Great art, visibility and sales at the Vernissage

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The SCAD Lacoste painting students had a great time during the vernissage, showing and discussing their artwork. Each day seemed to bring new exhibition possibilities, so it’s a good thing the students were in peak performance mode for the entire quarter. Of approximately 200 paintings made this term, we exhibited over 120 of them in multiple spaces around the village: of the twelve exhibition galleries seven of them were ours, and we had work in two other galleries as part of collaborative projects.

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The photo above shows about half of the crew just as we arrived in the village. We got there early so we could be sure all paintings were level, do some last-minute sweeping and to ensure the galleries were ready for the flow of visitors. Left to right: Jonathon, Jordan, Claire, Jessica, Laila, Ana, Blaie and Kenzie.

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Blaie Bandy had a solo exhibition in Olivier Cave 1 (above). Above are three of the works in the exhibition. The two paintings in the second photo sold within the first 30 minutes of the exhibition. Two collectors argued over who had first seen the painting on the right, and ended up agreeing on who would buy which painting. Both paintings were with their new owners by the end of the day.

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Olivier Cave 2 (above) had a two-person exhibition of work by Kenzie Jarman and Jessica Locklar, a combination of drawings, collages and a mobile that hung from the ceiling. Sales in this room were good too: Kenzie sold some of her collages and Jessica sold multiple drawings.

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Olivier Cave 3 (above) had work by four artists, namely Collin Richard and Yoonyoung Jang (left to right, top photo), Megan Reiley (second photo), and Ana Alvarado (the fourth photo). The third photo shows a close-up of Yoon’s compelling combination of tight realism and detail with blocky silhouettes.

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The front room of the print lab (above) provided an impromptu gallery when we had an overflow of excellent work to show. This space had a group show of work from Landscape Painting–some of which took quite an experimental approach to landscape and autumn colors, as can be seen in some of the more abstracted works by Ana Alvarado and Chelsea Ford. Also included in this gallery were works by Justin Finnegan, Claire Carswell, Kenzie Jarman, Jordan Lichtman, Yoonyoung Jang, Mieke Liu, and Ty Derrousseau (whose large and gorgeously lush landscape can be seen in the last photo above).

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The seven photos above show the works in the back Print Cave, a massive space with very high ceilings. We reserved this space for larger pieces, such as the object-oriented Source Rhythms series by Laila Kouri (top photo), Cindy Conrad’s Doubt/Belief triptych (second photo, with detail photos following), and Jessica Locklar’s haunting and beautiful painting on an antique door, which was one of about five or six artworks Jessica sold (sixth photo). In the seventh photo, directly above, Laila Kouri shows off her enthusiasm during a moment of rest in the print lab, right before the doors opened.

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In the Olivier Lounge (above) the painting students showed work as part of their collaborative project with Professor Patti Taylor’s fashion marketing class. More information about that can be found here, but the above images show a few pieces from the quarter-long collaboration.

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In the Studio 3 Gallery (above) we had one wall to ourselves, and installed a grouping of pictorial approaches to the landscape that ranged from realistic to abstract to performative. The above works are by Jordan Lichtman, Ty Derousseau, Collin Richard, Justin Finnegan, Ana Alvarado, Mieke Liu and Jonathon Shannon. Jonathon’s painting, at bottom right of both images, not only depicts a rainy landscape but was actually painted in that rainy landscape; the rain falling on the painting gave the acrylics an interesting watery look.

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In the Blue Gallery we showed work from the Travel Portfolio class (above images), consisting of around 30 framed drawings and watercolors, and the travel journals themselves. We kept three journals over the quarter: one for more finished works, one for on-the-go sketching during field trips, and another for brainstorming. At the end of the quarter everyone collaged the best of their work into a final book/portfolio, with archival paper and a nice cover.

The photos above show works by Felisha Cachucho, Ana Alvadaro, Katie Reid, Kuhane Blackburn, Mike Daley and Jessica Hernandez. The final photo, directly above, shows Ty Derousseau enjoying his gallery attendant duties.

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The above panorama photos show the layout of Studio 3 Gallery, our largest space. The theme of the vernissage was “Light, Balance, Complexity”, so we used that theme for the group show in this gallery: situated near the top of the hill with amazing views of the valley, the light in the gallery is amazing; we spent most of a day arranging a complex curatorial arrangement that included all the painting students’ works intermingled by theme, balancing out the three complex walls with two less-complex, more quiet walls. The result was a spectacular art space that exhibited light, balance and complexity. Detail photos below:

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The west wall of the gallery with a range of landscape approaches by Reese Riley, Chelsea Ford, Ana Alvarado, Justin Finnegan and Ty Derousseau.

