Main Street Arts: Online Gallery Shop Giveaway

Main Street Arts is celebrating the launch of our Online Gallery Shop by giving away two handmade ceramic mugs from our exclusive new line of Samantha Stumpf’s Signature Tableware Series!

Two of Samantha Stumpf's porcelain mugs will be given to one lucky winner!

Two of Samantha Stumpf’s porcelain mugs will be given to one lucky winner! Mugs are as pictured here.

To be entered in this free giveaway all you have to do is fill out a ten-question survey about the gallery. The survey will be available until September 30, 2014 at midnight. The winner will be announced on October 1, 2014.

Fill out the survey here.

To see the rest of Samantha Stumpf’s collection, check out her Signature Tableware Series in our Online Gallery Shop.

“Paintings, Made Outdoors” by Terry Oakden

Terry Oakden currently has a solo exhibition Upstairs at Main Street Arts. “Painting, Made Outdoors” includes expressive oil and acrylic paintings on paper and board made outside and in the Finger Lakes region.

Terry Oakden, "Through the Vineyard 'Seneca'", Acrylic on board

Terry Oakden, “Through the Vineyard ‘Seneca’”, Acrylic on board

These paintings are full of vivd and sometimes unexpected colors. Splashes of bright pink contrast with bright green grass, swaths of red, blue, and yellow create deep, beautiful skies.

Terry Oakden, "Addison", Acrylic & oil on board

Terry Oakden, “Addison”, Acrylic & oil on board

Terry Oakden, "St. Mary's 'Corning'", Acrylic on board

Terry Oakden, “St. Mary’s ‘Corning’”, Acrylic on board

The exhibition combines paintings on paper with paintings on panel, emphasizing the spontaneity of Oakden’s work. His brushstrokes have a loose quality that add so much emotion to what would otherwise be a simple landscape.

Terry Oakden, "Paintings, Made Outdoors"

Terry Oakden, “Paintings, Made Outdoors”

Stop by to see Terry Oakden’s solo exhibition Upstairs at Main Street! His work will be here through September 27, 2014. You can see more information about exhibitions at Main Street Arts here.

Exhibition Dates: August 5–September 27, 2014

Main Street Arts Online Gallery Shop

Main Street Arts is excited to announce the launch of our online shop! We now offer limited edition artist posters for our exhibitions, Main Street Arts apparel, and a unique line of functional ceramics by Rochester artist, Samantha Stumpf.

Take a look at our current exhibition posters:

Exhibition posters for "The Opposite of Concrete", featuring artists Carl Chiarenza, Karen Sardisco, Patricia Wilder, and Bradley Butler

Exhibition posters for “The Opposite of Concrete”, featuring artists (clockwise from upper left): Patricia Wilder, Karen Sardisco, Bradley Butler, and Carl Chiarenza

Some poster features:

  • 20 x 16 inches
  • Printed on archival cotton rag paper
  • Limited edition of 5
  • Signed and numbered by the artist
  • Embossed with the gallery logo (bottom right corner)
  • Printed in Rochester, NY

We’re also proud to announce a new line of tableware by Rochester artist Samantha Stumpf. Samantha has been blogging for our Inside the Artist’s Studio series for the past few weeks, walking us through her production process. Here we get to see the fruits of her labors!

Samantha Stumpf Ceramics, Green Leaves Tableware Mugs

Samantha Stumpf Ceramics, Green Leaves Tableware Mugs

Samantha Stumpf Ceramics, Pinstripe Tableware Set

Samantha Stumpf Ceramics, Circles Tableware Plates

Samantha Stumpf Ceramics, Circles Tableware Plates

Samantha Stumpf Ceramics, Blue Lines Tableware Bowls

Samantha Stumpf Ceramics, Blue Lines Tableware Bowls

Samantha has presented us with tableware inspired by the natural world and intended for everyday use. There are four series of different colors and patterns. Each piece is made of porcelain and layered with unique, hand painted brush marks, adding depth and variation to the surface. This unique line is made specifically for Main Street Arts and our logo proudly appears on each piece. Learn more about the artist, here.

These pieces are food, dishwasher, microwave and oven safe.

Head on over to our online gallery store to see the posters, Samantha’s tableware series, and more.

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Samantha Stumpf: A Little Bit of Process…

The studio of Sam Stumpf

My studio

I thought I would share with you a look into my studio and a bit about the process of making the sets of tableware now available in Main Street Arts’ online gallery shop.  My studio is currently located in the Susan B. Anthony  district in  downtown Rochester. I really do love my studio,  the city skyline is quite compelling in every season.

For the tableware sets, I thought I would work with porcelain not just for the challenge but also for the lovely qualities that the clay offers. I wanted a simple yet beautiful surface for my brushwork surface decoration.   All of these pieces are handmade on the potters wheel. Thrown with english porcelain,  each piece is then stamped with the Main Street Arts Gallery logo.  Once they are through the first firing I apply a clear base glaze followed with  several oxide washes to create the brushwork patterns on the surface.  I enjoy the intuitive and playfulness of each mark.  After  applying the wash they are fired to 2232 degrees fahrenheit  in an electric kiln for the final firing.

All of these sets are exclusively for Main Street Arts. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them.

Sam Stumpf

Applying cobalt wash

Sam Stumpf

Loading into the glaze kiln

Sam Stumpf

After the glaze firing

Signature tableware series by Sam Stumpf

…it could be yours


View and purchase the different series in the online gallery shop!

