Applied Design | A Two Part Presence - Alexander Michael

Please visit us at the 7444 Gallery in Saranac Lake, NY and Alexander Michael of Sydney, Australia (aka SILOBOY) for:

Applied Design | A Two Part Presence

PART 1 - at the 7444 Gallery
Artist at work studio tour: September 23rd thru 25th
Daily from 10a thru 4p

PART 2 - at the Lewis Missle Silo
Opening reception at the Missle Silo in Lewis, NY
Saturday, October 1st from 3p 'til late
Listen to NCPR interview here

finding self in material
works by Alexander Michael

Join Alex and the 7444 Gallery for a week of integrated exposure to the work and style of Alexander Michael. Alex will be in residence at the 7444 Gallery for the weekend of the Artist at Work Studio Tour, continuing his work in composite material design and sculpture. These sculptures and others will then travel to Lewis NY, on the grounds of his renovated Atlas Missle Silo for display and installation. Tours of the silo will also be available.

A statement from the artist:

“Truculent, irritable and aloof”, were the words from my Grade Three councillor. Well I certainly proved her right, and that set the tone for life thereafter. “Unwilling to be part of the group”, she continued, “and has a propensity for destruction.” Yes, not a truer word spoken and, I knew it at the time, but the problem was, I couldn’t see why it was a problem. It all came to a head when I was exiled to the headmaster’s “special room” after painting Lava-Lamp blobs all over the school’s dreary cement walls.

Prophetic or not, it turned out that I did like to work alone, whether sculpting or designing buildings, and as for a “propensity for destruction,” I preferred to call it Deconstruction. What was also clear from very early on; I was hopeless with my hands, which is why I became a designer, not a maker. However, after thirty years in the practice, I still yearned for a more personal expression of creativity without everyone insisting on what I can and can’t do. I wanted to be responsible for something I alone could create! But therein lies another problem: being one hundred percent responsible for anything also carries a burden, one that I hadn’t anticipated. I quickly discovered there was no one left to blame, not a client, or a builder, or even a nosy neighbour; it just might be all my fault.

Still hopeless with my hands, I eventually found the materials and techniques that were forgiving enough to tolerate my ineptitude and yet expressive enough to represent whatever vision might erupt from my truculent, irritable and aloof neocortex.

This work is the result of all that freedom, and the fear. There is also a self-evident and deeply religious aspect to this work, and I am nervous to talk about it, mostly because I’m afraid some nutcase might clock me on the head. My phobias for both religion and the religious are not extreme, at least not in a pathologically Nietzchean way, but they do exert influence on my views and my relationship with the world around me. I’ve tried to find an “ism” for it, but without any luck, so I left it to my troublesome hands and the right side of the brain to sort it out.

“The Sydney-based Interior
Designer might be an inveterate giggler,
but he’s a smart cookie, has a side-line in
science-fiction writing and a talent for
sculpture.” (Vogue, 2005)

Directions to the Missle Silo:
(Please check your travelpath prior to departure in case of road closures)

87 Hale Hill Lane, Lewis, N.Y.

From Plattsburgh:
Take the ramp onto I-87 S 20 miles
Take the exit toward US-9 S
Take the 1st right onto US-9 S 8 Miles
Turn right onto Hale Hill Rd
Up the Hill about a half mile on the Left ... Look for Signs.
Park alongside access road if parking is full.

From Albany:
Take the ramp onto I-87 N 120 miles
Take the exit Stowersville
Turn Left on Stowersville 2 Miles
Turn right onto US-9 N 4 Miles
Turn left onto Hale Hill Rd
Up the Hill about a half mile on the Left ... Look for Signs.
Park alongside access road if parking is full.

From Saranac Lake:
Take NYS 86 East to Lake Placid
Take NYS 73 East to Keene/Keene Valley
Take NYS 9N to Elizabthtown
Take NYS 9 North to Hill Hale Road (9.4 miles)
Turn left onto Hale Hill Rd
Up the Hill about a half mile on the Left ... Look for Signs.
Park alongside road/access road if parking is full.


HOBOFEST 2011 is the 3rd annual, all-day free music event with the themes of railroads, the hobo-lifestyle, and economic depressions. We present the concept in celebration of the volunteer, appreciating the unappreciated, recognizing the overlooked.

