Saturday, November 7, 2009

SOFA Chicago Part 1: Skulls and Shiny Things

Good evening from sunny Chicago! It's been a gorgeous day for fair-goers, and we're all grateful for the pleasant weather. Makes for a much nicer fair. This will be a quick post as it's late! Just got home from a very nice post-opening dinner with painter Joanne Mattera, and gallerist Melanee Cooper and her artists: Julie Karabenick and Kathleen Waterloo both opened excellent shows tonight. I'll fill in the gaps tomorrow and post more pictures and more details.

View from the Pier this afternoon.

Some common images running through the fair were skulls, animals and metallic thread. Very interesting - maybe I'll see different patterns when I walk through tomorrow, but these elements were definitely prevalent and actually well-used. Here are a couple of skulls (all seemed to be glass). I won't have all the gallery and artist credits tonight, but will fill them in shortly.

William Morris - skulls, animals - a lot of nice pieces.

To give you a taste of the show, here are some subjectively-chosen works: all artists that work with Cervini Haas Fine Art. Great job all!

Jennifer Falck Linssen showing a nice transition to wall pieces at Del Mano Gallery.

Gorgeous new glass works by Jamie Harris - can't wait to get some of these for CHFA!

J Paul Fennell at Del Mano - delicate, precise, an impressive offering of new pieces.

I love Bennett Bean's wall tiles - this asymmetrical work is brand new and is a strong new step in Bean's work.

Adrian Arleo has a beautiful installation at Jane Sauer Gallery - sensitive honeycomb works of thoughtful female nudes.

GREAT new graphic work by Steven Heinemann. Very pleased to see it on the wall.

Three new glass sculptures by Danny Perkins - they have such a grace and elegance to them, they remind me a bit of seaweed waving underwater.

This evening's opening at Melanee Cooper Gallery on Franklin St. was packed. Julie Karabenick's geometrically abstract, eye-popping acrylic paintings were intense and vibrant:

Kathleen Waterloo paints with encaustic so thick and richly colored they reminded me of quilts from a distance - lots of dimension, texture, definition. Congratulations on a fantastic show! And thank you to Melanee Cooper for a truly enjoyable dinner after - the food and, most of all, the company - at Costa's Greek restaurant on Halsted.

Other events of the day: fiber lecture including Jon Eric Riis was inspiring; the Dale Chihuly opening at Habatat was packed - new botanical work was dramatically displayed, (but my favorite works were the Shayna Liebs in the back); and this year's slightly smaller SOFA Fair is overall a success - maybe all the more so due to its palatable size. More later.... second impressions of SOFA tomorrow! Starting the day with Jan Hopkins' lecture on her mixed media fiber works.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Anatomy of a Commission Part I

Our artists are frequently asked to create custom works for clients and public spaces. This is Part 1 of the "Evolution of a Fiber Art Commission," a custom artwork by Tim Harding for a private residence in Scottsdale Arizona.

The clients were familiar with the artist's previous work, so I met with them to show them what was new. They noted specific colors and patterns that they liked in the existing pieces, and Harding then created these swatches of color groups.

I met with the client in their AZ home to see the installation site and the surrounding artwork and furnishings. We worked together to narrow down the color selections - which is difficult when each piece of silk fabric is more gorgeous than the last!

We also chose a series of Harding's wall-hung fiber artworks to base the commission on, deciding on the "Shimmer" series.

"Golden Shimmer" by Tim Harding

Next, all my notes go back to Tim's studio and the work begins. I'll also send along photographs of the client's home so he can see the environment his work will hang in. This commission should take about 8 - 12 weeks to complete.

I'll keep you posted on the commission process and post a picture of the finished piece. This weekend, I'll be attending, and blogging about, the SOFA Chicago Art Fair.