There’s no better way to discover amazing interior designers than in The New York Times Home Section. When we stumbled upon UGallery art in a DUMBO residence designed by Tilton Fenwick in the paper, we fell instantly in love. As a thank you to Tilton Fenwick for using Autumn Rose in their project, we invited the Curators of Chic to curate their very own UGallery art collection. Below are three of my favorites from the collection. You can view the rest of their collection here.
Molten by Alaina Sullivan
If you like what Anne Maxwell Foster and Suysel dePedro Cunningham of Tilton Fenwick selected, you are not alone. The art in this collection is creating quite the buzz in the twittersphere. Don’t let another design-savvy collector snatch the art before you!
About the Curator
Keren Veisblatt is a savvy art lover living in New York. Her blog, The Walkup, is a smorgasbord of all things art and design. She caught our eye with her “This Art = This Room” series, which is a way for Keren to pair a piece of art with a beautiful interior. She pairs jewelry and purses with interiors as well. Placing art and other objects in the context of an interior is a great exercise in creativity. Keren Veisblatt is the perfect person to kick-off our Guest Curator series because she levels the playing field of artist and designer. At UGallery, we believe that interior designers who fill their rooms with art are equally as important as the artists who make it.
Drink of choice? Something with Gin - I particularly love a Gordon’s Breakfast, Red Snapper, and other takes on Bloody Marys.
Stolen artwork of choice? I am graciously willing to accept anything from the catalogue raisonné of Kees van Dongen or Balthus.
Star Wars character of choice? I went through a phase in my life (and let me openly admit that this phase might still be happening) where Star Wars and its surrounding universes were an obsession. I have always been in love with Jawas, those hooded rodent like creatures with beady eyes who deal in the robotics trade on Tatooine. You probably know them best for crying “wootini”! Here’s a favorite quote from a wise Jawa chieftain of the Old Republic who lived during the Jedi Civil War: “Sand stays. All else changes.”―Iziz
Whether it’s opening for Norah Jones or playing on stage with the great tenor saxophone legend, Houston Person, Joe Alterman is making good vibrations in NYC. Already thinking about his next album in the Fall, Joe sat down with Ugallery’s founder Stephen to drop his knowledge on the New York City Jazz scene and share where his inspiration comes from.
What brought you to NYC?
I came to NYC to go to NYU. Well, going to NYU was really my excuse for coming to NYC. I always wanted to come to New York, and I always wanted to study music in New York. I didn’t want to go to a music conservatory because I wanted to be able to study other things, too. With it’s Greenwich Village location, it’s great music school, and a big jewish community. NYU seemed like a perfect fit. Luckily, I got in.
When did you start playing music? The piano?
I started playing piano when I was 5 years old. The first few years I was really into it, but by the time I was ten or eleven I wanted to quit and play the guitar. My Dad made a deal with me; he said that I could get guitar lessons as long as I kept up my piano lessons. He tried buying me a few jazz CDs to inspire me, the first few were unsuccessful, but after he showed me an Oscar Peterson album and a Jimmy Smith album, everything clicked. As soon as I heard that stuff, I knew that I wanted to play the piano, to really play the piano. I began learning boogie-woogie music. At the time, I was taking piano at a very strict European Classical Music piano school, but somehow managed to talk my teacher into letting me play one of my boogie-woogie pieces at the recital. The piece got me a standing ovation; however, after the recital the head of the school approached my Mom and told her that I wasn’t welcome back the following year. Even I was led to Dr. Gary Motley, the director of jazz studies at Emory University, and he set me on the right path. And the rest, as they say, is…well it’s definitely not history or anything, but it’s how things happened with me.
Do you write your own songs? Where does your inspiration come from?
I do write my own songs. I’m very jealous of those who can sit down and say to themselves, “Today I’m going to write a song” and do it really well. I can sit down at the piano with that goal in mind and succeed in writing a song, but it usually won’t be memorable, meaningful, or really worth playing again or listening to unless I write when I’m inspired. Inspiration comes from a lot of different places.
One of my favorite songs to perform of mine, “The First Night Home,” actually came at the end of a real painful breakup. I remember after a long time walking around one night and realizing that that was the first time in a while that I felt at peace; basically I was over the breakup. I remember coming home from that walk and sitting down at the piano and just playing that song, basically note for note. It just came out. The title “The First Night Home,” refers to the first night feeling at home in my mind, after a long break from that peace.
A lot of the songs I write come from inspired experiences I have. This is why I have trouble sitting alone in a practice room all day. I can practice four or five hours a day but I need to get out as none of the compositions come from experiences in the practice room; all of my songs come from experiences I have interacting with other people. I’m sure that if I spent twelve hours a day in a practice room, like a lot of people do, I wouldn’t have any songs of my own.