Sunday, September 4th, HoboFest starts with the arrival of the first train in Saranac Lake at 11:45am. Organized by Seward's Folly Productions + Api design and hosted by 7444 Gallery at 28 Depot Street, HoboFest will continue well into the evening. Chef Andrew Chase of the Culinary Institute of America will be serving a reasonable price plate for both Lunch and Dinner, see menu. Please also bring lawn chairs or blankets for lounging while listening to a line up of music.

This year we will introduce the Carhartt Fashion Show. Attendees are encouraged to assemble their best ensemble of new and vintage wear that expresses the style and look of the Carhartt lifestyle. The show will be judged and prizes awarded.

The mix of imported and local acts Bring your instruments and a Hobo song and jamb in the crowd in between sets.

"The idea of HoboFest was born when I heard local Saranac Lake’er Danny Ryan read his story about attending the National Hobo Convention in Iowa," says organizer Peter Seward. Danny will present his latest work at Hobofest. While not a Hobo himself, Danny does not own a car and journeys out of the region hitchhiking with his "not a weirdo" sign.

HoboFest embraces the railroad as a dormant resource in our remote mountain location. While the Scenic Railroad services mostly out-of-towners visiting Lake Placid, Hobofest hopes to attract the local population of Saranac Lake to the train and the area around Depot Street. We also hope to establish an event that is truly a grassroots effort, with community cooperation, and not much overhead. Admission is free.



11:45 am – Fanfare

NOON -- Steve Langdon

(train 11:45 – 12:30)

12:30 pm -- DUSTBUNNIES

1:00 pm -- Brian Dewan

1:15 pm -- Kurt Stager & Kary Johnson

Introducing MC Bob Seidenstein

1:45 pm -- BIG SLYDE


(train 2:45-3:30)

3:45 pm -- CRACKIN FOXY


4:45 pm -- BARN CATS




(train 5:30 - 6:15)

Introducing MC Pat MacAvoy

6:30 pm -- Meadow

6:45 pm -- BLIND OWL BAND

7:30 pm -- Rafe Spada & Jeff

7:45 pm -- FRANKENPINE

8:45 pm -- Shaun Ondak & Matthew Chase

9:00 pm -- MONSTERBUCK

Food by Andrew Chase:

Lunch (12:00-3:00)

New York cheddar-beer soup

Pulled pork sandwiches

Grilled zucchini eggplant sandwiches with pesto and mozz

Warm bacon potato salad

Pasta salad

Double choc cookies, ginger cookies

Dinner (5:00-8:00)

Chili with bread

Bratwurst with sauerkraut

Grilled Seasonal vegetable kebab with hummus

Pasta salad

Double choc cookies/ginger cookies

Hot chocolate

** Waters, Coffee, and General Provisions will be available.

In praise of HoboFest:

"Hobo Fest was as down home as Saranac Lake. The venue was idylic and the music and performers were as outstanding as our little village. Which is to say the whole thing kicked ass!" –Jason Brill

John Cohen and I were pleased to be among the fresh and lively group of performers at the first Hobofest in Saranac Lake in 2009. The opportunity to offer the music of the New Lost City Ramblers and Hally Wood as well as several railroading tunes from the period when the railroads were being constructed in North America was most welcome and the audience responded enthusiastically to the authentic sounds. Songs such as "Ruby" by Cousin Emmy, "Frankie Silver" by The Stanley Brothers, the railroading classic "Jay Gould's Daughter" are rarely heard and Hobofest is the perfect venue to keep this valuable music alive. -Annabel Lee

"From a musician's point of view Hobofest 2009 was a grassroots community event at its best -- well organized and promoted, attracted crowds of people of all ages, involved collaboration and support from local businesses, fantastic music and performances, and lots of smiles all day long. All of this, and a raising of awareness for an Adirondack cultural icon -- the train running from community to community." –Christina Grant (Big Slyde)

Hobofest was a fantastical merry-go-round of talent and entertainment. It smoothly showcased amazing, eclectic talent, and brought the community together in a sea of positively. It was such a delight to be a part of. –Mike Portal (big slyde)

The Hobofest was the right thing at the right time in the right place. It was totally a community effort, and accessible to all. Although it was strictly informal & casual, the focus on the music and on the place was significant. In one simple move, joining the spirit of old railroad with the beautiful landscape, and with local artists. while the music retained a handmade, accessible quality. All these good features kept the audience in good spirits. It was memorable to have so many forces converge at this festival. music, local history, community, and joy. Looking forward and backward are gracefully joined at Hobofest. –John Cohen

