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by the presented ts journal ighlighting the ar a creative rts Council h stside A Syracuse, New York We f Westside o
CROSSTHREADS Arts Journal
a creative arts journal that promotes and highlights all the artists who live, work, or have some relation to the Westside of Syracuse, NY.
Copyright (c) 2011 No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, without consent from the authors. All Rights Reserved ISBN: Design: Stephanie Hart
Table of Contents
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Table of Contents
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CROSSTHREADS Arts Journal
CROSSTHREADS is a creative arts journal that promotes and highlights all the artists who live, work, or have some relation to the Westside of Syracuse. The journal seeks to publish submissions of students, the everyday artist, and professional artists of all ages. The goal of the journal is to highlight unity, raise community awareness of the arts, showcase the historic and emergent arts community, and reflect cultural experiences within the neighborhood. For the members of the Westside Arts Council the neighborhood of the Near Westside is place unlike any other. The neighborhood we know is a piece of beautiful art unto its own for the people who are fortunate enough to experience and create it every day.
To act as a cultural advocacy group for the Near Westside community by bringing together neighborhood residents, agencies, cultural institutions, and artists with the intention of exploring our opportunities in the Near Westside neighborhoods as well as in the broader Syracuse community. This group will organize art projects and events that will engage the entire community driven by residents input concerning what art they would like to see in their neighborhood.
This collection of art would not have been possible without the support of many individuals and organizations. Jessie Keating – Imagine Syracuse Becky Jackson – Seymour Elementary School Stacy Griffin - Blodgett Elementary School (Transferred to Meachum Elementary School) Kristen Dugger – Blodgett Elementary School (Transferred to Fowler High School) Betsey Sipple - Art Instructor Imagine Syracuse Kelly Moser Art - Teacher Seymour Dual Language Academy Sarah McCoubrey – Syracuse University VPA Stephen Parks – Syracuse University/New City Community Press Sheena Solomon – Gifford Foundation
The Westside Arts Council selection and editorial committee: Mother Earth Peter Thompson Isaac Rothwell Katie Lemons-Brown Maarten Jacobs Mary Stanley
Special Thank You to:
The Gifford Foundation The Near Westside Initiative New City Community Press
OH, DANCING SKY
by Nygeleke Jones, age 9 Imagine Syracuse
Oh, dancing sky I wonder how bright you really are. From rain to rainbows to sun to fog from lightning to thunder It’s so very hard to see the sun. I would grab a star and clear it all away, so that it will all be okay. Oh, dancing sky I wonder how bright your really are.
“Untitled”, Pen and Watercolor on Paper
Samantha Harmon “Two Addresses Unknown” Pencil, Pen,Watercolor, Acrylic
By Nygeleke Jones, age 10 Imagine Syracuse
My mom is magnificent She’s like the midnight breeze. But she’s cool as can be. She is like a purple flower Growing, blossoming, getting brighter Brighter, brighter! My mom is nothing imaginable. My mom is like the sun Shining over me. My mom is magnificent She’s like a midnight breeze.
Jadin Cooper, Pre K, Blodgett School
Jessica Sharpe “Orange Church” Oil on Paper
Tayah Williams - Grade 6 Imagine Syracuse “Circus Willy Wonka” Wire and Fabric
Marcus Jacobs Sentry Duty at Fort Stanwix, May 2009 Marker and Colored Pencil Seymour Dual Language Academy
Kristen Tietjens “St Lucy’s” Pencil on Paper
Maarten Jacobs “St. Lucy’s Church” Photograph
By Yanira Johnson, age 11 Imagine Syracuse
O, shining bright futures Over Wyoming Street. The kids’ bright futures Can’t be beat. The kids chanting loud over winning kickball “Quiet Down!” the neighbors shout. “Or the security I’ll call!” We are athletes Over Wyoming Street. Our winning love Can’t be beat. We share everything we have Oh, we share all From the snowy, breezy winters To the warm yet leafy fall. We are all loving on Wyoming Street Our big puddles of love
Roxanna Carpenter “Untitled” Drawing on Paper
New Color of the Background
by Nate Pritts
Outside the window, a series of buildings planted in snow. Snow blind in morning, I’m relying on memory. Faltering in restlessness, I’m feeling my way. In the foreground, fake flowers, a sad blue frenzy. Every day I can count on seeing some birds & every day what the hell are they still doing here. All these trees without leaves. Icy shatterings. It’s February in Syracuse. It’s Syracuse, New York in my heart & I don’t know how I got back here. Except that I do. Except I was gagged & blunted for years. The map that I followed ran jagged & red. You hold something close for long enough & even big sharp things blur. Gigantic, but who can say what it was. Things in distance look faded & smudged. They named this perspective. They say that this blue looks bluer depending. These shocks more shocking because of old tremors & shakes. Orange sunlight even in winter. You can idle in a car & watch snow turn purple.
