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It was quite a lovely weekend in Brooklyn last Saturday. Well, not such much the intense heat and humidity but for art lovers and hardware aficionados Saturday’s Crest Hardware Art Show was spectacular. You may remember my post from last summer when I first stumbled upon this gem in my new neighborhood.

Oh how I love to wander around hardware stores. “Limitless ideas of things to be built! New creations to be made! Problems solved! A fix for everything!”, this is what goes on in my mind as I look and gather. So as an artist who often incorporates hardware into her pieces, this art show was a dream come true.

I had a friend who showed his work which was wonderful! From his website, read what the Alchemist has to say about his work – “I incorporate my original abstract designs into found metal objects ranging from old mill saw blades to ocean buoys.” Beautiful, beautiful work!

Many artists are featured in this show and Crest is very clever in hanging and placing pieces of art within the sections where the piece might have gotten some of its elements. Imaginative, surprising and sometimes you just have do a double take to realize that it is art you are looking at, not a functional piece of hardware. The show spills out of the store and into the back garden area. Interspersed among the greenery and flowers you find delightful sculptural works and paintings. During the opening, live bands play, DJs spin and there is food and drinks a plenty.

If you’ve not had a chance to go to this, note that most of these pieces are there through August.

Crest Hardware
558 Metropolitan
Brooklyn
(between Lorimer and Union)

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On Sunday, it was quality time with MoCCA Fest (http://moccafest.org/) at the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington. It was an amazing and magical day wandering through the stalls and looking over comics, graphic novels, posters and t-shirts – and oh yes, dioramas and sculptures.

What exactly is MoCCA and this Fest all about. From the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art:

The purpose of the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art is the collection, preservation, study, education, and display of comic and cartoon art. Every genre of the art is represented: animation, anime, cartoons, comic books, comic strips, gag cartoons, humorous illustration, illustration, political illustration, editorial cartoons, caricature, graphic novels, sports cartoons, and computer-generated art. Further, the museum’s rigid collection policy ensures that the art collections are maintained in an environment of the highest integrity.

It is the mission of the museum to promote the understanding and appreciation of comic and cartoon art as well as to detail and discuss the artistic, cultural, and historical impact of what is the world’s most popular art form. Comics and cartoons have been instrumental in effecting significant dialogue on issues involving society, culture, philosophy, and politics. History has shown them to be instrumental in documenting–and interpreting–historic events and social change. Artistically, comic and cartoon art is created at the highest levels by some of the world’s finest graphic illustrators.

The main goal of the museum is to educate the public about comic and cartoon art, how it is crafted, and how it reflects history. What does the art tell us about the time period that it was created in? How does it stand the test of time? What First Amendment issues regarding content come into play? How does censorship determine what is (and isn’t) published?

Without further ado, I give to you some treasured photos from the weekend.

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Ah, what a treat we had this weekend in Brooklyn – The Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival. After a lovely breakfast on Bedford, my man and I took a little stroll over to Havenmayer and N 8th Street. Okay, seriously, I’m not even sure how to write about this experience as it was overwhelmingly too much fun. Every where you looked, something wonderful, extraordinary and transporting awaited your greedy little hands.

So instead of wordy post, I give to you a pictorial rendition of our afternoon in the local gymnasium getting lost in worlds of adventure and fantasy.































Well, I don’t have much cause to go and buy a slab of marble, but if I did it would have to come from the ABC Stone Company. The main reason would be these fantastic marble statues that are a part of their back lot. When you’re walking along Banker street facing the city, these amazing figures will appear on the horizon. I could only stop and wonder in awe of whomever created these pieces. A little poking around on their website tells me that the statues seem to be made by the mysterious L’Oriano. Hm, perhaps on a day with a little more time on my hands I’ll stop and see if L’Oriano is around and offer up a compliment.










But wait! Short and to the point, graffiti of the day goes to….




Last night was my first art opening since moving to Brooklyn and I was not disappointed. I was fortunate enough to receive an invitation to the Barking Lizards Art Gallery fall show where an impressive display of local artists’ work is for sale. It really did my soul good to just step out of the hustle and bustle of Bedford Street and into this charming and sumptuous gallery. Everything for sale is of the highest quality and standard. Browsing amongst the paintings, sculptures, jewelry, glass and photography I became nostalgic for my past life of running the art co-op in Chicago. Oh eidolon how I miss you!

I had often walked past this unassuming store front over the summer as I strolled Bedford and explored the neighborhood. The beautifully crafted iron fence surrounding this corner building (made by local artist Kristina Kozak) is a wonder to behold. But the gallery is closed during the summer months, so I was never able to step in and check it out.




However it was worth the wait, as the owners Richard and Wanda, are just as charming and sumptuous as their space. It’s obvious that their own passion about creating art and supporting other artists is a driving force as I talked with them. We had a great discussion on how people perceive art versus craft. What makes one person look at an object and consider it a craft while another person sees it as art. A very lively discussion ensued which completely lifted my spirits.

As someone who works in clay, this perceived dichotomy of art and craft has always been a challenge in how I see my work. My tree goddesses when I first made them, were completely made for sculptural purposes. But as I worked to sell more they morphed into vases because I felt that the form alone was not enough, there had to be a function beyond the simple pleasure of looking at them. Thankfully I’m loved by friends who challenge me to get out of the “function” thought mode and back into seeing my work as pure sculpture with no other purpose than to be appreciated.

I think it is the modern day artist struggle to want to ‘create purely for creation’s sake’ versus ‘I need to eat so how can I create a piece that will sell’. Actually, this is probably the timeless struggle of all artists. Except perhaps the folks who made the Lascaux cave paintings. Maybe they had the complete luxury of sitting back when done and saying simply, job well done!

Tara’s Art for Sale

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