ARTIST: Aline Smithson

Saying goodbye to Pine Street Art Works

Next week Pine Street Art Works will be closing. After five years. I will be opening another small shop, with a much tighter focus, so I'm excited about that. But meanwhile here's a small photo review of most of the shows I've curated since 2005.

Kids in the window '05

My kids used to like to sit in the window and pretend to be mannequins. Liza Cowan Photo 2005


Klein:fake window

same window without kids. David Klein, Beanie For Peace. Liza Cowan photo 2005


Klein fake show

David Klein, Beanie For Peace. Liza Cowan, FAKE! photo by Liza Cowan 2005


Psaw card flash+hunter
postcards for Flashbags and Charlie Hunter Show. 2006


Keith wagner pods in window
Keith Wagner, pods, in show window. Hunter/Wagner show 2006. Photo by Liza Cowan


Hunter:wagner show
paintings by Charlie Hunter, sculpture by Keith Wagner. 2006. Photo by Liza Cowan


Psaw card cara+putnam
Show postcards for Cara Barer and David Putnam. Liza Cowan design. 2006


Cara barer show
Cara Barer show. 2006. Photo by Liza Cowan


Barer butterfly with pucci mannequin
Cara Barer, Butterfly. Mannequin by Ralph Pucci. Photo by Liza Cowan circa 2009.


David putnam show
David Putnam show. Photo Liza Cowan. 2006


Bread and puppet at psaw
Bread and Puppet Theater, benefit performance at PSAW, photo Liza Cowan 2006.


Psaw card artifact+goodman
Show card for Artifact, Liza Cowan design. Show card for SP Goodman, SP Goodman design. 2006

Window sp goodman
Show window for SP Goodman. 2006


Psaw card paper play double
Show cards for Paper Play, Alison Bechdel and Phranc The Cardboard Cobbler. Liza Cowan design 2006

Psaw card myra+steig
20th Century Works on Paper Show, and general use postcard. William Steig poster 1944. Ralph Pucci/Maira Kalman mannequin. Card design by Liza Cowan.

Psaw card denis+anderson
Show cards, John Anderson, Denis Versweyveld. Liza Cowan design 2007.

John anderson prepping show
John Anderson setting up his show. Liza Cowan photo 2007.


Versweyveld in green room
Denis Versweyveld show in Olive Room. Photo by Liza Cowan 2007


Paint by number card
Paint by Number Show. Paint by number painting,  image based on Norman Rockwell painting. Design by Liza Cowan 2007

Pbn show
Paint by Number Show. Mark, the postal carrier, enjoys the work. Liza Cowan photo 2007.

Psaw card nakki+connie
Show cards for Nakki Goranin's American Photobooth and Connie Imboden. Design by Liza Cowan, 2007 and 2008.


Sow postcard orange front
showcard Amadou Sow. Design Liza Cowan 2007

Painting by Mr. Masterpiece. Show 2008


Gombar postcard

Show card Richard Gombar. Design Liza Cowan 2008



Heinrich Harrer photographs, Seven Years In Tibet. Curated by Leslie DiRusso. Card design Liza Cowan. 2008


Studio glow in window
Studio Glow lamps and sculpture in the show window. Photo Liza Cowan 2008


Tim Matson. Pilobolous photographs show. 2009


Bloom postcard front
showcard for Bloom show. Liza Cowan design. 2009

Show Card David Powell. David Powell design 2009


Aline postcard

Showcard Aline Smithson. Liza Cowan design 2009.


Aline Smithson photos at Pine Street Art Works. Photo Liza Cowan 2009


TMNK postcard front
Showcard TMNK- The Me Nobody Knows, design Liza Cowan 2009


TMNK hanging his show. Liza Cowan photo 2009


Holiday 09 window
Winter Holiday show window. Liza Cowan photo 2009

Showcard Carol Golemboski. Design Liza Cowan 2010


Front showroom, Carol Golemboski Show. Photo Liza Cowan 2010


OK, well that's the brief tour.

