Myth, Music & Art Collide

Don’t you love it when 3 of your favorite things combine into one, very cool thing? This happened when a new freelance art client contacted me to commission me to create a new CD cover for his Jazz project, based on ancient Greek mythology!  Musician Jim Gailloreto discovered my X-RAYted art series online and messaged me about designing the cover for his PYTHIAD jazz CD & asked me to create a unique x-ray piece for it and do the design work as well. This was an exciting project as I listened to the music and loved it, especially since it is based on the myth of the ancient seer & mystic, the Pythia. Gailloreto’s music, accompanied by vocalist Cheryl Wilson, conveys the mystery of this visionary woman, The Oracle of Delphi,  who could foretell many things to those who dared to ask….

PythiadCDcover3LayersP Apr2016

artwork (c)2016 Lauren Curtis   CD music & concept (c) 2016 Jim Gailloreto

Here’s a bit of what Jim has to say about this fascinating musical project:

“The Pythiad” is a nine-movement vocal work for Jazz String Quintet; an interdisciplinary ensemble that blends improvisations with traditional string quartet.

The music and words combine to weave the stories of nearly a dozen lesser-known Greek heroes and heroines.

Vocalist Cheryl Wilson and the string quartet are exceptional. Coleman Gailloreto (our son) wrote the lyric and the story held within is magical.

Go to this link to listen.

https://jazzstringquintet.bandcamp.com/album/the-pythiad-featuring-cheryl-wilson

Feast for the Senses & art news

Reminisce (c)2013, watercolor and collage

You can sense the excitement in the air as spring all too slowly approaches…but it’s on the way!  And as with all new seasons, comes new art events, especially in New Jersey!  While it’s still too cold for outdoor fests and shows, there are plenty of indoor art exhibits to attend and the following I’m involved with this month are all FREE so no excuse not to check them out!  I hope you’ll join me and many other local, talented artists at these exhibitions:

Reminisce (c)2013, watercolor and collage

Reminisce (c)2013, watercolor and collage

FEAST FOR THE SENSES…Group Art Exhibit
Work by local artists (most living, some not) will be on display from March 7 through March 28, 2016, in the library’s community room. Participating artists include: Judy Brodsky, Joan Arbeiter, Lauren Curtis, Ria Glassman, Joyce Browning, Eric Escobar, Virginia Swanagan, Pat Shamy, Sydney Jean Reisen, Nadine Berkowsky, Jackie Baker, Jill Caporlingua. Deceased artists whose work will be displayed include: Jacob Landau, Stanford White, F. J. Adams, John LaFarge.

The Opening Reception for this Art Show (on Thursday, March 10, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM in the Carl T. Valenti Community Room) will provide light refreshments and an opportunity to meet and talk with some of the artists.  I’ll have a few paintings in this show.  Here’s Facebook invite link:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1694806214135180/

NOLA Cemetery Path (c)2010 Lauren Curtis

NOLA Cemetery Path (c)2010 Lauren Curtis

SACRED SPACES, HOLY PLACES
There’s still time to see this enlightening exhibit of sculpture & photography with 27 artists / 43 pieces of work / 13 pieces of sculpture / 30 photographs.   Aside from being an exhibit, related spiritual & cultural discussions & events typically take place during the run of the show so check the gallery’s website & Facebook page for info.  Nails in the Wall Gallery at St. Luke’s, 17 Oak Ave, Metuchen, New Jersey 08840.
I have 2 photographs in the exhibition which continues until
Sunday, May 15, 2016.

Melody Bar Art (c)2015 Lauren Curtis

Melody Bar Art (c)2015 Lauren Curtis

And a quick question…Do you have a favorite place that you wish you could visit forever?  How about immortalize a beloved home, vacation spot, hang out or historic site in ART?  Commission a pen & ink with watercolor painting of a place you’d like to remember forever!  Contact me for details: forestwalker333@hotmail.com

For more of my work, please visit my newly updated website! http://laurencurtisart.weebly.com

Thanks for reading!

~Lauren

Sacred Spaces, Holy Places

A life-sized Islamic Prayer Niche…a sculpture conveying a Jewish woman’s experience with sacred space…a nearly 5’ ilphachrome color photograph of Bernini’s Canopy in St. Peter’s in Rome…evocative photographs of both outdoor and indoor spaces…an unusual combination?  But all highlights in the upcoming exhibit at Nails in the Wall, the Gallery at St. Luke’s, the Metuchen exhibition space sponsored by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 17 Oak Ave., Metuchen, NJ. Sacred Spaces, Holy Places: an exhibit of sculpture & photography will begin the gallery’s 2016 winter exhibition season with the Opening & Artists’ Reception Saturday, January 30, 2-5pm. The event is free and open to all.

