Architecture of Jewelry

June 2006 | BY | Issue 50 | NO COMMENTS

Frank Gehry considers himself more of an artist than an architect, so it was only natural that he teamed up with jewelers at Tiffany & Co. in 2003 to start designing a jewelry collection. “For me, architecture and design are about the process. Sketching and shaping three-dimensional models and conceptualizing different possibilities—this is the essence of creating, in any art form,” Gehry explains.

Already famous for buildings such as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Calif., he is no stranger to new projects. Gehry has already completed three lines of furniture and now plunges into the world of jewelry.

Known for his use of space and shape, Gehry produced six motifs: Torque, Fish, Orchid, Equus, Fold and Axis. The designers at Tiffany & Co. introduced Gehry to unusual materials such as black gold, pernambuco wood and cocholong stone. The results are stunning and curvaceous, conforming naturally to the body.

The line offers an array of objects, including necklaces, bracelets, earrings and cuff links, and will continue to turn out new items. The pieces start at $125 and rise to $1 million. The collection is available at select Tiffany & Co. stores across the United States. For more information, visit www.tiffany.com.

Arts Abroad: Irish Music Makers

June 2006 | BY | Issue 50 | NO COMMENTS

Generation after generation of Irish boat builders and craftsmen have plied their trades in Claddagh, Galway City’s original fishing village. Today, Michael Vignoles lives and works there, creating the last of Ireland’s authentic drums, known as bodhrans.

Vignoles is also among the few remaining makers of uilleann pipes—Irish bagpipes played by pumping with your elbow, but without your breath.

Hand-built machinery lines the worn shelves of the studio by his home near Galway Bay. Bits of pipes and drums are scattered throughout. Here, Vignoles has spent more than 20 years garnering a reputation as an authority on traditional Irish musical instruments, assisted for the past 15 years by his son, Paul.

For more of “Arts Abroad: Irish Music Market,” pick up an August 2006 issue of AmericanStyle today!

496 Plates, 497 Plates, 498…

June 2006 | BY | Issue 50 | NO COMMENTS

In one day, artist Pat Coughlin will watch as a year’s worth of his work is snatched up and piled high with potato salad by hungry picnickers.

As the resident “Salad Days” artist at the Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, Coughlin has spent the past year creating 500 salad plates that will be given to guests at the Center’s annual “Salad Days” fundraiser on July 8.

Coughlin’s plates, which blend agricultural references with baroque Victorian flair, will serve up fruit and vegetable salads prepared by resident artists and area restaurants, all from locally grown produce. Each plate is made from native Watershed clay.

Attendees are invited to view the artists’ studios, explore Watershed’s 32 acres of grounds and purchase work from a number of exhibiting ceramic artists.

The Newcastle, Maine, retreat, in the midst of celebrating its 20th anniversary, provides a variety of residencies for ceramic artists of all career levels, as well as community arts programs and exhibitions. For more information, visit www.watershedceramics.org.

Rising & Shining

June 2006 | BY | Issue 50 | NO COMMENTS

“Swimmer Ball Grid ” by Marie E.vB. Gibbons

What is it that separates an artist from the rest of the pack? Nuance? Mastery of technique? Inspired and original work?

This group of emerging artists may not yet be on your radar screen, but they have all of the above, plus a little something extra that just can’t be defined. Their range of work is diverse, from elegant blown-glass botanicals to seemingly fragile found-object sea vessels, yet their ingenious use of raw materials and common objects commands respect for, and confidence in, their work.

Discovering artists who are just beginning to gain recognition is exciting and rewarding. Their original designs and innovative processes can also be a great, and often very affordable, way to breathe new life into your own collections.

These nine bellwethers are creating fresh dialogue in the arts scene, and we think you’re going to be hearing a lot more about them in years to come.

Bryan Hiveley
Janine DeCresenzo
Marie E.v.B. Gibbons
Rolf Hoeg
Martha Fieber
Kathleen Elliot
John Taylor
Sherri Jaudés
Allan Tuttle

For more of “Rising & Shining,” pick up an August 2006 issue of AmericanStyle today!

Check In Is at 3

June 2006 | BY | Issue 50 | NO COMMENTS

Hélel Harton and Roy Kasindorf fill the space with their colorful collection of art and antiques. Photography By Ken Woisard

When New Yorkers Hélel Harton and Roy Kasindorf first saw the Ullikana, a Tudor-style mansion in Bar Harbor, Maine, their reactions differed. Kasindorf took one look at the sheet-covered, cobweb-draped interior and whispered, “Let’s get out of here.” Harton replied, “Shhh. I’ll talk to you later.”

