Lilies Reflections
Allyson Markell and Jim Ridlon   
collage 12" x 36"   

This month we celebrate Spring with wonderful images from some of our CazArts Members. These first two are from a great ongoing collaboration between Allyson Markell and Jim Ridlon.

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Allyson Markell and Jim Ridlon       
collage painting  36" x 36"       
Our Community

An ode to the Nelson Odeon
Laughter and stories, tacos and wine.  It was a late night , telling tales and saying goodbye to ten years of joyous, hard work.  The Nelson Odeon has closed.

Music legends like Jonathan Edwards and Aztec Two-Steps have graced this small hall,  singers from South Africa and Nepal have performed and stayed under this roof, both up and coming, and magnificent well-established local musicians have entertained.


Jeff  and Linda Schoenfield have accomplished something that seemed (and as of  this writing still seems ) improbable.  In an old dilapidated grange hall, on a battered country road, ten years ago they opened a venue to bring something new to the crossroads of Nelson: live music worth listening to.

There was no alcohol served (not because they were opposed, that’s just not where they wanted their energies to go).  They did not become a nonprofit, with a Board and writing grants (that’s just not where they wanted their energies to go).  They functioned with a volunteer staff more in that spirit than many an incorporated non-profit.
They had planned, studied, worked hard, and accomplished the details that mattered to them.
The Odeon became a place of community.  And a place for wayfaring and wayward traveling musicians to land between Chicago and Boston, Canada and New York City.  These artists, who are on the road, who take the pulse of America and share it back in verse and human sized details, found a home away from home. 


Over the years, the Nelson Odeon produced more than 485  shows,  and Linda  - who baked two cakes for each show has served the community 7,760 slices of home baked sweets.
The people who came to the concerts were greeted warmly at the door and offered a  hard candy by Linda on the way out.  People came from all over, a great cross section of humanity.

The pandemic, a year being closed, Linda breaking her arm, navigating who knows what regulations are to come,  all contributed to the decision. 
On  Monday when I got the message that they had decided to close, and sell the building, I emailed them.  All three of us were fully vaccinated, and for the  first time in a year, sitting down and visiting with others not in my immediate bubble, it seemed like quite an evening.

And so I find myself, late Thursday night, sitting in their kitchen, at the table where so many musicians had broken bread with them, listening to story after story, of musicians – of great wisdom and talent that they had participated with, of the craziness and the mischief of certain musicians, of a life that Jeff and Linda had built and loved and now are in the process of slowly saying goodbye to.
Many thanks and appreciation, for music worth listing to, and a community worth participating in.
I will miss the Nelson Odeon.

Geoffrey Navias is a CazArts Board Member.  Over the years he coordinated the music concert series at the Genesee Tea House in Rochester and Taste Of The Arts lunch time concert series in Syracuse.

Patty Mabie        

Oil on panel 16" x 20"       
Denise Carvalho    
Oil on canvas 62" x 64"   

Just Over the Horizon
Laura Reeder has lived in Cazenovia for only six months and she’s already made her mark.
Reeder creates what she describes as “Walking Art;” site-specific ground installations that evolve from the sole of her snowshoe, or the tread of her boot. She etches swirling, curling spirals of form into her canvases of snow, leaves, or sand. Each footfall leaves a mark that leads to another that results in a two to four mile unspooling of labyrinthine form. They are works that exist on Mother Nature’s timeline, with a gust of wind or surge of tide wiping her canvas clean.
She calls these earthly creations “Cultivators” and conceived of them about five years ago on the wide, hard, sandy beaches of Swampscott, Massachusetts, where she resided with her husband, Bill Bullen. Reeder was on the faculty of the Massachusetts College of Art. She said the “Cultivators” evolved from a simple walk on the beach near their home.

“As I was walking on the beach, I started to create these pathways that broke up a straight line that then led to more of a designed space,” Reeder explains. “I grabbed a stick. Then I started to explore tools to scratch in the sand.
The “Cultivators” became catalysts for conversation. Beach strollers from all over the world would stop her mid step and ask about her process and purpose. She says these interactions added an important dimension to the work.
“Conversations would emerge with strangers,” she says. “Everyone wanted to talk to me about what I was making. I was cultivating conversations with other people. I was cultivating conversations with nature and in my own head.”
While Reeder calls herself a “Walking Artist,” it’s also fair to categorize the works as “Land Art,” or “Earth Works.” Like other Land/Earth artists, such as Robert Smithson, Andy Goldsworthy, or even Christo, these works intervene in the natural world, which makes Reeder mindful of the impact her works have on the environment. Nothing she does is permanent and she adds nothing to the natural world other than the marks she makes with the sole of her boot and that’s part of their beauty. Reeder’s “Cultivators” exist for only as long as conditions allow.
Since her move to Cazenovia last November, Reeder has embraced the new canvases Central New York has to offer her. First, it was the canvas of leaves covering the grass in her yard, then it was snow at Gypsy Bay, Lakeside Park, the front grounds of Lorenzo, and a neighbor’s back yard.