One of our goals at the gallery is always to bring together diverse voices from varied religious traditions around a common theme. In this instance, what makes a space sacred? What does a sacred space look like?  Work representing 27 artists is primarily, but not only, from the tri-state area. The photography includes a wide range of haunting images, some almost abstract, others capturing very specific locations that carry a sense of the sacred for the artist. Notable among those is the over 4’ Ilphachrome color photograph of Bernini’s Canopy in St. Peter’s in Rome by Nancy Ori (Berkeley Heights). Perhaps one of the most thought-provoking pieces, “V’at Alit”, by Miriam Stern (Teaneck) includes a series of photographs and other materials highlighting her experience of sacred space as a Jewish woman. Several very local photographers have work included in the show: Mark Harris (Edison) with his elegant figures and the carefully viewed spaces of Robert Hopkins (Metuchen). Lauren Curtis will have two 35mm black & white photos taken in the famous Louis I Cemetery in New Orleans, LA.  This above ground burial site is one of the most famous cemeteries in the US & the site where supposedly the infamous VooDoo Queen Marie LaVeaus is entombed.

NOLA.Marie's Tomb Flowers (c)2010

The 13 pieces of sculpture are very diverse in scale and materials and include free-standing pieces as well as sculptural wall works. Included in this group is a 6’ sculpture by Christina Saj (Cedar Grove), which has an exhibition history that includes, among others, St. John the Divine, NYC and the National Cathedral, Washington, D.C. Towering over that piece is Daniel Nelson’s (NYC) “Niche for Maryam.” A life-sized Islamic prayer niche known as an mihrab, the piece was designed as a site-specific installation for the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, NYC, using the proportions of the sculpture of the Virgin Mary by Bela Lyon Pratt in the Church’s Altar of the Annunciation. Nails in the Wall is honored to have it on loan from St. Paul the Apostle    for the duration of the exhibit.

Three mixed-media Mayan masks from Ronald LeMahieu (Princeton), along with a variety of the photographs, remind viewers that the sacred takes many forms beyond Church buildings.

Between 3 and 3:30pm, several artists’ talks will take place.

John Sharp, Gallery Board Member remarks, “I am amazed that despite our limiting the media accepted into this exhibit, we have been able to curate a show of such a diversity of scale and approach. It will truly be exciting to see which sacred space speaks to each visitor.”

Creating a sense of ‘sacred space’ through sound for the Reception itself, pianist, composer, and recording artist, John Bianculli will be performing. Refreshments will be provided by our ‘art partner’ The Metuchen Inn.

The exhibit will continue on view until May 15, 2016. For more information, visit http://www.nailsinthewall.com/ or contact Linda LaStella, Director@nailsinthewall.org.

The Facebook invite link is: https://www.facebook.com/events/159308764435405

NJ Community thru Art

Winter House 3, (c)Lauren Curtis 35mm B&W photo

“Jersey-ites” are a proud folk and we do have many types of communities throughout this small state; historic, artistic, cultural, musical, etc. so it’s no wonder that the Woodbridge Artistan Guild is having an exhibition focusing on this theme titled “COMMUNITY”.

Winter House 3, (c)Lauren Curtis 35mm B&W photo

Winter House 3, (c)Lauren Curtis 35mm B&W photo

Join the Woodbridge Artisan Guild on Sat., January 16th at 7pm for an opening reception of our newest exhibition!

All works in this show have been created by Woodbridge area artists and the theme of community includes local landmarks, New Jersey, family, civic pride, neighbors, and our towns.

In addition to local art this event will include live music and refreshments provided by Mulberry Street Restaurant. FREE event.  WAG Gallery, 101 Main St., Woodbridge (732)634-1474
I have three photographs in this show. 

Resolution to value art & artists

New Year’s is almost upon us….that time of year when many make resolutions, many of them empty…or well intended ones that never come to fruition.  But there are those who are disciplined enough to actually follow through and others wise enough not to make them in the first place, knowing they won’t follow through…both are honest!  But one resolution I’d like to propose, that seems simple enough to stick to, is to value art and artists in our society!

Being a full time freelance artist for several years now, it astonishes me how many people I see from across the globe who are either under valuing their own work or those who want to hire artists to create original work for literally pennies and way below minimum wage standard!  I’ve witnessed this on every freelance job site I’m a member of, which is MANY!  For the artists, selling your work for too little doesn’t do anyone any good, including the artist themselves….it sets them up for future low paying jobs, looks unprofessional and inexperienced and will lead to them getting ripped off.  It also encourages this behavior to continue from other clients which negatively effects us all!  It can also lead to the belief that artists aren’t to be taken seriously and can easily be under paid or not paid at all!  Just check out this blog about the non-payment freelance dilemma: https://www.freelancersunion.org/blog/  Nuff said right here!

