BLOG 29 / My View of the Torpedo Factory Visiting Artist Residency by steve joseph

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Here is some advice to artists considering applying to the Torpedo Factory Visiting Artist. I was selected for a month long residency, one in 2014 and one in 2017.

Like all residencies, first consider WHY you want to do a residency. My list includes possibilities for:
- a new environment with abundant time with no distractions to concentrate on your art
- contact, learning and sharing with other artists
- a new environment to research, or perfect a technique
- a new environment to take a break from being an artist
- a place to make collaboration with another artist or group of artists
- immediate and future exhibition possibilities
- possibilities for a permanent installation
- education and learning experiences
- exposure to new cultures
- you always wanted to visit this part of the country / world
- exposure to the public
- sales
(If you have any to add please email me)

The TFAA Visiting Artist Program is described as:
"Visiting artists become part the community of more than 275 active artists affiliated with the Torpedo Factory Art Center.  With space in one of the 82 publicly accessible working studios, artists can display and sell original work while interacting with summer visitors.

MY ADVICE
1. The best part of this residency was having a space to concentrate on my work. I had time and completed a few commissions.
2. I had only a couple of sales during my two residencies, both to friends in the DC area. If sales are important to you I would recommend a visit or a few conversations with existing artists that sell work similar to your work, or find them online and ask them to be upfront with the amount of sales. Most visitors are having an enjoyable day out seeing art and getting a meal. I noticed jewellery was a big seller.
2. If you want to make work you have to be able to make your work and have a conversation with visitors at the same time. Not a problem here. 
3. You have to like talking with retired people, families and children. There are lots visiting.
4. You should be okay with selling other artists work. You are using 1/2 of an existing studio with your art and art from other artists. They are away while you are there so you have full run of the space. You should be good with answering questions on your studio mates work and ringing up sales. This will be rehearsed when you arrive, and you can always phone the other artists if you have questions.
5. The most busy hours are on the weekend. 
6. You have access to other practicing artists. Make time to meet as many as you can.
7. There are changes happening with the ownership of the Factory, that is on people's minds. Everyone has a different opinion.
8. I noticed many studios didn't open at 10am, so early visitors were often walking around the Factory with no access the the art. 
9. The staff and other artists at the Factory are extremely helpful, thanks for the great visit!
10. I especially like the staff of the Art League Gallery. They have a new show every month.
11. You can use the space just about anytime. Some of my most productive hours were after 6pm when the building was closed.
12. You have to pay for your own housing and for use of the studio. The Factory is set in a beautiful historic area, a 20 minute walk to the Metro, then it is 1/2 an hour ride to downtown Washington DC, with lots of free museums.

Hope this helps any future artist considering a Visiting Artist Residency.

BLOG 28 / BRAZILIAN CHURCH WINDOW PROJECT: STEP TWO by steve joseph

Special thanks to the following for supporting this project:
The Sacatar Foundation, Greg, Archie, Stan, Thomas & Annette, Dita & Dave, Fred & Susan, Cousin Midge, Cousin Connie, Bob, James, Jennifer, Seth & Sarah, Fred & Sharon, and HITlights LED, and last but not least my family: Peppy-Jo, Rita, Patty, and Johnny & Annie.

Political protesters.

Political protesters.

This is my second blog on my Brazilian stained glass project.. starting out with a photo of some colorful protestors (above). The Sacatar Foundation, who is hosting me along with 5 other art residents, has a great program that introduces us to the local region and customs. For the first 4 days we had mini van trips to the city of Salvador, and our island of Itaparica and (above) local towns.

Fellow Art Residents: (L-R) Glab Skubachevskiy (Russian), Mauricio Adinolfi (Brazilian), Pedro Henrique Lemes Da Silva (Brazilian) and Bruce Odland (New York).

Fellow Art Residents:

(L-R) Glab Skubachevskiy (Russian), Mauricio Adinolfi (Brazilian), Pedro Henrique Lemes Da Silva (Brazilian) and Bruce Odland (New York).

These mini van trips are a very good way to get to know the artist you will be living and working around for the next 2 months. It is day number 11, and I already know they are a very creative and inspirational group.

(Clockwise from top left) Rebuilding the frame, stained glass central image, my work space at the Sacatar Froundation, and the inside of the Nossa Senhora da Piede church.

(Clockwise from top left) Rebuilding the frame, stained glass central image, my work space at the Sacatar Froundation, and the inside of the Nossa Senhora da Piede church.

