February 4, 2018

It’s hard to believe that in seven or eight years of research at City Hall, the art deco masterpiece of Buffalo and beyond, I have never stopped to draw it. Yes, I’ve stood outside and included it cityscapes, but never the gorgeous details within. 

If you’ve ever set foot inside the building, you know that it has an astonishing quantity of art: murals, carvings, sculptures etc. One of my friends even has a re-created City Hall mural on her leg as a tattoo! 

The bronze elevator doors, and the carved creatures above them, I have always captivated my attention. They are hard to draw though, because City Hall is so busy and the elevator doors are frequently opening and closing. But a half hour yesterday afforded me enough time to get the basic outline of the doors, and the surrounding details. 

I...

February 1, 2018

Failing well as an artist, with practice.

August 25, 2017

I got so involved in Art Jail, Day Four that I'm just now getting a chance to post about yesterday. I think that's a good sign. :)

Yesterday my dear friend and fellow artist Marissa Lehner Bannister, knowing my week's plans, thought of an "art field trip" that I would enjoy...a drive to historic Clarence Center, east of Buffalo. Founded in the early 19th century, the town is very charming, filled with federal-style brick homes, an Italianate business block, and tons of Civil War-era vernacular structures. An architectural historian's dream! (I met the owner of the house below, and she kindly told me a little of the history of her childhood home, and how she's returned to town to fix it up, bit by bit; meeting fellow old building-lovers is one of the best parts about my work!)

My friend and I...

August 23, 2017

Yesterday was a chance to escape for a day, to a place I'd barely explored.

I arrived in the Clinton-Bailey neighborhood- where I HAVE visited the farmer's market, the wholesalers nearby, but this time I had a different purpose: I snuck into an industrial complex where I wasn't supposed to be! (Though there was no sign barring strange artists drawn to historic buildings). The warren of brick and metal structures at the intersection of Bailey Avenue and Clinton Street had long appealed to me...probably because I'd only seen them from the height of the 190 overpass. From there, the proud buildings, some ramshackle, some in seemingly-perfect condition, beckoned.

In 1889, the Snow Steam Pump Works was built on Buffalo's far east side, close to a mass of railroads and the Buffalo River. You can le...

August 22, 2017

I am a freelance artist, historian and event planner, focusing on emotional connection to place. And I have a problem.

Most of my art commissions and historical research contracts take place in the summer - the precious, short summer. I am grateful- as a freelancer, you take the work when it comes. However, I quickly get burnt out when the horizon appears to contain no free time for my own projects.


So, I have stolen a phrase from my friend Tara Sasiadek, a fellow freelance artist and a philosopher. When her husband notices she has not given herself enough time in the studio, he tells her "You're being put in Art Jail" and send her upstairs with some tea and lunch. He keeps an eye on the dog, or runs an errand for her, to make sure she isn't distracted by daily household stuff. (What a catch...

April 21, 2016

Yesterday, I flew. I had wings...I circled over Niagara Falls, downtown Buffalo, saw the grain elevators from above, and I shared this experience with a friend and fellow artist, Edreys Wajed. We were piloted around in a four-seater prop plane by our friend and local Yelp Manager, Alex Levine. He's been asking both of us to fly for a while, and we finally followed through. What an experience - a warm spring night, with the sun setting on the horizon, the whole of Western New York laid out before us. As you can imagine, this led to some reflection.

 

The people you surround yourself with are the main influences in your life. For good or for bad. And I've been noticing all the positive ways my peers influence me. Edreys and I are a perfect example. I heard about his work seven years ago, and lo...

January 25, 2016

To say that yesterday was profound would be an understatement. However, it's the best word I have. I learned more about the history of the House of Medici in this region, and deepened friendships with my Italian counterparts. Read on...

 

 

I gathered with three other women interested in the history and future of the Mugello Valley region- first, to have caffè and pastry in town- and once fortified, we drove up into the Appenine foothills. We stopped briefly in Firenzuola, a town founded in the 14th century and nearly completely destroyed in World War II. It was strategically important in the time of the Medici, and planned in 1350. It sat astride the road between Florence and Bologna...and its name means "small Florence". We passed through on the way to a small historic mill a few kilometers...

January 4, 2016

This week, I begin my journey to Europe for my Florence art residency and "creative placemaking intensive". Many of you have asked what, exactly, I'll be doing when I'm over there, so here is a brief explanation:

 

I will first fly into Paris for a two-day stay, then take the train into Florence. I'm heading to a smaller town just northeast of Florence, Borgo San Lorenzo, where Officina Lieve is located. It's a collective of creatives, entrepreneurs, makers, coworkers and localists. They believe in the merging of traditional and digital skills, knowledge and space sharing, and the promotion of locally produced slow food (and much more). I met Pierpaolo diCarlo, one of the organization's founders, when he visited Buffalo a year and a half ago. Since then, he's been asking me to come see their...

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