Where Kasindorf saw financial disaster, Harton saw creative potential for a successful bed-and-breakfast in this scenic seaside town on Mount Desert Island, located off the coast of Maine. “We had seen a lot of places that were turnkey properties, and I couldn’t see myself undoing what someone had done,” says Harton, a soft accent revealing her Quebec roots. They had arrived at the perfect time of day for sunlight to stream through the huge stained-glass window on the stairwell, and she was charmed. “I loved the feel of the house, the character, the spirit. Like a blank canvas, you could make it your own.” And they have.

Built by Alpheus Hardy in 1885, the three-story Ullikana was among Bar Harbor’s earliest summer “cottages,” as the palatial summer homes of the wealthy were called. Over the years, although it had been renovated a few times, it had not been structurally altered. Upon that blank canvas, Harton went to work blending contemporary art and craft with traditional antiques, vibrant colors with soft pastels. “We made sure from the very beginning that we were not doing the Ullikana as a period house,” Harton says. “Right away, we set the tone, mixed things and made it very eclectic.”

For more of “Check In Is at 3,” pick up an August 2006 issue of AmericanStyle today!

The Power of Two

June 2006 | BY | Issue 50 | NO COMMENTS

When Fred and Lee Silton attend concerts, she sketches shapes to turn into three-dimensional works. The couple spent two years renovating their apartment with the display of art in mind. Photography By Margot Hartford

Sculptor Lee Silton wakes up every morning “grateful to discover new lessons to be learned and, in essence, loving life.” Greeting each new day with what she describes as “continued curiosity” also helps her to create art that reflects the interplay between the visual and the visualized.

Given this mindset, it’s not surprising that her sculptures beckon onlookers with layers of visual intrigue just waiting to be discovered.

At first glance, Lee’s work resembles the wood assemblages created by Louise Nevelson. But a closer examination reveals intricate geometric gradations, finely honed from more than 20 years of painstaking work using jig saws and band saws, and Lee’s minute attention to detail.

For more of “The Power of Two,” pick up an August 2006 issue of AmericanStyle today!

Editor’s Note

June 2006 | BY | Issue 50 | NO COMMENTS

How do you break the ice in a room full of craft enthusiasts? Forget sun signs. Just ask them what they collect.

The outpouring of replies is guaranteed to make friends of strangers, rivals of friends and every one of the participants a conduit for passing along fillips of juicy new insider arts gossip. Only one collector can own a one-of-a-kind piece by Tagliapietra at a time, after all, and personal invitations to artists’ homes are in generally short supply. Bragging rights to both can be worth their weight in gold.

One facet of collecting you either will or won’t get people sharing information about is emerging artists. Just like great real estate listings or hot stocks, artists just beginning to get national attention for work that shows all the signs of maturing into the stellar category are sometimes just too special to share. Why let friendly rivals get to them first, right?

Fortunately for AmericanStyle readers, we don’t feel that way, which is why we’re always on the lookout for new talent and more than willing to tell you about them when we find it. What you’ll see starting on page 66 in this issue are capsule profiles of nine such artists, all working professionally for 10 years or less, who are already creating buzz with gallery directors, show promoters and museum curators for work they’ve created in each of the major craft mediums.

They come from all regions of the country and a diversity of backgrounds. Some find inspiration in or near water, another moonlights making art in his garage, while still another, our cover artist Kathleen Elliot, worked her way successfully through a series of careers before turning to glass.

The stories of these emerging artists are almost as fascinating as the art they create. Check them out. Then, when next you find yourself in a room full of like-minded craft collectors, start spreading the word.

Hope Daniels
Editor-In-Chief

Gardens of the Mind

April 2006 | BY | Issue 49 | NO COMMENTS

Not every garden makes its home in rich, moist soil. Many spring into being from an artist’s imagination. The Shelburne Museum in Vermont has arranged three such gardens into summer exhibitions, a trio guaranteed to bedeck the garden, home and rooftop of the viewer’s mind. Georgia O’Keeffe contributes flowers and landscapes of the American Southwest; Tasha Tudor furnishes the home with whimsical illustrations of rural life; and the Shelburne Museum itself dipped into its permanent collection of weathervanes to showcase 50 of the finest rooftop decorations.

Founded in 1947, the Shelburne Museum houses collections of Americana, architecture and artifacts. Restored buildings such as the Round Barn and the Stagecoach Inn serve as gallery space for paintings and folk art. The museum also boasts gardens that sustain more than 400 lilac bushes on its 45 acres.

