artist


15
Jun 12

Minako Yoshino, artist

Minako Yoshino, artist ©Tony Gale

Minako Yoshino

My precious friend Minako first visited New York from her native Japan in the summer of 2001. While attending classes at The Art Students League; her keen eye for color matching and mixing of paints caught the attention of a fellow student. He was in need of help with the painting portion of a landmark building restoration job for the City of New York in the financial district of Manhattan. Minako happily and very successfully complied.

The following day at JFK, bags checked and awaiting her departure flight back to Japan, she received a call on her cell phone. The construction company wanted her, and made a considerable job offer.  A whirlwind trip back home to say goodbye to friends and family, she found herself returning to NYC, just days before the 9/11/2001 tragedy.

Toward the end of the restoration project Minako noticed large blocks of beautiful marble being trashed as part of the demolition of the building. This proved to be the source of raw materials for her initial attempt at sculpture.  Incredibly her first finished piece sold almost immediately and brought her an award from the National Sculpture Society, and birthed her career.

She has since successfully restored the landmark sculptures of the Hearst Tower façade, and was featured in the New York Times. Her paintings have been commissioned by the United Nations.

Minako lives and works in her Bushwick, Brooklyn studio, carving marble sculpture and painting. She has received a letter of recognition from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In 2012 she completed the marble statue series “For Japan”, a tribute to her mother country following the 3/11/2011 earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis. Her compassion and warm smile add to her amazing gifts she freely shares with all the people she encounters.

Nominated and described by John Dessereau Sr


17
Jun 11

Josh Hadar, metal designer

Josh Hadar in his studio. ©Tony Gale

Josh Hadar

I first met Josh walking by his Broome Street shop in my neighborhood many years ago. Seeing the flashes of light in the early winter night emitted from his welding torch lite up his sculpted gate made me curious to see what was inside. Looking in I saw all of Josh’s creations, his bikes and trees all around the shop. Using solar power to provide energy to create his art and to power his bikes is a testament to him as an artist and activist in the art community. Being a new Dad has given him a different way to look at the future.

nominated and described by Tommy Flynn


6
Apr 11

Troy Campbell, drummer, builder, creator


Troy Campbell, photographed in Times Square ©Tony Gale

Troy Campbell, photographed in Times Square ©Tony Gale

Troy Campbell

I met Troy in 2001 when we were both working at a small theatre in Maine.  Not only does he craft properties for theatrical productions, but he is also a talented visual artist, a successful drummer/percussionist (he most recently played for Julia Haltigan and Hooligans, but in college he turned down playing with his fraternity brothers–who went on to be Hootie and The Blowfish,) is a former member of the Big Apple Circus and at the age of 40-something he  graduated from Army boot camp last year.

He is a gentle soul who meanders across the country drumming, building and creating, but that is part of Troy’s allure. You never know where he will turn up next, or who he will be hanging out with or what cool things he is up to.  I haven’t actually seen him in 6 years, but we still manage to keep in touch and I look forward to when our paths cross again.  I know that when they do, we will share some beers, he will tell me some excellent stories and we will talk about art, music and the curious state of being.

Nominated and described by Lori Lynn Bollinger

 

 


27
Jan 11

Austin McCormick, artistic director

Austin McCormick, director. ©Tony Gale

Austin McCormick, director. ©Tony Gale

Austin McCormick

Wow. Austin McCormick. The multi-talented Artistic Director of the Neo-Baroque theatrical dance group, Company XIV. A one-of-a-kind dynamo. Without question, Austin’s the most wildly creative genius that I’ve met in the 21st century. He’s been establishing himself as one of the top choreographers, directors and dancers in NYC. Austin’s shows feature the most original, imaginative and over the top performances that I’ve ever seen on a NY stage. Erotic, sensuous, risqué, dramatic and sumptuous are just some of the words that come to mind when I think about a show of his. It’s no wonder that his work has been praised by the likes of The NY Times, Black Book Magazine, Dance Magazine, The NY Post, Metro NY, and many others. Austin’s name should appear as the definition of original in the Oxford American Dictionary.
For more information about Austin and Company XIV visit http://www.CompanyXIV.com

