
ing up again now, though, and we all feel that the tide is changing.
How did your childhoods inspire you to become artists? Are there any important mentors you would like to mention and thank? What did they do for you? Molly de St André: I spent pretty much all my time as a child making things!! This was encouraged first by my mother, who put very few restrictions on my art supplies and always was on the lookout for new materials. Later, when I finally made it out of high school and attended Simon’s Rock, I felt so lucky to focus on art and to have it be a legitimate part of my education. I learned so much from my teachers at Bennington, and took full advantage of the incredible arts facilities that were open and buzzing 24 hours a day. There was critical and deep thinking that was expected of us at Bennington, and that really allowed me to feel academically fulfilled while still pursuing my creative work. Arts were academic—we wrote
long papers in my ceramics classes, discoursed deeply in my printmaking courses, and studied art history that was relevant to the subject and medium we were studying in each of my classes. I feel so grateful for this interaction between critical thinking and creativity, and I do think that there was something unique about the Bennington philosophy and experience.
Kris Kanter: I didn’t necessarily grow up in a house of working artists. My father was a longshoreman and my mother worked on Wall Street after my father was injured working the docks. However, my parents loved the arts and music, and my mother and I spent many Saturdays at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, wandering the exhibit halls. At the time, I dreamed of being an archeologist, and loved exploring the halls in awe of everything I saw. I went to a very conservative Catholic high school, and let’s just say I didn’t really fit in… so luckily I found the Visual Arts room, and that discovery was life-changing. I remember
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What is going on in the arts today that excites you? New art? Inspirational ideas? Molly de St André: I love to experience contemporary art, and that’s probably where I find the most excitement. We try to visit contemporary art museums all over the world, but also spend lots of time enjoying the ones within driving distance. I am also someone who loves illustration, and I find so much around me inspiring. Children’s books from every time period are an endless source of inspiration for me. It’s embarrassing to admit, but it’scertainly a medium a mother of two young children gets to dive into without restriction! Honestly, the most inspiring thing is the artistic process. It’s the struggle, the constant searching (books, old encyclopedias, Pinterest, Google searches) for various perspectives and angles, weird plants, color combos, patterns, etc., the trials and millions of errors, the frustration, and the repetition— that’s the most inspiring. I love and hate to go through it, but the process is always fruitful in some way. It always leaves me feeling like I’ve chosen about the hardest possible way to make money in the world, but at the same time I never seem to want it any other way.
Where do inspirational ideas come from, for both of you? Molly de St André: Traveling and exploring are probably where I find the most inspiration. The energy of traveling, of getting lost in cities and the beauty of the colors of new places— whether it’s the colors of a natural setting that is a new landscape, or the colors of walls in the back alley of a city, I feel so inspired when I’m experiencing new places. I love to take photographs to remember things (not as an art form in itself, really), and looking back over photos from past travels is a way I re-inspire myself when I feel un-creative or dry.
Kris Kanter: Where we are from and definitely the beauty of where we live now. Fellow artisans’ work, the work of master artisans and craftspeople from the past, architecture and
functionality. What are your thoughts on tearing down commemorative statues, such as the ones of General Lee, and the possible destruction of Mt. Rushmore? Molly de St André: I don’t see many of the old statues of confederate generals as art. I see them as first and foremost political. They were created to celebrate and further a political belief system, and for that reason I believe that this a deeply political question. Not that I think art can’t be political or make strong statements—it can and it does. It’s hard for me to see the erecting of statues in the likeness of leaders as art in the pure sense. I do think that Mt. Rushmore is in a category all its own, and the scale and skill it took to create it gives it an inherent value and integrity. What are your opinions of controversial art? If it is distasteful, should it still be exhibited? Should it be exhibited solely because it is an artist’s statement? Molly de St André: Controversial art is very important to society! It’s the catalyst of many discussions, soul searching, and introspection. Freedom of expression is human on the basic
level, and so is the thought and opinion it inspires.
