Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Chocolate letters for all and to all a good night

Every year my Aunt gets our whole family chocolate letters for Christmas. Since the closing of the Dutch shop in Rochester, they have been harder and harder to find.

Chocolate letters are a Dutch tradition (my mom's maiden name is Van Hooydonk and my great grandparents came over from Holland) and are associated with Sinterklaas. Pictured is an an example of a contemporary chocolate letter from Droste as well as a depiction in a 17th century still-life painting.

Below is the definition from wikipedia, but you can read much more at the Saint Nicolas Center or if you know Dutch, at Apparently, I ought
to look to next year to stock up!

Happy holidays all!

Celebrants of the Sinterklaas celebration are traditionally given their initials (or occasionally the neutral letter S (for Sinterklaas) or P (for Zwarte Piet) made out of chocolate. Various sizes, types and flavours are available.

In order to use the same amount of chocolate for each letter the manufacturer varies the thickness or the depth of the grooves in the letter. This way one letter is not favoured over another, for example the W, or the M over the I or the J. An often used typeface is Egyptienne.

Flickr image above from here
Painting above is from here. Still life with Letter Pastries, Peter Binoit, ca. 1615, Museum Amstelkring on loan from the Groninger Museum Photo: C Myers (click for a close up)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

PRC Landscape show is bright spot

The intrepid Greg Cook of the The New England Journal of Aesthetic Reseach cited my PRC exhibition New England Survey in his year-end review in this week's Boston Phoenix, "Year in Art: Beyond the Gloom."

Under the heading "A sense of where you are," he writes:

New England Survey at the Photographic Resource Center offered ravishing photos of this region's landscape that reminded us why we return again and again to our outdoors to find our roots, to find solace, to find awe.

Thanks Greg! NES just closed at Harvard's Fruitlands Museum, but you can still visit it online here.

Be sure to also check out Greg's call for nominations for the first annual Boston Art Awards. Likely initiated in part to make up for the AICA award hiatus, Greg has valiantly taken up the torch.

Click here to read more about the Awards and nominate your favorite [insert below here]
"Also, some broad categories to consider: favorite local artist, local curator, local show, new media, photography, conceptually-driven installation/performance (including video thereof), favorite gallery show, favorite school show, favorite museum show, favorite historical show, favorite contemporary show, best survey/retrospective, favorite solo show, favorite group show, favorite public art (or best non-exhibition space project), favorite on-line project, favorite outdoors project, favorite art book/publication."

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Holiday cookies gone bad

It's a crazy snowy, blustery weekend in New England. In honor of my previous post, Amy Elkins's fantastic last couple of holiday card posts (here and here), and the ever-fun blog Cake Wrecks, I did a a little flickr searching for "bad holiday cookies" or "ugly christmas cookies."

Below are the results of my search, with links to the original photos. I decided
to cull only ones that the authors admitted were bad or ugly themselves. I think some of these, preserved of course, could be contenders for the Museum of Bad Art, now with a second outpost in the basement of the Somerville Theatre.

Happy snow day!

Thanks to Merfam, Steveningen, and Tammi Marie

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Santa Photo Op Gone Awry

I came across a fantastic article - "Santas can freak out screaming toddlers" - on today. The piece has an interview with the authors of Scared of Santa: Scenes of Terror in Toyland, a book which I now covet.

Inspired by a call for entries by the Chicago Tribune,
the perfect stocking stuffer sports spiffy chapter titles such as "Titans of Tears," "Santa has Feelings Too," and "Want a Smile, It'll Cost Ya."

Of course, this led me to surf the internet for more scary Santas and crying babies. I just know I have a pic of me tearing up on Santa's lap somewhere. Until I find it, I share with you the following skewed Santa photo galleries. Enjoy!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Help me raise $ for the PRC!

Greetings ~

I have set up this fundraising page in order to raise money for my favorite 32-year-old non-profit and the organization to which I have devoted the last 7 years, the Photographic Resource Center. I am sent this to artists and people I have worked with and admired, but of course such folks are also online too.

As many of you know, I am entirely committed to the PRC as well as the artists, many of them emerging, that I exhibit or view well beyond the time that I show or see them. The PRC is an amazing institution and humbled to be a part of its fabric and history. Hopefully we have made a difference in your life too!

(PS...We're having a little friendly competition at the PRC to see who gave raise the most on their page, so I'd love your help - it's fun too!)

Your tax-deductible donation will be used in support of the PRC's Annual Appeal, which helps to raise much needed funds for all of our award-winning exhibitions, education, and member programs. Obama's campaign had it right: small amounts from many committed people instead of large amounts from a very few. Any donation over $1 will help!

Donating through this page is fast and secure. Forgo the latte today and pick your favorite number and click "GIVE NOW" on my page:

Many thanks for your support -- and please forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too by clicking "share this page" or start one of your own!

Thank you for your time. Know that whether not you can give at this time, know that we still think of you and hope all are well.

Warmest regards, Leslie

PS - My emailing list had a little glitch. Thanks in advance for your patience if you get emails from more than one person or got more than one from myself!

Friday, December 5, 2008

In praise of Barbara Bosworth

I am a huge fan of Barbara Bosworth - her work and her person.

It all started when I saw the above image in my very first PRC auction exhibition, Christmas Eclipse in my Father's Hands, Sanibel. I remember exactly where it was installed in the old PRC. I was new - I didn't know her personally yet, but boy did I covet that image.

Time passed and last spring, I was delighted to work with her and feature her Meadow series in New England Survey at the PRC. That same show is on display now through December 21st at the Fruitlands Museum. Last month at the Fruitlands (appropriately in the Hudson River School painting gallery), Barbara gave a wonderful overview of her whole career. I was enthralled all over again.

Courtesy of
via Mary Virginia Swanson's blog, I came across this very cool slideshow of Barbara's work from her recent Smithsonian show.

Click here or above to to see it!