Art as a Study of Life

“Corgi Kisses” by Tasha Tudor
Image Credit: John and Jill Hare, Cellar Door Books

“East of Vermont, West of New Hampshire: The Artful Life of Tasha Tudor” includes more than 40 works from this beloved children’s book illustrator. In her 90s, she still lives according to the style of rural New England in the 1830s, and refuses to separate life from art. This exhibition includes detailed re-creations of scenes from her home and gardens, in addition to decorative arts, artifacts and photographs. The show opens at the museum’s Vermont House on May 21, the Shelburne’s “Lilac and Gardening Sunday,” which features walking tours through the museum’s lilacs. It continues there through Oct. 31.

Nature’s Rich Colors

“Hibiscus with Plumeria” by Georgia O’Keeffe
Photo Credit: Private Owner, Washington, D.C.

“Simple Beauty: Paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe” features more than 20 works on loan from museums and private collections across the country. The exhibition includes landscapes of the Southwest, her famous flowers and lesser-known cityscapes. The show also seeks to connect O’Keeffe with other American landscape painters such as Andrew Wyeth and Martin Johnson Heade. Explains Shelburne director Stephan Jost, “O’Keeffe found great inspiration in nature. We hope people will enjoy this exhibition in the museum’s beautiful Vermont setting.” The show runs June 24-Oct. 31.

Topping It Off

The Centaur, by A.L. Jewell & Co., Waltham, Mass.

They’re not just a gauge for wind. Weathervanes were primarily rooftop decorations that served as a coat of arms in 19th-century New England. “Silhouettes in the Sky: The Art of the Weathervane” is a handpicked selection of weathervanes from the Shelburne’s own folk art collection. The museum will display weathervanes in an array of shapes: barnyard animals, human figures and transportation vehicles, all couched in an outdoor setting. They will be on view in the museum’s Round Barn and Stagecoach Inn May 1-Oct. 31.

The Shelburne Museum is located seven miles south of Burlington, Vt., in the town of Shelburne. It is open seasonally, this year through Oct. 31. The museum incorporates more than two dozen 19th-century structures, including a covered bridge, a lighthouse and a restored steamboat. For more information on each of the exhibitions featured here or to plan a visit, log on to www.shelburnemuseum.org.

For more of “Gardens of the Mind”, pick up a June 2006 issue of AmericanStyle today!

Top 25 Cities for Art

April 2006 | BY | Issue 49 | NO COMMENTS

The new Museum of Arts & Design, shown above in an artist’s rendering, will make its home in a renovated building at 2 Columbus Circle in New York.

AmericanStyle readers love New York. And not just the city. Your affection extends beyond the boroughs all the way to western New York and the Finger Lakes region.

The votes for the 2006 Top 25 Arts Destinations are in, and reigning king New York City once again tops our list of Top 25 Big Cities, claiming the No. 1 spot for its third consecutive year. Buffalo, N.Y., muscled its way back to the top position on our Mid-Sized Cities list, while Corning, N.Y., claimed the No. 3 spot among the Top 25 Small Cities and Towns, behind Santa Fe, N.M., and Asheville, N.C.

The members of this year’s Top 25 Big Cities remain virtually unchanged from 2005, with a single newcomer, San Jose, Calif., joining the list at No. 25. Behind the Big Apple are Chicago, Ill. (No. 2), Washington, D.C. (No. 3), San Francisco, Calif. (No. 4), and Boston, Mass. (No. 5).

Buffalo’s ascension to the top spot from its 2005 ranking of 23rd is one of several dramatic swings in the Top 25 Mid-Sized Cities category. Albuquerque, N.M., held onto its No. 2 position, but emerging glass mecca Pittsburgh, Pa., jumped from No. 10 in 2005 to No. 3 this year. Rounding out the top five are Scottsdale, Ariz., and New Orleans, La.

Joining Santa Fe, Asheville and Corning at the pinnacle of the Top 25 Small Cities and Towns are Charleston, S.C., in the No. 4 position and Sedona, Ariz., at No. 5.

Category 1: Big Cities

(Populations of 500,000 and over)

  1. New York, N.Y.
  2. Chicago, Ill.
  3. Washington, D.C.
  4. San Francisco, Calif.
  5. Boston, Mass.
  6. Seattle, Wash.
  7. Baltimore, Md.
  8. Philadelphia, Pa.
  9. Columbus, Ohio
  10. Portland, Ore.
  11. Austin, Texas
  12. Los Angeles, Calif.
  13. Milwaukee, Wis.
  14. Denver, Colo.
  15. Phoenix, Ariz.
  16. San Diego, Calif.
  17. Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
  18. San Antonio, Texas
  19. Houston, Texas
  20. Nashville, Tenn.
  21. Indianapolis, Ind.
  22. Detroit, Mich.
  23. Memphis, Tenn.
  24. Jacksonville, Fla.
  25. San Jose, Calif.

