Through the Artist's Eye- Fellowship at the Strong Museum/The National Museum of Play

My love of movable books, and antique toys & games containing the richly colored chromo-lithographs of the last half of the eighteen hundreds brought me to The Strong’s on-line collection. I spent four days “oohing” and “ahhing” over the vast archive of images in the museums’ database before I discovered it was possible to view the actual objects by arranging an appointment or better yet applying for a fellowship for an in-depth immersion. Although I soon learned I was the first visual artist to apply for the fellowship program my request was respectfully considered and soon after I was awarded a fellowship.

I arrived in Rochester at the end of April, flowering trees and brushes in full bloom lined the streets. Christopher Bensch, Vice President for Collections, greeted me at the museum door and handed me a badge, which turned out to be the key to the kingdom allowing me access to the museum galleries, the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and a vast labyrinth of storage facilities housing the archives of over two centuries of toys. 

Chris expertly maneuvered me through children of all sizes and ages, around the “staff only” sign and up a stairway to the third floor.  There I was assigned a table, my home base, and introduced to The Director of Libraries, Beth Lathrop, who had prepared a cart containing close to fifty early children’s books for my browsing pleasure. I spent a day and a half leafing through these treasured books with their surprising pop-ups and the dissolves & slides, which seamlessly transform one image into another simply by moving a tab.


I was soon introduced to Nic Ricketts, known to those at the museum as Curator of Games and Paper Ephemera, to me the trusted guide to the museum’s behind the scenes collection of antique toys. I might have even gasped as he opened the first door to a massive room of open shelving containing row upon row of strange and wonderful automata, Noah’s arks, and pull toys all loving made for the pleasure of children. My eyes grew wider as we came upon lines of Victorian dollhouses with intricate chromolithographs glued to every surface. 

But for me the best was yet to come, the climate controlled room housing steel flat files. Nic spent hours opening drawers filled with board games, stacking blocks, and picture puzzles from the middle to late 1800’s.  I could hardly contain myself.

Cardboard soldiers begged to be picked up and played with. Alphabet blocks rested there as well all covered in the rich chromolithographs so characteristic of this period; images that will surely inspire my work.

By the third day I was able to find my way back to the security entrance unaided, quite an accomplishment I thought given the maze-like quality of the museum. On the last day I discovered a gallery in the main part of the museum that I had previously missed. How was that even possible? Obviously there was still more to see, but by this time my mind was whirling around like one of the wooden horses on the ground floor carousal next to the full-sized metal diner that served half-price milkshakes every afternoon. I staggered towards the exit for the last time exhausted and visually saturated, ready to get back to my studio to work. What an amazing experience!

The Grand Budapest Hotel

April 4, 2014

A most refreshing and delightful movie. Amazingly creative, quirky and imaginative. A must see! I'm going back for my second viewing. 

Made in New York Exhibition at Schweinfurth Art Center

I attended the opening reception of the state-wide juried art exhibition called "Made in New York" at the Schweinfurth Museum in Auburn New York on Saturday night. I was very surprised and extremely honored to have been awarded "Best in Show" for my sculptural book, Mechanized Shorthand Device Plucked From a Stenographer's Dream. I was delighted that many of my friends had work in this fine show as well: Anita Welych, Lisa Gregg Whitman, Leigh Yardley, Kim Carr Valdez, Gary Trento and Gail Hoffman. Anita, Leigh and Gail also won prizes for their fine work. I had a chance to meet and talk to several exhibiting artists and board members of the museum. Thank you all for your sincere interest in my work.

If a piece of artwork makes me want to run home and work or sticks in my mind for days I consider it  great. Donalee Peden Wesley's stunning tripych Sheep's Clothing Altar Piecehas haunted me ever since Saturday night.  I have enjoyed seeing her work in numerous exhibitions over the years and each piece seems more extraordinary than the last . One of these days I hope to meet her and tell her in person. If you happen to be in the Auburn area between now and May 25, 2014 stop in and view this eclectic exhibition

My New Web Page

My website went live today. Quite by accident I might add. I little premature as I wasn't really prepared. But, alas here it is and now I too have a presence. Before it was a bit like approaching an automatic door and not having it open. I have been a visual artist since I was five but all of a sudden I found myself in a world where if you didn't have a web presence you weren't really an artist. Today I have become an artist once again. Hooray!!!