Ellen Agnew

contributor to 7 posters

  • 2003 Poster: Where Tomatoes Blush


    Where Tomatoes Blush

    I'm addicted to the farmer's market. I absolutely love it. In fact, whenever I have friends in town, and it happens to be on the weekend, why, I get them to the farmers market, because I just think it's one of Syracuse's real showpieces.

    And I have collections of photos that I've done there. I love to see the farmers. I love to see people looking seriously at all the different things, trying to make up their minds. You know, which head of broccoli is the best. Especially around here, in August and September, when the tomatoes look really great, and they're so many of them that people do have to make up their minds which they want. These big decisions of the week. So they do check things out. And they always look so colorful, really almost seductive.

  • 2006 Poster: Anxious to Take Flight


    Anxious to Take Flight

    One of the things that makes the Dinosaur exciting, once the weather turns nice, is all the great bikes outside, all lined up, polished, showing off. The Dino originally was a bikers' bar, but now, of course, it's a generally popular spot. I think it's fun to see the bikes still there. They make the place seem like an old saloon, with horses tied up outside. I used to go to a lot of old western movies with my dad, and that was a common scene: the horses all tied up and the cowboys going through the swinging doors into the thick of whatever was happening in the saloon. I imagine the horses getting anxious, not wanting to be tied up too long, and I see the motorcycles that way, too. It's like, “Yeah, well, I'm here, but let's get out on the road!”

  • 2003 Poster: Thornden Park Roses


    Thornden Park Roses

    When I first came to Syracuse, in the late 1960s, I was living off Ackerman Ave., an area where so many Syracuse artists start out, so I would have occasion to drive through Ostrom Ave.

    I've always loved the rose garden there. It looks so sedate and lovely that you could picture ladies in garden party dresses from the 19th Century congregating there. Then you have the dorms, the fraternity houses, and, what I saw around Ackerman, the party scene of that whole area.

    I always thought the juxtaposition was a little bit of a hoot. But I thought it was a nice one, because it acknowledges that there are moments when students do need peace and introspection, which gardens are always good for.

  • 2005 Poster: Nature's Gift of Snow


    Nature's Gift of Snow

    I love winter. And I always giggle to myself as I hear people complain about it so much. But I've always lived in a northern climate, and my fondness for it stems from making snow tunnels, igloos, castles, angels, and of shoveling snow—still my favorite household chore.

    As an artist, I'm fascinated by snow's ambiguity: the delicacy of its floating flakes in contrast with dangers it presents as it accumulates.

    And I really do use winter as a time to catch up on things. Tending to overextend, I love the acceptable excuse snow provides for me to say, “I think I'll stay home tonight.” Then I can curl up with a book or write more—freely do some of the things I don't allow myself time for as much as I would like.

  • Milkweed and Sumac


    Milkweed and Sumac

    I've always loved gardens, both those arranged to accent homes, but even more the ones that come each season without our help, like those along the Erie Canal or Onondaga Creek walk. Nature's garden just happens by the wind and the rain and the animals, yet the results are beautiful contrasts such as the purple aster amidst the goldenrod. Sumac is my favorite particularly when its wine red color contrasts the nearby ash colored milkweed pods. Inspired by nature, I've attempted to make my garden in the heart of the city like a woodland scene, and I get much help from the squirrels and sparrows.

  • Flea Market Treasures


    Flea Market Treasures

    I am kind of addicted to going to the flea market. I tend to wander around aimlessly with a bagel and a cup of coffee like an anthropologist. I like to see the things that people are getting rid of and I almost always end up with some treasure myself. It's fun. It's almost like you bring home a part of this person you've never meet and form a bond with someone out in the six degrees of separation.

    I've been writing poetry all my life in some form or another. And I teach writing, so that's a good excuse. When my students are writing I always like to write along with them in the hopes that I inspire them to see that it isn't just a one shot operation. It's something that's in your spirit forever.

  • Crows Cruise Dawn to Dusk


    Crows Cruise Dawn to Dusk

    One of my favorite places, where I first met the crows, was when I would go to the symphony. I park by the corner of Fayette and State streets, and there's a park there, and when I would look up into the trees of the park, they'd be just black with crows.

    Now I see them in the morning, around 6:00, when I'm heading out of the city, and then around 5:30 in the evening, when I'm coming back in. I like the regularity of it. You can almost tell time by the crows, and what's neat about it is how it happens to coincide with my routine. It's like the crows are commuting, too.

    I like bringing nature into the city, letting nature take over a bit more, and not thinking of it negatively. It's nice to have touches with nature, aside from the zoo.