Posts Tagged ‘Parks Exhibition Center’

Closet Installation Defines Art Student’s Life

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Kevin plans to be part of an installation for his senior art show

By Marcia E. Gawecki

For his senior art show at Idyllwild Arts on April 20, Kevin is exposing a part of himself. In fact, he’s going to be part of an ongoing installation.

He’s showing some large, abstract paintings, but his installation showcases an unusual closet along with some track music that he mixed himself.

“Both of my parents work in the fashion industry, so it would be natural for me to follow in their footsteps,” said Kevin, who is from Korea. “It’s been a struggle for me deciding between fashion and art.”

Kevin is a 4-year senior, which means he attended Idyllwild Arts from his freshman to his senior year.

In Kevin’s closet installation, he’s selected only black and white clothes.

“It’s kind of a statement about human growth,” Kevin explained.

Kevin had difficulty deciding between art and fashion as a major

For example, white clothes would identify him as a baby, while black clothes would show him in old age. As the track music changes, Kevin plans to change clothes.

“I have to practice a lot to get it right,” he said with a smile.

Kevin also has some large, abstract paintings that together form a butterfly.

A few months back, Kevin got some encouraging words from Idyllwild Arts alum and street artist, Shepard Fairey. In fact, there’s a photo of the two of them on the Idyllwild Arts web site.

When he visited Idyllwild Arts on Feb 10, Shepard gave a lecture and held a Master Class for the visual artists (See “Welcome Back” Idyllwild Me post dated Feb. 16, 2012).

“He said that he liked my stuff, especially the figurative paintings,” Kevin said. “But he encouraged me to use different materials and take risks.”

(from L) Kevin and Cynthia before Shepard Fairey's art

Perhaps Kevin is taking Shepard’s recommendations to heart as he “performs” his closet installation on Friday, April 20 in the Parks Exhibition Center.

Also showing that evening are Visual Art seniors Bella, SoYe and Mia. Like all Idyllwild Arts events, Senior Show II is free and open to the public.

For more information about student art events at the Parks Exhibition Center on the Idyllwild Arts campus, visit www.idyllwildarts.org or call Mallory Cremin at (951) 659-2171, ext. 2251.

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

 

Art Showcase of Faculty & Staff Talent

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

'Nate' by Rachael Welch

By Marcia E. Gawecki

At the final Idyllwild Arts Faculty & Staff Art Show on Aug. 9, there was an eclectic mix of pieces. There were more paintings than pottery compared to the last show, prints from the new headmaster, some “shocking” paintings, and friendship nudity.

The three prints from Brian D. Cohen, the new headmaster of Idyllwild Arts Academy, were a perfect selection, given the natural surroundings of Idyllwild. Brian’s black-and-white etchings showed a pear-and-apple arrangement, a closeup of tree bark and a mystic silhouette of a pine tree in the distance. All showed his command of the print medium, and a keen sensitivity to nature (But they don’t photograph well!)

I especially liked his relief etching, “Tree Trunk,” although it was likely a tree from Vermont, and not Idyllwild. A teacher once told me that you could see wars in the bark of trees, if you look close enough.

'Fatherless Bride 2' by John Brosio

The two “shocker” paintings came from John Brosio. “Fatherless Bride 2,” was a medium-sized oil painting that featured a young woman in a long gown. “Carrie,” the 1976 horror movie based on Stephen King’s first novel, comes to mind.

In the movie, Sissy Spacek was doussed with pig’s blood, and appeared shocked in all the trailers, to say the least. However, in “Fatherless Bride 2,” there is the same amount of blood splattered on the young woman, with some drooling from her chin, but she has more of a “hunted” demeanor.

When several people looked at it, they marveled at Brosio’s technique, but didn’t understand the premise.

“Some artists just like to shock,” one woman said. “But he can definitely paint.”

The second of Brosio’s two paintings showed a close up of a fish head with a cigarette in its mouth. Everyone knows that fish don’t smoke, so this couldn’t be a preachy commentary about that.