Category 2: Mid-Sized Cities

(Populations of 100,000 to 499,000)

  1. Buffalo, N.Y.
  2. Albuquerque, N.M.
  3. Pittsburgh, Pa.
  4. Scottsdale, Ariz.
  5. New Orleans, La.
  6. Savannah, Ga.
  7. Athens, Ga.
  8. Atlanta, Ga.
  9. Minneapolis, Minn.
  10. Cleveland, Ohio
  11. Miami, Fla.
  12. Alexandria, Va.
  13. Ann Arbor, Mich.
  14. Salt Lake City, Utah
  15. Charlotte, N.C.
  16. Kansas City, Mo.
  17. Cincinnati, Ohio
  18. Las Vegas, Nev.
  19. Providence, R.I.
  20. St. Petersburg, Fla.
  21. Colorado Springs, Colo.
  22. St. Louis, Mo.
  23. Tacoma, Wash.
  24. Tampa, Fla.
  25. Salem, Ore.

Category 3: Small Cities and Towns

(Populations under 100,000)

  1. Santa Fe, N.M.
  2. Asheville, N.C.
  3. Corning, N.Y.
  4. Charleston, S.C.
  5. Sedona, Ariz.
  6. Berkeley Springs, W.Va.
  7. Taos, N.M.
  8. Key West, Fla.
  9. Burlington, Vt.
  10. Boulder, Colo.
  11. Carmel, Calif.
  12. Laguna Beach, Calif.
  13. Eureka Springs, Ark.
  14. Aspen, Colo.
  15. Cumberland, Md.
  16. Sarasota, Fla.
  17. Chapel Hill, N.C.
  18. Saugatuck, Mich.
  19. Naples, Fla.
  20. New Hope/Lahaska, Pa.
  21. Annapolis, Md.
  22. Brattleboro, Vt.
  23. Portsmouth, N.H.
  24. Benicia, Calif.
  25. Tubac, Ariz.

Editor’s Note

April 2006 | BY | Issue 49 | NO COMMENTS

We’re halfway to April as I write this and, despite the snow squall we had in Maryland this morning, my mind is thinking spring.

Splashy patches of forsythia already dot the landscape, while vanguards of daffodils are running riot on sunny hillsides. It won’t be long before the rest of nature catches up and armies of residential gardeners bring out the bedding plants, then get down on their knees to play in the dirt.

If you’ve already even semi-identified with the above, I think you’ll also agree with me that gardening is an art. It takes a lot of imagination to look at a neglected front yard, or an overgrown and forgotten back yard, and thrill to the possibilities such challenges present.

I was lucky with the first three houses I owned: House No. 1 fronted a brook and New Jersey Green Acres property, which made our own tiny patch of back yard seem lush and enormous; House No. 2 had been owned by an obsessive county garden club president who landscaped the property to include a glassed-in greenhouse, a shaded fish pond and an abundant rose garden; House No. 3, on a long, narrow Baltimore city lot, was owned by azalea fanatics who had lived there for 40 years and spent most of their time cultivating hundreds (and hundreds!) of azalea varieties to spectacular May effect.

In House No. 4, I met my match. The house itself, a 1940s English-style Colonial, was perfect; the yards, both front and back, were a wreck. The only saving grace on the lot was a spectacular white oak tree towering 80 feet into the sky just outside the front door.

That sorry little yard at House No. 4 became my first natural canvas, and it hooked me on gardening for life. Of course it’s presumptuous to compare 5,800 square feet of land in Chevy Chase, Md., with the expansive acreage of textile designer Jack Lenor Larsen’s LongHouse Reserve, but I can imagine what Larsen must have thought as he surveyed his newly purchased property—16 acres of neglected, overgrown, vine-choked former farm fields in Long Island—back in 1975. It was, artistically speaking, the perfect canvas for his dreams.

Prepare to be inspired.

Hope Daniels
Editor-In-Chief

Arts Travel: Small Town, Big Art

April 2006 | BY | Issue 49 | NO COMMENTS

With a population of just under 1,300 and no paved roads, Cape Dorset, Nunavet, seems an unlikely candidate as the cultural capital of Canada.

But nearly one in every four working residents of this village on Baffin Island is an artist, making it “Canada’s most artistic municipality,” according to a study by Hill Strategies Research in Hamilton, Ontario.

The study’s results show that Cape Dorset’s concentration of artists (23%) is almost 30 times Canada’s national average of 0.8%.

Just south of the Arctic Circle, Cape Dorset is home to 110 working artists, mostly Inuit carvers and printmakers, including renowned artists Kenojuak Ashevak and Ohito Ashoona.

In 1978, the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative established a wholesale marketing division for Inuit art, Dorset Fine Arts, based in Toronto. The showroom, open only to galleries, features stonecut prints, etchings and carvings by local artists.

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