I'm moving, reinventing, reincarnating, all of those things. Opening Sept 10th at S.P.A.C.E Gallery 266 Pine Street in Burlington.

As soon as I'm settled, Seesaw will continue as usual.









Aline Smithson, whistlers mother, arrangement in green and black, paint by number, contemporary photography, old lady swim, granny swim
Postcard for Smithson Exhibit. Photo, Aline Smithson, design PSAW

The Aline Smithson
exhibit has been up for a couple of weeks and visitors are enjoying it immensely. Here's what they look like on the wall.

Aline Smithson exhibit, pine street art works, photo liza cowan

Aline Smithson photos on view at Pine Street Art Works.

And here are some of the pieces- all images copyright Aline Smithson, used by permission of the artist.

From the series, In Case Of Rain. Archival Jet Prints  from scanned negatives:

Aline Smithson, books, book on chair, children's books, The Secret Language
Secret Language. Aline Smithson.

Aline Smithson, old books on shelf, herman hesse,
Herman Hesse. Aline Smithson

Aline Smithson, Video village, old board games,
Aline Smithson. Video Village

Aline Smithson, paper doll dresses, vintage paper doll, dress up
Aline Smithson, Dress Up.

Next from the series, Arrangement in Green and Black. Hand painted silver gelatin prints:

Smithson-arrangement - for press
Aline Smithson. #3, Bather

 Aline Smithson, arrangement in green and black, whistler's mother, old lady in leopard skin coat, paint by number, leopardskin pillbox hat
Aline Smithson, #1, (cat)

Aline Smithson, arrangement in green and black, paint by number, the last supper, old lady in curlers, old lady drinking wine, old lady eating supper on tray
Aline Smithson. #10, Last Supper

Aline Smithson, arrangement in green and black, old lady in tutu, old lady dancing, old lady degas, paint by number ballerina
Aline Smithson, #5, Ballet

From the series, Toy Camera:

aline smithson, venice black and white, toy camera
Aline Smithson, Venice, Once Remembered

Aline Smithson, Harmony

Aline Smithson, Unguarded Area

Aline Smithson, skaters, skaters New York City, black and white photo skaters.
Aline Smithson, New York Skaters

and here's some cool press for Aline:
Aline Smithson Venice Once Remembered on the cover of Light Leaks

Aline Smithson, Arrangement in Green and Black, cover (and inside) of Silver Shotz.


Visitors to the gallery often ask me if I still paint or take photographs. The answer, by and large, is "no." I don't have time to make art and run a gallery. It's not that I don't have a free minute here and there, but it is almost impossible for me to flip my frame of mind from business to art. That's particularly true for painting, which, for me, requires a lot of uninterrupted time with paintbrush in hand. If you paint, or write, or do any kind of creative work, you probably know what I mean.

What I still do, however, is graphic design. From greeting cards, to ads to postcards, I can do it all on the computer and somehow manage. It's fairly easy for me to move freely back and forth between design and retail management:  customers, ordering inventory, answering the phone, research, dusting, planning shows etc. It is a boon that I can save the work in progress and come back later and it's exactly how I left it. No drying time either.

Another great reason to make postcards : they are future collectible ephemera. So hang onto yours. And for goodness sakes, if I hand you one, don't fold it in front of me. Few things grate on my nerves as much as watching someone mangle my art.

So here are two of my latest. My postcard printers - I use Image Media and love them - were having a 25% sale, so I made a new general card, as well as the one for the August exhibit by Los Angeles photographer Aline Smithson.

postcard, pine street art works, Lena Spiegel, elegant lady 1940's, feathered hat, horn rimmed glasses, varnished nails, Liza Cowan design

Pine Street Art Works, Postcard. Design: Liza Cowan 2009

Here's my grandmother, Lena Spiegel, as my poster girl. Isn't she elegant? You've seen her before in this blog, and she's at it again - helping me out. No stranger to retail, her husband, my grandfather, Modie Spiegel, started Spiegels, yes, that one, the big mail order company. His portrait hangs over my desk and I try to absorb some retail moxy from him. I am the only person in my fairly large extended family who is in retail, so I like to think I get all of his attention.

