10 QUESTIONS WITH...

Tom Megalis

 

Q. When did you first realize you wanted to be an artist?

A. My first memories of creating go back to around six years of age. I would sit at the dining table for hours drawing robots, spacemen and cowboys. Those were my go-to subjects. When I wasn't at the table or school, I was in my backyard with my plastic Army guys making up battle scenarios. Early on I found that I enjoyed being alone more than I liked playing with other kids. I wasn't really shy or anti-social, I just loved how making pictures and play acting took me to other places where everything was possible. All these years later, not much has changed. 

Q. What artist would you like to have dinner with and why?

A. There are many, but I would have to say Dali. I find his work to be amazing and the man himself to be incredibly funny and exhilarating. His life was beautifully fused into his art. There seemed to be no separation between the paintings and the painter. It was all one big surreal circus. I wondered why he didn't make DaliLand Amusement park. 

Q. What do you find inspiration?

A. I find inspiration in everything and it's difficult to pinpoint when or where that happens. It may be an old man with an odd fitting toupee at the hardware store, a cross-eyed cat sitting on a tool shed or the red, blue and yellow bug on my windshield. All are things I've drawn or made puppets of. I may hear a compelling story that I can't stop thinking about. Drawing or painting the story brings it to the surface allowing me to understand it more fully. On most occasions the story becomes modified, making it more personal. I have been inspired simply by texture. Recently I was walking in Cleveland and noticed the beauty of the new black asphalt patches laid on old weathered asphalt. I am now recreating an abstract series based on those shapes and textures. 

Q. How do you define creativity?

A. For me creativity is "playing". When we were small children we created things constantly. We played. There was no fear of being judged. We sang, danced, drew, imitated people and just played. I try and come to my work from that same entry point. I don't want to just fill in the blanks and make a product. I try and make art that comes from my heart ...art that I want to see. 

Q. What is the one thing you hope people takeaway when they see your work?

A. I hope my work makes people smile, feel good or even think about what the work means. The biggest compliment people give me is when they say, "Every time I look at that piece I see something new."

​Learn more about Tom and tour his studio in the video below. Don't miss the puppets...you may see some you recognize!

 


 

10 QUESTIONS WITH...

SCOTT TURRI

 

Q. When did you first realize you wanted to be an artist?

A. When I was 8 or 9, I started to draw images of book covers and newspaper images that I found interesting. Kind of like making copies of master drawings. I continued to make things and took art classes. I was part of a program called art major in High-school and it was here that the idea of becoming an artist began to form. I also was invested in math and science. I began my college career as a chemistry major. I took a design class, then I took drawing during my sophomore year. My final project was a self-portrait and my professor told me it looked like how Tom Waits felt and it was selected for the student show. That was THE moment that I knew I was going to be an artist. 

Q. What artist would you like to have dinner with and why?

A. Jonathan Lasker. Ever since I saw his work at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, in "Repicturing Abstraction" I have been a fan. I rely heavily on a process-based method for my paintings, typically working with a small set of variables, and use computer manipulated imagery and designs as a source material - I would want to delve into his process. Although our processes are different there are some definite commonalities, so, during our dinner conversation my focus would be on his approach to painting, in partiuclar his process, and how he contextualizes his work. 

Q. What do you find most challenging about the artistic process?

A. The sort of inner dialogue about what I should be doing and how I should be doing it. I have a tendency to invest in learning a certain method and defining an approach and then sticking with it to communicate on a deeper level. I question whether I should be trying something different or moving in a new direction. Resolving this issue is the most challenging thing for me.

Q. Where do you find inspiration?

A. All around me. Most of my work, within the last 10 years, has been about place and connection to my environment; trying to decipher that relationship by moving in and out of abstraction and representational imagery and working within a non-linear narrative structure. I am an avid reader of fiction, like a chain-smoker I finish one book and then start the next, so the structure of books: chapters, sequences, the telling of stories is how I think about my paintings but it gets funneled through a poetic sensibility. 

Q. How do you define creativity?

A. I try not to! Creativity presents itself when something makes me stop in my tracks and feel, think, or experience it with all of my self. 

