JAM Juried Show Reception was Packed!

WOrk in the main room at JAM Gallery, including La Musa by Michael Weaver second from the right.
Work in the main room at JAM Gallery, including La Musa by Michael Weaver second from the right.

Yesterday was the reception and awards ceremony for the 1st Annual JAM Gallery Juried Exhibition and it was amazing! There were a ton of people who stopped in and a bunch of the exhibiting artists as well. It was great to talk with the different artists about their process and inspiration for their pieces.

That's me standing by Cascade and the award winning Akimbo
That’s me standing by Cascade and the award winning Akimbo

And what pieces they were! There really is something for everyone at this show. There are paintings, sculptures, abstract, realistic, new media, and old represented here. I found so many pieces that features wild textures. Michael Weaver, whose piece La Musa also won an Award of Excellence, hand embroiders drawings and paintings, this one in a Day of the Dead themed series. The thread overlaying the charcoal and graphite drawing created an interesting contrast and changed it from being a straightforward portrait to an icon like object of adoration.

Another artist, Joe Vescovich, works in encaustics, but his work is super textured. He builds a wooden board backing that gets built up in plaster, then covered with encaustic and shellacs to create wild textures and color patterns. It was interesting talking with him about striving to bring movement into his work.

A wall in the inner room of JAM Gallery including 2 pieces by Greg Jaskot
A wall in the inner room of JAM Gallery including 2 pieces by Greg Jaskot
Work by Joe Vescovich (top) & Charles Branigan (bottom)
Work by Joe Vescovich (top) & Charles Branigan (bottom)

Another award winner, Lisa Lynn, whose Barbara (Pothead) won 1st Place in Sculpture, talked about her journey from creating functional work to focusing on sculptural pieces that may or may not have a functional element secondary to the design. She also adds textures using surprising source material such as orange bags and rondelles she creates herself.

Greg Jaskot had some beautiful assemblage pieces that featured found objects, stenciled and hand painted elements in sections and layers.

Like I mentioned earlier, it is a varied and beautiful show, plus all the works are for sale, so you could take the beauty home with you. You can see more images of the work on the JAM Gallery Facebook page, also more photos of the reception.

All photos taken by JAM Gallery

Art of the State Artist Interview: Eleanor Day

Girl In The Yellow Dress ©2013 Eleanor Day, 36"x27"
Girl In The Yellow Dress ©2013 Eleanor Day, 36″x27″ oil on canvas
This week’s Artist Interview is with painter Eleanor Day, whose piece Girl in the Yellow Dress is in the same area as Tether in the Art of the State exhibition. Her realistic painting have an interesting outlined technique that I find makes them a little more interesting than if they were strictly true to life. The people in them have a quiet, solitariness to them that helps to draw the viewer in. You can find Eleanor online at her website, EleanorDay.com and of course see her piece at Art of the State: Pennsylvania 2014 through September 14th at the State Museum of PA in Harrisburg.

1. How did you get started in your craft? (using your media)

I got started working in oils when I went to CAPA and studied under Phillip Corey, who helped convince me of the special qualities of oil paint. Besides, all of my enamored artists worked in oils.

2. What has been inspiring/influencing your work lately?

The fact that I live with my two teenage daughters has me frequently turning to them as models and inspiration. Apart from being available to work from, needless to say, there is

St. Bridget, Patron of Ireland ©2010 Eleanor Day, 12" x 12", oil on masonite $350
St. Bridget, Patron of Ireland ©2010 Eleanor Day, 12″ x 12″, oil on masonite $350

also an emotional depth and intensity in working from your own children, especially as daughters, they are bringing directly to that place of my own adolescence–a phase of life that I’m drawn to exploring.

The subject of the human figure has always been prominent for me–is a never ending source of exploration and discovery. And then on a purely abstract level, color is very important to me, and I love to use varied patterns and textures in my work.

3. Who are your favorite artists in your field?

I have so many favorite artists from history. I am very much drawn to religious paintings from the Renaissance, as well as the stained glass images in cathedrals from that time. I also love more recent work from muralist, Diego Rivera, of course Frida Kahlo, Violet Oakley and Henry O. Tanner. Those are just a few.

Summer Morning ©2012 Eleanor Day  oil on canvas 36" x 48"
Summer Morning ©2012 Eleanor Day oil on canvas 36″ x 48″

4. What is your favorite customer quote or story?

A favorite compliment “Your paintings glow like jewels”

5. What is your favorite piece of art or fine craft that you own?

A favorite piece of art would be a line drawing portrait by an unknown artist of two of my sisters when they were young teens, done on the boardwalk. It’s so simple, and so strong–it’s really good!