But it is Lena who claims attention for her own foxy self in her feathered hat and varnished nails. The text next to her, in case you can't read it on the screen, says "I'm Lena Spiegel. My granddaughter owns the store. So shop already."

Blog aline postcard 

Aline Smithson, Arrangement in Green and Black #3, postcard for Pine Street Art Works 2009

Aline Smithson's amazing photograph does the heavy lifting in this postcard. Her show is going to be fantastic. Four photos each from three series - can't wait. Come by in August if you are around.


Some of these artists I've already posted about, some not. I'm so excited about the lineup of shows at PSAW. Even though times are tough, and businesses are tumbling like dominoes in an earthquake, we here at Pine Street Art Works (and Atelier Tove) are determined to keep going and thriving.


Tim Matson photo of Pilobolus. Dance called Untitled.copyright 1978. Used by permission of the artist.

The dance troupe Pilobolous began in 1970 at Dartmouth College. Tim Matson began photographing them early in their career, and, in conjunction with a Pilobolus April 11th performance at Burlington's Flynn Theater, PSAW will exhibit a dozen or so of Matson's original prints. Matson's book of Photographs, Pilobolus, was published by Random House in1978 and is still available through used book dealers.


Plattsburgh NY/ Burlington VT artist/educator David Powell will show his collages and prints at a date to be announced. I've been a fan of David's for a few years. He had a show last year at Burlington's Fleming Museum which was super.


Into the Future. David Powell. Copyright 2000. Digital print mounted on Wood Panel. Used by permission


Aline has been winning awards and grants left and right, and I'm happy to say I knew her when. She will be exhibiting here in August.


Aline Smithson. Arrangement in Green and Black. Portrait Of The Photographer's Mother. Copyright Aline Smithson. Used by Permission


I've blogged a lot about TMNK, but here's another image and a reminder that this amazing NYC street artist will be here on Sept 11th for the Burlington South End Art Hop. 


TMNK-The Me Nobody Knows. Copyright 2009. Used by Permission.



How To Read The Hand. Copyright Carol Golomboski. Used by Permission

"Psychometry is a series of black and white photographs exploring issues relating to anxiety, loss, and existential doubt. The term refers to the pseudo-science of "object reading," the purported psychic ability to divine the history of objects through physical contact. Like amateur psychometrists, viewers are invited to interpret arrangements of tarnished and weathered objects, relying on the talismanic powers inherent in the vestiges of human presence. These images suggest a world in which ordinary belongings transcend their material nature to evoke the elusive presence of the past. 


Copyright Carol Golomboski. Used by Permission

Through an examination of fortune-telling and clairvoyance, many of the images confront the desperate human desire to know the unknowable, historically referencing the Victorian interest in spiritualism as well as the look of the nineteenth century photographic image. Illegible text and arcane symbols in pictures with themes like palm reading, tea leaf reading, and numerology force the viewer to consider man's insatiable need to anticipate his own fate.

The concept behind each picture dictates its darkroom manipulation, sometimes requiring research and revisions that last weeks or months. Combining photography with drawing, seamlessly incorporating photograms, integrating appropriated text, and scratching the emulsion of the negative create images where horror, history, and psychology occupy the same imaginative locale." Carol Golomboski from Photo Eye Gallery


I found these photos and text over at Aline Smithson's blog, Lenscratch,

"We live in a world full of technical distractions. I see my children gathered around their computers as though it’s a summer campfire, faces aglow, as they peer into a world of friends and fantasy, participating in a new forms of entertainment that further remove them from the childhood that I experienced."   A. Smithson

Aline smithson - book on chair
Aline Smithson. Copyright 2008

"Today’s generation has lost touch with the activities that previous generations have enjoyed—reading a good book in a comfortable chair, playing board games on a rainy day, flipping through Life magazines, or sprawling out on the living room rug while listening to records and reading the backs of album covers." A. Smithson

Aline smithson bookshelf
Aline Smithson, copyright 2008

"And it’s because of this that I have been looking at bookshelves and untouched childhood pursuits with a new eye. With great sadness, I realize that these objects will someday be obsolete, at least in their current incarnations. And like a curator of antiquities, I see them now as beautiful objects to be admired and preserved, if only on film.

