Was it serendipity or did Arts Upstairs inspire Mother Nature to give us our first white stuff on the day of the opening? The elegant art buying crowd was thicker than snowflakes in a blizzard, or possibly a double-vanilla albino mocchiato slushie. Windows were absolutely dripping with exhaled, condensed, animated conversations. There was a fabulous feast including pungent garlic goat cheese, hummus, guacomole and Lynn's finger lickin' chicken bar-b-q. Paloma, Sylvia and the rest of The Isadorables were whipping through the throng, leaving wowed whirlygigs in their wakes. I saw Michio Kaku and he said Arts Upstairs is now the center of gravity of Phoenicia. Even the art was top drawer, as you shall soon see. So don your carved bone Inuit snow blindness spectacles and brave the all-indoors for an icy ART SAFARI to the frosty north... well, north of Woodstock, anyway...



Cara Cruickshank created a crystalline "Winter Fairy House".

It would be the perfect stage design for a mid-winter night's dream.

She be chillin.



Alan Fliegel sent chills up my spine with this stark tale of crime and punishment, "Justice in the Electric Chair".

I think George W. Bush should try sitting on the chair just to see what it feels like.



Bronson Eden has a way with women. Each miraculous brushstroke looks like it was applied with love.

"Eve in the Garden" has such a happy smile. Let's go swimming!





Margarite DeSoleil carved a block of plaster to create "Cry No More".


Funny how the woman's tears keep their identity even after flowing into the stream.


The owl stopped crying long ago.


Gavin Owen said he would break my legs if I didn't include his starkly mysterious portrait of "Samuel Beckett". I asked why one eye is glowing brightly and the other is dark. He said it is supposed to represent the duality of existentialism. Dark, light, that sort of thing.

The ladder falling short of the window evokes a Sartre-esque "No Exit Strategy" reminiscent of George W. Bush's foreign policy.

Folks say Bush should pull out of Iraq. I say his dad should have pulled out of his mom.

Too late now.

(Bear in mind that the opinions expressed in this Art Safari do not necessarily represent those of Arts Upstairs.)





When I was a kid I saw a guy on the Atlantic City boardwalk demonstrating how easy it is to make the new miracle substance, foam rubber. Just mix up a couple of chemicals and bingo presto, out gushes this goopy goo. He wouldn't let me keep a sample because as he put it, it's way too flammable. (Kind of like the old Emerson)


Now it comes in an easy to use aerosol can. Life is good.

Charles Einhorn shares my childhood fascination with goopy goo in "Neat Stuff".





Tom Fraser gets me going with his stellar found art/mixed media peeping-tom painting titled "The Star".


I thought it might be painted on an album cover called David Bowie in Africa.

Turns out it's Mario Lanza.






Polly M. Law always delights with her dioramic puppet doll boxes. "Madame D'Hiver" (that's french for snow) seems to be wondering about something.


I wonder what it is.



 Margaret Owen is rushing the season with "Dragonfly". It will be spring soon and these magical buzzing critters will be back again.


Has anyone seen the dragonflies in "Pan's Labyrinth"?



Jesse Owen rounds up a triple play of Owens this month with the best use yet for a previously owned pizza box.

The pepperonis, mushrooms and anchovies just about pop out at you.

He calls it "MM". I call it mmm - yummy!



Laura Raymond is "Trapped in Perfection".


Everybody's gotta be someplace...


I like the frostyness of the layers.




Lynn Fliegel creates an opening in the sky that you could almost fly through.


She calls it "Full Circle".


I'm there!



Salvatore Scalisi's huge "Winter Scene" is so shiny, it looks like it has been painted under a thick layer of ice.


It's probably a thick layer of some kind of plastic resin. I hope Sal has good ventilation in his studio.


John Sowley is 87 years old and still painting as strong as ever. Maybe stronger.


"Dandy" makes a lot of sense for a whiteout show. Remids me of Miles Davis.

Gotta love those suspenders.



Jose Acosta represents what might be the Civil War in "Things Change".


I'll have to take another closer look, but it appears the grey and the blue are both bearing the standard US flag.





Judith Singer strikes a happy medium between Louise Nevelson and Joseph Cornell in "Nevelson in Flight".


So many kinds of flight... a floating feather, darting dove, butterfly, cherubic angel, star and moon.



Michelle Spark has captured light dancing across the snow in "Back Yard Winter #1".


The bony structure of trees and rocky layers of hillsides are never so clearly revealed as during the winter.

She got both.



Here is a simple tiny drawing by Anique Taylor called "Apple".


It looks really sexy to me.


Did you know that apple trees are wildly promiscuous and fertilize with such infinite randomness that no two apple seeds are genetically alike?


Kind of like people, I guess.




I suppose apples me think of Fred Woller's "It's a Pleasure", which demonstrates one needn't look outside one's self or be wildly promiscuous to find pleasure.


Take that, apple.






Have I defrosted your tootsies yet? Wipe them off on the mat and return to Arts Upstairs. Or stop along the way and pay a visit to PH3, the first of a series of first fridays at Arts Upstairs - evenings of performance, cookies and coffee... Coming this Groundhog day!

See you at Arts Upstairs!