“Just look at the way the head was cut off,” exclaimed Tressa, one of the attendees, pointing to the sharp diagonal.

'Stefania' by Jacqueline Ryan

Everyone was searching for the artist, who had just left.

Next to his paintings however, was a single portrait by Rachael Welch, who has taught painting many summers at Idyllwild Arts. She also works at Cafe Aroma, and showcases many of her paintings in their library/gallery.

Moreover, some of her jazz portraits have graced Cafe Aroma’s house wine labels, namely Marshall Hawkins, Barnaby Finch and lately, Casey Abrams.

Rachael’s single painting in the show had a predominately green and salmon palette. It was a portrait of “Nate.”

It wasn’t your typical portrait pose. This young man held his fingers up to his face in a sort of a “bugaboo” fashion, like he was mugging for the camera. There was also a faraway look in his eyes.

'Jackie' by Stefania Ford

“Why did she use salmon for the background color?” one woman asked her friends.

The others were trying to figure out what Nate was doing. Was he high on something? Was he playing a video game? The colors and the composition made it compelling.

Jacqueline Ryan, a painting assistant, was the one who convinced me to enter the faculty show.

“There’s never enough paintings by staff members,” she said. “Keep trying.”

However, this young woman, who just graduated from college, had a command of the medium. Her painting of a nude woman was connected to another sculpture in the show. Jacqueline told the story:

“This painting is of Stefania, the ceramics teacher,” Jacqueline explained. “She finished this sculpture of me that she started last year, so I decided to do a painting of her.”

(From top) Jazz greats Nat King Cole and Billie Holiday by Marcia E. Gawecki

“Jackie,” Stefania’s ceramic sculpture, featured a Rueben-esque kneeling nude, which captured Jacqueline’s energy. Stefania wasn’t around to comment on her piece.

She also had several organic pottery pieces on a pedestal next to her sculpture.

Next to “Stefania,” was my larger-than-life banner of Barnaby Finch, a local jazz musician who has played with some big-name jazz musicians. (I drive for Idyllwild Arts, so I’m considered a staff member.)

The banner measured about five feet across and nearly seven feet long. Cristie Scott, the gallery assistant, had to hang the banner by herself, which is quite the feat and without the slightest irritation.

Last year, the banner of Barnaby hung outside Cafe Aroma’s deck during the Jazz in the Pines event. It served as a backdrop for many jazz performances.

“It’s definitely the largest piece in the show,” Cristie said.

At first inspection, I noticed that the perspective was off. Barnaby’s head was much larger than his jawline. Most of my painting was done on my kitchen floor, so it was hard to get a perspective. Yet, I should have hung it over the porch railing before hanging it in the gallery.

'Paint the Black Hole Blacker' by David Delgado

“I want to disappear!” I thought to myself. “What was I doing showing a piece with an off perspective?”

I was grateful that Barnaby himself hadn’t showed up!

So when a young woman in a bright orange dress started dancing in front of the Barnaby banner, laughing with her friends and mugging for the camera, I was convinced that she was making fun of it.

“No, she’s just wearing a bright orange dress, and reacting to the colors of your piece,” explained Cristie.

She was right because I followed the woman around the gallery, and she wasn’t dancing in front of other pieces, including”Fatherless Bride 2.”

(From L) 'Double View Evening' and 'Tree Shadows at Sue's House' by Jessica Schiffman

All of the pieces are for sale. Part of the sale proceeds go to the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program.

This faculty show will remain on display at the Parks Exhibition Center until this Saturday, Aug. 20. The gallery will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, contact Cristie at the gallery at (951) 659-2171, ext. 2251

EDITOR’S NOTE: Technically, I should not review an art show that I have pieces in. It would never fly in a standard newspaper–conflict of interest and all that. But, for now, a biased perspective is better than none at all, right?

Copyright 2011 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

Published on: Aug 13, 2011 @ 21:41

 

 

 

 

Unusual Sculptures at Senior Art Show

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

Lian talks to another about her 8-foot magician with multiple bunnies

By Marcia E. Gawecki

The last senior class visual art show at Idyllwild Arts showcased some unusual, life-sized  sculptures, along with some standout photos and paintings. Samantha, Ben, Chloe, Veronica and Lian each outdid one another with imagination and artistic skill.