Hobofest is fun for everyone, and don't cost nothin'. In this era of fancy electronic entertainments, Hobofest demonstrates that all you need to have fun is a block of wood with a nail sticking out of it, and you can pretend it's your own private sailboat. –Brian Dewan

Even the world’s biggest bindle stick couldn’t contain the amount of fun we had at Hobofest 2009. Great musicians, great crowd, great scene. And where else can a person flatten a penny on the tracks, square dance barefoot in the grass, sneak off for a dip in the lake and come back for a burger and a few hours of the rootsiest music in the time zone? If it were up to us in Frankenpine, we’d play Hobofest once a month. –Ned Rauch

Last summer’s Hobo Festival was made of happy choices, both in tone and scale.

While it had plenty of spirit, it wasn’t Loud with a big L. The tone was relaxed and inviting; the T-shirts well designed and fun (not “laugh-on-Command”) so you would want to wear them time and time again.

The venue was totally appropriate: visitors actually “heard the whistle blow” and had a train stop in their midst!

The music: many of the musicians were local talent (another plus!), and performed on a cleverly improvised, wooden deck attached to a neighboring building instead of on a metal-tubing stage monstrosity. Amplification was hardly needed; the grassy space being flanked by the railroad station and other buildings.

The experience was one of a good, old-fashioned fair, on the scale of the small Adirondack town we all share, and reminded me of the very early Bennington (VT.) craft fairs of the early 1960s.

Hopefully this “Hobo Train” will pass our way again! -Will Tissot

Adirondack Style | Book Release and Photography Show by F Stop Fitzgerald and Richard McCaffery

13th August 2011 thru the 6th October 2011
('Meet the Artists' opening reception Saturday, August 13th from 5p)

Great Camps and Rustic Lodges

works by f-Stop Fitzgerald and Richard McCaffrey

In association with Adirondack Architectural Heritage

Introduction by Dr. Howard Kirschenbaum
Foreword by Laura S. Rice, The Adirondack Museum

Text by Lynn Woods and Jane Mackintosh

ADIRONDACK STYLE is the definitive book on the architecture, design, and natural beauty of the Adirondack Great and Rustic Camps. The structures of these camps made brilliant use of the rustic materials readily available in the area—rough-hewn log exteriors contrast with the lavish and elegant interiors, featuring intricate stonework and hand-carved furniture. Natural elements such as tree roots, twigs, and bark often played an integral part in the décor, and the simple yet elegant Adirondack chair has become an international symbol of leisure. Many camps had boathouses, teahouses, game rooms, and even bowling alleys, and several were designed by top architects of the era and incorporated their international influences: Pine Knot resembled a Swiss chalet; the architectural flourishes of Santanoni were Japanese-inspired; and The Hedges had Dutch doors.

Approximately forty of these extravagant camps survive, including ten that are National Historic Landmarks. ADIRONDACK STYLE features thirty-seven of these camps, including Pine Knot, Uncas, and Sagamore, all of which were built for William West Durant, a pioneer of the Great Camp style; Wonundra, which was built for William Avery Rockefeller and his family; and White Pine, which President Calvin Coolidge once used as his Summer White House. These grand structures have maintained the greatness of their past and enhance the natural beauty of the region. With breathtaking photography of the Great Camps and their surroundings, ADIRONDACK STYLE is a celebration of these regional treasures.


f-Stop Fitzgerald is a noted photographer whose work has appeared in more than 100 periodicals, including Rolling Stone, GQ, Publishers Weekly, and The Village Voice. His collaboration with Stephen King, Nightmares in the Sky, was a national best seller.

Richard McCaffrey is currently staff photographer for The Providence Phoenix. He is represented by Getty Images and his work appears in numerous national and international books and publications.

