Artistic expressions of Democracy!

These are crazy, turbulent times, especially with the very important up-coming election and what better way to express opinions about what’s happening in the world than thru ART!  My guest blogger Stewart Wilson, founder & artist of PERSONALAND art & cultural website is calling for art focused on Democracy for a new online exhibit.  So if you’re an artist who wants to submit work (it’s FREE!) or an art lover/collector who wants to check out political work from around the globe, check out Personaland!  Here’s more info from Stewart….

Personaland – our online global arts village invites artists of all media to participate in our next online art show “Democracy and the 2020 Elections”

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(Here are  two early entries – “ Democracy on the March” by Gay Schempp and “ Moon over Manhattan” by Dutch artist, Theo van de Goor.)

How is democracy expressed or repressed globally? and/or What about the elections of 2020?

We invite your creative responses in image, film, music or poem. No Entry Fee and the deadline is September 27th

https://personaland.com/submit/democracy-exhib.php

Personaland – enriching the internet with an invigorating blend of entertainment, enchantment and culture.

Persona Horseback and Dragon rides to our online art shows, showcasing 256 artists from 37 countries, Art Shop, dancing flowers, wishing well and fun art games. 

Watch our movie ‘ “Fugitive” https://personaland.com/stage/fugitive/

Call for Artists: “Democracy”
Personaland – our online global arts village invites artists of all media to participate in our next online art show “Democracy and the 2020 Elections”
How is democracy expressed or repressed globally? and/or
What about the elections of 2020?
We invite your creative responses in image, film, music or poem.
No Entry Fee and the deadline is September 27th
<more if you wish yo add it>
Personaland – enriching the internet with an invigorating blend of entertainment, enchantment and culture.
Persona Horseback and Dragon rides to our online art shows, showcasing 256 artists from 37 countries, Art Shop, dancing flowers, wishing well and fun art games. 
Watch our movie ‘ “Fugitive” https://personaland.com/stage/fugitive/
See our current “Art in the Time of Pandemic” and “Social Justice'” exhibits.
Wishing you safe and creative adventures.
Stewart

Art survives the pandemic

I hope you are all staying safe & well as these intense, unsure & scary times continue.  While NJ is slowly getting back to a semblance of normalcy…well, new normalcy…much of the rest of the country faces increasing COVID numbers!  Top that off with social injustices and unrest spreading like another virus and it’s the perfect recipe for more frightening times ahead.  With so many people falling ill and also facing horrible prejudices it’s easy to get depressed and feel hopeless.  This is why art & being able to express yourself in a positive, creative way is so important!

The art community has taken a big hit from the pandemic, like many other businesses and organizations, but it is an ancient and important form of self expression that will never be silenced!  We see Black Lives Matter street art! We see Pride art! We see art dealing with the pandemic!  Art allows us a chance to escape, to express, to vent, to share, to discuss…that’s why I’m so happy to see some local NJ galleries continuing on, however they are able, to keep our artistic community alive and well!

This month I’m excited to have a SOLO SHOW at Gallery on Main, Somerville, NJ & a piece in the virtual “Women’s Voices” show by Transformations Gallery (Metuchen, NJ)  Here are a few of my photos in these exhibits. Hope you’ll check them out…   Gallery on Main in Somerville is open to visitors who follow COVID restrictions (must wear a mask, a few visitors at a time) so please check out the exhibit in person! Here’s the link to the virtual Transformations gallery show: http://www.boroughimprovementleague.org/37.html?fbclid=IwAR349dhYkFMHeh-636VhqI9XwwbnC5GyJ7agXJW0i1H4v8VCBUTb9opt34o

Stay safe & stay creative!

Creativity & COVID

First off I hope this finds you all safe & well!  These are crazy, bizarro-world times!  But you’d think self quarantine would be a piece of cake for artists!  I mean it gives us tons of time and space to create and we usually work alone in our homes or studios anyway, so no biggie to socially distance & create our butts off, right?  But let’s not forget the stress from lack of work/money, the human need for being social and the inspiration that comes from that, and from travel, having new experiences, going to actual museums, galleries, etc.  Then add on the fear of getting sick and dealing with all that this strange new world presents, piled onto the typical creative blocks and this can be a tough time for artists especially those of us that make a living from it!

For me, I’ve had to find new ways to adapt to being a professional artist in the pandemic age.  For one thing I now give all my art & creative marketing lessons virtually (thank the Gods for Skype, Video Chat, Zoom…).  I’d be in big trouble if it wasn’t for this technology and so far it’s working quite well.  Of course good ol’ fashioned in person classes are great but this is now a convenient, safe & affordable way to keep teaching and sharing art.

