Allentown Art Festival 2013 – Let the Games Begin!


Allentown Art Festival 2013

My first big show of the year, the 56th Allentown Art Festival was held on June 8th and 9th of this year.  It started out on a soggy note, but a perfect blue sky Sunday was sandwiched in between a string of chilly, rainy days. The show was mobbed on Sunday, and even in the rain, attendance on Saturday was good.

Allentown is my hometown show, so, unlike most of the festivals I participate in, I have memories of it that pre-date my days as an exhibitor.

My earliest memories of the show include wandering through the streets with my girlfriends, amazed by all of the artwork, leather goods and jewelry – (so much silver, turquoise and sandstone in those days 🙂 –  and thinking what a strange, magical place it seemed to be. Most of those long ago memories are hazy, but one stands out as bright and clear as if happened yesterday. For a number of years there was a tall man, dressed in white pants, a blue polo shirt and a captain’s hat, standing in front of a very large, color photograph propped on a easel. “Do you know what this is?”, he would ask passersby, “…this is bovine urea….. do you know what that is?” I had never before seen bovine urea through a microscope and enlarged exponentially, and remember it was bright, colorful and quite beautiful, albeit in a creepy sort of way 🙂

Now, many years removed from my street wandering, turquoise wearing days, I am the person offering bright, colorful artwork to the bustling crowds. Over the years my work has shifted from hand-colored black and white photography, to stoneware masks, to my current mixed media creations which incorporate acrylic paint and polymer clay. My artwork draws people in, makes them point, comment and smile.

Perhaps, many years from now, another artist will be writing about the bright, colorful artwork she saw at a long ago show. I want that to happen, I think it’s a good thing! But she’ll have to find something other than a captain’s hat and cow pee to rest her memories on.

 

Upcoming Shows for 2013

June 28th, 29th and 30th Boston Mills Art Festival, Peninsula, Ohio

July 6th, West Hazeltine Street Sale, Kenmore, NY: once a year I drag out all of my dent and scratch, what-was-I-thinking, never-take-to-an-art-show pieces and offer them at reduced prices. My studio space will be open for viewing as well.

July 12th, 13th & 14th Cain Park Arts Festival, Cleveland Heights,Ohio

* Tentative* July 26th, Ithaca Artists Market at Steamboat Landing, Ithaca, New York

July 27th & 28th, Glen Park Art Festival, Williamsville, NY : a selection of my work will be represented by Village Artisans

August 10th & 11th,  Lewiston Art Festival, Lewiston, New York

August 24th & 25th Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts, Buffalo, NY

* Tentative*  Mid-September, Music is Art Festival, Buffalo, NY

October 12th,13th & 14th, Letchworth Arts & Crafts Fest, Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY

November 15th &16th, Maddie’s Pet Rescue Pet Expo, Hamburg Fair Grounds, Hamburg, NY

Find Me Online at:

You can find my work online at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SilentMyloStudio

And daily updates at: https://www.facebook.com/ArtistAlisonEKurek

 

Moanin' Lisa #4/100

 

 

Everything Old is New Again

 

 

Art History #4: Grant Wood's American Gothic -- sort of....

 

I can’t remember exactly how my Art History series began. It started about 2 years ago with a piece I called “VanGogh meets Warhol meets Parmigianino meets Kurek”. It was based on a Vincent VanGogh self portrait — but it also incorporated Warhol’s use of repetition — and it touched on late Renaissance Mannerism (Parmigianino’s Madonna with the Long Neck.)  Long, possibly bad, titles aside, the series has been well received and continues to grow. Here’s a look at my latest “victims”: Grant Wood and Max Beckmann. “Art History #4: Grant Wood’s American Gothic …. sort of…” is based on a painting that needs no introduction. “Art History #5: Max Beckmann Merlot” deviates a bit from the other pieces in the series. Warhol’s repetition wouldn’t have worked here. So, instead of creating four repetitive image cells, I added onto the original image. I changed the cigarette in Beckmann’s hand to a wine glass and added a table with a wine glass and bottle of wine. The image on the bottle of Beckmann Merlot features a miniature image of one of his still life paintings.

