Gallery Night with Friends

Just a quick post that is not so much about an event as it is about good company. But first about Gallery Night Ithaca

Art walks are not unique to Ithaca, of course, but being a college slash tourist town, we have more than your average number of small venues willing to hang a show, and an ungodly number of artists available to fill them. It’s all within walking distance downtown, and there’s free snacks and wine or cider at most of them. Not that I care.

. Kenneth McLaurin

At the CAP Art Space the show was titled “Why I Did It”. This is one of my favorite stops as they is usually have an extremely wide variety of works in all media and styles. At their periodic fund raiser, they sell donated art that you, yes YOU can afford to buy. The atmosphere is less arty and more community party, and this week there was even a stand up comedian. Kenneth McLaurin did a series of three minute bits. He made the mostly white audience laugh and squirm, so you know he’s good!

The CSMA gallery was another highlight. The We Are Ithaca portrait project was on display, and I’ll just quote form the projects website:

Jyl Dowd

“WE ARE ITHACA is a hosting a multi-faceted portrait project in 2017/2018 that uses the power of photography to engage diverse communities within our city in dialogue and celebration of our complex identity. At the heart of WE ARE ITHACA is the photographic portrait project carried out by Project Director/photographer Robyn Wishna, a small group of Ithaca College  students and volunteers. This is a project of the Community Arts Partnership made possible by a grant from the Park Foundation.” (There’s CAP again!)

This is a good segue into the friends part. Long time (as in our adult children were toddlers together) friend Elise Skalwold was involved as a project  associate. And right there on the wall (as well as standing next to me) was one of my two favorite people to wander gallery night with, Jyl Dowd, the development coordinator at The Cancer Resource Center. Turns out between her and Mike, our enthusiastic gallery night companion, you can get yourself introduced to just about everybody in town in under two hours.


Speaking of which, that’s Mike on the right, with Matthew Petti, whose assemblages at Sunny Days included rescued bits of cutting boards, various glassed slides and mysterious pieces of metal evocative of Victorian curio cabinet collections.

sculptures by Matthew Petti

I’m afraid you only got a taste of the many works of art on display that night. You’ll just have to go for yourself next First Friday of the month. And if you are really lucky, maybe you’ll see Mike there. Just be sure to tell him what day you were born…


Museum of the Earth


The Museum of the Earth (formerly and more substantially known as The Paleontological Research Institute) had a botanical drawing exhibit by Tim AngelI I very much wanted to see, and it did not disappoint.
Tim Angell Tim Angell
I once took drawing classes from the scientific illustrator Bente King, and I really loved the results I got. That much focused attention to detail for as long as drawings like that take is hard for me to stick to without outside support, but I have managed to go to that timeless place occasionally as I drew since, and I hope to do so again. If I managed to do it then with two little kids working along side me (they had great results,too!), maybe I will yet.

After viewing the art, we did the rest of the museum. I am continually fascinated by the geology of New York, so I spent a good part of the time trying to take in the pattern of forces that shaped it. I could have spent equally as long in the Arctic exhibit. Even a small museum has too much for my brain to hold… I think a coffee shop is in order, so I can spend the day there!

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Gallery Night


Gallery Night in Ithaca is always a treat. The venues are so varied-a bakery, a gallery, a clothing store, the history center, a chocolate shop. The company was good,too,as I was guided by veteran gallery night denizens. Jyl kept us organized and Mike, in addition to being up for anything, can tell you what day you were born on. Due to rain, we ran late, and only had two out of three hours and thirty-one places to visit. Needless to say, we didn’t even come close.

TC Public Library

TC Public Library

In fact, I could have spent the whole time at the first show at the TC Library. The three-part exhibit included an installation of Carla Rae Johnson’s “The Alternet,” Barbara Page’s “Book Marks” and JoAnn Wilcox’s “The Call to Everyone”, as well as a 15 drawer card catalog filled with cards contributed by members of the community. The Alternet was what trapped me, each drawer of the card catalog full of the works of a different artist. Libraries have always been my happy,safe place. Heck, I used to love looking through the card catalog when it just listed books. Anyway, eventually my guides grew adamant, and we moved on.

Jon Bosak

Jon Bosak

We met the photographer Jon Bosak at Benjamin Peters, a men’s clothing store that smelled just like my granddads men’s clothing store. There was no sign out front indicating this was a gallery stop, so it was pretty empty. Too bad, because it was very nice work. Well crafted, but also the type of subjects that draw my eye, like interesting bits of metalwork and graffiti. Jon doesn’t have a website. He had concerns about folks snagging digital copies, so I hope the artwork I include here is okay.

We also saw Bill Liddick’s photographs at Collegetown Bagels, intimate portraits of nature taken as he kayaked through it.

Bill Liddick

Bill Liddick



At the CAP Artspace we saw what was essentially remnants of Kristen Tordella-Williams performance art piece “Grave”. (Perhaps it didn’t entirely convey the actual performance.)horses

The Ink Spot had an upstairs room full of member art as well as an exhibit for gallery night, making too many different artists to describe. My sister and I were both struck by one print in particular…just how we feel about horses, I guess. Then we peeked at the Moving Box Studio next door . It seemed very hip and full of young people and a bit, as Mike said, like Halloween. And indeed, there was an arguably nightmarish sculpture waiting in the corner.eyeballs

The Art ofSurviving

The Art ofSurviving

Sarah’s Patisserie displayed the art of survivors of sexual assault. A variety of styles, they were generally more uplifting than depressing. And there were chocolates, incredible chocolates. A good part of gallery cruising is the munchies, but this was beyond the call of duty.

Sunny Days is a New York made gift shop that mayorhad a group of artists painting live. We missed that part, but did see the results of “The Essence of Ithaca”.

Another new business to me was the Mystic Water Kava Bar. A San Diego transplant, the interior design was a work of art in itself. We didn’t sample the wares (a “traditional

Robert Barker

Robert Barker

non-alcoholic elixir”), but I did enjoy the rich colors of Robert Barker’s oil paintings. Even in the dim light they glistened.

With four minutes to spare, we almost missed a great exhibit at the State of the Art Gallery. Three dimensional mixed media pieces pieces in wood, metal and twigs, many with meticulous cross stitching, by Eva Capobianco. In addition to being captivating pieces, she and a number of other artists at the gallery are donating 20% of their sales to the CRCFL. Thank you!