​Q. Easier to create small or large scale?

A. Oh, this is an easy one -- Large Scale. I like being able to move within a painting and have it be close to my size. I feel much more comfortable in that type of space. 

Q. What does your art mean to you and do you become attached to your work?

A. There is a certain type of compulsion to my making. Without it I feel a void. With it I feel like myself. So, l guess you could say that it is an integral part of me and my makeup. I used to get very attached to my work but now I find it much easier to disengage with it. Ultimately, I want my work to get out into the world, so once it is finished, I am ready to move on to the next.   

Q. When is a piece of art complete?

A. Well, since I design the painting on the computer, then I make the model for the painting. The painting is finished when I replicate the model. Since I can work rapidly on the computer this is where the improvising and experimenting comes into play and I see many different combinations. I work on a number of variations and over time narrow it down. Typically, I like to let the work sit for a few days then go back to it. When I return I may make some additional changes, but if not, then I move on to the next stage of my process which is preparing for and then executing the painting. 

Q. Complete this sentence: If you really, really knew me, you would know...

A. I swim and walk habitually.  ​

Q. If you could be an animal, what would it be?

A. A Barn owl.

 

Interested in learning more?

Visit Scott Turri's artist page here.

Trouble Sleeping
Acrylic on Canvas 45"H x 52"W

Joyless Joyride
Acrylic on Canvas 45"H x 52"W

 


 

10 QUESTIONS WITH...

JANICE LESSMAN-MOSS

 

Q. When did you first realize you wanted to be an artist?

A. When I was a child I really liked to draw, color with colored pencils and make things.  But it was not until I worked for Kingpitcher Gallery (on Craig Street in Pittsburgh) from 1974-77 that I realized what it was like to be an artist in the world. I started taking art classes at Pitt, met my husband in class, and that was the beginning of my journey!

Q. What artist would you like to have dinner with and why?

A. Valerie Jaudon, an artist closely identified with the Pattern and Decoration movement of the 1970s and early 80s.  Her use of geometry and pattern inspires me and I would like to talk with her about how her work has evolved over her career.

Q. What do you find most challenging about the artistic process?

A. Generating ideas and resolving them to the point that they make visual and conceptual sense requires hard work, and fortitude.  Then there is the discipline, skill and labor required to bring the work to fruition.  All this done in solitude, which can be quite stressful but ultimately totally liberating and fulfilling!

Q. Where do you find inspiration?

A. In making/doing…..in beginning to generate drawings and interacting with the materials on the loom.  I find inspiration in the repetition and mindfulness of walking and weaving.

Q. How do you define creativity?

A. It’s when you take ideas, materials and process, carefully and skillfully manipulate them to make something beautiful and meaningful.

​Q. Easier to create small or large scale?

A. I like to do both.  At different times they each feel right.​

Q. What does your art mean to you and do you become attached to your work?

A. Because of the process I use to make my work, I spend a significant amount of time with a piece before it is resolved and ready to be independent in the world.  Each piece is special in its own way. I like to live with my work when it is done, but since it is impossible to physically accommodate so many weavings in my own space, I am always happy when they find a welcoming environment in which to reside, a new home!

Q. When is a piece of art complete?

A. Difficult to describe in words……all ingredients come together in a holistic way to make sense, to provide mystery and a satisfying viewing experience.  Then the finished piece inspires me to enhance some aspect of what is present ……which prompts the start of a new piece and the continuing journey!

Q. Complete this sentence: If you really, really knew me, you would know...

A. That I am very motivated, organized and disciplined.  I would rather walk than drive and I go to the gym three days a week…..and I am married to an amazing, supportive, talented musician, Al Moss. ​

Q. If you could have a super power what would it be? How would you use it?

A. I would like everyone to live in the moment, to be attentive to beauty in the many things that we experience daily and to be respectful of everything and everyone.  I would like to see a world that only knows peace and harmony.

 

Interested in learning more?