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On the right are three of Jordan Lichtman’s five “gibberism” paintings, about the difficulty of communication. All five gibberism paintings had sold by the end of the exhibition.

 

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Since two of my three classes this term involved landscape or space in one way or another, there were plenty of approaches to the representation of environments. This wall exhibits works by Collin Richards, Reese Riley, Justin Finnegan, Claire Carswell, Kenzie Jarman, Megan Reiley and Jonathon Shannon.

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This wall (one of the more sparsely-installed “quiet” walls to balance out the more complex walls) shows work by Reese Riley, Jonathon Shannon and Laila Kouri.

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An example of Jonathon Shannon’s “reversism” paintings, in which he inverts the geometric aspects of human-made and organic structures as a response to the cascading effects of technology on our understanding of–and relationship to–nature.

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One of Collin Richards’ three micro-ecologies, from a series called Dissociation.

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Small landscapes by Ty Derousseau (left) and Chelsea Ford (right).

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A collage on an antique door, by Kenzie Jarman.

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Landscape paintings by Justin Finnegan and by Megan Reiley.

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Above, a highly saturated and lush landscape by Ana Alvarado

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A wall installation of works by Allie Sherman, a series of impressionistic drawings of an abstract structure. Nearly half of these works sold by the end of the day. Some of these works sold to a couple of art collectors who were on their way back from the Venice Biennale, and who claimed that our vernissage held its own in quality against anything they had seen on their travels. They bought works by Allie and by Kenzie, and plan to install their new acquisitions next to a Picasso painting and a Fragonard painting they have in their collection.

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Above, a closer photo of Jordan’s gibberism paintings. The two on the right sold to one collector, the other three sold to various other collectors.

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Once the weather cleared up we took advantage of the amazing balcony and exhibited some paintings out there: two of Jordan’s gibberism paintings and three of Ana Alvadaro’s pixelated impressionist landscape close-ups. In the photo above Ana stands proudly in front of two of her masterworks.

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Above: Claire Carswell in front of some of her skyscape series. Claire’s work sold well, with four or five paintings on their way to new homes by the end of the exhibition.

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With artwork in nine galleries total, we had to take rotating shifts to make sure each space had an attendant. First shift at the Studio 2 Gallery was covered by Justin, Chelsea and Claire.

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Part of the crew, at the end of a long and fantastic day of art viewing, exposure, sales and discussions. Left to right: Jordan, Chelsea, Megan, Allie and Cindy. Thanks to everyone for their hard work, and to all those who visited!

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Vernissage newspaper clipping

A full post on the vernissage is forthcoming–once I’ve had time to go through the 100+ photos I took–but for now here’s a clipping from the local paper. Among the seven students pictured, the five on the right are painting students Jessica Locklar, Claire Carswell, Jordan Lichtman, Laila Kouri and Blaie Bandy:

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Travel Portfolio artwork, by Kory Kingsley

The vernissage this weekend was an overwhelming experience. Visiting locals and art collectors purchased a lot of student work, and for the first time I sold my artworks. Walking around and seeing everyone’s pieces hanging up and looking very professional was a great reminder of how hard we’ve all worked this quarter, and of how many fantastic artists we had living in Lacoste this autumn. Here are a select few of several pieces I had in the show for Travel Portfolio, inspired by the valley and the horizon line:

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Inspirations, by Alexis Kaleri

While drawing and watercolouring in Travel Portfolio, and drawing ideas for my building in my architecture Studio class, I have realized things about my style of architecture, namely that I am drawn to topography. I use natural or manmade topography in a lot of things I design or choose to draw. A lot of what I drew for my Travel Portfolio class consisted of the mountains’ many curves or textures. Similarly, for studio I drew the surfaces as if they were the topography of the Seine River. A lot of what I do focuses on the natural curves and forms created by nature itself, and that is what inspires me.

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Above is a drawing I did for Studio I, where I drew the topography lines of my site and let them create the roof and sections of the building design.

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This image shows the inspirational photo, the drawing i drew from this inspiration to fit my design, and then the final product.

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Painting and Fashion Marketing Collaboration

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The results of our collaboration with Professor Patti Taylor’s fashion marketing class turned out quite well, as can be seen in the photos below. During the Vernissage Professor Taylor’s class is showing their work in two rooms of the Olivier Lounge Gallery, one of which is devoted to the results of the collaboration.