When you need some personal artistic therapy that is just for yourself, what do you find yourself creating? Molly de St André: I make things and clothing or costumes for my children or for people I love. I make tiny little books, cards, valentines and things that take an insane amount of time and effort. I get lost in details and make things to express love and to give away. It’s a way of making things that are not meant to be judged or sized up, just experienced and appreciated. I think when your artistic expression is your source of income, making things that will never be sold, priced, or valued based on money is very important. Then it doesn’t matter how long they take you, and it doesn’t matter what someone else thinks of them. It’s a huge release for me.
Kris Kanter: I would love to say I paint, draw, throw some pots on the pottery wheel, but there just aren’t enough hours in the day. I am amazed how my husband finds some time to read, write and occasionally sketch after a full
Petit Pilou pineapple dress
day in the shop. Sometimes I wonder if he has cloned himself just so he has time for things other than work! For me it is real a struggle I deal with on a daily basis, finding the balance to juggle all the responsibilities of owning a business and being intentional about making time for myself. Right now it is all work all the time!
What are GBAM’s wishes and goals for 2018? Molly de St André: To bring our artists directly to their customers and allow them to profit directly from their work!!! To have well-attended and well-regarded markets—to continue to make a name for ourselves in this community so our events are something that community members look forward to. G
THE ARTFUL MIND DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018 • 41
THE VOICE OF JOYCE Joyce Silver
Art and Technology, Old and New
On a recent trip to the Cooper Hewitt I was privileged to meet a new wave artist using 3D printing, along with design methods, new materials and old techniques of electroplating, combined to make usable, workable, fanciful furniture. Joris Laarman is a Dutch designer who is remaking iconic chairs, using algorithms to design the matrix that will be reproduced by 3D printing. It’s a painstakingly slow process limited by the existing technology. Many sheets of polymer are joined together to form the chair and then once assembled it is brought to France for copper electroplating. Electroplating reminded me of Ford cars bathed in a charged paint coating their bodies to protect against rust. How do I know about Electroplating? In 1976, I was hired by Ford Motor Company to become their expert in Paint. Rust prevention was Ford's #1 priority then and we used an electrically charged paint, produced by Mobil, to coat the steel carbodies in phosphate. I observed the production process. Joris Laarman's chairs are coated with Copper, one at a time, providing a lustrous work of art. Contrast this with Bill Carlson’s use of “old” technology to create his glass sculptures. He uses sand blasting to create a rock like surface that partially hides the clear glass which are overlayed with painted letters and words not meant to convey language but a sense of writing and color leading to a depth of construction. He uses lathes, sand blasting and water drills to achieve his designs - modern glass, old technology. An intermediate effect has been achieved by Martin Rosol in which he combines hi
BILL CArLSon LIno TAgLIopIeTro
mArTIn roSoL tech adhesives to add color to clear glass forms. Creating colors, shadows and light as you view angular shapes reminiscent of a sundial. Lately, many in the glass profession have produced equally exquisite pieces in miniature. The techniques are the same and the new pieces, to be exhibited at the Schantz Gallery, will be on view shortly. No matter what your passion in art, beauty transcends the medium used. Lino Tagliopietro is now using copper in glass, not seen since the ancient dynasties to create luminous sculpture. Achieving beauty is easier it seems than stability and cold etching, all techniques used by the Maestro Lino.
