Brooklyn ARTery

Archive for the month “June, 2012”

Juan Carlos Pinto: Mosaic Muralist Extraordinaire!

If you live in Ditmas Park, you can’t miss Juan Carlos Pinto’s amazing murals and mosaics on the outside walls of Solo Bar on Marlborough, PS 217 lobby and garden, at the Sustainable Flatbush Church Garden and on the old Vox Pop roll-down metal gates. His most recent is the colorful mosaic in the Newkirk Plaza passageway.

Carlos, a passionate and creative Guatemalan artist, came to this country 12 years ago.  Attracted to the vibrancy of the 80’s NYC graffiti art scene, he immediately connected with the underground street artist movement.  Carlos works in all mediums and can turn almost anything he touches into a beautiful work of art. His home is covered on all surfaces, including his mosaic table, with his large and small oil paintings, sculptures, masks, mosaics and collages.

Carlos artistic vision is inspired by the mosaic muralist Isaiah Zagar, who told him “the streets are your canvas; it will give you walls to tell people what you think and feel and materials you need to do your work.”

His recent works focus on the use of discarded Metro Cards to create striking portraits of revolutionary and iconic figures from John Lennon to Che Guevara.  The idea of using these cards was sparked by his protest of the NYC subway fare hike, and his desire to re-use non-biodegradable materials in a powerful and provocative way.

Through his newly formed collective of 6 artists; Brooklyn Recycle Project is interested in engaging community in the development of public artwork using recycled materials.

His work has been showcased in many individual and collective shows and he is now a sought-after muralist, commissioned to make works of incredible beauty for such places as the Bronx Museum of Art, Two Boots Restaurants and The Girls Club of NY.

We will definitely see Carlos’s work in one form or another at the ARTery, and he will also be a featured teacher… So stay tuned for his classes.

Watch Carlos on this video to learn more about his work:


Fiyel Levent: Ethereal Artist

I found my way, with the help of my GPS, to Fiyel’s Levent’s home and studio in Ridgewood, a quiet little neighborhood bordering Williamsburg. Like her work and her home, Fiyel exudes warmth, calm and peace.  No surprise that she is a poet at heart,  it is evident in the way she expresses herself in the physical and spatial realm.

Fiyel found her calling at Cooper Union, where she received her BA in Architecture. Her evolution into a gifted artist and architect has been richly informed by her love of Central Asian and Islamic architecture, and her strong connection to her Tatar ancestry. Her entire family escaped during the Russian revolution and settled here in NY.

To reconnect with her past, Fiyel won a travel grant to follow the Silk Road. During her spring break from architecture school, Fiyel conducted research in Istanbul on water systems, fountain infrastructure and ancient maps. Later, she was further inspired by the artist Ruth Asawa, and vivid dreams of her travels.

Fiyel creates lace-like masterpieces in metal, paper, wood and concrete. Using a combination of intricate, hand-drawn designs and laser technology, her beautiful and alluring lamps, headboards, wall dividers, and shutters come alive as light shines through casting ethereal shadows. Fiyel also creates original furniture and pieces for private residences, hotels, museums and stores.  While experimenting with her designs on elegant cards for clients and friends, she found that they liked them so much she began to sell them too.

Fiyel’s beautiful and elegant creations would be a riveting display and lovely addition to any home.  Her work will certainly add a special touch to the ARTery store and we can’t wait to represent her in our storefront.

Visit Fiyel’s website at:

If you want to teach: fill in form below!

What’s your talent?

Brooklyn ARTery is all about buying handmade things and promoting the making and doing things by hand. We are now organizing adult and kid summer classes to inspire people to learn a new skill, be creative, get back to basics… and have fun!

Everyone has a talent, maybe even two or three. It might be what you do for a living, or that thing you do in your spare time that makes people say: “I wish I knew how to do that!” or, “Wow, you did that?”