Wow. Austin McCormick. The multi-talented Artistic Director of the Neo-Baroque theatrical dance group, Company XIV. A one-of-a-kind dynamo. Without question, Austin’s the most wildly creative genius that I’ve met in the 21st century. He’s been establishing himself as one of the top choreographers, directors and dancers in NYC. Austin’s shows feature the most original, imaginative and over the top performances that I’ve ever seen on a NY stage. Erotic, sensuous, risqué, dramatic and sumptuous are just some of the words that come to mind when I think about a show of his. It’s no wonder that his work has been praised by the likes of The NY Times, Black Book Magazine, Dance Magazine, The NY Post, Metro NY, and many others. Austin’s name should appear as the definition of original in the Oxford American Dictionary.

nominated and described by David Gibbs


20
Jan 11

Ariane Reinhart, Performer

Ariane Reinhart, photographed on her mother's bench in Riverside Park. ©Tony Gale

Ariane Reinhart, photographed on her mother's bench in Riverside Park. ©Tony Gale

Ariane Reinhart

She is a performer who was asked how she deals with rejection at  auditions,  she replied, “every audition is a performance and I love to perform”.  Also she is like a good bottle of red wine, each year she improves.

Nominated and described by Charles Reinhart


12
Nov 10

Ted Steeg

Ted Steeg, photographed in his home in NYC. ©Tony Gale

Ted Steeg, photographed in his home in NYC. ©Tony Gale

Ted Steeg

Sun-tanned,blue-eyed, Hollywood handsome, Ted is the guy all the other guys wanted to be. Oh yes, the ladies just might adore this hero of Dan Wakefield’s 1997 biographical novel Going All The Way, later portrayed by Ben Affleck in the movie, a movie in which Ted played another role.
Lithe, athletic, Teddy was cheered  as “swivel hips” in his days as a half-back for the 1951 , 7-0-1 Wabash College Football Team and was later invited to the L.A. Rams training camp.
Playing another role, Ted directed what some have called “the most watched film in history”, the award winning instructional film shown to most people who are about to serve on a jury in NY State.
And, of course, he is remembered in Woodstock, a place equally worthy of its own mystique, where he has had a home for years and  where he pitched  for the champion Deanie’s Whippets in the town’s softball league.
Once- it must have been a summer weekday in the late 70′s- the Whips had a six o’clock game and Ted had business in The City that wouldn’t be concluded in time to take the mound 100 miles away. His application to the town fathers for a permit to land a helicopter on the softball field was regrettably denied. But we could all imagine Teddy in cut-offs stepping off that huey in a cloud of dust and firing a first pitch strike to get things going.

Sun-tanned,blue-eyed, Hollywood handsome, Ted is the guy all the other guys wanted to be. Oh yes, the ladies just might adore this hero of Dan Wakefield’s 1997 biographical novel Going All The Way, later portrayed by Ben Affleck in the movie, a movie in which Ted played another role.

Lithe, athletic, Teddy was cheered  as “swivel hips” in his days as a half-back for the 1951 , 7-0-1 Wabash College Football Team and was later invited to the L.A. Rams training camp.

Playing another role, Ted directed what some have called “the most watched film in history”, the award winning instructional film shown to most people who are about to serve on a jury in NY State.

And, of course, he is remembered in Woodstock, a place equally worthy of its own mystique, where he has had a home for years and  where he pitched  for the champion Deanie’s Whippets in the town’s softball league.

Once- it must have been a summer weekday in the late 70′s- the Whips had a six o’clock game and Ted had business in The City that wouldn’t be concluded in time to take the mound 100 miles away. His application to the town fathers for a permit to land a helicopter on the softball field was regrettably denied. But we could all imagine Teddy in cut-offs stepping off that huey in a cloud of dust and firing a first pitch strike to get things going.