Janice Lessman-Moss Artist page

United States Artist Fellowship Goes to TSA Member Janice Lessman-Moss

Kent State Magazine

 

 


 

MEET OUR DECEMBER ARTIST OF THE MONTH

CHRISTINE AARON

James Gallery Artist of the Month Christine Aaron investigates memory, time and the fragility of human connection. Her work represents what is remembered, what is held, lost, transformed and marked within.

The dichotomy of Aaron's visions are expressed through the mediums of found wood, shattered glass, oxidized metal, mirror and hand-dyed paper. Christine believes the history of these materials, and the traces of process that remain in the completed work speak to the way in which humans hold the physical, mental and emotional marks of personal experience.

"Trees serve as a metaphor for the life cycle, symbols of dormancy and growth, strength and renewal."

Evening II,  Lithograph on aged mirror, 16 x 30, $2,100

Aaron uses layering to visually convey how we reconstruct our memories referring to it as the 'archeological act of recollection'

Memory XIII
Lithographic monoprint, asian paper, encaustic on panel
12 x 12 x 2
Memory XIV
Monotype, encaustic on panel
18 x 18 x 1

Paper is burned, inscribed, dipped in wax, and stitched.

Vestiges
burnt drawing with stitching on handmade abaca paper
18 x 12 inches
sold
 

 

Burning, used throughout history to destroy, purify, obliterate and sanctify, evokes absence and presence, shadow and light.~Christine Aaron

 

Shadows emerge and are cast as the ephemeral marks of what is now absent, no longer material: the mark of physical loss.

Christine's work continues to evolve - exploring new ways to connect and convey the human experience.

Vestige III
mirror, encaustic on wood
15.5" diameter, 2" deep
(available on request)

Vestige VI
mirror, encaustic on found wood
15.5" x 8.5 x 6"
(available on request)

Interested in Christine's work? Visit James Gallery to see more or contact us for a complimentary consultation.

 


 

 

MULTIPLICITY
A VISUAL CELEBRATION OF CONTRASTS

 

We are sensory beings. Anything that touches our senses can evoke an immediate visceral response. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), aesthetic responses to visual art involve sensory, cognitive and visceral processes. This means that art is stimulating our deepest levels. Just looking at art is a complex, individualized experience. And it has been a method of communication for tens of thousands of years. Creative expressions have spanned from caves of neolithic man to current day impressions of Banksy’s on the streets of London. It has chronicled history and portrayed the ramblings of schizophrenic minds. Art is so many things. It is humanizing and life validating. Art can be sentimental, philosophical, shocking, healing, soothing, exciting and much more.

So why limit this life affirming, stirring, emotionally rich experience to museum visits and galleries? Everyone should be surrounded by a personalized collection of art at home! After all, this is YOUR space. A place to bring you joy, peace, and motivation. Art can do this for you! What an amazing and magical tool to accomplish a multiplicity of goals:

Art expresses. It is a means to share what may otherwise be difficult to verbalize. There’s a reason for the expression, “A picture is worth a thousand words”.

Art provokes. It encourages people to ask questions, introspect, think about new ideas, see things from a different angle and possibly bring about change.

Art is an escape. Sometimes it’s helpful to be less cerebral. In the case of abstract expressions we are put in a position to think less and feel more. It is freeing to abandon the literal chatter in our minds.

Art is hope. It can present positive, affirmative images on unlimited topics, demonstrating visions that can induce an immediate sense of peace.

Art transforms. By personalizing space with curated pieces you share a bit of yourself . . . how you think, what you find important, beautiful or intriguing. You create an environment that is enriched according to your individual needs.

For some, collecting art is intuitive and exciting. For others it might feel overwhelming. A person may love art and know what they are drawn to, but are not sure where to start. They may not be confident in how to commingle individual pieces of art or how to showcase them. Fortunately, the experts at James Gallery are available to guide you.  Not only will they offer an in-home consultation to assess your space and determine personalized needs, but they are a source of art from a multiplicity of artists. Which brings me to this extremely exciting event:

James Gallery is hosting a visual celebration of contrasts highlighting 28 contemporary artists — each with unique processes and visual vocabulary. Many references are expressed, from fluid, gestural, and geometric abstraction to landscape & figurative.