“When we moved here, I had all of these leaves in my yard, so I started to rake them,” she recalls. “I drew “Cultivators” in my yard with a rake. It made me wonder am I drawing a line of leaves, or am I clearing leaves?”
By December, Reeder was adjusting to snowy conditions.

“Snow was a new discovery for me,” she attests.
Her explorations in snow began when she walked a pattern in a light snow at Gypsy Bay Park. Bright green grass bled through a thin dusting of snow as she slowly laid down her pattern. Again, begging the question is she drawing a line through snow, or clearing the snow? It becomes a play between negative and positive space. Is the pattern green or white?
As snow accumulations grew, so did Reeder’s ambitions and challenges. Initially, she tackled the deeper snowfalls in snow boats, but they couldn’t withstand the constant friction she imposed on them as she trudged through piles of snow.
“I was shushing, not walking and I was wearing the boots out,” she explains. “Then I bought a pair of snowshoes and walking the line became much stronger and smoother.”
The snowshoes also enabled her to cut a pattern near the surface of say ten inches of accumulated snow, rather than sinking down into it. This made it easier for Reeder to walk the pattern, and for passersby to see the design of the “Cultivators,” and it also made it easier for visitors to walk in the pattern, although snowshoes are still highly recommended.
When Reeder talks about her process in the snow, it’s clear the elements are as much a factor in her creation as the snow itself.
“I really crave getting out in the worst conditions,” she says. “If it’s windy, there are soft edges. If it’s overcast, it affects the light. Sometimes I can’t see my steps. Gait matters, shushing matters, the quality of the snow matters.”

Now that winter is on the wane and we’re beginning to see signs of spring, Reeder is considering what new options she might have for continuing her practice into the fairer seasons. 

“I would love to have a field to work in,” she states. “I’d walk it, shuffle along in boots, or bring my tools to scratch into it.”

Reeder hopes that with each of her “Cultivators” those who come upon them will take the walk, maybe strike up a conversation with her if she’s there, and appreciate her intentions.

“You just follow the line. Enjoy the walk without making a decision,” she explains. “Hopefully, you’ll notice the landscape a little bit. If it makes you pause and notice the landscape differently, that’s good.”

Art and Photos by Laura Reeder. 
Visit her website at to view a portfolio of her works.
Katherine Rushworth, of Cazenovia, is a free lance writer,  former director of the Michael C. Rockefeller Arts Center (State University College at Fredonia) and of the Central New York Institute for the Arts in Education. 

Denise Carvalho
Oil on canvas 62" x 64"

The Best of Cazenovia
The Cazenovia Preservation Foundation is pleased to announce the first annual community photography contest, “Capturing the Best of Cazenovia”. Creative photographers of all ages are encouraged to submit up to five of their best photose local (taken within the Cazenovia Central School District and vicinity).
Cash prizes will be awarded in each of the following categories:
  • Professional,
  • Adult amateur,
  • High school and college students, and
  • Youth (Grade 8 or below at time of entry).
                                                                                                                       " South Trail"
                                                                                                     Photo by Anne Saltman

The winning photographs will be featured on the CPF website and on social media. Photographs showcasing the best of Cazenovia in all seasons will be accepted until the contest deadline of October 15.

Click Link for Information

"The Fountain"          
Patty Mabie          
Oil on panel 20" x 16"  
Resources for the Arts
Google Arts & Culture
An amazingly good online platform of high-resolution images and videos of artworks and cultural artifacts from partner cultural organizations throughout the world.

The Louvre collection on line

What Shapes Your Dreams
Find out more about this Youth Art Challenge
May 2021
CazArts Newsletter:
Editor: Geoffrey Navias
Copy editor: Kristi Andersen
Production consultant: Shawn McGuire
Subscriptions:  Cathy Savage
Articles this month: Katherine Rushworth ~ Geoffrey Navias

CazArts Board:
Barb Bartlett, Samara Hannah, Lauren Lines, Shawn McGuire,
Geoffrey Navias, Buzz Padgett,  Colleen Prossner, Cathy Savage, Kim Waale
All inquiries, feedback, ideas for future articles: 
Creative Alliance

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