The initial impetus for the award came after I received an electronic invitation to the opening of Jason Eskenazi’s “Wonderland: A Fairytale of the Soviet Monolith.”  I am familiar with Jason’s work and knew that it wasn’t receiving the attention it deserved so I spontaneously gave him this award and forwarded the email to everyone on my list.

I told Derek Stroup the story of how I made up this award and he laughed.  He was very encouraging and said, “Just keep doing it, the next thing you know people will be sending you their portfolios.”

A month or so later, Jay Nubile happened to send me a You Tube link to a video he and Toby Kaplowitz made for an experimental video workshop.  I tried giving him five stars but the You Tube software had a bug in it and only three stars were given!  This made me mad so I gave Jay what he rightfully deserved -– 6 GOLD STARS ******!

The idea stems partially from my discomfort with traditional media’s methodology for reviewing books, films, art, etc.  I feel these large entities have too much power over what is promoted nationally.  How often does the New York Times review a photography or multimedia book?????  Most of the decisions to review something are coming from editors with an expertise only in writing and editing text.  The visual arts are so dominant in our society yet only a handful of these editors have a strong background in this area.

I’ve always had complex feelings about awards because they foster competition and if someone doesn’t win, the individual often feels sad.  I’m not a person who likes competition or believes people need to be validated by awards, especially in journalism, photography and the arts.  However, awards often promote stuff that might go unnoticed and the psychology behind an award is still very powerful……so the intent is for this to be a friendly, quirky, happy, nice award.

The name of the 6 GOLD STAR AWARD is derived from my early pre-internet days in photography when I used to star my favorite slides so the editors would know which ones to choose.  The best slides were exuberantly given numerous stars.  Despite my not so subtle efforts, these editors have a mind of their own and often choose photographs I don’t want published.  As anyone in field of communications knows these listening skill problems persist to this very day.

And of course….we can’t forget our days in elementary school when we eagerly awaited our gold stars.


Monday, December 17, 2007

The New England Scrapbook Company Wins SL 6 Gold Star Award For Being A Trove!!!!!!!

This is where I get my Gold Stars ******!!!

I've passed by this place a 100 times; it’s near where I live. One day, I was rushing around, hunting for supplies for an exhibition. I decided to run in for a minute to see what they had. The minute turned into an hour and half. New England Scrapbook Company is a trove of stickers, papers, scrapbook supplies, etc. The owners, Sue Wentzell and Lynn Harrington, are very nice and have an incredible eye for cool, hard to find stuff. Thank you!!!!

Their contact information is:

New England Scrapbook Company
200 Albany Turnpike (Route 44)
P. O. Box 70
Canton, CT 06019
Phone: (860) 693-9197
Fax: (860) 693-9086

AWARD CEREMONY (filmed using a cell phone)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cui Fei Wins Award For Her Art!!!!!!!

I am happy to announce that Cui Fei has received the STEVE LEHMAN 6 GOLD STAR AWARD for her wonderful art.

Cui Fei has developed an accessible and unique style of art. She explores patterns, natural beauty, and our relationship to our surroundings. Using mostly natural materials, she has created art that is both conceptually important and visual pleasing. I feel her work makes an important contribution to a long tradition of art, which uses nature as a motif.

Please visit her solo exhibit at the Cheryl McGinnis Gallery.
1287 Madison Avenue (between 91St and 92nd Streets)
New York, NY 10128
Phone: 212.722.1144

Gallery hours:
Monday: By Appointment
Tuesday: 9:30-4:30
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 9:30-5:30
Saturday: 11:00-5:30

Her work is also on display in a group show entitled “Touched by Women’s Hands” at the Flushing Town Hall. This show is curated by Lin Yan and features Cui Fei, Song Xin, Emily Cheng, Liang Hao, Hilda Shen. All are very talented artists. This show runs until January 20, 2008.

Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, Inc.
137-35 Northern Boulevard
Flushing, New York 11354
Ph. (718) 463-7700
Tuesday- Sunday 12-5 PM

The lovely Cui Fei at the "Touched by Women's Hands Opening" in Flushing, NY.

Cheryl McGinnis Gallery Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Cheryl McGinnis
Phone: 212-722-1144

Cui Fei
Manuscripts of Nature

The Cheryl McGinnis Gallery is honored to exhibit Cui Fei’s Manuscript of Nature solo exhibition December 4, 2007 - February 14, 2008.

The exhibit focuses on Cui Fei’s newest body of work as well as revisiting some earlier work.

The concept of nature has been a consistent theme in Cui Fei’s work. As a Chinese artist active in the United States, witnessing radical social changes in China and experiencing cultural differences in the United States, she says her thinking has been permanently altered. In response to a continually changing outside world she seeks the underlying essence of our lives, something that is real and permanent, which cannot be altered by social, political, cultural, or geographic conditions. Cui Fei sees nature as consistent and ordered, thus providing a therapeutic agent for healing and harmony in an otherwise chaotic world. She utilizes materials found in nature, such as tendrils, leaves and thorns composing a manuscript symbolizing the voiceless messages in nature that are waiting to be discovered and to be heard.

Both the concept of nature in her Chinese heritage, which emphasizes the interconnectedness of all beings, and the Western theory of transculture, which stresses living beyond the limitations of any particular culture offer her a unique vision to view the relationships between cultural differences: between culture and nature and between nature and human beings. While the ideas are consistent, the artist explores the expressive possibilities of different media: painting, printmaking, installation, and photography.

Recent Exhibits:

Touched by Women’s Hand, Flushing Council of the Arts – Smithsonian Institution, Flushing, NY

New Britain Museum, CT, Delaware Art Museum, Art

Complex Museum, MA, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum,

Queens Museum of Art, Wave Hill, Bronx Museum of the Arts

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Incredibly Versatile Woman Receives Award!!!!!!!

I recently gave the SL 6 Gold Star Award to a person who preferred to remain anonymous.

Y received her award for being an incredibly versatile woman. Y is a very kind and special person who has done many things throughout her life.

The list is long…….

She’s a mother, wife, wonderful quilt maker, gardening enthusiast, nature lover, excellent cook, and good athlete.

Y grows vegetables and flowers, built a stonewall, watches birds, sings in the church choir, helped me with my new media ideas, studies a foreign language and can have an intelligent conversation about cement.

In her family owned business she worked as an accountant, salesperson and assembled heavy equipment. She also worked as a language teacher and coach. Y’s now retired, enjoying her free time.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007



Dear Friends, Acquaintances and Colleagues,

******I am happy to announce DEREK STROUP has just received the STEVE LEHMAN 6 GOLD STAR AWARD for doing EXTREMELY COOL ART and liking my 6 GOLD STAR AWARD idea. He is the one who suggested I keep giving out the awards.

I met Derek this summer at a reunion. We are "laoxiang" (this is a Chinese expression that means coming from the same place....). It's interesting for me because we are both visual artists and grew up within a mile of one another in CT. I'm several years older so we didn't know each other when we were younger but we have several things in common.

Please come to the opening reception of Derek Stroup's new work EVERY DAY IS A GOOD DAY at A. M. Richard Fine Art. The space is a cool apartment gallery in a Brooklyn neighborhood.

Installation and Works on Paper

On View November 16th-December 16th, 2007
Opening reception
Friday November 16th, 2007, 6-9pm

Gallery Hours: Weekends, 1-6pm
Weekdays by appointment
Tel: (917) 570-1476 e-mail:

328 Berry Street, 3rd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11211

For a sampling of his art, please check out his websites


For immediate release:

A.M. Richard Fine Art is pleased to announce:
EVERY DAY IS A GOOD DAY a site-specific installation by DEREK STROUP.
November 16th 2007-December 16th, 2007
Opening Reception: Friday November 16th -6-9pm
Gallery Hours: weekdays by appointment • weekends 1-6 pm
Gallery Contact: A.M. Richard (917) 570-1476 or

EVERY DAY IS A GOOD DAY, is a large scale installation by conceptual artist
Derek Stroup. The installation will occupy the main space of the gallery and
continue into an adjoining room. An exhibition of small works on paper - also by
Mr. Stroup - each measuring 6” x 9”, numbering 60, entitled, Unrented Billboards,
will be presented in the project space of the gallery. This is the first time they are
publicly exhibited.