Hardcover / 224 pages / 9 1/2” x 9 1/2” / 200 color photographs
PRICE: $50.00 U.S. / $52.50 CAN / £32.50 UK
ISBN: 978-0-7893-2266-1
PUBLICATION DATE: September 2011
Universe Publishing, an imprint of Rizzoli New York


7th July 2011 thru the 6th August 2011
(meet the artist opening reception Thursday, July 7th from 5p)

My reason for painting has never been about the subject matter. It was important to capture a certain quality, but the subject itself never defined the end result. Painting has always been about creating form and atmosphere on a flat surface. It starts on the palette before my brush even touches the canvas. I’m obsessed with mixing the paint to create subtle shifts of hue, tone and value. It’s then the placement on the canvas, creating planes and edges in which define the form. For years I forgot this.

After graduating from Rhode Island College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, I searched for subject matter that would define me as a serious painter and make an impact on the world. This was a journey in which I was slowly becoming overwhelmed and uninspired. It wasn’t until years later when my husband requested a painting of a spark plug that inspired me to paint again. Yes, this simple inanimate object literally sparked my passion. I remembered why I liked to create and took the painting process seriously, realizing the subject matter was secondary. I then started the series of very serious paintings of not so serious subject matter.

I decided to work small scale and paint the items around me. My collection of toys proved to be great models, they sat still and worked for free. More importantly, they had personality that could be easily overlooked. I wanted to capture this presence in the style of an informal portrait instead of traditional still life.

Both inanimate objects and humans make impacts on us everyday. It’s whether these impressions stay with us that makes them significant. You, as a viewer, can decide to discard them as inconsequential or observe something that you may have overlooked at first glance.

-Sandra MacDonald

Sandra and her husband Paul reside in Pacifica, CA with their dog named Buster and a cat named Noodle.

Visit her web site: www.sandymacpainting.com

or Log on to our website for more images and information.

Gallery Summer Hours
Tuesday thru Saturday 10a-3p
or by appointment.


9th June 2011 thru the 4th July 2011
(meet the artist opening reception Thursday, June 9th from 5p)

'I have long been inspired by the drawn mark…line weight, swiftness and deliberate execution.'

I am captivated by the energized line naturally found in the strength and determination of the vine tendril as seen melding in a forested cluster or clinging to urban brick. I experience the individual tendrils as if evoking a written language within nature, visually reminiscent of the vertical, dripping gestures of Fujiwara Sukamasa, the tenth century Japanese calligrapher.

In my work I use the vine tendril as my drawing tool, as my mark. The twisting, gripping forms transform into a 3-dimensional line and interplay with surface shadow. Simultaneously my intent is to present a deception of perception, as when surfaces reveal to be other than they appear. In my work I alter the appearance of the vine tendril’s thin bark with burnishing techniques such as steel wool and coatings of clear shellac, creating a mark that appears to be fabricated; mechanically twisted, metalized, and disassociated from its natural intent. The assemblages and surface papers evoke a perceived interpretation while at the same time provoking a realization of the naturalness of the vine tendril. I want to present the viewer with a conscience moment of that realization.

My pencil and graphite drawings explore individual tendrils as statements of tension, power and fluidity.

Russell's studio is located in Glens Falls, NY at the historic Shirt Factory, a collective of artists studios, shoppes and galleries.

KYLE FORD | second nature

on display:
14th May 2011 thru the 4th June 2011
(meet the artist opening reception Saturday, May 14th from 8p - close)

Archival Pigment Print
Edition of 15

“The Ultra Majestic Mountain” is the title of the most recent iteration of the Paramount Pictures logo. Birthed from the mind of an illustrator, the infamous Paramount Mountain does not actually exist in real life. However, if asked to describe a mountain visually, most might appropriate the aesthetics of this logo as a basis for their depiction.

The Paramount Pictures logo has embedded itself in the American visual lexicon. So much so, that its non-existence often escapes us. Consequently, it has transformed our expectations of what a real mountain can/or should be.

The Ultra Majestic Mountain, Wyomissing, PA
is a direct allusion to the allegory of Plato’s Cave. Socratic thought suggests that if a man is only exposed to projections of reality (shadows), then when exposed to actual reality he would believe he was gazing upon an untruth. For him, the shadows have become his reality.


I am fascinated with the way we represent the natural world by preparing it for display and visual consumption. Decided manipulations like selective preservation and engineered wilderness, act as a lens to explore ideas of mediated experience, perpetuated aesthetics, and transformative hyper-reality. This series is a catalogue of the varied ways we go about [re] contextualizing the “natural world,” and thus, redefining the way we perceive it.


Kyle Ford