42 • DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND
These forms are technologically difficult. Their beauty is timeless, no less so than the re cent Chagall auction showing two lovers, “Les Amoureux”, depicting Chagall and his first wife Bella. The paint appears liquid and radiates a luminescence not usually associated with oils. Art never ceases to amaze and delight our senses. Without art there is no civilization. Remember to treat yourself to the beauty in our world, especially during our troubled times. Perhaps that is why art is prevalent during hard times. The souls of artists must be expressed. G
The Star-Strangled Bananas Richard Britell
My introduction to music began in a very novel way. My father was an avid fan of barbershop harmony and he had a desire to sing in harmony with his children. I had an older brother and a younger sister, and when the three of us were between five and nine years old he had us memorize our parts to music individually and, after that we would practice singing our parts with our fingers in our ears, and finally we would sing a piece all together
in harmony with my father filling in the bass. This part-singing was an integral feature of our everyday life and as such I never gave much thought to the uniqueness of the experience. This musical training ended abruptly when I was thirteen, as my father died. Being in junior high school and without a father I began to act out in school and was frequently disciplined and at times I was in danger of failing. At this time I had another strange musical experience. In school there were often school assemblies and they began with the entire school body standing up and singing the “Star Spangled Banner.” No one actually sang however, but we just stood there mumbling something to pass the time while the music teacher played the piano. Invariably, after this failure to sing, the principal would admonish us for our lack of patriotism and school spirit. No one however paid the slightest attention to any of this except one boy in a grade one higher than myself. He was an older boy, and an inveterate troublemaker. He had failed eighth grade twice, and was reputed to be in trouble with the police. He was tall, awkward and over weight. One day during our attempt at singing the “Star Spangled Banner,” he began to sing loudly but with a rich baritone voice. As no one else was really singing, his voice could be
heard above anything else, and as he began to sense that we were becoming his audience, he began to sing louder and even more fully. As he began to sing the second stanza, elements of pathos and passion appeared in his voice and by the time he reached the end of the song his voice had attained a level of operatic force and volume. The auditorium, which fell into complete silence, gave to his singing the additional acoustics and amplification of a music hall, and the fact that he was in many ways yet a child gave to the power of his singing a certain innocence completely at odds with his reputation and actual character. He was doing this simply and obviously to be bad, for the sake of ridicule, and for no other reason, and yet he succeeded in an unexpected way: we were moved to a feeling of intensely confused emotional patriotism, and at the same time we could see that he was a boy of tremendous natural abilities, who was being slowly crucified by circumstance! I began to understand the power of music. -Richard Britell, from the blog “Image plus Text”
THE ARTFUL MIND DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018 • 43
ROBERT WILK SCULPTURE
ROBERT WILK, ORANGE YELLOW PETAL
Having moved a few years ago from his 20 year retirement in Venice, Italy, to Sarasota, Florida, Robert Wilk decided to re-invent himself, as he's done several times in his life. Having painted, designed and sculpted since his early youth, Robert found it a good time to focus on sculpture professionally. Robert considers his main medium to truly be COLOR. No matter the material - wood, aluminum or steel - the art emerges from the COLOR. Wilk finds power in his minimalist approach and often provides a lively tension as well, through a feeling of movement or precariousness in the forms themselves. Robert also enjoys repurposing objects, like chairs, children's colorful socks, stove pipes, for example, or logs in the forest, transformed in various shades of mauve. Robert Wilk's work can currently be seen at the Berkshire Art Museum, North Adams, MA; MacKimmie Co, Church Street, Lenox, MA; Chestnut Lodge, Lee,MA and at the Urbanite Theatre in Sarasota, FL. Robert Wilk - email@example.com.
Another beautiful Berkshire winter is nearly upon us. For Marguerite Bride, that’s the best time. Winter paintings are her thing….and this winter she will be preparing a number of new paintings for a solo exhibit that will happen next November and December…but, more on that later. As always she welcomes commissioned house portraits so do not hesitate to be in touch. And if you are in a bind for a holiday gift, why not consider a gift certificate…for a custom house portrait, or any other scene. Or a reproduction of their own choosing. If you are out and about, stop by District in Pittsfield for a bite and enjoy Bride’s Jazz Vision paintings…they will be on display through February 2018. Fine art reproductions and note cards of Berkshire images and others by the artist are available at Good Purpose Gallery in Lee, the Red Lion Inn Gift Shop (Stockbridge), Lenox Print & Mercantile (Lenox); and a variety of other fine gift shops, and also directly from the artist. Seasonal scenes are always on display in the public areas of the Crowne Plaza in Pittsfield. Marguerite Bride – Home Studio at 46 Glory Drive, Pittsfield, Massachusetts by appointment only. Call 413-841-1659 or 413442-7718; margebride-paintings.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; Facebook: Marguerite Bride Watercolors.
