'Artful Bears' unveiled

Sculptures to be auctioned off at the Black Bear Film Festival

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  • Photos by Mary Caraballo Japenese prints.

  • "Humble Bear" with designer Jim Sheehan.

  • "Spirit Bear" with artist Tamara Jo D'Antoni.

  • Side view of "Pawns in the Game of Life."

  • "Mother Beary."

  • "Treebarius Rex" artist Adrienne Butvinik.

  • "Nevelson Bear" with artist Ricky Boscarino.

  • "Root Bear" with artist Julia Healy.

Eleven creative "Artful Bears" sculptures were unveiled at the Community House in Milford on Saturday, August 16. They will be auctioned under the Sky Tent at The Milford Theatre during the Black Bear Film Festival, Oct. 17 to 19.

K.J. Sakura designed "Mother Beary" which is sponsored by Harrington House. Sakura grew up in Queens N.Y. where she often saw statues of Mother Mary — this childhood memory was her inspiration for the modern rendition of "Mother Beary."

"Queens is concrete and metal, so I used metallics and I love sparkly, so the bear's eyes are sparkles," Sakura said. "I worked eight hour days for two weeks to complete Mother Beary."

Robert Kraese created "At Sixes and Sevens" sponsored by Schneider Dodsworth Law. Kraese was inspired by working with rice paper and Japanese prints.

"I decided to translate Japanese prints on a 3D surface and this was the result," Kraese said.

He has been a tattoo artist for 20 years at "The Shop" in Port Jervis, N.Y.

"Pawns in the Game of Life" by Todd C. Anderson sponsored by the Milford Diner took his inspiration from the book "The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are" by Alan Watts. Anderson works with all mediums of art. He received a BFA in painting from SUNY New Paltz in 1988. His works can be seen at Ecce Bed & Breakfast and throughout the Delaware River Valley of N.Y.

Sean Addy produced "I AM Forgotten" sponsored by Artisan Exchange. Written in French on the front of the bear is "Ne M'oubliez Paz" meaning Do Not Forget Me and on the back "I am forgotten."

"The bear is a tribute to humanity and to those forgotten in war especially in times like these," Addy said. "The bird symbolizes humanity showing that we are all the same."

Addy is a tattoo artist. He learned from Robert Kraese and now works at "The Shop" with him. He is also an illustrator for award winning children's books with Scholastics, Harcourt and Houghtin-Mifflin.

Sponsored by Center Family Foundation, "Root Bear" stems from Julia Healy's metaphorical tree paintings and sculptures representing life experiences.

"I wanted something related to trees, so I covered the bear with roots and sticks," Healy said. "I wanted it to have a natural look but sort of fairy-tale-ish."

Healy is a professor of painting at CUNY/Queensborough. She divides her time between Manhattan and her studio in Port Jervis, where she teaches painting. She has a MFA from the School of the Art Institute.

"I wanted to make something I would want in my own garden," Jim Sheehan said.

He made "Humble Bear" sponsored by Frank Bonello and Michael Elf.

"I wanted to keep it simple, but cover the whole bear," Sheehan said. "I wanted an earthy vibe. I worked with hieroglyphics and found a reason to do more."

Sheehan is currently an art director and designer living in Godeffroy, N.Y.

"Nevelson Bear" by Ricky Boscarino sponsored by Hotel Fauchere was designed to be purposeful. Boscarino was inspired by artist Louise Nevelson.

"Ever since I was I child, I was always building sculptures with found objects," Boscarino said. "I didn't want to leave the bear in tact. I wanted to make a 3D collage and I wanted it to be functional."

Boscarino's home "Luna Park" features his interest in materials, building and sculpting. Boscarino will open his home to the public for a free tour October 10 to 12. Visit Luna Parc.com for details.

"Treebarius Rex" designed by Adrienne Butvinik sponsored by Galasso & Kimler represents a tree who has grown into the King of Dino-Bears. Butvinik is the owner of Catmaid Wearable Art. She is a retired teacher of art who worked with ceramics, drawing and painting.

Richard D'Ammbrosia fashioned "Mommie Bearest" sponsored by Milford Health & Wellness Center. D'Ammbrosia was inspired by those who give back the power of speech to victims. He works from his historic home in Dingmans Ferry formerly known as Huntingtower. His work is throughout the area. See more at RoostersAtHuntingtower.com.

"Crystal Black Bearite" by Gary Todd sponsored by Hometown Abstract represents BBFF's 15th "CRYSTAL" anniversary. Todd is an artist who works with all mediums.

"I love to combine trash and make treasures, a favorite being a fountain made from old copper teapots displayed at the Teapot Museum in upstate N.Y.," Todd said.

Tamara Jo D'Antoni dreamed "Spirit Bear" sponsored by Jorgenson's at the Dimmick.

"I have eagles in my backyard," D'Antoni said. "I dreamt this bear — a Native American Spirit came wearing a bear suit with an eagle head and it was glowing golden."

D'Antoni is an artist, healer, singer and poet. Her work is displayed at The Stray Cat Gallery Store, The Museum at Bethel Woods Shop, The Delaware Valley Arts Alliance, and The Art on the Edge Gallery.

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