James Gallery is hosting the Opening Reception on Friday, May 10, 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM 413 South Main Street, West End Village, Pittsburgh, PA 15220

Meet several of the artists to discuss their work and creative processes. It is sure to be a stimulating evening of discovery.

The exhibition continues through June 29. 

Click here for a video invitation featuring James Frederick, owner of James Gallery, and a preview of each artist. 

 


 

AN INSPIRING INTRODUCTION

James Gallery is proud to partner with LYNNEL Art to Form, introducing a new style of original art. This partnership enables us to expand applications to enhance your space.

We can now create unique art for the following design and architectural applications:

  • Feature walls

  • Backlit images

  • Mobiles

  • Integration walls

  • Wayfinding applications

  • Dividers & partitions

  • Elevator interiors

  • Wallcovering

  • Acoustical fabric

  • Backsplashes

 

LYNNEL’s portfolio of over 3,000 original pieces of art is very diverse, offering art that can be used in healthcare, multi-family residential, commercial, hospitality or residential spaces.

 

An Epiphany | variety of substrate options and sizes available

 

“Art with purpose is a basic tenet of our business. One of the biggest transformations for me as an artist has been the collaborative process I have enjoyed with architects, designers, and clients across the country. I believe our surroundings profoundly influence how we think and feel. By embracing and applying the concept of modifying a piece of art to fit a particular environment, I believe I have contributed to a groundbreaking approach to the way artists might work in the future.”

– LYNNEL artist, Lynn Heitler

 

Contact us to start your project today!

 

 

2018 RETROSPECTIVE

Click here to see what we have been up to!

 

BRINGING GLOBAL EXPERTISE TO CLIENTS

As part of James Gallery’s mission to present exciting ideas to our clients, we recently traveled to a world-class convergence of leading artists and technologists in Santa Fe: The Intersection of Art, Technology and Place.

The opportunity was taken to seek ways we can connect our clients to the most innovative art being created across the globe. The conference featured top artists and thought leaders, including Ferdi Alici of Ouchhh Studio, Jeremy Crandell of Burning Man, and light artists Bill FitzGibbons and Titia Ex.

Summit presenters demonstrated the critical role of artists in our society, to initiate the magic-making process with the conjurer, engage the wizards, allow creations to take form.

As consultants, we are delighted to translate client goals - bringing ideas to life by engaging those conjurers, magicians, and wizards. In that role, we can be the dreamers or the medium between the dreamers and inventive art. We cultivate creativity. We take the whole realm of our clients’ needs - from budget to space considerations - and offer expanded options … possibilities. We are privileged to commission and deliver art that exceeds expectations, to deliver art that is exciting, uplifting, and perfectly matched to conceptual considerations.

We were proud to represent the Pittsburgh region as part of a wider conversation on the evolving role of art in our world and are delighted to share our knowledge, resources, and expertise with clients.


 

James Gallery is offering a First Ever Sale ... just in time for the holidays.

Enjoy exclusive savings - from 25 to 50% - on one-of-a-kind, unforgettable gifts of art.

A wide range of sizes and styles are ready for you to take home. Discounts will also apply to select framing.

Make this the year to give artfully and creatively. Realize your dream of bringing home a unique treasure: Your own original work of art.  

 


INSIDER SECRETS TO THE ART OF MAKING PRINTS

An incredibly high-resolution photograph printed on a vinyl wall covering.

A durable fine art print that can be displayed outdoors and will never rust.

Each of these products requires a depth of expertise - not just in selecting the most appropriate image for a corporate, sports or healthcare setting, but in choosing materials that will create the right visual effect and outcome. James Gallery’s expertise in selecting substrates, the materials onto which images are printed, achieves an impressive display.

As art consultants, James Gallery procures thousands of fine art and photographic prints for our clients. Our knowledge extends to the unique properties of each medium and how they provide solutions to the needs of a space, including scale, lighting, indoor or outdoor environments, and maintenance.

