There’s good things that can happen when I like you and I’m fascinated by you. In this case, it’s a second visit with my friend, the artist Isaac Bidwell, whom I interviewed not only above but did a different interview on my other blog and then mentioned because of an art show he produced locally that I went to. I’m fascinated by the local art scene and it works out that I get to see some of what Isaac’s involved in, whether it’s his art or not. So, let’s learn more about the Syracuse and central New York ark scene:
Extremely hectic. I have 3-4 galleries in California that I show with regularly, another in New York City and a few other ones throughout the states I show with from time to time.
2. These days you’re helping to promote the art of others. How did that come about?
About 8-10 years ago I was in an Oswego art collective called Hat Factory. We were all about getting artists’ artwork out to the locals. After a few years of that (as well as sitting on the board of directors of an art assoc.) I realized I needed to do things on my own, not necessarily as a group effort.
After playing around with some ideas, I decided to publish handmade art books. I realized that a majority of the artists I was encountering were very lazy and unfocussed. So I started publishing artists from other countries. For the size of the project, things went well. Since then, then books have featured many emerging international artists and some that are way beyond in all aspects of their careers. I’m actually working on a horror book, showcasing the best horror artists in the world. It’s extremely flattering getting artists to work with me, especially ones that have careers I’ve followed for some time.
The other thing I do now, which I’m assuming brought this question on, is curate again. I’ve had to look hard, but there’s some really great local artists, ranging from novice to expert. I organized an art show about every three months at Tymeless Tattoo. As more galleries close in the city (all my favorites are now closed), it’s great to have a place that gives me total freedom to show when and whom I want. The artists are here, now it’s just getting the community to appreciate them.
3. Tattoos; I have to admit that it’s probably only in the last 5 years or so that I’ve come to grips with it being kind of a natural thing, not having grown up around it. Can you understand how some of us older folks might wonder why gorgeous women might get tattoos and why it sometimes takes a long time to get used to it?
Not really, I don’t understand the disconnect. It’s a way of expressing yourself through what’s on your body. Unfortunately sometimes it’s a $50 tattoo, then I wonder why gorgeous woman have those tattoos…
But in all seriousness, tattooing has come a long way. The machines are better, the ink is better, and frankly the artists (depending on where you go) are better.
4. I know you’ve sponsored art shows with only paintings and such, but have you ever considered sponsoring an art show of pictures of tattoos?
We’ve joked around about doing something like that at the shop. Our next show will be old school flash, so that will be pretty close.
(Tattoo flash is the artwork seen in tattoo shops. It helps customers pick what they would like on them. While there is no tattoo flash as Tymeless, many of the artists, will draw in an old style (old school).
I’ve messed around with art that allows me to draw faster. I do a lot more sketch work than before. I also have been doing lots of art shows with themes, such as Walking Dead, Wes Anderson and Saturday morning Cartoons. That can effect how and what I draw.
6. Is there an art scene in central New York where artists get together to appreciate each others work and talk about the craft?
There now is actually. I’m organizing a drink and draw. A drink and draw is a social meeting, where artists can meet up at a pub with their sketchbooks and sit back with a pint. It’s a great way to interact with each other as well as be seen in the public.
I’m big into reminding the city that we’re here. Syracuse, like many other smaller cities, is not very art friendly. Now that I have a studio here, I plan on doing my best to change that.
7. Are you only drawn to modern art or are there artists in history whose work you appreciate? Have you ever tried to emulate any of them?
I had a show a few months ago out in Long Beach that had the theme of just that. We took older classic works, and drew them in our style. I picked Klimt, please Google him if you’re unfamiliar with the work, it’s outstanding.
I’m not sure if I understand what you’re asking, so I’ll put it this way…
Personally when I talk to artists I look at it this way, is it a hobby or do they want it as a career? Most say career, but they get uppity when you start to talk about business. If you hate business or can’t do it, and are beginning in this field, either learn it or get out of it. There’s so much more to this than creating pretty pictures or placing “what you feel” onto the canvas.
You have marketing, goal setting, networking, financing and on and on. This is something 99% of the art schools don’t teach you. Everyone that goes to school for Art, should have to take a business class. Not an “Art” business class, but a real one.
In about another year, I plan on doing art talks about just that… the real “Art” world. Not the fantasy. There’s a reason why the successful artists I know has it together. This notion of the care free, unorganized artist is a joke. You will not succeed with out some sort of business foundation.