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And luckily I am very used to working with my freelance project clients remotely, so that hasn’t changed much although of course many people no longer have the finances to buy art or hire a designer or illustrator to work on their projects, so I am VERY grateful for the people I currently am working with!  The other big change though is the cancellation or indefinite postponement of all gallery exhibits and art events! I typically have work in at least one or two events per month, often more from spring thru holiday season, and that’s all on hold.  Some galleries and art organizations are doing online art exhibits & events, which I have been participating it.  It’s great to see the ingenuity of these people in trying to keep the arts going.  The downside is it’s much harder to sell thru these types of events & I think those running them get this and have either reduced or eliminated submission fees, lowered commission fees, etc. which is a good way to keep artists engaged.  But this all spells tough times for anyone involved in the arts as a career.  I recently had this digital photo collage in an online art auction….we’ll see if there were any takers…

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“In memory of a Friend”  (c)2018 Lauren Curtis

This is the time when we all must think outside of the box and find new ways to keep our jobs…not just artists…and it’s really difficult.  Some people just can’t work from home and I REALLY hope the powers that be step up & fix our broken benefits system to help everyone out in need.  As artists we must try to over come the depression and anxiety from this situation…or channel it into creativity and new work!  I’d love to hear from you as to how you’re coping with the pandemic, especially if you’re an artist of any kind, and share your stories in the comments here & if you know of any opportunities for other creatives to get involved with please share them.  You’re not alone in your fears and worries and I hope, no matter what your profession, things will be OK for you & that you stay safe & healthy!

~Lauren

 

 

Wishing you a happy, creative holiday!

Hello Blog-o-sphere!  I just wanted to take a moment to wish you Season’s Greetings from Lauren Curtis Art to you & yours! Sending you wishes for all the best in 2020 & thank you for your support of the arts!  Creativity and self-expression are vital for a healthy community & I appreciate that you’ve taken the time to read my newsletters, come to the events, purchase work and just show support in any way you can for the wide variety of artists out there!  We couldn’t do it without you! 

With so much negativity out there, and people feeling blue during the holidays, please feel free to comment/share posts here about good things you’d like to share that happened in 2019 or wishes you hope for in 2020….or something or someone who inspired your own creativity!  For me, my art and creative marketing students have inspired me and given me something to look forward to every week as I see their progress and how much they enjoy their artistic projects!  Looking forward to expanding my teaching in the new year and beyond!

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Be happy, be well, be prosperous and BE CREATIVE in 2020 & beyond!

Warm Wishes,

~Lauren

The past is re-imagined by NJ collage artist.

Hope you’re all enjoying your holiday season so far!  This is the perfect time for my next guest artist blogger, as much of her work revolves around holiday/winter related themes and nostalgia for good times past!  Let me introduce you to NJ collage artist JoAnn Telemdschinow as she shares her work and it’s inspiration….

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“Snow Princess”  (c)JoAnn Telemdschinow

My name is JoAnn Telemdschinow and I’m the founder of Imagined Past. I’ve always loved and been fascinated by art, but I haven’t always been sure how I should express it. While I have a background in art history, I have not studied painting or drawing. On an impulse, I started playing with collage, and found I liked it very much. In 2014, I started learning Photoshop Elements. Since then, through magazine articles and online tutorials, I’ve been developing my skills and exploring how to create different effects.

What inspires my collages? Perhaps the most obvious influence is the art and architecture of the past, medieval times, eighteenth and nineteenth century painting, as well as Chinese and Japanese art. I can happily spend hours in a museum! I also love to travel. I recently went to Paris and took photographs of beautiful old streets and buildings, some of which I’ve turned into collages. I’m interested in languages and scripts, both ancient and modern.

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JoAnn Telemdschinow in Paris

A collage may originate from an image that captures my attention, or from an idea that I want to express. I often utilize vintage art to build my pieces., although I also use my own photographs. I am also fond of incorporating old texts, such as handwriting, book pages, or advertising, into the composition. I try to use texts that relate to the subject of the piece, either through content or cultural origin. Textures play an important role in my collages as well…old paper, distressed surfaces.

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“I Loved You” (c)JoAnn Telemdschinow

What am I trying to convey to the viewer? Well, I myself am deeply moved by beauty so I try to make my compositions visually beautiful. Beyond that, I attempt to express a feeling or atmosphere. My pictures (like myself) tend to be reflective and nostalgic. I also sometimes imply a bit of a narrative, as in I Loved You with its forlorn woman and titular inscription.

I’ve displayed my work in a number of area venues, such as The Gallery at the South Brunswick Municipal building and Inspire Art Gallery & Studio in Dunellen. Recently, I’ve also been honored to receive awards from the New Jersey State Bar Foundation (Chair’s Merit Award, Annual Juried Art Show) and the New Brunswick Free Public Library (Third Place-Adult, 2019 Visual Arts Contest and Exhibition).