Artists used to be valued so much more hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago…we were the ones who documented life, recorded history, called down the gods to our aid, and spread knowledge…then we were the communicators, the advertisers…but now that everyone and their mother have high resolution cameras on their phones, and fancy filters and photo editing programs, I guess people think being an artist is easy!  I’m NOT devaluing these technologies as I use them myself but people don’t realize that it’s the creative mind and thought process and years of education that makes a true artist, as well as knowledge of “old school” art techniques, and not just cranking out mass produced graphic images, that forms a TRUE artist…and this takes WORK!

So next time, as an artist, someone wants to pay you $20 for a company logo they can use forever, or $50 for 25 book illustrations (weeks/months of work!) or $5 per hour for graphic design work, speak out and tell them why this is insulting and unfair (but be polite, of course)!  And for those who truly just have no idea what artwork should cost, do research and don’t be afraid to ask what goes into creating and why it should demand as much money as any other skill.  As a client, you do have the right to know and to get value in return for your payment.  The old saying is often true that you do get what you pay for!

So, I leave you with this…make a resolution to see the time, effort and creativity that goes into all forms of art and have a HAPPY, HEALTHY, ART-FILLED NEW YEAR!

XraytedPowerOfWordsJan2012sm

“The Power of Words” (c) Lauren Curtis

 

Giving Thanks

 

What are you thankful for?   This Thursday, all over the US, people will be gathering with friends and family to celebrate Thanksgiving and even though it can be tough sometimes to have perspective when things are difficult, especially given the horrible acts that have been committed in this world in both the past & present, it is important to take a minute and reflect on the good things in our lives and what we are thankful for!

I’m very thankful for all of you who support the arts and to those who have supported my work!  It’s so important to me and has allowed me to follow my dream of being a full-time artist…every sale and commission, no matter how big or small, are equally as valuable and appreciated.  So, I’d like to share some of my Autumn photographs with you to say THANK YOU for your support and to wish everyone a HAPPY, HEALTHY THANKSGIVING!

 

Autumn Art and Halloween Happenings

Xray NiteRoot Creature (c)2014

Autumn is upon us (despite unusually warm temps in NJ) and with it comes the beautiful, bright colors of the leaves and crisp, sunny days perfect for outdoor festivals…and of course, the haunting, mysterious time that is Halloween!  All these factors have come together this month for some seasonal art events and festivities that I’m excited to be a part of….

“Something Wicked This Way Comes”,
Group Art Exhibition

Xray NiteRoot Creature (c)2014

Xray NiteRoot Creature (c)2014


Celebrate the Autumn & Halloween season artistically at GALLERY U!  I’ll have the above digital photo collage in this hauntingly exciting art show & masquerade party…costumes encouraged!  FREE event, refreshments served. This show has an opening reception party Fri.. 10/30/15, 6pm-8pm, Gallery U, 439 South Ave. Westfield, NJ  07090.  908-232-1895
Show runs thru 11/30/15.

MORE FALL ART FESTS & EVENTS in NEW JERSEY

vending tent

vending tent

Join me for these FREE arts & music fests & other art events this October!  Fun for the whole family with local artists, crafters and other vendors, music, food and more!

CANAL FEST, Sat., 10/17/15, 11am – 5pm.  Market Street, East Millstone, NJ by the D&R Canal.

BrainFlower (c)Lauren Curtis Sept.2012 Digital Photo Collage

BrainFlower (c)Lauren Curtis Sept.2012
Digital Photo Collage

NATURE SOOTHES, NATURE RESTORES, NATURE HEALS, group photography exhibit and D&R Land Trust educational events, D&R Greenway Landtrust Gallery (Johnson Education Center), Princeton, NJ.  Opening Wed. 10/28/15, 6:30-7:30pm. Show runs thru Nov. 6.  I’ll have 2 digital photo collages in this show.

And last but certainly not least…I have work in these shows as well….

New Brunswick NJ Photography Show at the historic Free Public Library, Livingston Ave., opening reception Fri. 11/13/1, 6pm.

“Naked in New Hope”,  A Group Exhibition
Group exhibition at Sidetracks Gallery, 10 Stockton Ave., New Hope, PA, 215.862.4586
Opening reception Saturday., Sept. 12, 2015, 6pm-9pm. Free event.
I have 2 x-ray pieces in this show.  Show runs thru Oct. 31, 2015.

“EarthAirFireWater: elements/sacraments‏” , group show at Nails in the Wall Gallery,
St. Luke’s Church, Metuchen, NJ.  Opening reception Sat. Sept. 19,  2pm-5pm. Show runs through Dec. 2015.
I have a mixed media piece in this show.

As always, thanks so much for reading!
~Lauren