If it isn’t obvious, let me state that these works are all meant to be in good fun!  They are based on well known works, and I include “Art History”, the name of the original painting and/or the name of the original artist in each title. If you are not familiar with Max Beckmann, you should be!  He was an interesting character. Here’s a Wikipedia link to start you off:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Beckmann

 

Art History #5: Max Beckmann Merlot

 

 

You can find my originals and prints in my Etsy shop at:http://www.etsy.com/shop/SilentMyloStudio?ref=si_shop

Hooray for New Ideas

LightBulb

Don’t you just love when a new idea pops into your head? It almost IS like a light bulb switching on.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress; but right now I want to get to work!

 

You can find my originals and prints in my Etsy shop at:http://www.etsy.com/shop/SilentMyloStudio?ref=si_shop 

 

The Making of Silent Mylo

Silent Mylo isn’t just my brand, he’s my cat! Here’s a little background information on Mylo — and an answer to the question: Is Silent Mylo really silent?

In the late summer of 2007 I was in the market for a cat. I had lost my wonderful Chester earlier in the year and decided it was time to fill the void in my house. Jane, my 18 year old calico, didn’t exactly agree but lacked veto power. I began my search by contacting Barbara Carr, the executive director of the SPCA Serving Erie County. I told her I was specifically looking for an orange tiger kitten I planned to name Oswald. As luck had it  the SPCA was having an adopt-a-thon that weekend . The shelter was bursting at the seams with cats and kitten and Barbara told me: “Come browse, but I already have your kitten picked out and his name is Mylo”. Bah, I thought, I’ll choose my own cat.

That weekend I drove to the shelter.  I entered. I browsed. I met Mylo. He was not a tiger, he was not orange. He was a Mylo and could NEVER be an Oswald. Instead, he was a smokey gray tuxedo kitten with olive green eyes and a  carnation pink rose. And he was fabulous!

It took Mylo about 3 seconds to adjust to his new home. He was playful, funny, smart and adorable — and tolerated by Jane. Furthermore, he was unusually quiet for a kitten. He never meowed!

While I found that odd I chalked it up to his early months. Abandoned at birth by his mother, Mylo and his litter mates were dropper fed and lovingly raised by Alex Baker, an SPCA volunteer soon headed to veterinary school. The kittens were happy and healthy but, apparently, no one had ever taught them how to meow!

Once home, Mylo started modeling almost immediately…..

 

…and within a year he suggested I paint rather than photograph him.

I took his advice and the paintings were a great success.

As Mylo’s fan base increased a question arose: how could I distinguish MY Mylo from the posers and other Mylo wannabes floating around on the web?

Rick Keaton, an artist friend and avid Mylo fan, considered the question one evening as we drank wine before a crackling bon fire . “I’ve got it!” he said. Rick knew that Mylo had recovered his meow by now but rarely used it. “How about Silent Mylo?”, he suggested. I liked it! It was smooth, it was classy — and it was, at least in part, based in fact.

I presented the suggestion to Mylo later that evening. He cocked his head as he considered it, smiled, and nodded his assent. Thus, Silent Mylo was born.

Since then Mylo has served as model and muse for an entire series of Silent Mylo paintings. He’s launched a line of prints and note cards, opened his own webstore, has lent his name to a variety of wines and, most recently, set up a fan page on Facebook.

It’s easy to find Silent Mylo, the real Mylo, on the web. You can find his prints and notecards at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/SilentMyloStudio?ref=si_shop and LIKE him on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/SilentMyloTuxedoCat

But I’ll give you a warning! Modesty is not one of Mylo’s greatest traits. If you LIKE him on Facebook — and you should!! — you may find him to be less “silent” than you’d like 🙂

 

 

Barbara Carr and her team at the SPCA Serving Erie County  work tirelessly on behalf of neglected and abused animals. Online donations to the SPCA Serving Erie County can be made here:

https://www.yourspca.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=372 

or mailed to

SPCA Serving Erie County

205 Ensminger Road

Tonawanda, NY 14150