Art of the State Artist Interview: Domenick Naccarato

Markings: Seventy Two ©2014 Domenick Naccarato 25″ x 25″ | rust, paint, tar, bolts and other materials on steel | $375 archive #201403 This is another piece in my ongoing attempts to make some of my artwork look like I found it on the side of an industrial building or train box car.
This week I’m featuring artist Domenick Naccarato, who is someone whose work I only discovered via this year’s Art of the State. I was drawn to it immediately, and this statement on his website tells you why, “My current body of artwork has been described as textural, abstract, and industrial.” I love the rustiness, the colors, and the bolts and levers he incorporates into them. You can see more of his work at the Domenick Naccarato website, at his Etsy Shop online, and of course you can see his piece, Markings: Seventy Two, at Art of the State: Pennsylvania 2014 at the State Museum in Harrisburg, PA through September 14th.

1. How did you get started in your craft? (using your media)

I’ve been making art since I was a kid. I started to take it seriously in high school and then pursue it in college, where I was first introduced to the ideas of creating non-representational art. In the sculpture studios we used to collect raw materials to eventually use in our work. In the beginning of my sophomore year, one of my classmates had come in with some wood and he put a piece down in front of me, which probably didn’t measure any bigger than 10” square. It had layers upon layers of peeling and cracked paint, was all worn and dried out, and looked like it had been run through the ringer… something he probably found in a dumpster somewhere. The back of it still had a couple nail heads stuck into it and paint splatters. He threw it down on the table in front of me, pointed to it, and sarcastically said, “That’s art.” I can still remember it like it was yesterday. It was like an epiphany and it just opened my eyes like they had never been before. That you could find beauty in something old, weathered, or worn out. … something that was accidental, or that otherwise looked like it just happened naturally over time. The art I make today is still a reflection of that.

One Pipe Fitting Tethered to Four Screws ©2013 Domenick Naccarato 12″ x 9″ | encaustic with mixed media on plywood

2. What has been inspiring/influencing your work lately?

For my “day job”, I have to deal with a 45 minute commute into my office. Half of it is spent on back country farm roads, the other half is on the highway. I see surfaces and elements all the time that catch my eye… like little vignettes… whether its the side of a barn that’s in disrepair; or the back tailgate of big truck that has oil and water stains all over it; or the rusting steel on the side of a dumpster. These are the kinds of things that I keep in mind when I start a new piece.

Lately, a lot of my influence also comes from the various markings and lettering or numbers that I see on these surfaces. Most often times these go unnoticed as well, but the next time you’re driving down the PA Turnpike, take a look at how many random sets of numbers you see on trucks, the side of the road, on jersey barriers, or the backs of construction signs.

3. Who are your favorite artists in your field?

Painting #3 from the series: Small Encaustic Assemblages ©2014 Domenick Naccarato 9″ x 9″ x 1.5″ framed | encaustic, mixed media, and a bracket on plywood

If you had asked me this question five years ago, I probably would’ve rambled off the names of famous abstract artists that everyone and their mother knows. But to be honest, lately, my favorite artists have been my peers and folks that I’ve met locally where I live in the Lehigh Valley. In the past few years, I’ve come to know, and be accepted into, a huge visual arts community that is constantly amazing and inspiring me. I love the sculptural work of guys like Tom D’Angelo and Khalil Allaik; or the abstract paintings of Nancy Bossert and Michelle Neifert; or the collage work of Femi Johnson and Patti Tinsman Schaffer. Artists like them, and many more, are constantly producing work that quite simply humbles me.

4. What is your favorite customer quote or story?

Textured Color Fields No.1 ©2014 Domenick Naccarato 38″ x 26″ | paint, plaster, and oil stick on canvas | 2014 | archive #201425 | $750

I recently took part in an open studio tour down in Chester County. One of the afternoons I had a conversation with a customer who I had been describing some of my processes and influences to. He told me a story of how he used to ride a train into Philadelphia when he was a kid. And every so often he’d get out of his seat and go hang out between the train cars. He would stand there as the train was riding along, watching the scenes go by, but also staring down at the tracks and the components of the two train cars coupled together… the iron clasps, the bolts, the various mechanics… He said my work was reminiscent of the things he’d see while standing there and one piece in particular reminded him of those train rides.

5. What is your favorite piece of art or fine craft that you own?

I had an uncle who owned a flower shop at the base of the St. Regis hotel in NYC. Back in the 1970’s, Salvador Dali used to stay at that hotel and he would often come down to my uncle’s shop, rummage through the cases, and grab flowers to use in still lifes. Gala, Dali’s wife, would usually follow in behind him and pay for the flowers and any damage he did. Over the years, he also paid my uncle in artwork. I have a print of a young Christopher Columbus that he gave him. My uncle in turn gave it to me for trade of one of my paintings that I had done while still in school.