Your limbs heat up. Your body become bodied, your breath & her breath. Now things are clear. Remember all those parts you forgot. The right shade pulled low keeps out the night. Your eyes a lovely brown to swallow me whole & so much more whole with your hand in my hand. Your eyes much more brown when they’re brown in this old town. Change the color of the lights & it all starts again. Hold this shrapnel up to the sky & it’s beautiful.
ThayMo, PreK, Blodgett School
A Real Good Man
Katie Brown A blank blinking page. calling inspiration from the undercurrent of my imagination. Yet a subtle hesitation… I think maybe I’d rather jump off this page and into your arms caught in each other’s Springtime charms disregarding the demand of real life, with a real good man. They don’t come along often you know. (no you might not know) It seems all the grown up ones have grown into their suits and toys And all the boys
still hang from trees of irresponsibility and just grow into impressive chimpanzees. I think maybe
there’s more to Kansas and blue skies— there might just be rainbows in your eyes…
You may surpass the adventures of an empty page (where I have found my empty stage and played upon it like a dove freed from the wire cage
from the rafters to the worn floor boards my wings tire without a perching treeand long for more… I could be somewhat perhaps with you free as we balance on the earth’s edge looking out on a lemon drop sea…)
We could be more than a page could contain. Star-gazing city lights, making wishes on lit window panes, delightedwhenmorningcreepsunderthesheets and tickles our toes. (Could you catch this heart in the throws?) I think maybe there’s Godzilla shoes to fill. But where there’s a Will (a mighty soul and a holy plight) I think I just might jump the black and white words this real life demands into the solid arms of a real good man
Luis Santiago “Untitled”
Ashley Homer, Grade 5 “A Man getting Ready for Work” Marker and Oil Pastel Seymour Dual Language Acadamy A man is brushing his teeth. He’s about to wash his hands. This is what he does every morning when he wakes up. El hombre está cepillando sus dientes. El va a lavar sus manos. Este es lo que el hace cada mañana cuando se despuerta.
By Nijah Haskins, age 9 Imagine Syracuse
All the actions on my street It’s so noisy but at the same time it’s quiet in the air of soaring people on my street. I always thought it was safe but I never know if it’s dangerous. I may never find out but I know the trees, snow, and sometimes deer are there for a purpose. The purpose because it’s my street.