“The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.” -Pablo Picasso 44 • DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND
Everyone knows that we serve intentionally prepared, 100% organic, delicious, internationally inspired, gourmet food. Everyone knows that we provide a cozy, quiet, peaceful, relaxing atmosphere to enjoy our food and teas while visiting with friends or journaling, or reading… Everyone knows that we offer a 21 day restorative cleanse that helps people lose weight, regain energy, sleep better, feel better and in balance… Everyone knows that we daily bake a variety of naturally sweetened scones, muffins and cookies to go with our pots of perfectly brewed tea… Everyone knows that we love being the place that people go to regain their sanity and equilibrium from the chaotic world… What everyone may not know, is that we also offer: Thursday evening salons - delicious dinner followed by an inspirational speaker from our community- musicians, authors, poets, motivational speakers, lawyers, artists that INSPIRE us to find our own passions and express them. Zen morning porridge meditation - Monday mornings a silent breakfast to help you begin your week with intention. Promptly at 8 - writing space with prompts, breakfast and guest authors on Friday mornings to help you keep that pen going. Saturday evening candlelight dinner by reservation… This winter, cozy down with us for one of these offerings and experience the ELIXIR magic! We wish you many blessings during the holidays, into the new year and always! ELIXIR – Nancy Lee, chef owner - 70 Railroad Street, Great Barrington, Massachusetts; email@example.com, 413-644-8999, fb elixir, Instagram elixirllc, www.elixirgb.com
Gramma Becky’s Old World Recipes by Laura Pian BECKY’S “BLACK-OUT” SOUP
It was a Tuesday, shortly after 5PM on November 9th, 1965. as most new yorkers were traveling on their way home from a busy day, my Mom had just picked me up from my weekly after-school piano lesson. we made a stop at Mrs. Mendelsohn’s to drop off my piano school friend Diana. suddenly, as Mom was kibitzing with Mrs. Mendelsohn, there was an obvious flicker of lights, continuing on and off for many minutes. Diana and i thought it was funny. a strange eeriness came upon the neighborhood. My only thought was to follow Mom’s lead; certainly she would know what to do. My mother, Goldy was always brave, she never lost her positive attitude in front of me, even during the worst of times. at this moment i heard her say “uh-oh”, and suddenly i knew something was terribly wrong. she jumped back into the car and swiftly drove us home. as she tuned the radio to wCBs-aM news, we heard the early reports of a massive power outage. The city went totally black and i was scared. we drove along the dark streets which were typically well lit by tall lamp posts. instead of being guided by the familiar lighting from the posts, this evening we found ourselves amongst ribbons of car lights; cars filled with other panicked, rush-hour new yorkers. Luckily, Mom found a nearby parking space, she grabbed me by the hand and guided us into our very dark apartment building lobby. The elevator was not working. i tried my best to hold back tears and remain brave as her grasp on me grew tighter. Mom found her way to the doorknob of the staircase and in the pitch black darkness, we climbed up five double-flights of stairs. “Laura, count with me!” she said. Together, we counted each step out loud as we walked up, and up, and up some more, 65 steps in total. we exited the stairs onto the 5th floor hallway in total blackness. as Mom carefully felt her way to the keyhole with one hand, we finally entered our small apartment. There was (a very worriedlooking) Grandma Becky! her face burst out into such a big smile when we entered the apartment. hugs all around, our jackets came off and she sat us down. Grandma had the transistor radio on, candles lit, and dinner was served! as the two of them spoke, primarily in yiddish, my older brother and i ate. he and i found this adventure in darkness to be quite exciting. Grandma Becky had prepared an amazing pot of cabbage soup which had been cooking on the stovetop for over an hour before the power was lost. as luck would have it, the soup was still piping hot when we returned home, along with a fresh loaf of black bread on the side. Despite the complete shut-down of power that nyC had endured, we inevitably managed to have a cozy, delicious dinner thanks to Grandma Becky. To this day, over 50 years later, i refer to cabbage soup as “black-out” soup. it continues to bring back those awesome feelings of family, love, safety and of course… home. here i share that sweet dish with you. ingredients: • 3 Tbsp butter • 1 large onion, chopped • 2 stalks celery, chopped • 2 cloves garlic, chopped • 2 carrots (1 sliced, 1 grated) • 1 green cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups) • 1 large starch potato, peeled and diced • 1 can diced tomatoes (15 oz) • 1 can white beans, rinsed (15 oz, optional) • 2 Tbsp chopped dill or parsley • 1 Tbsp brown sugar • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth • 2 bay leaves • Salt & pepper to taste
Directions: Heat the butter in a large pot. Add onion and garlic. Sauté until soft. Add the cabbage, carrots and celery, stirring until all the vegetables cook evenly. Add the potatoes, tomatoes, beans and bay leaves, dill or parsley and stir to combine. now add the broth, sugar and vinegar; stir and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Lower heat to a simmer and cover, allowing soup to simmer and thicken for approximately 30-45 minutes. If soups seems too thick, add more broth or water to your desired consistency.