After all the tours, it was time to unpack and re-assemble the stainless steel frame, and the 40 pounds of glass I had in my carry on. I had painted and fired the image of Nossa Senhora onto white stained glass, when I was teaching at Penland School of Craft, so the central panel was where I decided to start. It is totally finished now (on day 11), and I am well into production of the 12 side panels. 
I was also able to see inside the church, and inspect the electrical connection. The plan is to have LED lighting behind the art that will be on a timer starting daily at 6pm, and turning off around 10pm.
To end this 2nd blog is a image of the outside of the newly painted church (below).
Please help by making a donation by mailing me a check, made out and mailed to:
Joseph Cavalieri, 216 East 7th Street, apt 10, New York, NY 10009, USA. Thank you for your support! - Joseph

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BLOG 27 / BRAZILIAN CHURCH WINDOW PROJECT: Step ONE in NYC by steve joseph

AUGUST 2017: My approved digital design for “Return of Nossa Senhora,” a stained glass window for the Nossa Senhora da Piedade Church in Itaparica, Bahia, Brazil.

AUGUST 2017: My approved digital design for “Return of Nossa Senhora,” a stained glass window for the Nossa Senhora da Piedade Church in Itaparica, Bahia, Brazil.

(l-r) Google earth image of the Church, measuring the window, and the church from the distance, with my (digital) design.

(l-r) Google earth image of the Church, measuring the window, and the church from the distance, with my (digital) design.

SEPTEMBER 2017: Renovation of the front of Our Lady of Mercy church.

SEPTEMBER 2017: Renovation of the front of Our Lady of Mercy church.

After the window area was measured and design was approved, my favorite metal company in Brooklyn made the stainless steel frame. It comes apart into 13 pieces. 

After the window area was measured and design was approved, my favorite metal company in Brooklyn made the stainless steel frame. It comes apart into 13 pieces. 

Special thanks to the following for supporting this project:
The Sacatar Foundation, Greg, Archie, Stan, Thomas & Annette, Dita & Dave, Fred & Susan, Cousin Midge, Cousin Connie, Bob, James, Jennifer, Seth & Sarah, Fred & Sharon, and HITlights LED, and last but not least my family: Peppy-Jo, Rita, Patty, and Johnny & Annie.

Please help by making a donation by mailing me a check, made out and mailed to:
Joseph Cavalieri, 216 East 7th Street, apt 10, New York, NY 10009, USA. Thank you for your support! - Joseph

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I am Joseph Cavalieri, a New York City artist. I am currently designing and making a six foot round stained glass window for Our Lady of Mercy Church in Itaparica, an island off the city of Salvador, Brazil.

The Church was built in 1923, with an area for a stained glass window. At that time, the members of the Church could not afford to include a stained glass window; today the cost is even more prohibitive. However, with design approval from the head of the Church, I am volunteering my time and creativity to provide the long overdue window while Sacatar Foundation is contributing a much appreciated work space, housing and meals for me. Despite all of this cooperation, I still need funds for purchase of the stainless steel frame, glass, solder, and lighting. 

I will be spending October and November of this year in Itaparica to make and install the window. I will be adding to this blog with photos and information on the project.

HERE IS SOME BACKGROUND

I was initially invited to the Sacatar Foundation for a two month visiting artist residency in 2011, where I taught beginner stained glass classes to the locals

I was initially invited to the Sacatar Foundation for a two month visiting artist residency in 2011, where I taught beginner stained glass classes to the locals

ABOUT THE ART:
This is a decorative design with a central figure of Nossa Senhora da Piedade (Our Lady of Mercy). It has strong colors so you will see it clearly from the distance. It is made of colored stained glass that will be set into a stainless steel metal frame. It will be back lit with LED lighting. The blue glass color relates to water, ocean, sky, and the color of the front door. The orange and yellow colors relate to the sun and the color of the outside of the church. The border has waves of water to relate to the ocean.

The central figure is a portrait of the original Our Lady of Mercy statue that was stolen from the church in 2011. This stained glass window is a way to bring her back to the church and the community of Itaparica. Our Lady of Mercy is the Patroness of Itaparica. This work relates to the history of this Neogothic style church. The location is in the historical center of Itaparica, and island off of Salvador Brazil, in the state of Bahia (population 55,000, area:146 km / 56 sq mi). The original construction was in 1854. The church was rebuilt in 1923.