Well, I’ve been calling October my hell month for a plethora of reasons. I’ll be in 3 art shows that will be my biggest (most popular) of the year, all that month. I’ll be in Gallery 1988’s Crazy for Cult (dubbed the Super Bowl of pop art), Spoke Art’s Wes Anderson’s Bad Dad’s 4 and AMC’s The Walking Dead.
I’ll be hustling my artwork at craft fairs, comic cons, and horror shows around then too…plus I want to have my horror book in print by then… and I’m supposed to be a featured artists at this new venue called Dichotomy, out in Rochester.
As for my own projects, I purchased a screen printing business and will be creating a clothing line as well as toys. Over the winter I plan on doing art talks at various venues, like colleges and galleries.
10. I notice I didn’t get my invite to that big fancy opening with the “pretty people”; will you make sure I’m on the next one?
I’ll tell ya Mitch, a few months ago I was in NYC for a Scorsese tribute art show. It had a couple thousand of New York’s hottest. What a great experience. I had passes, I could have gotten you in. You’ll be VIP for the next one sir.
A couple of years ago I wrote a post here about walking along Onondaga Lake. This is another post about doing it, but it’s different than the original post in another way.
This time, I did two things differently. One, I started at the point where the Salt Museum is. That’s not my usual starting point since I live closer to Longbranch Road, but I had a different goal in mind. I decided to walk the lake as a tourist rather than someone who lives in the area. This means that I sauntered rather than walked at my normal brisk pace. It also means I stopped along the way to read the signs and take pictures of some other things I normally miss.
Ah, the signs. I’d never really noticed the signs before, but there’s a lot of information there, along with some history. For instance, I never knew it was considered a heritage park, let alone sits in the top ten. That’s pretty cool. There’s no mention of the lake being polluted, which isn’t surprising because who wants to talk about the negatives? Besides, visitors to the area wouldn’t know that, even if there’s no one swimming in the lake; are there signs anywhere telling people not to swim in the lake?
I also took my first official walk close to the yachts. I’ve been in the yacht club, but I’d never walked the sidewalk close to them or any of the other boats. I’d never walked in front of the first building one comes to, which rents all sorts of stuff out to yachters, which means I never knew there was a door or, well, kind of a storefront there, even though I don’t know if they sell anything inside. I do know there a soda machine on the side I normally walk, but that’s about it.
I have always noticed there were rectangular painted areas on the sidewalk and the riding path (that’s what I call it at least), but I’ve never paid any attention to what any of it said. Not that it says a lot, but I thought it was pretty cool anyway.
In any case I took some other pictures that I liked, and I’m sharing them here; I hope you like some of them, and I hope you get a chance to get out to the lake while it’s warm.
I’ll say it up front, I live in the Liverpool area, so my favorite spots are relatively close to me… relatively that is. Gannon’s could possibly be really good but I’ve only ever been there once in my life and I had a milkshake because someone else paid for it, and it wasn’t the best milkshake ever.
With that said, as I sit out of town on a consulting gig and only come home weekends here and there, my appreciation for the art of soft ice cream cones and delights has grown immeasurably and part of me wishes I was home all summer to enjoy it. The other part of me is looking at a different in temperature sometimes or as much as 30 degrees and saying that there are pros and cons to everything.
So below are my favorite 3 places and what I like from them. Unfortunately, I only have an image of one of them, and then only what I got there from that place which puts them on this list. I’m sure you’ll have your favorites and your reasons for that; let’s see what you have to say.
1. Emmi’s. It’s on Buckley Road across from the Ramada Inn and just shy of the 7th North Street corner, right next to the big vegetable and fruit stand. The guy must be a marketing genius because he hires young and very pretty girls to deliver the sweet treats. However, I’m an old guy, so I’m not driving 10 minutes away to look at pretty young things, but for the orange/vanilla twist cone. I get a small because they pile a lot of ice cream on top as it is, but the thing about it is it’s smooth, as opposed to most places where the sherbet part has ice crystals in it. My wife also likes it, so it makes for a nice trip out and a nice trip back. update – turns out it’s actually called Antonio’s lol
2. Big Dip. This bad boy on Route 11 in North Syracuse been around for decades and for me it’s made a resurgence this year with the emergence of their latest treat which I love, the fluffernutter sundae. It’s a combination of soft peanut butter flavored ice cream, marshmallow sauce, peanut butter sauce, chocolate sauce (that’s my addition), whipped cream and a cherry. Absolutely fabulous; I have dreams about this thing.