Megan Montana “Welcome Inn” Acrylic on Paper
Mother Earth “Near Westside” Pencil and Ink on Paper
Temerity Matthews “Untitled” Graphite on Paper
10:30 on Tioga
Isaac Rothwell Thick paint layered with strokes of promise Thru scattered dreams my focus honest Crisp nocturne breeze a melody for the senses, As we revel in the lampposts’ golden glow off paste concrete And take my blessings census With hope for days when all have changed their tense’s, From mine to ours Remove labels from people like we keep on jars The clouds are gone, the clouds are gone But will return, Empty parks like empty hearts, No life to give Skiddy... Skiddy, tonight you live
Alexandra Crosby “Welcome Inn” Oil on Paper
Fist Palm Peace by Rachel Lyons
So…we should play a game. Wait, are we throwing on 3 or on shoot? 1…2…3…shoot or throw on 3? Ok, rock, paper, scissors, shoot. Got it. Rock crushes scissors, scissors cut paper, paper covers rock. Rock. Paper. Scissors. Shoot. Rock. A fist. Your fist. A powerful base. A clenched motion to bench anger until it steps up to the plate for debate and conversation racing towards sensations of tightened muscles, popped knuckles and that foundation of hate treading along until it crashes into a cheekbone. A known wall of defense against those forces pushing you down and pressing your chest until the nonsense becomes unrest and what was bottled up finally erupts to say Take a breath and get some air and push it back with a resounding YES, I will be heard not herded into the masses of anonymous words and faces phased out by those eyes that chose to throw stony glances, to take away chances, and to hold in their fists the lifelines that divide time between fingers of freedom and twisting wrists— cuffs linked together for dinner parties of elaborate vocabularies and cuffs linked together for sentences and terms of undetermined length to rehabilitate mistakes. Do your fisticuffs belie your bluff that you stand perched on to overlook the nooks and crannies of inequalities that historically are
entrenched in neighborhoods and inequalities that are drenching the sidewalks of the downtrodden with the sweat of brows and bodies and poor souls wondering what is good for? What is it good for? What force compels you to wage this war of fists and fits and starts of anger and rage unfolding page to page to page to page until today, When I heard your screams down Onondaga street as I sat on my front stoop. And I cried…for you, for me, I’m not really sure. For your voice so strained, for your spirit so drained, for your fists that hopefully missed your target. We all need to work on our aim, our goal of finding a strong rock foundation of solidarity and not a rock bottom street of uncertainty and fear. What will your fist dismiss and what will it take responsibility for? When will it open up and recognize the bliss that lies in hands that band together to rock these perceived notions of difference and roll into new images of me and you standing on the same side? Paper. A palm. Your palm. Slapped with the truth of human contact. Sharing pieces of yourself and seconds of your health and infinitely small yet transformative energies speeding and crashing and creating a bond between borders of skin and arteries and vain attempts to neglect the resounding beating of the drums of each heartbeat in this room, feeling in our blood that we are a part of something bigger: a friendship, a community, a city, a state, a nation with leaders on the street and leaders we’ll never meet. The women and men meant to govern and add up the cost of war in
bills and paper and bills and paper and red lines of budgets nudging our palms to clutch what sense we have left in our heads and what cents we have left jingling in our pockets. Do we flip that coin and risk landing heads up: to declare war, to write bills of torture, to battle with the past of tough times and harsh lines and worn hands that wrought an iron fence too intense to mend and heal; or do we risk landing tails, tales of widows getting papers and telegrams stating that “We regret to inform you ma’m,” the truths covered in camouflaged lives and uniforms that define the texture of one soul’s life against another’s…. How the grain and pain of this army green and khaki and black and white and brown and red kaleidoscope becomes the rope you climb to choose that deadline or lifeline as you hide behind grasses and see merely flashes of light because blinking eyes miss crucial moments. Blinking eyes divide what is united intrinsically and rhythmically, because enemies’ hearts beat too and their mothers cry out and shout names of those who ran together never knowing how they could go palm to palm to make their way from orders on papers to jungles, deserts, streams, DREAMS…seen only when they close their eyelids, the sites, views and hues of courage too young to give up and too selfless to turn back now. A pledge becomes declared not on paper but on palms, a battlefield psalm formed after many miles and many troubles and many struggles:
My hands will cradle your broken body when you fall. My palm will calm your breath and close your eyes when you no longer have control, when you release. I will take that paper from your inside pocket and put it next to my heart. And I will keep running. And you will still be one of us. Scissors. An unexpected sign of peace. A sign of humble power to cut down borders and boundaries. To edit the texts of papers and the anger of fists—since you can take that extra moment to contemplate the weight and the cost of what you’ve brought to bear on a world which has seen its fair share of wear and tear. We tear paper to pieces and see the many that create the one: each part important, each part needed to feed the fire at the heart of the matter. We take fists and close a scissors snip! to trim back our curt verse of frustrated rage and find a chorus to vocalize our pride in a movement of the universe, one verse of common good that should warm our faces with rays of golden rules and tools to dig deeper to meanings that tell the truth just below the surface. The fight is far from over. But the enemies can be seen as any one and me’s. It could’ve been me in her shoes, walking and running along to a different drummer who eventually returns to the loud resounding heartbeat underneath the skin of societies and the stars of the sky. And I sit and wonder why the cosmos know we exist, but for what purpose? I wonder about a peaceful puzzle that requires patience and persistence and
human imperfections to cooperate and co-create a treaty sealed and bonded with the skin of handshakes in the face of doubt and hate. What will I embrace to see this fate come alive? Watch for simple generosities and clever possibilities. Savor what survives and encourage what thrives to make new shapes and cut along new lines to define our experiences in all their madness and truth. Shoot. Thrown down what you will. Your decision. The choice is in your hands, and any second could be the second that holds opportunities unseen and wisdoms come clean. Keep your eyes on what is now and remember your roots the next time you rock, paper, scissors, shoot.