I can only hope for rain, a heavy rain and maybe a power outage." A.Smithson

Aline Smithson will have a solo show at Pine Street Art Works in August 2009.


Here at Pine Street Art Works in Burlington, VT, we have some amazing shows lined up. People often ask how far in advance I book shows, and the answer is anywhere from a couple of months to a year. I like to have some flexibility and I also like to know where I'm headed.

So here are three upcoming shows to look forward to:

Illuminated Sculpture by Riki Moss and Robert Ostermeyer. Used by permission of the artist.

Illuminations - Studio Glow - November.

I've scheduled a show of light. Yes, the days are getting shorter and we all start to crave illumination. Heading towards Winter Solstice, dozens of  important traditions worldwide honor the return of the light and have done so since the dawn of human life.

Well, we're jumping in a bit early with a show of lights by Studio Glow - the light sculpture studio of Riki Moss and Robert Ostermeyer. The whole gallery will be aglow with these beautiful lamps and lights.

 aline smithson arrangement in green and black portrait of the photographer's mother series

Aline Smithson, from the series, Arrangement In Green And Black: Portrait of the Photographer's Mother. Used by permission of the artist.

Aline Smithson, August.

I had the great pleasure of meeting Aline Smithson on my last trip to Los Angeles. I'd only seen her work online, which is how I find a lot of my artists, by the way. And I'd quite fallen for her photography. Aline is a highly respected photographer and teacher and a great person to go to art galleries with. We had a blast looking at art together. I'm so excited about presenting her work in August, and I will be blogging a lot more about her. Meanwhile, I urge you to check out her website - linked above.


TMNK - The Me Nobody Knows - Save My Ass Too, used by permission of the artist. Mixed media on canvas.

"Some of the wealthiest, most powerful money brokers screw-up and you say you want to use my money to bail them out? They make millions, hundreds of millions, fly first class, live in mansions, and have yachts. Yet we, the poor-ass-struggling folks are about to loan them 770 billion dollars?
I have a better solution. Let the greedy idiots who caused this mess take their lumps and loose everything. Then do for the American people what we do for developing third world nations, simply forgive our debts. Bail us out. Keep all of us from going bankrupt, and pay our bills, our homes off. After all we're the backbone of the nation, right? Good, for once let those at the top of the mess suffer the consequences.
Now you've already wasted a bunch of my money looking for weapons of mass destruction, then starting a very expensive war, funded again with MY money. So the way I figure, if you really care about a nobody like me: Dear Uncle Sam, Save My Ass Too! Save My Ass Too" TMNK

TMNK- The Me Nobody Knows.  September.

If you've been following my series Picture The Future: Obama in Art, you've seen two of Nobody's paintings. I found New York City artist TMNK as I was researching for this series and, as I said in one of my posts, I've fallen in love with him. With his work. We haven't met yet.'s the best part of my job - I wrote and asked Nobody to do a solo show here at Pine Street Art Works next September for Art Hop. And he agreed! Sometimes I love my job so much. Follow the link to Nobody's website and blog and I think you will be as excited about his work as I am.



I'm off to LA for a week. One of the things I'm going to do is spend some time with  Aline Smithson, who will be having a show at Pine Street Art Works next summer.

Aline smithson from
Aline Smithson from "People I don't know" series

Aline smithson from arrangement in green and black
Aline Smithson from "Arrangement In Green And Black: Portrait Of The Photographer's Mother" series.

See the Paint By Number painting on the wall? How could I not love her!

I hope to visit a bunch of galleries and shops and steal ideas  think of new things to feature at the PSAW. I probably won't be posting from the road but I'll bring back pictures and stories.