Maybe you’re a juggler or you know how to make balloon animals. You could be a carpenter, a collage artist or have a knack for flower arranging. Everyone has talent, and there are people who would love to take a class from you.

I was talking to a woman about this the other day. She loved the idea but told me she had no talent.  I incidentally complimented her on her eye make-up.  Then we came up with the idea of her teaching a make-up class for teens.

So, tell us about your talent (with your hands) and you could be teaching a class with us soon.  You’ll get paid, meet new people and get to share that talent you have so much passion for.

Who else do you know? Help us spread the word!

Featured ARTist: Patti Carpenter

What a treat to enter Patti Carpenter’s apartment, jam-packed with textiles, pillows, sculptures, vases, bags, and candles that bear her distinctive designs, produced by indigenous artisans from all over the world. Patti is a creative force whose talent has swept through 51 countries so far.  Her simple, yet powerful textiles have even caught the eye of Oprah Winfrey. Her Carpenter + Company home décor and personal accessories were featured on Oprah’s  top ten list and an article  was written on her work that gives back to the communities and artisans.

Patti’s unbelievable knack for color, and her simple and evocative shapes and patterns have challenged indigenous artisans to reach beyond their grasp and expand their sales locally, regionally or internationally.

As a child growing up in the 50’s and 60’s in Washington DC, Patti’s  “art eye” was cultivated by her artist dad and writer mom. She was exposed to arts, culture and the rumblings of the civil rights activities around her, and was taught that if you are educated, there isn’t anything you can’t do. As a teen, Patti participated in Workshops for Careers in the Arts that fused art, theater and dance, which inspired here to become  involved in sets and costume design for theater. From then on she was hooked. At 16 Patti already knew what she wanted to do.  She pictured herself on a rock, under a tree, working with artisans from all over the world.

During a visit to NYC, she discovered FIT and consequently received degrees in Fashion Design and Illustration. Straight out of college, she was swept up by the top names in the industry: Ralph Lauren, Andrew Marc, Oscar de la Renta, Gloria Vanderbilt, Adrienne Vittadini, and Bill Blass to name a few.

Twenty-seven years later, itching to finally get under that tree, Patti branched out on her own. She joined a designer round table and was hired to work with the craft sector in developing countries. At age 45, she took a life-changing trip to Mali. This began her international experience designing products with indigenous artisans throughout the world.

She started working for companies that sent her to Kenya, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Tunisia, Haiti, South Africa, Egypt, Peru, Guatemala, Bolivia and Bangladesh. Working closely with weavers, potters, fabric dyers, and other artisans, she turned them on to her awesome sense of pattern and color to create prototypes for clothing, home décor and personal accessory products. Her designs have since been replicated and sold throughout the world.

Patti has now launched Carpenter + Company, featuring her handmade textile designs and Rare Resources, to market her products directly to larger outlets. Her Tuareg-designed small leather boxes, Guatemalan textile purses and bags, tabletop, pillows, candles, as well as African and South American jewelry, vases, placemats, throws, and personal accessories are affordable and unique. With Patti and her artisan partners’ work, there is something for everyone and we will be honored to have this merchandise represented at the ARTery!

Coming Soon: Brooklyn ARTery

I’ve lived in Ditmas Park for more than a decade and it’s the most amazing place to live!  I love the diversity, people, the food, and the trees.  Ditmas has almost everything you need but it’s still hard to find a place to buy fine quality jewelry, bags, clothes, or even home décor.

I’m launching the Brooklyn ARTery to fill a much-needed retail niche and to add value to this great community.  It will be more than a store…it will be a destination!  An art space where adults and kids in the neighborhood can come together and buy quality handmade merchandise, take a class, watch an independent film, and so much more!

Each week I will keep you in the loop on what’s happening with the ARTery—including the upcoming artisan market, classes, and the search for the right storefront.  I’ll also feature local artists, designers, and craftspeople whose work will be featured at The Brooklyn ARTery.

So stay tuned!

Susan Siegel

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