Blessing of The Animals – Artistic Vision of Lani Kennefick
Rubin Museum Auspicious Stitches embroidery studio is not only a venue to learn about needlework and fiber arts, influenced by the treasures in the Museum collections, but an enlightened hub for the creative types to join, mingle and reboot their inner spirit.
While being welcomed to the workshop by my friend Sharon Slowik, who teaches and coordinates this urban retreat, I was introduced to another fellow artist – Lani Kennefick, whose solo exhibit in Williamsburg we visited afterwards.
Upon arrival the observer immediately immerses into a velvety-smooth, pool of color. Silk-screened Color-aid paper is chosen as a painting’s backdrop and it lures you into an invigorating pause, animating storybook animals on view. A subject matter, applied masterfully with Flashe Paints, is rendered with a meditative precision of a Renaissance artist. The titles like Initiate, Alchemist, and Leap of Faith offer a glimpse into Lani Kennefick mythology and her personal spiritual path.
From a designer’s perspective Lani’s animals are a breath of fresh air. The artist’s vivid imagery is directional and approachable. It exudes a confident sweetness, appealing to an inner child, a temptress and a sage in all of us.
An encounter with Lani Kennefick art and its habitat seemed like a divine synchronicity last week, especially on the eve of the World Animal Day – the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.
My discovery of her imaginary Animal Kingdom coincided with the Cathedral of St. John the Divine annual “Blessing of the Animals”. The celebration, honoring the patron saint of the animals and the environment, has become an increasingly popular, joyful cultural happening in NYC where creatures great and small gather to give and receive Love. Lani’s painted critters inspired me to attend the event this time around.