For one of her sculptures, Chloe asked fellow visual artist Sofia to stand on a pedestal and pose for about an hour.

“Originally, Chloe had asked a dancer to pose, but they all were in rehearsal during the visual art show,” Sofia explained. “Someone told her that I had danced before and she asked me.”

Sofia wore a natural colored dance outfit, and Chloe painted over the material, and even her skin with acrylic paint.

“It took me days to get it all off!” Sofia exclaimed.

She said that Chloe left it up to her asto what poses she wanted to perform during the art show.

“She told me just to go slow,” Sofia said.

Sofia became one of Chloe's life sculptures

Another large sculpture was created by Lian. It was part of a series that showcased animals.

In her piece, Lian created an 8-foot magician with bunnies coming out of his pockets, pants and everywhere.

The piece showed Lian’s “dark side,” another student said.

“I think it’s great!” exclaimed Mallory, on the art staff. “It’s expressive and a little edgy.”

Mallory said that Lian coupled the magician along with other circus-type pieces, including a wolf with one eye, and a circus acrobat and clown.

“Lian even added the music, which sounds like circus music,” Mallory said.

She added that all of the seniors had submitted their presentations early on, which were approved by the art staff.

Mallory went on to talk about Veronica’s paintings, which focused on sushi.

“Don’t touch it, it’s still wet!” Mallory exclaimed as I edged closer to a painting that featured a woman’s nude torso with what looked like rose pedals.

“No, they’re sushi,” Mallory said.

She explained that Veronica liked sushi a lot, but was also nervous about its potential to make her sick.

The other two paintings showed a woman’s torso similar to the other one, and rows of different kinds of sushi on a plate.

A sculpture-and-video combination by Veronica personified the “sickness” part of sushi. Mallory didn’t say whether Veronica had gotten sick from sushi before.

On the back wall were a series of student photos by Ben. He hand selected several of his classmates from Idyllwild Arts to act as models. Underneath each close up portrait was a statement about their lives.

Ben showcased photos that revealed his classmates secrets

“I belonged to a religious cult for the first 12 years of my life,” admitted Bram, a theater major.

Later, he explained how the photos came about.

“Ben asked me to model for him, and bring along several ‘secrets’ on pieces of paper,” Bram explained. “The one about me belonging to a cult was considered the best.”

As a theater major, Bram is used to “exposing” various sides of himself.  But he was surprised how few people asked him about the cult.

“I think they being too polite and don’t want to pry,” he said.

Bram is open to talking about the experience. He said that belonging to a cult seemed normal, until he turned 12 and rebelled. He tries to take the best out of the experience, including shunning materialism.

Since the leader of the cult died recently, Bram feels a sense of closure. But he’d like to use the experience in his theater art sometime.

“Perhaps I’ll do a monologue and explain how things really were,” he said.

The other photos by Ben talked about personal things as well, such as inability to trust other people.

Ben enlarged the images, and then emphasized some of the features with a collage. Bram’s eyes were emphasized, while Rebecca, an outspoken writer’s mouth was the focal point.

The largest one along another wall featured Deliah, a pretty blonde girl with black mud on her face.

“Her face and hair were so white, that I had to do something different,” Ben explained.

He projected Deliah’s portrait to enlarge it to about four feet wide.

Lian (at L with camera) in pink wig with friends at the art opening

Right now, there’s another visual art show at the Parks Exhibition Center on campus. It’s a group show featuring a variety of work. It will continue until June.

For more information, visit www.idyllwildarts.org or call (951) 659-2171.

Copyright Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

All photos courtesy Idyllwild Arts Academy.

Published on: May 21, 2011 @ 16:31

‘Cryptozoology,’ a Myriad of Mythical Creatures

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Chloe's "Cryptozoology" painting of what looks like a dying alien in a yellow pool

By Marcia E. Gawecki

Throughout history, people have been fascinated by mythical beasts,  including the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, unicorns, fairies, dragons, griffins, and the like. Hollywood has joined on the bandwagon recently, with “Iron Man,” “Avatar” and “Tron.” And all of the creatures from the bar scene of “Star Wars” would fit into this definition.