Our Lady of Mercy had fought to defend Itaparica. For that reason she became the patroness of Itaparica and the first chapel in honor of her was built in 1923. This chapel was built as a monument of gratitude to Nossa Senhora and the independence heroes, whose names are written on the church facade.

THANK YOU
Special thanks to the following for supporting this project:
Sacatar Foundation, Greg, Archie, Stan, Thomas & Annette, Dita & Dave, Fred & Susan, Cousin Midge, Cousin Connie, Bob, James, Jennifer, Seth & Sarah, Fred & Sharon, and HITlights LED, and last but not least my family: Peppy-Jo, Rita, Patty, and Johnny & Annie.

Please help by making a donation by mailing me a check, made out and mailed to:
Joseph Cavalieri, 216 East 7th Street, apt 10, New York, NY 10009, USA. Thank you for your support! - Joseph

BLOG 26 / Recent work: The Granier by steve joseph

This blog shows some new techniques and many photos of a recent collaboration and commission for a client here in New York. 

NO SURPRISES: 2 glass samples. A portion of the work I showed the clients for approval.

NO SURPRISES: 2 glass samples. A portion of the work I showed the clients for approval.

Past students may remember a demonstration in class where I used oil paints on stained glass. This "The Granier" commission, French for the Baker, was a perfect project to demonstrate this technique. My steps included:
- Meeting the clients to see the location for the art to be hung and observe the colors of the room
- Reviewing possible themes, schedule and price
- Presenting small digital sketches
- Choice and revisions on digital sketch
- Presenting a full-size color paper printout of the design in different sizes to choose which looked best in the room.
- Presenting a glass sample (see image above)
- Drop off and hang final work

Images of the final work:

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The work measures about 20 x 20 inches, and is set into a stainless steel frame with LED backlighting.

BLOG no 25 / Boosting Creativity Article by Guest Blogger Larry Mager by steve joseph

It seems like everyone’s getting on the fitness bandwagon these days, but whole-body fitness isn’t just about your body; it’s also about your mind. In fact, activities that promote brain fitness can be a huge boon for creativity. So, if you’re feeling like your creative juices are running dry, it might be time to start practicing some fun fitness fixes for your mind.

Video Games
Video games get a bad rap for being irresistible to adolescents who should be spending more time outside, but video games aren’t all bad. It turns out that video games have some creativity-enhancing benefits hidden behind their façade of mindless entertainment. According to researchers at Penn State University who conducted a study on the creative benefits of video games, defocused attention is the key to creativity, and video games help to promote precisely that.

Card Games
Card games aren’t just for kids and poker enthusiasts. In fact, an enjoyable game of cards can help you beat stress – and it stimulates nerve growth in areas of the brain that are largely responsible for things like emotion and executive functioning. Whether you opt for a game like poker which can help boost your strategic prowess or something like Bridge, which has been shown to help boost short-term memory, most card games carry benefits far beyond merely passing the time.

Journaling
If you view journaling as a hobby only enjoyable for would-be writers, you’re thinking about it all wrong. Putting pen to paper is a powerful way to unleash your inner creativity, problem-solve, relieve stress, and more. Developing a habit of writing every day – and that doesn’t necessarily mean writing a lot each day – can be helpful in overcoming challenges, navigating emotions, and enhancing your creativity. It doesn’t have to be good, either. The key is simply to produce something, no matter how much or how little or how good or bad.

Move in a Different Way
Physical movement can unleash the creative juices, particularly when you move in a way that you’re not used to. If you’re not a regular yoga practitioner, yoga is sure to get you moving in strange ways that your body is unfamiliar with. If you do yoga on the regular, try something different – perhaps salsa dancing, golfing, or even standing on your head.

Visualization
Visualization requires the use of your imagination, but it doesn’t necessarily mean trying to visualize the specific solution to whatever creative challenge you’re facing. While there’s certainly something to be said for visualizing successful outcomes, you can also flex your creative muscles by visualizing rich landscapes, unusual objects, and a variety of other visuals that have nothing at all to do with the issues at hand. Whatever visualization method you choose, take the time to explore all your senses: touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound.

These five examples are just a few tactics for enhancing your mental fitness and encouraging creativity. They’re probably not what you’d necessarily think of as creativity-enhancing activities, but that’s the point: sometimes, your mind needs a break from the constant hustle and bustle towards measurable outcomes. Taking a little time to redirect your attention and let your mind flow freely can often be just what you need for greater creativity.