by Tia Williams, age 9 Imagine Syracuse
Peace is like a sunny field filled with flowers. It is like a maple tree. It is like a cloud in the sky. The touch of peace is smooth. The flower is a rose. Peace is like the sun shining oh so high. Peace is like a bunny bouncy, bouncy in the grass. Peace is the color of pink. Peace is a fast motion.
Samantha Harmon “Blodgette Middle School” Pen, Pencil,Watercolor on Paper
Stacy Griffin Fused Glass and Bark ArtTeacheratBlodgetteMS.
Samantha Harmon “Untitled” Pencil and Arcylic on top of Photo
The West Side Tulips
By Terry Ritchie Like tulips many of us are slinky and tall; while others are like a mixture of blended colors, cute and small. Tulips have beautiful petals that slowly and gracefully fall to the ground, even when no one is around to see them fall. We as a people often stumble and fall, but most of us pick ourselves up and continue to stand tall. Some people are so focused on the old dilapidated house that we come out of, that they fail to notice that we have begun soaring like the aggressive eagles and the peaceful, gentle doves. If only we had the power to eradicate hatred and prejudice we could teach everyone to provide security, embrace loyalty, and demand unwavering equality and justice for everyone. When one petal falls from a tulip it does not diminish the beauty of the other tulips; similarly when one person makes a mistake it should not cause others to think negatively of everyone that lives in that locality or vicinity. Some people speak disparagingly of the west side residents, but that is because they are outside looking in; so they fail to see the beauty, feel the love, or experience the knowledge that is found deep within our hearts and our minds. If you look closely at the west side it has many beautiful tulips and many beautiful people just waiting to be discovered.
Roxana Carpenter “St. Lucy’s Garden” Oil on paper
Samantha Harmon “The Welcome Inn” PencilandPenonPaper
“Girl with the Yellow Jump Rope” Wire and Fabric Calvin West - Grade 5 Imagine Syracuse
Kristin Dugger “Ogress” Oil on Wood
Louaisa Holmes-Grade 6 “All About Me” Pencil and Oil Pastel Imagine Syracuse
Roxanna Carpenter Drawing on Paper
Josh Stowe “Untitled” Drawing on paper
New Man in the 'Hood
by Carole Horan Ayoungmanstridingdownthestreetwithpurpose, Arms swinging, eyes and ears taking it all in. Recently trading gown for town (diploma in hand), He's here to help make a difference.
Stacy Griffin “Untitled” Fused Glass
Patrick Suarez Grade 5 “The City” Marker and Oil Pastel Seymour Dual-Language Academy People are walking in the city on the sidewalk. One man is walking with his dog. They like how the city looks with it’s tall buildings and skyscrapers. La gente está caminando en la ciudad. Un hombre está caminando con su perro. A ellos las gustan como es la ciudad con los edificios muy altos y los rasacacielos
Pattie Fiegl “Take Flight” Drawing with Poem on Paper
by Jay Furgal In this realm of doves and bulldozers we watch and wait as if there were messages in the titles as fine as we were up the hill spine speaks of rainbow nights the river and the old mill, forgotten over and maybe seen across it said... i read... nudge on my side my rainbow reflection almost a hero mistaken for a fearless force concentrated calm thick and irregular in small circles around buds of paralyzing permission crumbled centro passports insert into slot and enjoy the ride into the sophia sky
Savier Williams, Grade 4 “Untitled” Blodgett School
Jacqueline Padilla, Grade 7 Blodgett School “Untitled” Mixed Media
By Jay Furgal October called this morning andimpartedmetotheimportanceof freedom, second chances, and mosaic table tops.
To see the full-color online version of Crossthreads, please visit: saltdistrict.com/crossthreads
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