enjoy & esn gezunt! (eat well and healthy!)
THE ARTFUL MIND DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018 • 45
Our Remains of the Day: 11/24/17 written by Judy Berg and photographed by Carl Berg
There it was, staring me in the face. Garbage can be gorgeous. The leavings from our dinner preparation, scraps of orange carrot, green fronds from the fennel, deep burgundy radicchio, glistened in the compost container that we keep in the sink. Not only too beautiful to ignore, they were ready for their closeup. Totally seduced, I called for my husband, Carl, to come with his camera. After their moment of glamor, these remains of our day will be tossed into the compost bin behind the garage, where they will use the next few months to lose all identifiable features like color and texture that make them look good enough to eat. Come April, we’ll open up the bin and turn out a silvery grey ash, ancestral remains bearing no resemblance to the carrots, fennel, and radicchio that they will nourish into 46 • DECEMBER / JANUARY 2018 THE ARTFUL MIND
adulthood for next summer’s table. And once again, we will marvel at our vivid remains. At the end of each day, we are also left with remains that can’t simply be tossed into a bin. I’m talking about thoughts, feelings and images that stay with us until we turn out the light. If, like us, you digest the news of the day while preparing the main meal of the day, you are left with plenty of food for thought. Take today, the day after Thanksgiving. The big meal is over, the leftovers stored, the compost tossed. There is an abundance of overness, the garden, the season, the year, the sense of an ending. In this mood, what stays with me is the news today of a particular ending. I focus on this because embedded in this ending is the possibility of beginning, even a kind of flowering. Robert Mugabe, thirty-seven years the ruler of Zimbabwe, from its titular liberator to its oppressor, is now gone. If we believe the news, not a drop
of blood was shed. In fact, his rivals and enemies are behaving with compassionate restraint in saying that this 93 year old man should not have to live in exile from the country he fought to liberate, no matter his despotic acts. He should be allowed to die there in peace. Will such civility last? We can dream. We can dream that our dreamers won’t be tossed out of the only country they know. We can dream that, come June, women really will drive the streets of Saudi Arabia, laughing together while their veils billow in the desert breeze. We can dream that a man’s desire to impose his will on a woman will be tempered by an empathic regard for her personhood. We can dream that others who are different from us, in whatever way, are regarded with a curious delight in that difference instead of a hatred
rooted in fear. And, we can dream that all nations, even ours, work in unison to heal our ailing earth, and protect it from further harm. I’d like to be as sure of that as I am that on December 22nd the season of darkness will end, and we will begin to turn towards the light. A season of darkness is a season to dream. So, let’s dream together. Who knows, some of those dreams might even come true. Revel in the remains of 2017, as we look towards the new year, remembering that those remains will nourish new growth. Welcome Judy and Carl Berg, collaborating team. They will be bringing you oUr remAInS oF THe DAY each month in The Artful mind
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Jean-Claude Goldberg was born in Paris After a Summer in New York in 1965 he decided to move to New York the following year. He became an American Citizen in 1972.