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About the author. Larry Mager is passionate about the study of how to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. He believes in regular exercise of the brain as a means to do just that. Give yours a workout with some fun, brain-stimulating games at ReadyBrain.net. Image via Pixabay by Pexels

BLOG NO 24 / I Love Columbus by steve joseph

In 2015 I was accepted for a solo show at the Kennedy Gallery at Glass Axis in... you guessed it.. Columbus Ohio. I have done a few previous solo shows outside of New York that have been successful in the past, the top of the list was "VOICES X" in Dubuque, Iowa, which had a 7 hour opening festival with entertainment and an open bar. I met over 200 people that night, and sold 6 works. 

In this blog I would like to offer pointers on the best way to organize an out-of-town exhibition. Click here to see images of all of my work, in my Columbus, Ohio exhibition, even better stop by in person. Below are couple photos of the installation.

PACKING & DELIVERY: I needed to install 13 of my glass works for this show at Glass Axis. Paying for an art moving company to ship my work would increase the price of my art, not just the cost of shipping but the time it takes to pack the work. Instead, I wrapped my art in moving blankets, rented a car through TURO.com (if you rent cars you can save big on this website), and drove my art to Ohio myself. This decision cut my delivery expenses significantly. I needed to physically be at the gallery to install the art, so bringing the work myself fit with the schedule.

In the past I have also placed a listing on CRAIGSLIST.com to find someone local moving or driving to the same location of my exhibition. One occasion I connected with a driver who had extra space in their moving van that was soon filled with my art. They made a few bucks for gas, and I got my work delivered directly to the gallery. There is no insurance using a non professional mover, so you have to pack the art well and be extremely clear on how to handle the work. They brought the art directly from my doorstep to the gallery doorstep.

TIMING: Picking up the car was scheduled the morning after the election. So like half of America I was sleep deprived! I did manage to get to Glass Axis on schedule, listening to NPR all the way. Needles to say timing is important so you don't hit traffic. I packed a bunch of healthy snacks and made the trip to Columbus in 8 hours, with one stop at the 5 hour point.

A YEAR IN ADVANCE: Once you know the exhibition is set, look for other ways to meet artists during your visit. I discussed other items I could offer with the Glass Axis staff which included teaching a weekend class at Glass Axis (below), and a free "Marketing for Artists" workshop. The staff at Glass Axis organized and filled the class quickly with 10 talented students, and the lecture filled immediately, thanks to a posting by the Ohio Arts Council, who also generously sponsored the event. 

CAR CULTURE: I think it is good for the brain changing your routine, plus a variety of new connections are made when you go outside of your city.
- I experienced what is like to own a car for 5 days straight.
- One of my student traveled from Seattle to take my class, and is planning on taking my class again at Pratt Fine Arts.
- Two previous clients bought one of my larger panels, and treated me to a production at their theater.
- Two students purchased my work, one actually works at Franklin Art Glass Studios.
- Glass Axis has invited me back to teach a longer class in 2017.

MEDIA COVERAGE: By chance I met the organizer of the Franklinton Art Walk, who was looking for an artist to feature in a live "Good Day Columbus" TV segment. The next morning I was talking about my art in a fun interview with the lively reporter Cameron Fontana (below).

EXPAND YOUR REPUTATION: Get out of your comfort zone and go after shows in new locations. Not just for exposure to a new market, but to form friendships with other artists. I am really looking forward to returning to Columbus to meet these people again and take a tour of Franklin Glass Studios.

BLOG NO 23 / Making San Gennaro by steve joseph

People often ask how long each of my works take to make. Walter Hahn, my high school teacher, would answer this by saying 'my whole life.' Which is true, especially when you include the thought process behind the original design.

Here is a short outline of design steps made while producing the work titled San Gennaro. (If you are interested in learning my techniques consider one of my upcoming classes here, or to see this work in person see my current solo show at the Italian American Museum, in the Little Italy neighborhood of Manhattan.)

1. (above) The initial sketch was designed for a "Photo Bomb" class I took at UrbanGlass in Brooklyn. The idea of doing a piece based on San Gennaro, was initially suggested by Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa, founder and president of the Italian American Museum. New Yorkers know “San Gennaro” as a popular feast in Little Italy, but Saint Januarius I of Benevento (the original Italian version) has a assorted and mysterious background. He is know as a martyr and saint. Legends claim that he died during the Great Persecution in 305. I don't claim to be an expert on religion but I see San Gennaro being similar to Russell Crowe in Gladiator. Januarius is currently the patron saint of Naples, Italy. The faithful gather to witness the liquefaction of a sample of his blood kept in a sealed glass ampoule. I really enjoy basing my art on historic stories, and this background was exceptionally strong, especially the liquefaction elements! I expanded the story by adding an audience of muscle men holding the glass ampoule on their heads. Below shows how the designs progressed. They were created using Photoshop and InDesign programs. 

