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Home > Arts, crafts exhibit shows

Retired professors showed off sculptures, paintings, bonsai trees and various crafts in the 30th annual Sylvia Winstein UCLA Emeriti Arts and Crafts Exhibit.

The event, held at the UCLA Faculty Center, allows retired professors and their spouses to display their artwork, which includes anything the human hand can shape, decorate or create.

“Because many of the presenters have been serious doctors and professors, their lives have been devoted to academics,” said Noel Carterette, chair of the event.

“For many of them, this is a new departure to expand their creativity, and that's wonderful,” she said.

Displays included photographs of gardens on campus and all over the world, watercolor paintings, handmade cards and decorated scarves.

Manali Sheth, a first-year ethnomusicology student, said the event was well done and educational.

“I learned a lot talking to the artists, even some good life advice,” she said.

Many of the artisans have inspiring stories that go along with their artwork.

Esther Zabin, whose husband was a professor of biological chemistry a UCLA and still works part-time, has been painting since she was 12 years old. However, about 10 years ago, macular degeneration caused her to begin to gradually lose sight.

Though she can no longer drive, she said that by using the teachers and studios at the Braille Institute, a nonprofit organization that provides services to help people with limited or no vision, she was able to get back into her artwork and has been showing her prints and scarves for 10 years.

“I like to see what other people are doing, and my old friends can see what I am doing,” she said.

Some spectators have been coming for years because of the variety of arts and crafts.

Fran Carter, whose husband was a professor of Design | Media Arts at UCLA, graduated from UCLA with a master's degree in costume design. She said she comes each year because many of the works of art cannot be seen anywhere else.

Along with colorful photographs of places all over the world, exhibitors displayed jewelry, clothes and wooden boxes with wooden hinges, all of which they had made or decorated themselves.

“It's very unique – everything is one of a kind,” Carter said.

Presenters at the event said they enjoyed having the opportunity to show their works, which sometimes take months to complete.

Sallie O'Neill, a retired employee of UCLA Extension, used to teach programs for the community about the changing legal status of women. She has been showing her clay sculptures for over 25 years.

“It's nice to have a venue where you can display your art,” she said.

For some, preparation to display their pieces is extensive.

Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy, a retired ethnomusicology professor, said it took over a week for him to prepare his artwork, some of which are edited on Photoshop.

“I need to print the pictures, decide which ones to show – because I have hundreds – and decide what to title them,” he said.

Kathi Yamazaki, a staff member at the UCLA Emeriti/Retirees Relations Center, oversees the event. She said it's a great place for everyone to get together and show each other what they have been doing.

This year the event honors Toshi Ashikaga, the wife of a retired professor of East Asian studies at UCLA, who has been providing fresh flowers and vases from her home to decorate the exhibitors' tables for many years. She and her husband came to UCLA in 1947.

“I'm embarrassed actually,” Ashikaga said. “Seeing my name and picture on the card was really overwhelming.”

Some of the crafts and artwork at the event were for sale. By the end of the event, Dorothy Kelley, whose husband used to be on the faculty at UCLA, had already sold all of her scarves.

“I sell out every year,” she said.

The event's founder and chair for over 25 years, Sylvia Winstein, was in attendance.