Taking it to the Streets

Art in the Village

Art in the Village

Yesterday I took my cane and my girl, and went to one of my favorite New York events, the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit.  It’s a biannual outdoor art show that’s been running as long as I can remember, Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend, with a lot of amazing art and artists. This is not a street fair, no sausages, zeppoles, blow up rides or knock-off handbags. I’ve heard the original idea came from Jackson Pollack when he was broke, and took some of his paintings and sold them on the street. Something about being in the midst of creative people who are living their art, and others coming to see, appreciate, and purchase the work is inspiring.  Plus, it’s fun and free, leaves me near all the places I used to frequent when I was young–can’t beat it. I’ll share a few of the highlights here, but if you’re in or around New York this weekend, or Labor Day weekend, go!

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As much as I’ve always loved this show, there’s an extra dimension to it for me now, attending with Art Child.  She chats with the artists and asks questions I wouldn’t think of.  She responds to this type of venue and it shows. No less than five artists commented on her style, a couple asked to take her photo for portraits. I could see her wheels turning, wondering when she can set up a booth and sell her own work.

Like Art Child, many artists use trees as subjects for their work, and we saw quite a few styles and interpretations.  We even found an artist with both paintings and sculptures of what Art Child calls “treeple,” trees with human features, and something she draws frequently in her charcoal sketches.  The artist, Anthony Santella, was lovely and patient, with work ranging from realism to surrealism to fantasy.

If I had the money and the room I would have purchased this piece.

If I had the money and the room I would have purchased this piece.

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One artist, Lisette P, was showcasing jewelry that was all made from New York photographs she has taken, resized and set behind glass.  How can you not love jewelry you can Windex to keep clean?

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We spent quite a while at her table, and I was happy to see many other people were doing the same. There’s just something about New York street photography when it doesn’t look like a cleaned up postcard.

One of the first booths we stopped at was marvelous, a mix of paintings and jewelry that we both loved, and it turned out the two artists are mother and daughter.  Olga and Daniella Bacskay. Perfect, no?  I’ll admit to being a bit envious. I appreciate art, and thrill in Art Child’s joy and accomplishments, but can’t share the experience in quite the same way.

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Art Child purchased a small print of this powerful mixed media painting. The original has volcanic ash in the tree limbs.

Art Child purchased a small print of this powerful mixed media painting. The original has volcanic ash in the tree limbs.

Moving on, we spent time chatting with another artist, this one with the kindest smile. I loved the work, another person displaying both paintings/prints and jewelry. Handblown, painted vases that blew me away.  Dudley Vaccianna, the scenes he paints just seemed to radiate female power. The earrings were all hand painted on brass, beads from Nigeria.

I think I could grow ten stories from his pose.

I think I could grow ten stories from his vibe.

Sadly, the show is much smaller than it used to be, but even still, my back and hip gave out before we were able to see everything.  So we walked back around the park to the west side.

So clean nowadays.

So clean nowadays!

And of course, because by then we were hungry, and so close, getting a late lunch was mandatory.

The peanut butter restaurant, simple and brilliant.

The peanut butter restaurant, simple and brilliant.

By the time we got home, I was unable to stand up straight, but completely inspired. There’s a story I’ve been playing with, building in my head for months. I now have the opening completely in focus.

 

 

17 comments

  1. it sounds like an absolutely lovely time! Beautiful day, seriously cool stuff to look at (I’m always drawn to jewelry stands/tables at things like that),time with your awesome kid, AND peanut butter restaurant? That IS genius. I might need to implement that kind of inspiration in my breakfast, still just on my iced espresso so far.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I also love the jewelry stands–and I did score two very cool, reasonably priced pairs of earrings 😀 We go through tons of nut butter in this house, breakfast, lunch, and dinner– it’s always appropriate. 😀

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  2. Thank you, Mrs Fringe! I almost felt like I was there. What great art, and wonderful stories. . .

    I think that’s the best part.

    I’m really glad you and Art Child went yesterday, and that you shared your experiences with those of us unable to be there. I see why you loved the female sculpture with branches. You’re right, something about trees. We are drawn to things like us, so what does that say about you?

    Never mind, I already know.

    ❤ kk

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, kk. 🙂 I’m glad we went, too–and happy to share it with you ❤ There was one booth I didn't take pictures of, a woman and man with photographs that were then processed? manipulated? Interesting, and they had a piece I fell in love with, I swear it was the visual of my "Pigeons" story. Sadly, even the small reprints of their work was out of budget.

      "We're drawn to things like us…" Hmm, now there's a thought I will have to chew on for a while. What DOES that say about me?

      ❤ ❤

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      1. You went the day before yesterday. I stand corrected, in a corner. I hate it when I make mistakes, but I digress.

        :p

        Whilst you contemplate the statement, ‘we are drawn to things like us,’ I shall tell you what I think about that sculpture, with you–who was drawn to her–in mind:

        Her hair is her spirit, open and reaching and wild, but tethered to a body solid and rooted in quiet strength. To me, her expression is one of peace and acceptance of all she’s seen, all she’s been through.

        Yep.

        xo kk.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yesterday, the day before–what’s a day when you’re forty thousand years old? 😉
          Very interesting, I like your thoughts on the sculpture, and feel all blush-complimented. Yes! Her expression is everything, that face tugs at my gut, you know? ❤ ❤

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  3. I used to attend a similar outdoor art festival in Okla. City every spring. Spent hours browsing all the booths. Mentally I spent thousands. In reality, I could afford very little. But I never went home empty-handed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I know that feeling very well–if I could have, my walls would currently be covered in several of the pieces I saw. 🙂 I wouldn’t be surprised if many of the same artists are at the OK City show, quite a few of them talked about traveling and different shows. 🙂

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