2. The above image had a few more adjustments then was made into a silk-screen and printed on glass using enamel based inks. See this blog for details on silk-screening on glass. Additional colors were added after the original black and white image was fired onto the glass. The finished work is set into a wall hung light box with internal LED lighting. 

The Italian American Museum is right in the middle of the (crowded, sloppy, crazy) San Gennaro Feast that runs from September 15-25, 2016. Stop by if you are in the area. My show runs from now to October 10th, 2016.

The final work. 

 

BLOG NO 22 / MAKING A SEURAT by steve joseph

 My exhibition at the OUT Hotel (Manhattan 2016) resulted in one of the largest commissions I have done to date. It was based on a very tiny conte crayon on cream paper titled "Study For Bathers at Asnières" (above) by Georges Seurat (French, 1859 - 1891). The client has the art in his collection and asked me to super-size it in glass, to measure over 70 inches (1.7 meters) tall.

I suggested using black frit which was kiln fused onto clear glass. This kept the integrity of the rough texture, matching of Seurat's chosen 'Ingres' brand of paper. The clear glass was placed over a sheet of off white Uroboros glass, creating shadows within the glass. The final installed work has a texture you can see and feel with your fingertips. 

The image was divided into 20 equal size panels, that were copper foiled and soldered together. The challenge was not creating the art but installing the work. 

I placed the glass panels onto a wooden support, finished the soldering, lifted the support and placed it near the existing framed opening between the kitchen and the dining area. We then lifted it into place and secured the work from the back. Truthfully we asked two buff doormen to do the lifting... the work weighs about 200 lbs. (90 Kilograms).

Here is the final work in position. It measures 60 inches wide by 70 inches tall (152 x 178 cm) and can be seen from both sides. The view from the behind is a frosted effect. Here is me in front of the art to show the scale of the work. 

BLOG NO 21 / Tips on being "Mocho" by steve joseph

There was a bully in my 6th grade art class in Pleasantville Middle School (above). He would verbally abuse me in every class. Art was my favorite subject. I wondered why couldn't he have annoyed me in gym class, so I would have an excuse not to attend? Whenever the young art teacher, Sally Aldrich, turned her back, he would verbally tease me, so much that I would get nervous before each class started.

One assignment was to use blades to cut linoleum blocks for ink printing. That day this kid started teasing me, and I threatened him with my blade, saying something very mocho like "you touch me again I'll cut off your finger!" I have no idea where this came from, but it stopped him completely, and he never bothered me again, actually he was very friendly after. An early experience proving there was nothing getting between me and my art.

40 years later, that bully's name is long forgotten, and, through the magic of facebook, I have reconnected with my art teacher Sally Aldrich. In 2010 we met face to face during my Open Studio Residency Program at the Museum of Arts and Design here in New York City, and since then we have become friends. Here is a photo of a trip to MoMA in 2015.

Sally introduced me to the Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden (below), in North Salem, New York. She is on the museum’s exhibition committee, and has exhibited her ceramic work in the museum as well as a variety of galleries in the area. In 2015 Sally was asked if she knew a glass artist to show at the Hammond, and she immediately suggested little old me! 

I hope you enjoyed my short story! Click here to learn more about the Hammond Museum exhibition and artist talk opening this April 2016.

BLOG NO. 20 / The Making of Cinderella by steve joseph

In my 20th blog I'l like to show and tell how "Cinderella", my latest commission, was created.

1. The image on the far left (above) was supplied by the client. They asked me to use the figures of Cinderella and her Godmother in a new setting. I presented the three designs on the right. These were created using PhotoShop and InDesign programs. From there we had a few minor changes.

2. Once a design was approved I produced this sketch to repaint on glass.

3. I cut glass to fit into sections of the sketch, then paint by hand, or spray with an air-brush.

4. Some pieces (left) are painted and fired a few times. Once all the pieces are painted, they are copper foiled.

5. The work is layered and soldered together, then placed into a wall hung light box.
See the final work here.