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the art garage

Artists’ Muse: 13th, 14th, 15th Amendments

Artists’ Muse: 13th,

14th, 15th Amendments

Sidney Waller looks over the artworks that incorporate the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, now on display at her Art Garage (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – When Sidney Waller first looked at Robert Seward’s submission to the “Dust Off the Constitution” project, she thought the red circles on his version of the 14th Amendment were wax seals.
“Looking at it closer,” she said. “I realized they were bullet holes.”

Waller, owner of the Art Garage on Beaver Meadow Road, partnering with Ashley Norwood Cooper, invited artists to submit works inspired by the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, which abolished slavery, granted citizenship to all people born in the U.S. or naturalized, and guarantees the right of citizens to vote.

“Ashley and I were both interested in current events, and she expresses her engagement and concern through her artwork,” Waller said.

The idea to focus on the constitution was inspired by Amy Snider, professor emerita, Art & Design Education at Pratt, who used to show her work at Waller’s gallery.

“Amy used to invite her neighbors to hand write amendments from the Constitution,” she said. “The average person only knows freedom of the press, freedom of religion and the right to bear arms, but this was a way of connecting with it.”

Snider died in 2018. A few of her early works are for sale at the gallery, with proceeds benefitting the NAACP.

Submissions were collected Friday, June 19, in a ballot box designed by Cooper. “Ashley thinks of life in America right now as a phoenix, rising from the flames,” she said.

More than two dozen submissions came in from artists across the region. “Louise Fishman had done a piece on the preamble and wanted to submit that,” she said. “So we put that on the wall as well. There were some really wild interpretations.”

Charlie Bremer, Otego, submitted his own spin on the 15th Amendment, which reads, “The right of citizens of this Earth shall not be denied or abridged by any nation or state on account of race, color, sex, spiritual belief or political view.”

“Some artists got really upset as they were writing them,” she said. “They could see the spirit of the law, written by white people, was so clear. But the creativity that came out was really a kinetic exercise of recognition.”

In addition to the Amendments, Cooper’s painting “Crying Man” is on display. “Her gallery in Seattle is selling prints of the painting, with all proceeds going to voting registration organizations,” said Waller.

Cooper also lit candles representing “Justice” and “Truth,” and purified the gallery with sage in a Native American ritual.

“I got a lot of emails from people who wanted to do it, but couldn’t come on the 19th,” she said. “But it was crucial that we do it on Juneteenth.”

Initially, the plan was that every artist who participated in the project would then draw a name from the ballot box and take that work home with them.

“We couldn’t bear to put them back in the ballot box,” said Waller. “We want to keep them on display.”
Currently, the plan is to keep the display at the Art Garage, by appointment, through the end of July, with potential for an additional show being discussed.

“We didn’t know what it was going to be until we did it,” she said. “But what we got was very exciting.”

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Celebrate Civil Rights, Learn How To Improve 06-19-20
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for  FRIDAY, JUNE 19

First Juneteenth, Celebrate

155 Years Since End Of Slavery

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CELEBRATE – 5 – 8 p.m. Celebrate our progress since the official end of slavery with food, music and art. Also, learn about all the work that still needs to be done. Please wear a mask & practice social distancing. Includes speakers at 6 with candlelight vigil at 7:45 p.m. Neahwa Park, Oneonta. Visit www.facebook.com/events/275119526873479/ for info.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, MARCH 30
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SATURDAY, MARCH 30

Upstate New York Music, Folklore

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LECTURE – 7:30 p.m. George Ward presents 2019 Bruce Buckley lecture “‘MY Little Mohee’  – Lawrence Older: The Songs, Tunes, Tales and Life Journey of an Adirondack Singer.” Featuring a night of music celebrating history, traditions of Upstate New York. Free, open to public. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, AUGUST 31
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, AUGUST 31

Festival Of Balloons

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BALLOON FEST – 4 – 9 p.m. See balloons inflate, take a ride in one, more. Neahwa Park, Oneonta. 607-432 2941 or visit www.facebook.com/BalloonFestOneonta/

OPENING RECEPTION – 5 – 7 p.m. Celebrate opening of 2018 finale art show “Poetica Obscurum.” Featuring works by Robert Grinder, S. Worcester artist Pooh Kaye (screening zany stop motion animations for dancers and objects from The Backyard Series), and Gail Peachin exhibiting compelling collages based on black & white photographs. The Art Garage, 689 Beaver Meadow Road, Cooperstown. 607-547-5327 or visit www.facebook.com/TheArtGarageCooperstown/

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, AUGUST 24
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, AUGUST 24

Taj Garage Opens At Art Garage

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HOLIDAY MARKET – 5 – 7 p.m. The Taj Garage comes early. Visiting artist Steve Clorfeine, poet, world traveler, teacher, more, presents items from Nepal, India. Includes handcrafted items from silk, cotton, sculpture, paintings, dolls, more. Find great wedding, holiday presents. Show continues thru 8/26. The Art Garage, 689 Beaver Meadow Rd., Cooperstown. 607-547-5327 or visit www.facebook.com/TheArtGarageCooperstown/

FINE CRAFTS – 5 – 7 p.m. Opening reception for Fine Crafts Invitational exhibit “Made in New York: Earth, Wind & Sky” with joint Miniature Show inspired by Thomas Cole. Displayed thru 9/21. Cooperstown Art Association. 607-547-9777 or visit www.cooperstownart.com

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, AUGUST 9
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, AUGUST 9

Youth Opera Performs ‘Odyssey’ 

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THEATER – 2 p.m. Operatic rendition of Homer’s “Odyssey” features rollicking sailor songs, storms, siren songs, more. General admission, $20. Auditorium, Cooperstown Central School. 607-547-2255 or visit glimmerglass.org/events/odyssey/

CONCERT – 7 p.m. Performance by Sidney Community band. Bandstand, Neahwa Park, Oneonta. 607-432-7997 or visit oneonta.ny.us/departments/parks-and-recreation/summer-concert-series/

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1

Benefit Concert By The

Butternut Valley Boys

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BENEFIT CONCERT – 6:30 p.m. Performance by The Butternut Valley Boys. Admission by free-will-offering toward on-going restoration. Lawn, Major’s Inn, Gilbertsville. 607-783-2967 or visit www.themajorsinn.com

O-COUNTY FAIR – 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. See best Otsego County has to offer. Daily shows, rides, more. Highlights include horse shows, tractor pulls, demonstrations, activities, music, more. Otsego County Fair, Mills St., Morris. 607-263-5289 or visit www.otsegocountyfair.org

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, JULY 13
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, JULY 13

Preview The 83rd

National Juried Art Show

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PREVIEW PARTY – 5 – 7 p.m. First look at 83rd Annual National Juried Art Exhibition and awards ceremony for CAA scholarship winners. Cooperstown Village Library. 607-547-9777 or visit www.cooperstownart.com

FAMILY FRIDAY – 7 – 8 p.m. Get out with the Family, participate in family obstacle course fun including tug-o-war, crawling, hurtles and more! 1 adult to 2 children please. Cost, $8/guest accompanied by a member. Green Space, Oneonta YMCA, 20-26 Ford Ave., Oneonta. 607-432-0010 or visit www.facebook.com/OneontaFamilyYMCA/

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103