Part One: Inside the Artist’s Studio with Samantha Stumpf: Ongoing Inspiration
Part Two: Inside the Artist’s Studio with Samantha Stumpf: Process and Perspective

Interview From The Studio with Karen Sardisco

Karen Sardisco

Tell us a little bit about yourself. You are a professor at MCC, an exhibiting artist, guest curator of various exhibitions, how do all of these things relate?

My teaching and my work as a practicing artist have always been intertwined. I am a full time faculty at Monroe Community College in the Visual and Performing Arts Department. I teach Painting, Drawing and Design. The work that I do in the studio/classroom is an extension of the explorations in my own studio. It is a symbiotic relationship… I pass on what I have learned as an artist to my students and my students inspire me with their interest and enthusiasm. Being in the studio/classroom everyday feels like home… the ongoing desire to communicate and create is infectious, and it is wonderful to see it in the students. As a teaching artist I get to be involved with art at all levels and my work as a curator feeds into that. Conceptualizing and organizing exhibitions is a way to continue the dialog as an artist. I am able to see other artist’s work and have the opportunity to put artists together in a way that allows for interesting interactions between the works. It is a different kind of creative effort that is equally as satisfying. The exhibitions that are a result shed new light on artist’s work, and I am able to be a part of that artistic process.

Karen Sardisco's paintings on paper

Karen Sardisco’s paintings on paper

Give us a little formal information on your paintings. What media do you use? Why have you preferred paper over canvas?

I began working on paper when finding time to work became a challenge. I was teaching, had a small child and was working very consistently in the studio. I began using acrylic paint when I was pregnant with my son because I didn’t want to deal with some of the toxic materials that were part of the oil painting process. I discovered then that my natural approach to technique was very spontaneous and the fast drying time of acrylics just seemed to work for me. The more rigid surface of the paper that was tacked up to a board had just the right give for me. I could develop layers and work very quickly. I began to manage the transparency of the paint and also worked with an interaction of forms within the layers that created the spatial effect that is typical in my work.

Karen Sardisco's studio

Karen Sardisco’s studio

You mentioned before that you were thinking of making a move back to working on canvas, what prompted that?

Well, I do miss the character of oil paint… the surfaces that have a more tactile quality. The feel of the paint on the brush and the way the paint engages with the canvas is an aspect of the process that is very seductive. It takes much more time, but it may be workable again. I am also finding that the scale and the difficulty of moving my works on paper around is getting to be an issue… not to mention the cost of framing such large-scale work.

One of Karen Sardisco's framed paintings

One of Karen Sardisco’s framed paintings

Tell me about the prints you have been making. How do you see them in regards to your paintings?

When my husband passed away suddenly, I stopped making work for a while. I knew that I needed to try to find a way to get back into the studio and had been thinking about the monoprinting process. I found a technique that was very direct using water-based inks, and that was that. I spent a whole winter making prints without the thought of showing them… I really just wanted to explore and work through some of the emotions that I was experiencing without thinking about how what I was doing related to my other work. I realize now that they had a very direct relationship, and the paintings that I am doing now come partly from the place that I got to making those prints. I can see myself devoting more time to that process, but when I began painting again the decision always is…what do I do first, and it comes back down to getting the paints out and jumping in.

Karen Sardisco, "Shadow", detail

Karen Sardisco, “Shadow”, detail

Can you talk a bit about the symbolism in your work? What themes seem to materialize? Do you notice a trend in your work over the years?

For me, the ambiguous space of the imagery eliminates a specific place or time. Forms like knots and branches, or anatomical references for example, are pulled from a visual lexicon of forms that speak to me. They suggest something… they allude to aspects of my experience and become a shorthand that encapsulates thoughts and feelings, and arranges them together in ways that I may not have envisioned. I feel as if I am tapping into a collective database that, when shaken up a bit, sheds new light on my personal experiences. It may also relate to the experiences of others, and I rely on that connection to draw viewers into my work.

Karen's reference materials. Many aspects of her paintings and prints are drawn from natural elements.

Karen’s reference materials. Many aspects of her paintings and prints are drawn from natural elements.

Nature is typically a source for me because I can use forms that seem familiar, something that one might see in the natural world. When those forms are paired with invented forms, or maybe more man-made forms, the relationships are questioned, and, as I mention in my artist statement, those new configurations challenge preconceived notions of function and meaning.

Karen Sardisco's reference materials

Karen Sardisco’s reference materials

If there is a thread that works its way through my work I would have to say that I do rely on forced relationships between forms, and tend to create an ambiguous spatial field for them to exist in. It is not a representational environment in any sense, because I feel that moving out of a comfort zone allows one to experience the way being open and aware can lead to new realizations about themselves, the world… the human potential for discovery. Since I never have a plan for what will happen when I approach a new work I have to trust my instincts and accept what comes. When I am totally immersed in my work, and, on a good day, I can experience a connection to the world that is totally satisfying. I hope that happens for my viewers.

Karen's reference materials

Karen’s reference materials

What will you be working on next?

That is a good question. I never make plans in regard to my work, at least not specifically. I may work on canvas again. I will probably make more monoprints. I will continue my process until I discover that there may be another approach that serves me just as well.

Karen Sardisco, "Game", detail

Karen Sardisco, “Game”, detail

You can see more of Karen’s work on her website:

Four of Karen’s paintings are on display in Main Street Arts’ current group show, The Opposite of Concrete: An Exhibition of Abstract Painting and Photography. Stop by this Saturday (September 6th) from 4-7pm for the opening reception!

Check out our previous Inside the Artist’s Studio post, by painter Sarah Sutton.