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“French Roses”  (c)JoAnn Telemdschinow

What do I have planned for the future? I would like to explore photography further and use more of my own photos in my collages. I’m working to promote my artwork through social media and my website.  And I’ll be exhibiting in more shows in the upcoming year. I enjoy meeting and talking to people at shows…perhaps I’ll get to meet you at one soon!

https://imaginedpast.weeblysite.com

facebook.com/Imagined-Past-116908833053318

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/imaginedpast/

http://joanntel.imagekind.com

www.etsy.com/shop/imaginedpast

email: jtelem70@gmail.com      cell: 848-264-2605

Getting “Personaland” with Art

The art world has gone way beyond brick & mortar galleries!  I recently heard about a new, unique online art forum called Personaland & participated in an online art exhibit.  I was pleased to see how fun, original & interactive the site’s creator, Stewart Wilson, has made the site so I asked him to be my next guest blogger so he can tell us how this concept came to be and how you can participate….

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Personaland is the destination of my forty year journey of making the Personas – my “wrapped representatives from another dimension here for peaceful purposes.” As I have made these sculptures, the embodiment of human potential, they have guided me. I have made over 31,00 individual figures in human and animal form which has been distributed and exhibited world-wide. During this time, I have founded and been Executive Director of two non-profit arts organizations, Public Image (NYC 1981-84) and Artwell Gallery (Torrington, CT (1995-2011). I have been a public school art teacher. The Personas are about human connectivity and community building and I feel that they were my gurus in my artistic trajectory. Since retiring from teaching, I have attended dozens of meet-ups, conferences and workshops where I have learned 21st century skills and connected with hundreds of talented people. Personaland has been a quest to create an online cultural platform and community for artists of all media – visual, film. literary and performance arts. Personaland is a welcoming, peaceful, respectful destination that uses the latest in digital technology for positive purposes – screens for good.

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Personaland is an online global village for the arts – an internet sanctuary whose mission is to unite us through our humanity, creativity and community. With an invigorating blend of entertainment, enchantment and culture, we are designing novel adventures and opportunities for you. Our global group and individual art shows have exhibited over 100 artists from nearly two dozen countries, We are adding exciting new activities every month, bring greater satisfaction to an ever growing audience. https://www.personaland.com

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We’re now accepting artwork of all media – images, music, film and words – for our December global group show “Community.” No entry fee https://personaland.com/submit/community-exhib.php

We have Persona Horseback and Dragon rides to our online individual and global art shows, Art Shop, dancing flowers, wishing well and fun games

What’s your Art History IQ? Play the “Name the Artist” game and contest at the Game Bazaar: https://personaland.com/tent/art-clue/

We’d love your participation!

Stewart

Tacky is the new cool at You Tacky Thing’s craft studio!

Time again for me to feature another local artist who makes funky, unique hand crafted items; introducing my friend Stephanie Higgens-Rowley!  I met her when she started taking creative marketing lessons from me to boost her cool, hand-decorated bottle and hand-made jewelry business & so far so good….she’s made tons of awesome decorative items to sell and is now doing NJ vending events, so I invited her to be my next guest blogger so she can introduce herself to you & her “tacky” work…after all, her business is called You Tacky Thing!  Now in her words….
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“Don’t throw that out!”, my mom would yell at me from the kitchen. Anything that could be used again, used for something else, used for something you haven’t even thought of yet was not to be thrown out. Both my parents grew up during the Depression. Everything has a potential use.
This is why I gravitate toward found items. I have access to bass and guitar strings, guitar picks and empty bottles. So when they outlive their usefulness I like to create something interesting. The strings most likely become jewelry while the bottles become decorative. I like using bottles that have an unusual shape or color to them.
I love being creative with things that would have been thrown out. Its like making something out of nothing. You never know what its going to be.
I have been doing this for a while now and I must say its the best job I’ve ever had. I try really hard to create things that are interesting and make you wonder how it got there or where it came from. Some of my favorite themes to use on my bottles are
Gothic and Victorian imagery , mermaids, dragon flies and bats. I even create bottles that can be lit up and I welcome custom commissions. As for my rock and roll inspired jewelry, my creations have been worn on stage by some pretty amazingly talented performers! You can purchase items from my Facebook page You Tacky Thing and you can find me at various vending events throughout NJ an NY. My next event will be at NJ Paraunity  Expo in Woodbridge, NJ. For more info : https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10216158534209635&set=gm.2287489841492576&type=3&theater

A new author’s dreams come true!