James Gallery works with companies specializing in printing on diverse mediums. We offer recommendations for the ideal substrates and, when needed, offer options for alternative materials that provide a similar effect in a more cost-effective option. Finishes on top of the prints, from semi-gloss to flat, can help achieve a unique aesthetic.

Viewing distances and sightlines come into play when we consider the right fit, along with branding and typology. A tech company has different aims than a healthcare facility. Privacy may be important, so levels of opacity may play more than a visual role.

There are dozens of factors that make the difference between a perfect outcome and one that is less than ideal. Waiting to add art as a finishing touch, rather than working with an art consultant to plan the most ideal art, is a common misstep.

When we collaborate in the design process for a new or remodeled space, considering art earlier in the process means greater options for the client, such as printing on glass walls or vinyl wall coverings. 

James Gallery provides recommendations to incorporate art elements from the beginning of the process, ensuring a smoother and potentially less costly route to an artful space.

Put James Gallery’s knowledge, expertise and resources to work. We can help design the perfect solution.

To learn more about images and substrates that work best for your space, or to learn more about our art consultation services, contact us at info@jamesgallery.net or at 412-922-9800.

 


 

SPLICES OF LIFE

Scott Turri’s paintings are inextricably linked to how the information age shapes visual culture. He uses traditional and digital drawing, photography and digital manipulation to iterate through snippets, splicing and transforming those into paintings that seek balances of personal and cultural.

“The concept of synthesis is central to my work,” Turri says. “Because of my natural curiosity and a wide range of interests, there has always been a desire to cobble together an assortment of components by transforming and fusing the parts to create something greater than its sum.”

Scott embraces creativity throughout his life, from punk rock with a performance art band - to writing and working in video - to his current focus on painting. For the last twelve years, he’s applied computer-based methods to create still images that are used as models for larger scaled replicas.

His latest series, “The Longing Ritual,” builds on the concept of synthesis, a product of his cyclical rituals: walking through Frick Park, the Homewood Cemetery, the neighborhoods of Squirrel Hill, and Point Breeze and from weekly trips to rural Washington County.

The paintings are not traditional landscape paintings. Instead, they reflect the ever-pervasive presence of digital devices and their intrusion on our ability for real experience. Although elements of landscape exist in the paintings, there are barriers which interfere with experiencing it, including photographs that have been funneled through digital software. Unlike romantic and impressionist landscape painters, Scott’s approach includes intentional layers of separation via photography and digital manipulation. His paintings contain little to no trace of the human hand in the making.  

“I mimic the screen,” Turri says. “In fact, they are the same height to width ratio as the HD screen and look as though they could be machine made.”

 


 

EXPLORING THE NATURE OF MEMORY

 

Conjured through research of Neolithic and ancient sites, including the sacred, painter Micheal Madigan’s work evokes layered memories of thousands of years of civilizations.

Numerous visits to Ireland, Southern England, Italy, Spain, and the American southwest have influenced the nature and direction of Madigan's painting.

His work conveys patterns of memory, its structure and how it is modeled and changed by time.

“I’ve surrendered the illusion of controlling the evolution of my work," Madigan says. "There are specific sequences of process that are applied to the paintings to bring them into being, evolving color progressions and textural applications that build the physical presence of each piece. I find that through years of refining this process, if I surrender to the unknown early in the painting's evolution, then that surrender strengthens the final underpinnings of the piece. The evocative power of the work is somehow strengthened as my intent is subsumed in its creation.”

Madigan created “The Gate” series from memories of travel experiences in Europe and the American Northwest.

Explorations of ruins in these lands, from medieval fortifications in Ireland, Italy and Spain, to the abandoned 19th century coastal batteries in Washington State, share the forms of guarded portals. These portals, now eroded and exposing the interiors they once guarded, stand as gateways to lost or buried memories, tempting exploration.

Above is one of his "Gate Series" paintings: The Gate V / 60 x 40 / acrylic on panel

 

 

 

A GLASS ACT

Lisa Cahill has been making glass art for more than 20 years, mixing the precise science of glasswork with her appreciation for a sense of place expressed through abstract interpretations. Her pieces reflect built and organic environments, connecting urban architecture, memories, and her passion for natural landscape.