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“ART for me is breathing the right oxygen.Its a vivid passion. Its a miracle in my life. A gift I was lucky to have very young. without I would be nothing. Drawing has help me to do something in life meaning full to me . paint is like food on my table to survive in the world. Its not a question of money.because you can be poor with money. Never be poor with art. For me it’s a constant challenge to myself to reach new territory.Each painting is a new process.Its like being an adventurer. Brushes is what my hand need permanently.Paint stick on paper give me the same pleasure of eating a delicious meal.There is no limit in art. No limitation. For me it is the Renaissance of oneself. It will keep me young forever.”
“The small Holocaust Museum in the Marais is where among many others you could see the name of my father Marcel Goldberg arrested in Toulouse In March 1944 by the French police and sent directly to Auschwitz. Never came back. He was 31 years old.”
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“What makes me an artist is the natural fact that drawing at a very early age was like a need to express what was around me with color pencil. I always was attracted to paint and brushes when I was a kid.In school my note books were all filled with drawings. I really didn't care about studies because I was left behind due to the fact that the orphans where I spent my childhood didn't care about schooling.” - Jean-Claude Goldberg Jean-CLauDe GOLDBeRG X acrylic on canvas 47 x 54”
Jean-Claude was educated in the School of Fine Arts in Paris. He later became a commercial artist with a passion for
photography that never abandoned him. Photography had to become an important tool in his development as an artist. Back then he flirted with the idea of becoming a full time photographer working for National Geographic. Over the years he has built an important collection of his photos. They are an inspiration for large scale paintings. The photographs he took at Central Park during the Youth Vietnam Demonstrations have been exhibited in a well-known Paris Jean-CLauDe GOLDBeRG Hurricane oil on canvas 51 x 51”
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Art/Photo Gallery, in the left bank.
For Jean-Claude painting and photography are linked together, but drawing freely is a passion that stayed with him since the age of 5. Although most of his life he worked as an Advertising Art Director for big
International Advertising Agencies, he
never ceased drawing and painting. Today he has more than a two hundred charcoal drawings in his file. For the past 23 years, he is a full time painter, and thinks that Art can be made out of everything like consumer goods, a real inspiration that has given place to large scale canvas. He looks at it with a different eye by transforming reality into something else that is given new life. Colors and form with fine finish brush stroke gave his canvas its own special style. Goldberg started working with mostly figurative work. Large scale charcoal on paper.
Favorite quote of Jean-Claude: Nietzsche said : " Every artists should learn a trade in order to be free. "
Jean-CLauDe GOLDBeRG X oil on canvas 60 x 52”
“I knew as a teenager that drawing and painting will save my life.I was born an artist and I knew very early on that I would find a way to be in a profession where I could draw. My mother didn't want me to be a painter
knowing it would be hard to make a living.So I
went into advertising and graphic design.But
the real freedom was when I went to the easel
to become my real self. It was natural to me to express my life on canvas. Art for me is
happiness and it has nothing with money
because I think people dont really know about the mechanism of doing it.”
Jean-CLauDe GOLDBeRG The Curve
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Paintin’ Our Town PhOTOGRaPhy By naTaLie TyLeR
Richard Criddle, iva kalikow, Lenny kalikow, Debora Coombs
iva kalikow and Mr. Toad
natalie Tyler and adam Zamberletti
Vita kay performing Brazilian Jazz
Epic Halloween Party and Stained Glass Art Salon, Sunday October 29th, L’Atelier Art Gallery, 597 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA. Artist Talks with Debora Coombs and Iva Kailkow Live Brazilian Jazz by Vita Kay to follow Horror'dourves and Spooky Cocktails by Amuse Catering
HAPPY HOLIDAYS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018 STAY TUNED!
Torrey Oates and alex Brink
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www.atelierberks.com krysia kurxyca and Michelle kaplan