3. Vicky’s Tasty Treats. Another place I’ve loved for decades, on the corner of Old Liverpool Road and Electronics Parkway, it offers the best chocolate/vanilla twist cone in the area. I also love their uber large chocolate shakes, which I rarely order and yet it’s a wonderful treat when I decide to go for it.
That’s all I have; let’s see what you have to say.
From what I understand, the decision on what to do about Route 81 has come down to 2 choices. One involves it becoming a boulevard, at ground level of course, so that it doesn’t eliminate access to the city, the mall, or the northern suburbs. Another is to replace what we have now with another high rise, designed differently in some fashion, and still have some sort of access to street level that helps bring back some life to the area that separates the hospitals from “the people”, if you will.
I have to admit that I’m totally lost in this entire discussion. I understand that the road has become kind of costly to maintain and yet my thoughts are that it’s only the section that involves the area between just before the university area and just before the Court Street area; don’t quote me on that. In other words, it’s not all of Route 81, but maybe 2 miles at best.
I don’t have an official dog in this hunt, but I do have a participatory presence as someone who often has to drive that section of road. My preference would be that nothing impedes my drive from one side of the city to the other when I’m ready to go towards home, which is the Liverpool area. My preference would be that I not lose access to getting off at Court Street, or not being able to easily access either direction to Route 690, although I acknowledge that right now that’s one of the scariest propositions in the city, whether you’re on Route 81 or coming up from road level.
At the same time, it would be nice having a boulevard of some kind that could take on the type of life that mirrors parts of Erie Boulevard East, with more restaurants and shops, as I believe that could help revitalize the area and still offer local businesses a better chance to thrive as well.
Part of this already seems to have been answered, as the county legislature rejected the boulevard idea as the ultimate solution. Without them, I can’t figure out how it remained an option to begin with since, according to Mayor Miner, the city’s on the brink of bankruptcy. It’s too bad the tunnel idea was too expensive to explore further, but I had a feeling that wasn’t going to happen.
Frankly, I’m both excited and troubled by what could be coming. Whereas I think major improvements can and need to be made to what we have now in both safety and economical prospects, the possibility of not being able to get home quicker disturbs me. I think at this point any decision made will still leave easy access to the mall and I’m expecting easy access to the state fairgrounds. Not knowing for sure is troubling. I wish I had better vision in seeing this, but I don’t.
Time certainly flies! Back on April 16th we had the second meeting of the CNY Bloggers group, this time at Kitty Hoynes. Many of the people who came to the first one were at the second, along with some new folks. I can’t find the sheet now to list all the new people unfortunately, but it was a good time nonetheless.
There was one guy who made a very interesting impression however. His name is Larry Dietrich, and he’s the editor in chief for the Syracuse New Times. His presentation to the group was simple – write for us! In essence, something he’s like to see is more of a local flavor for the New Times online, and he’s reaching out to local bloggers to help do this.
It’s an interesting concept, one that reminded me of Huffington Post, so I asked some questions and answered a couple as well since I’m familiar with the concept in general. Each person approved would get their own byline and a link back to their blog. One can decide to write new content or post something that’s already on their blog; they don’t have the ability to repost via RSS so it would be a copy and paste situation if one went that route.
This is the kind of thing that takes some forethought. As the New Times figures out just what they really want, local bloggers would also have to figure out a few things.
One, time commitment; if someone is accepted will there be a request for a certain type of regularity that the blogger might not be capable of?
Two, will a blogger be limited to one post a week or can a blogger have multiple posts?
Three, if a blogger disappears for a long time, will they automatically be removed while their content stays?
Four, how many people who write will be allowed to write on the same subject? For instance, within the group are multiple people who write about food, designing and saving money; would those clash with each other, as well as the general goal of the New Times?
Of course the major benefit is potential traffic and notoriety. The majority of local blogs don’t come close to the traffic figures the New Times offers, and even those blogs ranked higher probably aren’t known by as many local people as they are people from around the world (I’d count myself on that one because of a couple of my other blogs). I know a few local people who’d be great writing for the New Times.
There is no pay, which is something that irked a lot of HuffPo writers when the creator sold it for lots of money so you might as well get that delusion out of your head. And yet, if your missives brought traffic to your blog and website… who knows right?
At this juncture I’m waiting to hear from Larry, who said he was going to reach out to me at some point. I’m on the fence because I write a lot already, and yet being able to reach more local bloggers than I do now, even with this blog… that would be hard to turn down. What do you think of this prospect?