Cahill grew up with an affinity for glass and ceramic, which solidified when she spent time with family in Denmark, where beautifully designed glass bowls graced most homes. Much of her work evokes textures and tones of Nordic landforms and vast Australian landscapes.  

Cahill's dreamlike art allows viewers to draw associations with their own remembered landscapes, resulting in a meditative and emotional response. Working on a variety of scales and building art from a series of panels allows Cahill to create pieces for internal and external domestic settings as well as large public art.

Cahill exhibits nationally and internationally and has been awarded numerous grants and prizes, including multiple Australia Council for the Arts New Work grants. After establishing several artist group studios in Sydney and Melbourne, she now works from a glass studio in Canberra, Australia.

Here’s what Cahill has to say about the transfer of sentiment from artist to end user: “I really hope the viewer gets joy from my work. I aim to create works that can be abstract enough that it reminds them of a place they love. It's a little bit like how the scent of a perfume might conjure a memory of a person. I hope my artwork takes the viewer somewhere that they remember fondly.”

 


 

CONNECTING WITH NATURE

As a child, Fred Danziger happily drew elephants or clowns with crayons for his mother, who would delight over the finished pictures and reward him with milk and cookies. Today, his intricately detailed paintings are included in over 100 public collections and he still gets a rush when someone appreciates the feelings he’s captured.

“When I see my work installed in someone’s home and know they love having that piece as part of their life, I feel that we share a certain bond,” he says. “It’s a connection with someone. They get it; they love nature the same way I do. When you find people who are moved and the painting speaks to them, it’s very gratifying.”

Fred draws inspiration from walks in the woods, working to depict three-dimensional form as accurately as possible and achieving near photorealism with broad landscapes and up-close depictions of the natural environment. A master of details, his paintings of leaves, water - even dew-dappled blades of grass - become almost abstract compositions that combine nuances of light, texture and color to give the sense of being present in the scene.

“I don’t try to emulate photography in my paintings; I try to go way beyond what a camera sees,” he says. “A lot of it is just a feeling you get. You’re trying to express that sense of air and light and sunlight, just letting nature wash over you.”

Those sensations were impressed on him from his early childhood in Pittsburgh’s Chartiers Terrace, where he and his friends spent days wandering through nearby farms and orchards, hiking in the woods and fishing in meandering streams.

Over the years, Fred has been honored with several major awards, including the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art’s 2018 Award for Artistic Distinction, recognizing him for an extraordinary body of work. He was educated at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, where he later shared his passion for painting as an adjunct professor. He counts masters like John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer and Edgar Degas as influencers, along with his high school art teacher in Crafton, John Dropcho, who gave him the confidence to pursue painting as a career.

After immersing himself in painting the natural world - scenes of streams, leaves, water - Fred has expanded his work to include cityscapes and people.

 

“There’s an artist named George Bellows who inspires me in that he was an amazing landscapist, but he also did paintings with boxers in a boxing ring and cityscapes,” Fred says. “I like the idea that an artist has a range, not just a ‘one-note’ kind of artist. At the moment, I’m interested in neighborhoods and people.”

 

His work has been a longtime favorite among James Gallery clients, our founder, James Frederick, says.

 

“He loves nature and nuance, from mist to light filtering through leaves,” he says. “He’s an artist who came from a place when he was younger of paintings that were almost photosurreal. As he evolved, his paintings were much more about what he saw. Fred paints with infinite detail.”

 

His ability to depict even sublevel details - leaves that have slipped underneath a stream surface in “November Rain,” for example - are part of what make his paintings a wonder.

 

“November Rain” happened unexpectedly, a moment where Fred was surprised and delighted by what unfolded before him. He was heading out to paint on a gray day but was interrupted by wet weather. Instead of heading back to his studio, he paused.

 

“I was watching these ellipses, spreading out and out, dotting all over the stream and colliding,” he says. “It appeared beautiful to me. I thought, I’ve got to try to do a painting of this.”

 

Here's a look at the result, set to music and poetry.