DEREK STROUP is an artist presently consumed with investigating the experience
of language, the communication of information, and the visual perception of
the common conduit of intelligible data.

The sculpture, EVERY DAY IS A GOOD DAY, is conceived on a monumental scale.
Each letter, approximately 24 inches in height, is cut from plywood, painted red
and subsequently hinged with wire to the next letter forming the word of the
sentence. Completed the sentence measures 18 feet long. Each letter is hinged
to gently move. The sentence, visible from all angles is akin to a roller coaster
configuration. Words snake, hang and sprout from the confinement and
restriction of the gallery space. The experience of reading, traditionally a passive
moment in time, is challenged by the architecture of the installation. Ultimately,
the artist is asking the spectator to be physically engaged with the act of
consuming information. He is deconstructing language for the viewer to better
experience its codified significance.

EVERY DAY IS A GOOD DAY, is one from a series of sculptures the artist has been
working on since 2006. Mr. Stroup is the author of Field Guide (2002), Rope Swing
Manifesto (2004) and Candy (2006). A selection of Mr. Stroup’s books will be
available at the gallery. Mr. Stroup’s books are also available at Printed Matter,
Inc. (195 Tenth Avenue New York, NY 10011). The online version of Rope Swing
Manifesto can be viewed at

This is Mr. Stroup’s first solo exhibition at the A.M. Richard gallery.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


For the creation of "This Special Moment" Jay Nubile and Toby Kaplowitz have been awarded the Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award for ground-breaking editing and excellence in multimedia communications.


August 1, 2007 9:23 AM

Six Steve Lehman GOLD STARS ****** for excellence in the visual arts

Hey Jay,

I tried to rate the video with 5 stars on You Tube and it screwed up. It gave you only 3!!!

So I just gave you an award for the video....... you're the second recipient. Jason Eskenazi was the first.

For the creation of "This Special Moment" Jay Nubile and Toby Kaplowitz have been awarded six Steve Lehman GOLD STARS ****** for excellence in the visual arts.



Hey Jay,

I think this is awesome, great work! I love the editing and videography. I just gave you an award for it.

For the creation of "This Special Moment" Jay Nubile and Toby Kaplowitz have been awarded six Steve Lehman GOLD STARS ****** for excellence in the visual arts. Please forward this video to anyone who would be interested.


In a message dated 07/25/07 1:46:40 PM, writes:

<< Hi All,

Just finished a weekend workshop of experimental video -- what fun
and a great way to loosen the brain cells from middle age atrophy.

My willing collaborator (Toby Kaplowitz) is a former student of Karen's photo class
the Creative Center: Arts for People With Cancer. She's a remarkable
lady. Hope you enjoy!


Jay >>

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Dear Friends, Acquaintances and, Colleagues,

The book and exhibit are wonderful please don’t miss them!

Jason and I go way back....almost to sandbox days. I've known him twenty years; he was one of the first photographers I met in New York. Among his numerous awards, grants, and honors, he just received six Steve Lehman GOLD STARS ****** for excellence in the visual arts. Please forward this e-mail to anyone who would be interested.


Wonderland: A Fairytale of the Soviet Monolith
June 22 - August 11, 2007

**OPENING RECEPTION, THURSDAY, June 21, 2007, 6 to 8 PM**

Leica Gallery
670 Broadway
New York, NY 10012

The book is soon to be released by DeMo Books. For more information, contact Jason at