Joe selected a UGallery photograph to enjoy while listening to some jazz:
“Historic” by Duane Romanell reminds me of Ahmad Jamal’s “I Wish I Knew”. I like music that you can “live to.” What I mean by this is that there is often times, when I’m at a show, where I’m enjoying the music but I know that I wouldn’t enjoy listening to it while walking down the street, cleaning, cooking, or driving. The music I like best is the music that enhances all of those things and makes me groove while cooking, cleaning, driving, etc. Ahmad Jamal’s version of “I Wish I Knew” is one of my favorites to listen to on a windows-down car ride. Anything by Ahmad Jamal is easy for me to “live to.”
NYC has so many spots to hear music, what are the top 5 jazz venues a guy like myself should check out?
Village Vanguard, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Coca at Jazz At Lincoln Center, Jazz Standard, Blue Note, Iridium
What is your most memorable show in NYC?
I’ve had a lot of memorable shows in NYC. I’ve played at the Blue Note and the Iridium a few times. I was also once in a group that opened for Norah Jones. It’s thrilling and nerve-wracking looking out into the audience and seeing someone like Norah Jones, or sitting at the Blue Note, looking out at a full house and looking at a specific table, recalling a time many years ago with my dad while we were on a trip to NYC from Atlanta; I never would have thought back then that one day I’d be on that stage and playing that same piano. It gives me the chills.
It’s hard to narrow it down to one show, but recently I played at the Iridium with two jazz icons, heroes of mine, and some of my favorite musicians of all time. Houston Person, the tenor saxophone legend, and James Cammack, one of my favorite bassists and the long-time bassist for my favorite pianist, Ahmad Jamal. It was really a thrill playing with them. The drummer was a buddy of mine from Atlanta, Justin Chesarek, and being on stage with all three of them was really like a dream come true. It was the closest I’ve come to creating the music that I’ve always hoped to play and heard in my head.
Who is your mentor in music?
I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve had a few. My first mentor was Dr. Gary Motley, Emory University’s Director of Jazz Studies. He’s a very exciting pianist and really laid down the groundwork for me and my piano playing. He turned me on to all the jazz that I love most today, and taught me what it means to be a real piano player, to use both hands, and he taught me the importance of serving the music and complementing he song I’m playing; not to use the song as a vehicle to show off or serve myself.
At NYU, my mentor was pianist Don Friedman. Don is a master of harmony and I learned a whole lot from him. There’s something about many of the older jazz musicians - that I originally picked up on from being around Don -, which is that being around them you learn so much more than music. I’ve realized that these are people who have really figured out what life is all about, people who have lived out their dreams and have led happy lives. Musicians and non-musicians alike are drawn to these figures because they radiate knowledge. I’ve learned a lot from being around people like Don, someone who seems so fulfilled, because, after all and more than anything, that’s what I long for one day.
What’s in store for Joe Alterman the next 12 months?
Definitely a new album. I’ll probably be recording that in September. But besides that, I will just keep plugging away…Playing and performing as much possible and continue learning and staying inspired each day.
To learn more about Joe and listen to his tunes, check him out at: http://www.joealtermanmusic.com
Ali Riley in action for the FC Golf Pride of the Women’s Professional Soccer League (via WPS.com)
Soccer keeps Ali Riley pretty busy. During college, she captained the Stanford Cardinal to repeat Final Fours while also flying back-and-forth to New Zealand’s to train with their national team. Before graduating, she had already competed in the Olympics (Beijing 2008) and the Women’s World Cup. She now plays professionally for the Bay Area’s professional soccer team, FC Gold Pride.
Despite her busy schedule, Ali finds time for creativity. She keeps color-blotched canvases in her room, pursues photography as a hobby and makes weekly videos for FC Gold Pride. This week, Ali was kind enough to take the time to guest curate a collection for Ugallery - no easy task! Enjoy Ali’s picks and be sure to cheer her and FC Gold Pride on as they vie for the WPS title.
Eight Sugarcubes: The contrast between the red and blue is what first caught my eye, but when I looked more closely and saw eight crazy cats glaring at me I knew this would be one of my favorites. This group looks like a cat mafia, guarding their favorite alley. I can see why cats get a reputation for being mean, but I can’t help but thinking they are silly and cute.
Mini Splash: I love this photograph. If I had a house with a sunny breakfast nook, I would definitely hang this there. It is the calm before the storm, that action that you wish you could rewind. It is beautiful chaos, at least until the “mini splash” becomes a not-so-mini mess.
Small World After All: The way the globe almost takes up the entire canvas really draws me into this chilly winter wonderland, and I find myself wishing we had snow in Los Angeles! There is no border between the barcode on the base of the globe and the snow beneath the intricate bench, so the line between reality and fantasy is blurred. This reminds me of the snow globes I had growing up and wishing I could somehow fit inside and explore the tiny world.
Look Up!: I really like how the realistic branches and abstract blocks of light work together. To me it captures the moment when you open your eyes after taking an afternoon nap under a leafy tree. The sun streams in through the leaves, creating flashes of light and color.
Golden Grape Bridge: I love San Francisco, and this rendition of the city is simple but fascinating. The wine bottle bridge and perfect tiny identical sailboats make this like an image from a dream. There are even miniscule vehicles racing across the bridge. And not a cloud in the sky…definitely something from a dream!