Nominated by Brandon Remler, described by Peter Remler


21
Jul 10

Elisabetta Potasso, puppeteer

Elisabetta Potasso, photographed in Paris. ©Tony Gale

Elisabetta Potasso, photographed in Paris. ©Tony Gale

Elisabetta Potasso

My very good friend Elisabetta Potasso is a puppeteer. She creates her own puppets, has performances for kids and adults, leads workshops all around the world-but best of all she is a fantastic person. Oh-one detail I forgot to mention: Elisabetta is Italian and speaks english with an Indian accent.

Nominated and described by Sabine Scheckel


25
May 10

Michelle Kawka, attracting attention

Michelle Kawka, photographed in Queens, NY. © Tony Gale

Michelle Kawka, photographed in Queens, NY. © Tony Gale

Michelle Kawka

Michelle once said to me, “I always seem to attract attention when I travel abroad, I don’t know why.”
I should have told her, “Darling! The French aren’t the only ones who appreciate your appeal!”
Her high heels leave a clicking echo behind her as she enters an art gallery and people can’t help but stare at this American beauty with a dash of a European flare that was certainly acquired during her six months in Italy where she perfected her flawless Venetian accent over a glass of Chianti. Of course, the gallery I’m referring to is the one displaying her own photography in New York City (or was it Paris? I can’t keep track).

Michelle had her privileged future mapped out for her, having grown up with a summer residence in the Hamptons and obtained her bachelor’s degree from prestigious Weselyan University in Connecticut. This did not stop her from rolling up her sleeves in an attempt to pierce through the very closed knit circle of photography in the Manhattan. This attempt turned into success after 6 years of hard work built over a solid foundation of pure talent. I could only imagine her mother’s reaction when she came home with the news that her work was now being displayed in museums (and that she had a pair of angel wings tattooed on her back).

If you speak to Michelle during her well-attended photography exhibits, make sure to put down your coupe de champagne, and take a close look into her eyes, and tell her what you see. She’s quite used to it. Some call it sectoral heterochromia. However, most just say, “You have two different colour eyes! “ Maybe it’s a vestige of her former life as a mermaid, of which she is very fond. Michelle could even make an atheist believe in Karma.

As our friendship reached the 15 year mark from across the Atlantic ocean, I am proud have Michelle as my friend and look forward to another 15 years (at least!) of good times.

Nominated and described by Al Vareau


6
Jan 10

Leonard Knight, maker of monuments

Leonard Knight at Salvation Mountain © Tony Gale

Leonard Knight at Salvation Mountain © Tony Gale

Leonard Knight

There should be more Leonard Knights in the world.

Leonard is a simple man. In his late 70′s, he is hard of hearing and becoming fragile. He lives in a 20 foot trailer 150 miles from what most of us would call a real city; in the desert, on abandoned military land. He has no electricity and brings water to his home in a 200 gallon tank. Leonard calls it paradise.

Driven by a singular passion, Leonard Knight has devoted decades to constructing a monument. A monument in paint and straw bale and mud to love and God…..Crackpot? Corny? Weirdo? Yes on all counts, by contemporary standards. But Leonard doesn’t care much about contemporary standards. Leonard has nothing to sell.

So if you get lost in the desert some dark night, and don’t like scorpions, or rattlesnakes, or the cold, or the heat, or the loneliness; stop by Leonard’s. He’ll probably say, “thanks for coming by, would you like a blanket and something to drink”?

There should be more Leonard Knights in the world.

Nominated and described by David Zimmerman

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9
Dec 09

David Zimmerman, photographer

David Zimmerman, photographer. Photographed at the Imperial Sand Dunes, © Tony Gale

David Zimmerman, photographer. Photographed at the Imperial Sand Dunes, © Tony Gale

David Zimmerman, photographer

David Zimmerman is an amazing photographer. He has won numerous awards, including the 2009 L’iris D’Or, for his work in White Sands. He built a solar powered studio in Taos, NM that gets all its water from rain… in the desert! He is a pilot and built a plane from a kit. He has lived in all four continental US time zones.  He is passionate about his personal projects, and on the strength of his photographs,  able to get visibility and attention for places that need all the attention they can get. He is basically what I think all photographers want to be.

Nominated and described by Tony Gale