This first grouping bought empty wine bottles, filled them with juice to maintain believable glass color, and then designed labels, coasters, a wine journal, and a bag for carrying everything. The FASM students designed the items, the PNTG students created the imagery, patterns, and a small artwork (or three) to accompany the ensemble:

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Left: Megan Reiley’s artwork adorning the product designs

 

 

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Above: Analuisa Alvarado’s artwork on the product designs

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Yoonyoung Jang’s artwork

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Above: Reese Riley’s paintings on the product lines. Reese’s small coaster paintings are inspired by the statuary around Lacoste.

These next two groups designed a range of items, including a set that contained journals and stationary, plus containers for carrying small paints or pencils, as well as an iPad case, folder, and an accessory bag:

 

 

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Above images: Jordan Lichtman’s luscious artwork on an iPad case and accessory bag

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Justin Finnegan’s labor-intensive craftwork

 

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Allie Sherman’s artwork

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Claire Carswell’s artwork. It turned out to be a great project, and great fun to do. Thanks to the painting students for their hard work, and to Professor Taylor’s class for all their work and for being a fun gang to work with!

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Vernissage preparation, day three

In the introduction to his trilogy The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien says his story was “a tale that grew in the telling.” That sounds about right in terms of the SCAD Lacoste painting department’s participation in the autumn 2013 Vernissage. We started with three dedicated spaces all our own, plus a couple of collaborative galleries. Each day introduced an additional gallery or two, so we’ve ended up filling seven dedicated gallery spaces, plus two collaborative spaces. To say we’ve been busy is definitely an understatement, but given the quality of the students’ work and their dedication to creating and setting up a dynamite exhibition, everything went shockingly smoothly. The hard work, professionalism, and drive to get things done was truly impressive.

Here are some images of the final arrangements and set-up, with the big day tomorrow (Saturday afternoon and evening). We reconfigured our spaces multiple times since each day of set-up offered new exhibition possibilities, but everyone really chipped in and made it happen:

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Measuring and spacing out the walls of the Blue Gallery for installation of the Travel Portfolio drawings and journals.

 

 

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Based on my gallery work experience before I began teaching, I suggested that each wall start with an anchor piece, which sets the tone and spacing for the other artworks. Above we see that process in action: having decided what goes where, the next decision was which artwork should anchor each wall.

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After the final edit of what we’d show in Studio 2 Gallery was finished, we set to work with the final arrangements and installation.

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The last gallery space we found out about was a section of Studio 3. Fortunately we have so much work that it wasn’t an issue to find dynamite, unexhibited work to take over and hang up.

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Above, Jonathon Shannon, Chelsea Ford and Cindy Conrad brainstorming arrangements for the final wall install of the day, in Studio 3.

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Justin Finnegan making some last-minute adjustments in Blue Gallery, so we could move the table with the travel journals out into the middle of the space.

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Kenzie Jarman makes last-minute fix-ups to a wall in Olivier Cave 3, on a wall featuring her work intermingled with works by Jessica Locklar.

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Vernissage preparation, day two

Technically these first few photos are from last night. We worked in the studio into the wee hours doing things like cleaning up canvas edges, wiring the backs of frames when necessary, touching up and so on. It had been a long day, but with some good music and excitement about the upcoming exhibition it made for a fun time:

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Now onto day two: We started out with moving everything up the hill, which required a total of six van trips up and down. I recall from my NYC gallery days, always take up all the good work even if it’s more than can go into the exhibition; once everything is arranged and edited down what’s left is the best of the best, making for a truly tight, dynamite exhibition. But first we had to load everything in:

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Before we filled the spaces I took some photos of the empty galleries. As of today we now have a total of six galleries for the painting students, one gallery for my Travel Portfolio class, and another gallery for our collaborative project with Professor Taylor’s fashion marketing class. There are some mid-size cities that have fewer contemporary art galleries than we’re using, so to say today was logistically complicated is something of an understatement…

Here are three of our seven galleries, before we began loading work in:

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Once everything was up the next stage was to figure out what goes where. It’s the students’ vernissage so the preliminary decision-making processes were up to them, with nuancing and reconfiguration as necessary. The goal for today was to figure out the general organization of what goes where–and approximately on which walls–before we finished for the evening. Tomorrow will be final editing out of artworks that don’t fully “work” or walls that are too crowded, followed by hanging the paintings.

Some photos of the brainstorming and organization procedures (including the top photo here, when they took turns with “the talking stick” to keep the conversation focused and goal-driven, a pretty great idea):

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