Sunday, July 14, 2013


               Last week my husband and I traveled through Illinois and Wisconsin to see family and friends. On our last day we went to the Chicago Art Institute. If you have never been to the Chicago Art Institute you must see it. Some of the highlights for me that day was seeing the following works. In the Asian Art Section is a wonderful video projected artist's book, "Mimio-Odyssey" by the Japanese artist Tomoko Konioke. You can read more about this work and Tomoko Konioke at We looked at some French old masters and we cooled ourselves off by seeing a wonderful small nude by Cezanne and a sculpture of a bather by Degas.There are a number of Georgia O'Keefe paintings there and we were particularly wowed by "Red Hills With Flowers." I was pleased to see there were a number of women artists in their collection and ones that you might not otherwise see including Suzanne Duchamp's, "Broken and Restored Multiplication," Helen Torre's "Extemporaneous," and Maria Elena Vieira da Silva's "Composition." Outside the Chicago Art Institute in Millennium Park is a huge terrific sculpture by the British sculptor Anish Kapoor called "Cloud Gate" nicknamed "The Bean." Also close by, in the Chicago Cultural Center (a former public library) is a wonderful Louis Comfort Tiffany Dome.  

Monday, July 8, 2013

73 Market Street

When I walk down Market Street in Newark on any given day, I look for number 73, open the doors, and take my time with whatever’s on the walls before reaching my studio. When climbing the stairs to the third level, I might hear a video playing on loop or pass by a great sculpture made of boxing gloves. After spending around four months at Gallery Aferro (so far) in the studio residency program, there is one thought that’s stuck with me:

Is it the space that makes the art? Or, is it the art that makes the space?

Gallery Aferro at 73 Market Street is a very old building. I can’t tell you exactly how old it is, I’ll just say that it has acquired a certain character and wisdom. I spend a good deal of time imagining what happened in the building way back when. I’m sure I could find out, but it’s more exciting for me not to know.

There is evidence of the history of the space in my studio as well. I found small notes or wall drawings made in pencil and pen by a previous studio resident. I found myself making paintings right next to these remnants. I've also deduced that some of these drawings are actually a series of lines used as an aid to help the artist figure out where place nails to hang their work.

There is no doubt that these tiny notes in pencil or pen have influenced my work. I look at these drawings with a certain degree of reverence. Somehow, even though I didn't make these marks, I see them as part of my sketchbook - a sketchbook I never had (I rarely make preparatory sketches). I would never consider covering them up or painting over them.

At the same time, you have to wonder - - how much of the intrigue behind this building is actually attributed to the artists and artwork that previously occupied 73 Market? Years upon years of shows, studio residents, and narratives -  bits and pieces of paintings and sculptures built from scratch, the memory of performances, and the many layers of paint on the walls are just a few examples of what’s made the building what it is.

It is crystal clear to me that the space has had a profound effect on art. And, I’m pretty sure that that the art that’s been created in the building has left its mark as well.