Bringing a new author’s stories to life is very exciting to me, as a freelance artist, and when you work with someone who you click with it’s even more enjoyable!  That’s why I’ve asked author Hayde Romero to be a guest blogger and share with you how she came to write children’s books.  I’m so happy to have been hired as her artist and I think her stories will be fun & inspiring for young readers!  Here’s what she has to say about her newly published books….

HaydeBookCvrFrontOct2018.jpgThe idea of The Adventures of Mimi and Lulu came to me early one morning as I snuggled with my daughter in bed.  I knew she enjoyed story time and so I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to have a story featuring her? Slowly, I started developing on that idea and pulled in another character, Lulu which is inspired by one of my closest friend’s daughter. And of course, they had to have a dog (Magellan)!

I decided these three characters would embark on adventures that took place anywhere in this and out of this world. But how would this ever possible? It was only possible in their dreams. So, when they fell asleep during sleepovers, they met in their dreams and the adventures began.  I also wanted these stories to have some sort of meaning behind them – to deliver a message of kindness.

I try to portray this in The Fallen Star and The River Mystery.  In The Fallen Star, Mimi, Lulu and Magellan help a fallen star get back home to her mom. And in The River Mystery, the girls and Magellan help with a dilemma their friend (the river) is having.  

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR….
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My English college professor once told me I was a good writer. And I believed her. From then, I started writing short stories and even wrote an entire novel. Writing is something I enjoy doing. Sometimes the stories flow with ease as I write them. Many other times, they simply don’t.

What I love the most is that I get to control the story and most importantly, the ending.

To order your copy of her new children’s book, click this link to purchase on Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Mimi-Lulu-Fallen-Mistery/dp/1726657833/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1543947568&sr=8-1&keywords=the+adventures+of+mimi+and+lulu

 

Thanksgiving Greetings!

What am I thankful for? For your support of the arts & my work as well!  Creativity and self-expression are vital for a healthy community & I appreciate that you’ve taken the time to read my newsletters, come to the events, purchase work and just show support in any way you can for the wide variety of artists out there!  We couldn’t do it without you!  So, I want to wish you & yours a happy, healthy Thanksgiving!! 

Warm Wishes,

~Lauren

 

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Anti-bully Bunny helps kids!

Art & stories are a great way to teach kids about compassion & life-skills.  This is one reason I love creating illustrations for children’s books, so when author Joan Decker
approached me to commission me to illustrate her anti-bullying story for kids, I immediately said YES!  The book is now complete and available on Amazon & Kindle so I invited Joan to be my next guest blogger so she can share her inspiration for her book with you…..
My name is Joan Decker, I’m a single mother of two son’s age’s 34 & 18 yrs. I am also a retired Special Ed teaching Assistant of 11 yrs. I began writing Poetry at the age of 16 yrs. old, it come’s so naturally to me. I have a compilation of Poems and will make it into a book soon. I’ve been an Advocate against Bullying since 2004, & I mentor children through Social Media. I was bullied as a young child after I had to start wearing glasses at age 7 yrs. old and hated them. We were poor, & my Mom had to use Medicaid for all doctor appointment’s, so my choice of glasses were limited to these ugly blue one’s with pointy corner’s. The very first day I wore them to school, children laughed at me , calling me name’s like ” Cat Eye’s” and “Four Eyes”, It made me sad. I can recall crying all the time and feeling like an outcast. So I mirrored Rosalina’s character (the bunny), after myself in my first book, BE A FRIEND NOT A BULLY: NAMES HURT. My youngest son Antonio was severely bullied since Kindergarten thru 6th grade, due to his Speech delay and quiet demeanor. He was physically and emotionally bullied everyday until I removed him in 6th Grade after being beaten by three boy’s. I then proceeded to Home School him, until he graduated in 2017. Antonio suffers from PTSD; no child should ever be traumatized in a school environment where he should be safe. I created animals in my stories to make each book kid friendly, keeping the bullying at only name calling, no violence. My focus being to inspire children to take pride in their appearance, to be strong in who they are. That bullies only have Power over you, if you let them. We live in a World where suicide is too common, and we as parents and as a society must bring Bullying of any kind to an abrupt end. This book is the first of a three part series, with the hope of giving emotional support to bullied children all over the world. I poured my heart and soul into each story and hope that I can make a difference in your child’s Life.
Joanie Decker
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All Artwork (c)2017-2018 Lauren Curtis

 To purchase a copy:
BE A FRIEND NOT A BULLY: NAMES HURT
This book is the first of a 3 part Series, to help children deal with bullying and diversity. As a Elementary teacher, I have seen first hand the negative effect it has on a child’s self-esteem. My message in each book is the same, be yourself and Stand True. We all have Special & Unique qualities that make us who we are inside. Rosalina Rabbit’s journey is about her appearance changing and while difficult in the beginning, she overcomes all the Name Calling and becomes Proud of how she looks.