Chloe's sculpture looked like broken angel's wings with a crab leg extension

Idyllwild has its own mythical creature, called the Idyllbeast, who is hairy and looks like Bigfoot, but not as scary. Maybe more like Chewbacca. Only that the Idyllbeast hosts his own web site, and his own storefront, The Idyllbeast Research Center, on North Circle Drive in Idyllwild.

With all of these mythical beasts in mind, the Idyllwild Arts Visual Arts Department presented its student theme show, “Cryptozoology,” with a Jan. 14 opening at the Parks Exhibition Center on campus. The show ends today, Jan. 28.

“Cryptozoology” is a made up word that refers to animals which are legendary or otherwise nonexistent by mainstream biology.  For their pieces, the students needed to rely on their imagination because these beasts couldn’t be drawn from observation.

Alake's traditional unicorn was sitting down like a human

The 35 pieces in the “Cryptozoology” student art show, includes paintings, sculptures, drawings and mixed media pieces. Their young, fertile imaginations didn’t disappoint the viewers. Some stuck to the traditional lions, tigers and bears hybrids, while others made up their own combinations. One artist even debunked the Santa Claus myth.

Some standout pieces include a sculpture by Chloe, a senior from Korea. The four foot sculpture, laid upon a white pedestal, looks like broken angels wings. The feathers are longer than any birds with a purple and blue glaze.

“Very nice,” said Rob Rutherford, head of the Art Department at Idyllwild Arts. He was inspecting the pieces for the first time before a Master Class on Comics.

At closer inspection, Chloe’s wings also showcased an extension, that looked like a crab leg. What does that mean? Was there a metamorphesis going on from aviary to crustration or visa versa?

Li-An's watercolor boldly debunked the Santa Claus myth

Across the way, was another Cryptozoology piece by Chloe. The bright painting featured what looked like a dying alien in a pool of yellow. What happened? There are no title cards as indications, but one can only guess that the image reflects the artist’s feelings at the time. As a senior, Chloe may be feeling separate, or alien, from her classmates as she faces final exams, college applications and finalizing her portfolio. It could be any number of things, but the benefit is that these art students have an outlet in visual art.

Another standout piece is a ceramic unicorn by Alake, another senior. Instead of showing the unicorn upright and proud, as shown throughout history, Alake has hit sitting down, much like a human would. The general look to the unicorn is not distant  or scary at all, but one you might see on a merry-go-round.

Delaney's painting depicted the moment of discovery

Hidden in the corner of the Parks gallery was a murky watercolor that might’ve been passed over at first glance. But this one, by Li-An, a senior, was worth contemplating over. It depicted an extremely thin, bald man sitting at a vanity, looking into the mirror.

In the mirror’s reflection, you don’t see a bald man, but a full-sized, furry reindeer with antlers (no, it wasn’t Rudolph). And draped around his waist is a red Santa’s suit–with an attached mask!

So, Li-An is debunking the myth of Santa! Not only is Santa not fat and jolly or even real, but he’s not even human!

Another student delved into the murky waters of mythical creatures by documenting the moment before the beast transformation. In Delaney’s painting of a surprised young man looking into the mirror. Instead of happiness at his first chest hair, this teen was appalled to see a growth inside his chest cavity. The growth looked like the concentric rings of a tree stump. The colors she chose were not garish, but more patriotic, red, white, blue and and gray. And there were many layers of them, which begged to be touched.

Dean's large painting showcased an eagle/plane and a man/tree

Other students in the “Cryptozoology” show showcased hybrids that were made up of animals and machine parts.

Ho Jin, a 9th grader from Korea, featured a triptych of three pen-and-ink drawings that he drew freehand (without any preliminary sketches). The first was a dragon/griffin, which used images of an urban landscape, including a city bus and cars at its feet.

