July's First Friday celebration at Gallery 54 in Skaneateles promises to be magical. Titled Beading Beyond Jewelry beading artist Judi Witkin will be demonstrating one of the world's oldest of arts as she creates a “kaleidocycle” between 5 and 8 pm on July 6. While Judi creates her intricate, colorful and magnificently detailed beaded wonder visitors will be able to enjoy several additional examples of her award-winning creations.
|A Judi Witkin Kakeidocycle|
Known throughout Central New York for her beaded jewelry, her demonstration is designed to go well beyond jewelry. Judi tried her hand at several artistic endeavors while serving the Syracuse City School District as a special education and pre-kindergarten teacher. It wasn't until she retired in 2010 that her passion for beading truly blossomed.
|A beaded ornament|
|Showing all the angles|
“I've found beading to be very seductive,” she says of the ancient art. “It's an art that, while practiced for centuries all over the world, is always new.” She notes that while it's not difficult, it is challenging with an element of math that she enjoys as well. “It is the only medium that I feel expresses my creative energy and ideas,” she says. Besides an uncountable variety of stitches to be employed, Judi hastens to note that “new kinds of beads are being invented all the time.”
She opened her first studio in Syracuse's Delavan Center shortly after retiring from teaching and became one of the owners of Gallery 54 in Skaneateles, NY in 2014, where a wide selection of her jewelry as well as other decorative beaded pieces are regularly available for viewing as well as purchase.
|Employing every twist and turn|
The Syracuse based artist lists such renowned beaders as Marcia DeCoster, Laura McCabe, Sherry Serafini and Mikki Ferrugiaro as both her inspiration and her mentors.
An active member of the Bead Society of Central New York her work recently captured first prize at the 2018 International Bead Expo.
In addition to this demonstration visitors will be able to enter a raffle to win a free pet portrait to be painted by another Gallery 54 artist, Kathleen Schneider. One dollar tickets will gain entry to the raffle and be donated to Spay and Neuter Syracuse.
Judi's demonstration will be from 5-8 pm Friday, July 6 and the evening will also feature music by Jane Zell along with light refreshments.
Gallery 54 is an upscale, artist owned and operated gallery and gift store. It was recently recognized by the Post Standard as one of the thirteen best gift shops in Upstate New York.
The gallery is open Sunday-Thursday from 10 am to 5 pm and Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. It also is open 24/7/365