The second drawing featured the Statue of Liberty in the space between the large cat’s eyes, and its ears were comprised of rockets and fighter planes.

In the last one, Ho-Jin inserted himself into the picture. He is taking a picture of a bird on a limb, while the top of his head is split to show a large egg.

The painting that caused the most controversy was one done by Dean, which depicted a nude man with a tree limb for an arm. Resting on his limb is an oversized eagle/plane hybrid. In the deep background is a carefree kid surfing a fine wave.

“He’s an awesome artist,” exclaimed Ignacio, who lives near Dean. “He pays close attention to detail.”

A wolf-lion hybrid by Anna, a sophomore

Ignacio said that Dean debated whether or not to put in the genitals, but did so at the end.

“He thought it was important,” Ignacio said.

As far as most people know, it’s OK for students to paint nude paintings. After all, they offer nude models as part of their regular drawing classes. When asked about Dean’s nude painting, Rob Rutherford didn’t answer, but said he was rushed for time. Biology teacher Will Waddell said that nudity in student artwork goes in cycles.

“The art students will do a lot of nude paintings, and then the school will crack down for awhile, and then they slowly crop up again,” Will said.

Helen, a mother and artist, said that she wasn’t opposed to nude paintings in a student show.

Nudes are the best way to study human anatomy, she said.

Copyright 2011 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

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Art Show Focuses on Repetition

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Art poster features the hands of those artists in the show

The final student art show of the year will be held tonight, Friday, May 21, at the Parks Exhibition Center on the Idyllwild Arts campus.

“Inquire, Negate and Repeat” showcases the work of four visual artists, who are also seniors at Idyllwild Arts Academy. They include: Jade, Angelica, Karina and Anna.

The show’s posters appear on doors and windows all over town, including Fairway Market and Cafe Aroma. It features the arms and hands of the four artists participating in the show.

“On one of the arms, it looks like there’s a tattoo,” said Jade, “But it’s not real. We just superimposed the words, ‘Inquire, Negate and Repeat.”

In fact, the bluish color of the overall poster was a mistake, but they kept it.

“When Brent (a student photographer) was taking our shots, he forgot to change the setting on his camera from indoor to outdoor light,” Jade explained. “But we liked the effect, so we kept it.”

The title of the show took some research and thought, Jade said. It came from a meditation technique.

“Each of us is focusing on an art project that requires repetitive motion. For me, it’s knitting rows and rows, but for others, its the constant turning of the ceramic wheel.”

A Chicago artist who created door-sized panels made up entirely of yellow Post-it Notes, once said, “There’s beauty in repetition,” such fish laying out to dry, or boats lined up on a dock.

Artist Andy Warhol loved repetition. Although he painted mostly portraits in a Pop Art style, he often made several versions of the same thing. Case in point: “Triple Elvis,” from 1963. Warhol depicted a full-length portrait of the pop icon in a cowboy outfit pointing a gun at the viewer. The altered image had three heads and six legs.

Jade has been performing a repetitive motion for months. She’s knitting a scarf that is now taller than she is. Attached to the oversized scarf will be a variety of small drawings.

She said that she likes knitting because it’s comforting, and it’s something she can do while doing something else, such as watching a movie or listening to music.

Earlier this semester, these four artists had to submit their proposals to Rob Rutherford, head of the Visual Arts Department at Idyllwild Arts. Together discussed the message, the means, and even if the project was feasible.

Karina, who has four large pieces in the show, including paintings and sculptures, said that her part of the show is nothing extraordinary.

“I’m going to show what I can do,” she said. “I don’t believe a senior show should be pushed to the limits.”

She wouldn’t be specific about her four pieces, but welcomed everyone to come and see the show for themselves.

Each of the artists will be on hand early to discuss their work. Many of them have family and friends visiting from afar.

“Inquire, Negate and Repeat,” opens tonight at 6 p.m. at the Parks Exhibition Center on the Idyllwild Arts campus. The show is free and open to the public. It continues until Friday, May 28.

For more information, visit www.idyllwildarts.org or call (951) 659-2171, ext. 2200.